I get a little paranoid every time a dash light comes on.

I'm pretty good about vehicle maintenance, but I really don't know a hack of a lot about cars. I know enough to change the oil and get things fixed when they're small problem instead of a big problem. I have friends who are absolute gurus when it comes to cars, and I consult them often before I proceed with anything.

Hands of automotive mechanic check and inspecting the engine of the car.
Narongrit Sritana
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One thing I have gotten pretty diligent about in recent years, is tire pressure. Mostly because I got tired of paying $2 for air every time I wanted to inflate my tires. So I bought one of those fancy-dancy tire inflators. Now it's almost like a game. I check it all the time because I always want them tip-top.

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This time of year, the TPMS light on my car gets a freakin' workout.

In the summer, my tire pressure doesn't budge too far, but this time of year it feels like it's a constant battle. So I finally had to look it up. Every 10 degrees that the temp drops, you can lose up to a 1 psi. when it gets cold like this, you can be losing several pounds psi per tire, and that's not something you should mess around with. Plus, underinflated tires don't perform as well. Lower gas mileage, slower stop times, etc.

LoveTheWind
LoveTheWind
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You'll also notice it when transitioning from summer into fall. Temperatures, while they certainly fluctuate in the summer, it's usually the other way. The warmer it gets, the more the pressure goes up. That's why that first crisp, fall morning you'll get in your car ant the TPMS light will come one, but usually as the car warms up, the pressure increases and the light will turn off.

Should you do anything about it?

Well certainly, you should keep tabs on your tire pressure. Don't wait for the light to go on or off. In winter, you can also inflate a 1 or 2 psi beyond your recommended pressure. This will help compensate for the loss. But you should definitely consult a professional before doing something like that. Remember, I'm no expert. But that's what my car guru friends do.

driver checking air pressure and filling air in the tires close up
spukkato
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But mostly, use your common sense and keep track of how your vehicle doing. When you're not an expert, common sense is all you have. It'll serve you well, I assure you. But at least now you know there's a perfectly logical explanation for why this is happening in your car. Knowing is half the battle. (cue GI Joe music here...)

For the life of your tires, you might want to stay out of these extreme weather places...

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LOOK: The most extreme temperatures in the history of every state

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Keep reading to find out individual state records in alphabetical order.

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