Shop Parts keyboard_double_arrow_right
Need car parts? Select your vehicle
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Summary
  • An overinflated tire could lead to excessive pressure on the tire walls, causing the tire to become too stiff.
  • Other effects of an overinflated tire include having a smaller contact patch, resulting in reduced vehicle traction and an altered tire shape that makes the center tread bulgier.
  • You can find the ideal tire pressure on a sticker located on the driver’s door.

Most vehicles have an ideal tire pressure where the tire is able to achieve the perfect balance of softness and hardness. Tires that are too soft will have an enlarged contact patch, which will cause the tire to have more rolling resistance, hurting your vehicle’s fuel economy and decreasing the tire’s lifespan. Tires that are too hard also aren’t recommended because of a number of reasons which we’ll discuss in this article.

man inflating a tire using a pressure gauge
An overinflated tire means that there’s too much air inside, leading to excessive pressure on the tire walls,  which can cause the tire to become too stiff.

What Happens If You Overinflate A Tire?

A tire is overinflated when there’s too much air inside. This leads to excessive pressure on the tire walls, which causes the tire to become too stiff. Tires need to be soft enough so they can flex and deform when they hit potholes, curbs, or debris. This deformation smooths the vehicle’s ride and widens the tire’s contact patch, which is the portion of the tire that’s in contact with the road. If the tire’s too hard, the increased stress on the tire’s side walls can cause it to be more susceptible to damage and punctures when running over objects or uneven surfaces. Overinflating your tire can reduce its lifespan.

Tires also play a role in softening bumps. Hard tires won’t be able to absorb impact from the road’s bumps and imperfections, transferring the shocks directly to your vehicle’s suspension. As a result, you’ll experience harsher bumps and more road noise inside the cabin.

Overinflated tires will also have a smaller contact patch, which can reduce your vehicle’s traction, especially when traveling on bumpy road surfaces at high speed.

Overinflated tires can also alter the tire’s shape, making the center treads bulge more than the edges and leading to increased wear on this area. Overinflated tires are also more prone to blowouts, which is when the tire instantly loses pressure, often creating a loud bang. Blowouts tend to happen at highway speeds when the tire’s experiencing the most stress.

an image of a blown out tire
Overinflated tires are also more prone to blowouts, often creating a loud bang.

How to Find the Right Tire Pressure

Making sure your tires have the appropriate tire pressure is important if you want to get the most performance and longest life out of your tire. Your vehicle’s ideal tire pressure is typically found on a sticker that’s located on the driver’s door. Other places you can find the information include the driver door jamb, left rear door or jamb, and inside the gas cap door.

Tires should generally be inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure and never beyond the maximum pressure indicated on the sidewalls. Remember that tires lose pressure because oxygen molecules are able to seep through the gaps of rubber molecules. Hence, it’s a good maintenance practice to check your vehicle’s tire pressure once a month. You should also rotate your tires at regular intervals so that they wear out evenly.

Get a New Tire Pressure Gauge Without Leaving Your Home

Overinflating a tire can be dangerous because it cuts down the tire’s lifespan and reduces traction. You wouldn’t want a tire blowing out in the middle of the road, and you certainly don’t want to lose control of your tires in an emergency. To avoid overinflating your tires, make sure you’re using a tire pressure gauge.

Ordering from CarParts.com is easy and convenient. You don’t need to leave the comforts of home to get the tools you need for your next automotive project. We want you to be able to order online with confidence. If you find the same tire pressure gauge on another site for cheaper, get in touch with our helpful and friendly customer service team. If you ask them about our price match guarantee, they’ll verify the competitor price and match or beat that price on the spot. What’s more, they’re available around the clock to answer any questions you might have.

Don’t risk a blowout from overinflated tires. Order a new tire pressure gauge at CarParts.com now.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Tony Harlin is a Master Gas and Diesel Diagnostic Technician with over 18 years of experience. He works full-time at a large independent automotive shop as a driveability and repair technician working on all types of vehicles with a focus on diesels. ASE certifications include A1-A9, L1 and L2, as well as X1.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Wheels and Tires , DIY
bumpers and components
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

View all Questions & Answers

expand_more
CarParts.com Answers BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY: Share your knowledge & help fellow drivers Join Now