The dreaded horseshoe light with an exclamation point in the center.

With the weather fluctuating the way it tends to in the Northeast this time of year, the time has come once again when many of us drive around with low tire pressure dashboard alerts periodically staring right back at us. Just eating away at our concentration.

Some cars have the luxury of displaying exactly which tire is running low. Others make you work for it. But no matter what make, model, or year you drive, no one is immune to tire pressure decreasing as the weather gets colder.

The annoying part is having the light go away when the temperatures reach above normal for a few days, then return as the reality of fall sets in again.

According to Bridgestone Tire, this typically occurs when pressure decreases overnight due to a drop in ambient temperature that causes the light to turn on. The light may turn off when pressure increases during the day due to rising ambient temperature and/or heat generated from driving the vehicle.

As the temperatures get colder, the tire pressure decreases as a result of the air becoming denser. As YouTube car guy ChrisFox points out, the tire pressure alert will show up when the PSI is 25% lower than your vehicle's normal level.

Unless your tire light is flashing, it's more than likely nothing urgent. But you should probably top off your tires anyway. It's only going to get colder.

So now would be as good a time as any to remind you that most of, if not all, Wawa and QuickChek gas station locations throughout the state offer free air.

Thankfully the two biggest convenience store chains in New Jersey saw how inhumane it is to charge for air. Rumor has it Costco offers the same thing.

You'll see gas stations offering up air for $1.50, accepting only quarters, or some other strange stipulation. It's truly unnecessary.

In all likelihood, you have nothing to worry about. But it's worth your while to take your vehicle to a local Wawa or QuickChek soon to get your PSI back to its normal level. Considering the condition of many NJ roadways and the way in which we drive, your tires deserve to be pampered.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 producer, writer, and host Joe Votruba. Any opinions expressed are his own.

Questions, corrections, or comments? Send Joe Votruba an email. Follow Joe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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