Many young and a large percentage of older more experienced drivers usually don’t pay too much attention to tire pressures and what deflated tires mean. The setbacks of driving with deflated tires are many and can be dangerous at most times. Reduced fuel efficiency, tire warping, reduced handling, possible punctures, premature tread wear are just a few of the dangers of deflated tires.
Most would wonder how deflated tires could make your car waste more fuel. The physics are simple behind it all. A deflated tire is softer, and in turn harder to spin when put under the heavy weight of the car. The weight makes the surface on the tire that touches the road much larger and the bigger the surface the more energy it takes to spin it. Properly inflated “harder” tires are much easier to spin and increasingly safer as opposed to deflated soft tires.
Tire warping occurs when a car has not been driven for longer periods of time. The circular shape of the tire is lost and the tire is unbalanced and not a perfect circle anymore. Driving with a warped tire can also cause you to have an accident due to the unbalanced nature of the tire and the increased vibrations. On rare occasions warped and deflated tires have been seen coming off the rim completely.
While wider tires provide more traction making your car grip the road much better, the case is not the same with deflated tires that seem to have more surface sticking to the road. It is quite the opposite. A deflated tire will seem to be in perfect condition even giving the car a sporty look, but what is actually happening is an overall reduced amount of traction and stability.
Deflated tires also lose their elasticity much quicker as they are being used much more in their soft state. They are prone to punctures as the lack of air pressure allows any sharper objects to penetrate deeper within the volume of the tire much easier. The tread also tends to literally rip itself off due to the softness of the tire resulting in a shredded tire not suitable for the road.