Overloading and Underinflation

What is overloading and underinflation, and why do they matter to you?

Overloading is when a vehicle or trailers weight exceeds the tire’s load carrying capacity. In other words, it’s when your tires carry more weight than they can handle.

Underinflation is when the tire air pressure is too low to support the weight of the vehicle.

Together, overloading and underinflation are the main causes of tire blowouts and tire failures.

Effects of Underinflation and Overloading

Improper inflation can have a negative impact on your about tire’s treadwear. When a tire is overloaded or underinflated, it can’t grip the road properly, and can lead to poor handling, vehicle instability, and reduced fuel economy. Additionally, this can lead to heat buildup in the sidewall and tread area. The more an overloaded or underinflated tire is driven on, the excessive heat will cause the structural components to break down and fail, possibly resulting in a tire blowout.

If a tire has been driven on for an extended period of time while overloaded or underinflated, you should have a tire professional inspect it for related damage or deformation. If any damage to the tire is found, it should be removed from service immediately and replaced.

When replacing your tires, be sure that they meet or exceed the minimum requirements for load carrying capacity. When loading a vehicle, make sure that you don’t put more weight in your vehicle than can be supported.

Learn more about proper air pressure and how to check your tire’s pressure at home.

How to Avoid Underinflation and Overloading

Be sure to check your air pressure regularly. We recommend checking the air pressure at least once a month. Your tire’s maximum inflation and load carrying capacity can be found on the tire sidewall. Your vehicle’s recommended cold air pressure can typically be found on the door placard, in the glove compartment, or in the owner’s manual.


If you have any questions or need any assistance, stop by your local Discount Tire and we'll get you taken care of.

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