Here in the Berkshires and in all cold-weather climates car owners need to pay close attention to their tire pressure and take immediate action if your low-pressure warning light on the dash lights up.

Ignoring the warning light can cause a number of major issues if you continue to drive on Massachusetts roadways without adding air.  According to Car and Driver underinflated tires will shorten the life of the tire, it can negatively affect your vehicle’s performance, and of course the big one…cause the tire to fail completely according to Car and Driver.  Tire failure could lead to an accident, injury, and even death.

According to Consumer Reports dropping temperatures cause the air to become denser and which leads to lower tire pressure.  Couple that with tires naturally losing pressure over time, and fall and winter can be a busy time for pressure checks and adding a little air.

The low-pressure warning light (Tire Pressure Monitoring System or TPMS) is triggered directly from a sensor in your wheel that measures air pressure in that tire.  According to if the tire pressure is low the wheel speed will be different than a tire with adequate pressure triggering the low-pressure indicator light in your dash.  The TPMS has been required in all new cars for the last 15-years.  It is possible you might get a false warning light if the battery in one of the sensors fails.  To get the battery replaced might run you around $100.

During these cold winter months, Consumer Reports suggest that you check your tire pressure once a month whether your warring light is on or not.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli

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