Tyre Pressure FAQ's

Should front tyres have higher pressure than rear tyres?

Correct tyre pressure is essential for safety and optimum performance when driving. Tyres are the only parts of your vehicle in contact with the road, and the pressurised air inside them carries the entire weight of the vehicle.

Many motorists wonder if the front tyre pressure should be higher than the rear pressure. Whilst higher tyre pressure on front tyres may be recommended for certain models to allow for the engine weight, it’s also true that other cars require the same pressure across all four tyres. The truth is there isn’t one answer – it varies depending on your manufacturer specifications.

To know whether your vehicle needs higher pressure in the front tyres, it is always best to consult your manufacturer handbook. They've used advanced engineering to create a unique vehicle model and every detail matters—including the recommended tyre pressure. For full details of the problems excessive tyre pressure can cause, check out our article on the effects of overinflated tyres

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Is tyre pressure checked at an MOT?

While the actual tyre pressure is not checked as part of an MOT test, a faulty Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) will result in an MOT failure.

Like any electronic system, the TPMS can experience failures for various reasons. Common causes include battery depletion in the tyre pressure sensors, or the valve sensors becoming damaged or corroded over time.

For more information on the TPMS, read: What is a TPMS?

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Does tyre pressure affect fuel consumption?

Yes, the pressure of your tyres can make a difference to your fuel consumption. Keeping your tyres at the recommended pressure is one of the most effective ways to reduce everyday fuel expenditure.

At a time when the cost of living keeps rising to new heights, anything that can help to reduce bills is worth exploring. So, here's our quick Halfords guide to the link between tyre pressure and fuel efficiency.

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Can tyre pressure sensors be turned off?

Tyre pressure sensors are part of the tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), which check the pressure of your tyres and alert you if your tyres fall below the recommended level.

It is not recommended to disable a TPMS, as they’re designed to protect your safety on the roads.

If your TMPS warning light is flashing, the first thing to do is check your tyre pressure. If you’ve checked tyre pressure, inflated your tyres to the correct specification and the warning light still won’t switch off, there could be a fault with your vehicle's TPMS.

Sometimes, the warning light comes on even if your tyres are fine—a faulty TPMS or a drastic temperature change could trigger this. Typically, you can work out if it’s a fault or if your tyres need air by the light that appears on the dashboard.

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Do run flat tyres need higher pressure?

Run flats are designed to support cars in the event of a puncture, so you can continue driving safely to your home or nearest garage to have the tyre replaced. Run flat tyres have a reinforced outer shell which enables the tyre to maintain the rubber shape even without air. This allows you to keep driving for around 50 miles.

As with conventional tyres, run flats rely on the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to alert you of a puncture. The tyre pressure warning light usually appears illuminated on your dashboard if there’s a puncture or you have low air pressure. However, you should still pay attention to your tyres and regularly check that they’re in good working order. This includes checking for wear and tear, punctures, and air pressure.

Does tyre pressure affect ABS?

If your car travels at speed and you brake hard, the wheels may lock. This can cause the wheels to lose traction. As a result, you may lose control of your vehicle. Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) make this less likely to happen.

It is not recommended to disable a TPMS, as they’re designed to protect your safety on the roads.

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Does changing a tyre affect the pressure sensors (TPMS)?

Changing a tyre can affect the pressure of your tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Whether it does often depends on the condition of your existing sensors and the type of TPMS you have in your vehicle. Read on to learn about the two main types.

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Do XL tyres need higher pressure?

XL tyres carry additional heavy load on vehicles, such as additional passengers and baggage. They’re usually fitted to large vehicles, including SUVs, people carriers, and 4X4s. Because of the additional weight, XL tyres are much larger in size than traditional tyres, and they’re also designed with a more robust build.

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