Why does the cold trigger tire pressure warning?

The fall and early winter is a critical time to check your car's tire pressure as the changing temperatures can affect your safety on the road.

"Remember, air is gas so it is influenced greatly by temperature," said AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Bernie Rayno. "A decrease in temperature during the fall and winter months will decrease the pressure in your tires."

As the winter breaks and we head towards summer, the opposite happens.

"Inversely, in the summertime and spring, it's the exact opposite," said Rayno. "An increase in temperature increases the pressure in your tires."

A lower air pressure means you need to fill up your tires. In some parts of the U.S., the difference between average summer and winter temperatures is as much as 50 degrees. This would result in a potential loss of about 5 psi as the chill settles in. This might not sound like a lot, but it's enough to sacrifice your handling, traction and durability of your tires, which is especially important during the winter months.
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