But it's more important to know that underinflated tires are actually very dangerous for both you and the other motorists on the road. They could very well be the cause for losing control of the car, which in most cases may also lead to a deadly accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently unveiled the results of a two-year study that brought the risks of using underinflated tires in the spotlight.
According to the findings, a vehicle with underinflated tires is three times more likely to be involved in an accident caused by tire problems. Just like tires with worn tread, underinflated ones are extremely dangerous on passenger cars, as NHTSA revealed that 66 percent of the crashes caused by tire problems involved this particular vehicle category.
Tire-pressure monitoring systems are standard in the United States since model year 2008, so all cars sold here need to be equipped with such a system. And that's very good news, especially because NHTSA revealed in 2009 that 57 percent of the drivers that had such a system on their vehicles maintained the tires properly-inflated.
HOWThere are many tire pressure monitoring systems out there on the market, but most of them are based on the same idea: sensors installed on each tire measure the pressure and light up a warning symbol on the dashboard as soon as the driver needs to inflate a specific tire.
The Japanese engineers at Nissan on the other hand tried to lend a hand to all drivers who don't carry a gauge in the trunk. Basically, in order to reach the optimum pressure in each tire, drivers need a gauge, so without such a tool, it's almost impossible to do it.
Nissan's Easy Fill Tire Alert Detailed has a unique system to assist drivers do that, blinking the four-way flashers whenever they start filling the tires. This is just a way to confirm that air is going in however, since without a gauge it may sometime be very difficult to notice it.
Just let the air get out of the tire until you hear the horn chirping once again and you shall be ready to go.
As you can see, you don't really need to be a car guru to figure out how to use the new system and everything's quite intuitive. Just pay attention to the horn and the four-way flashers and you should be on the safe side all the time.
According to Nissan, the new system comes standard on the 2013 Altima, but many more models should get it in the near future. Of course, a built-in display is also available on the dashboard, showing the pressure for each tire, so you should know exactly which one's pressure needs to be adjusted.