How to Check Tire Pressure Reviewed

Introduction

Tires are the only thing in between your car and the road while driving. Proper tire pressure means you will have most control of your car and make most efficiency out of your fuel. Under-inflated tires could cause a spark, accidents, provide harsh jerks or damage your vehicle. Knowing how to check tire pressure against the right sources, for the right conditions can prevent all these problems. So make it a habit to check and refill all your tires once every month.

Why is Tire pressure important?

Proper tire pressure is vital for your vehicle’s performance and also will prevent nasty blowouts, small to big accidents (depending on your speed) and most importantly will prevent you and the passengers in your vehicle from getting hurt.

01. Good tire pressure prevents flats & nasty blows to the car.

02. Equalized tires are better on your alignment and help keep your vehicle balanced

03. Wrong tire pressure increases wear and tear on your tires

04. Over-inflated tires mean less rubber on the road, decreasing handling while driving and making you  to vulnerable to road accidents

05. Driving in rainy weather or during monsoon season could be difficult and threatening.

06. Over-inflated or under-inflated pressure can damage your tires. This could result in costly repairs, or even worse, it could cause loss of traction.

Where should I find my recommended tire pressure number?

You can find the recommended tire pressure is in the driver’s manual and on the driver’s door sticker. Every recommended tire pressure is calculated in Pounds Per Square Inch, or PSI. The recommended PSI is accurate for normal driving conditions, but read your full manual to find exceptions. Some exceptions include: tire PSI and PSI for special conditions, e.g. cold weather. For example, ‘Max. Press. 35 PSI.’ that number tells you the maximum cold pressure needed for your tire to carry its maximum load.. Once you know your desired PSI of your tire you can check each tire on an air gauge. Check each tire when your vehicle is cold. Most passenger cars will recommend 32 psi to 35 psi in the tires when they are cold.

Tires have their own tire pressure limits: 

All tires don’t have the same capacity. All tires in a vehicle need to have equal pressure in all of them. Ideal PSI for your vehicle can differ from a random tire’s PSI capacity. Please check your vehicle’s recommended PSI before buying tires. Also the PSI number on the sidewall of your tire is not the recommended tire pressure for your car. It is the highest PSI that tire, can safely handle. Your car’s actual tire pressure may have a bit different or a higher PSI than the tire can handle. So you have to choose the right tire for your car’s ideal PSI under normal driving conditions. Usually recommended pressure is often between 30 and 35 PSI. This number shows the minimum amount of pressure needed to support your vehicle and its maximum load capacity. Less pressure would give you poor fuel economy and handling as well as premature wear from too much flexing and tire overloading.

Variations in recommended tire pressure:

Weather conditions, stony path and other circumstances change the recommended PSI of tires. The most accustomed imbalances are cold PSI and hot PSI. Every 10° Fahrenheit change in air temperature, tire pressures will increase 2% if higher temperature and decrease 2% if temperature decreased. This means standard-pressure tires inflated to 30-50 psi used on light duty pressure tires like cars, vans and light trucks will change by about 1 psi & heavy duty high pressure tires inflated to 80-100 psi used in large vehicles, buses and trucks will change by about 2 psi. In lower temperatures your car may need snow tires, which can add strength and traction. But even if you are not travelling through snowy hilly roads, cold can change the pressure in your tires. Hot weather also changes tire pressure too. Heat expands air, tire pressure in hot weather increases by 1 PSI for every 10 degrees. If you live in a very hot climate be sure to determine the hot PSI is for your vehicle and adjust your tire pressure accordingly.

Tire pressure varies under the following conditions:

a. Normal recommended tire pressure

b. Hot tire pressure

c. Cold tire pressure

d. Towing

e. Number of passengers

f. Towing or hauling

g. Tire strength may differ than your car’s recommended PSI

How do I check my tire pressure?

Before you set off with your car, check your tire pressure at first. Check them at home. To get best accuracy get a transportable air compressor to check tire pressure. If you leave them unchecked tires can get warm and may result in inaccurate readings. Attach the nozzle to your tire pressure gauge and it will give a PSI value of your tire. The air compressor hose can be used to inflate tires. The PSI is the number on the bottom of the gauge towards the hose. Tire pressure gauges are found at almost any car store, gas stations or stores with car section.

Simple steps to check tire pressure:

01. Check your instruments

At first check if you have all the things needed to check your tire pressure. You need an air compressor, tire pressure gauge and a pen & paper

02. Check whether you know the recommended tire pressure

Check at the car owner’s manual or driver’s door jam to find the recommended tire pressure of your vehicle. It’s important to know that these numbers are for when your tires are cold. A tire is considered cold if it has been parked for at least three hours or more. The manufacturer’s recommended PSI is for normal daily use vehicles. If you carry heavy load in your trunk often increase the recommended PSI by a slim margin in your rear tires. This will help you to handle extra pressure by your tires.

03. Check Tire  PSI of your tires

Remove the value from your tires, you will soon hear a hissing sound and once you do, put the pressure gauge (digital or manual) into the stem until the hissing sound stops. Check how much air is present & needed for your tires and note them down.

04. Fill each tire to your recommended PSI

Once the compressor is up, place the end of the hose over the valve stem and press the lever. Once the tire is filled, check its pressure again to see that it's at the recommended PSI. If you have overfilled the tire, let the excess air out until you have reached the desired amount. Be sure not to drive on over-inflated tires. Do this method for each of your tires when tires are cold.

05. Replace the nozzle

After you are done, remove the tire gauge and replace the nozzle of your tires. This is a crucial step. If you take of the tire gauge from the stem without putting the nozzle back, air will escape from your tire causing pressure to fall.

How often should you check tire pressure?

Do NOT forget to check your spare for proper tire pressure everyday when your tires are cold. This is particularly important when planning road trips. Put it on your road trip check list.

Check your tire pressure if the following conditions occur:

a. If you vehicle pulls to the left or right when driving straight.

b. Handling, sliding, skidding difficulties or anything that requires extra strain on your braking.

c. When tread is more worn, or smoother  in the center of your tires

d. Jerks or bumps are faced while driving

Check your tires for wear and tear

How to measure tires for tread and other maintenance habits is a punctuality skill of the driver. If you are looking at your tires already, check for cracks in the sides, presence of nails or other intruding objects, and whether the rubbers are torn. Examine the tread and check there are no bald spots or heavy wear. Check all four of your tires. If you think your tires may be over inflated, use penny test to check tread wear on the middle and side of your tire.

Why does tire pressure change my fuel economy? 

Under-inflated tires prevent smooth driving. Properly inflated tires not only help to provide smooth driving condition but also improve your gas mileage by 0.6-3%. And it lowers your fuel economy too. Do not over-inflate your tires thinking you’ll save money at the pump. It doesn’t work and it can be dangerous. According to the U.S. Department of Energy stated that for every 1 drop in pressure PSI, your gas mileage will be less by 0.4 percent.

Choosing the best tire pressure gauge

For choosing the best tire pressure gauge make sure you choose one which is compatible with all your vehicle’s tires, has a good quality and is also affordable. To know more information about choosing the best tire pressure gauge visit this given link.

Final Verdict

Now that you have learnt how to check your vehicle’s tire pressure you can have a peace on mind and enjoy the journey you take. You do not have to worry about tire problems anymore or the problems faced while checking tire pressure. Check your tire pressure on your own and choose the best tire pressure gauge for your car.

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