Under-inflated or over-inflated tires wear out quickly and excessively. Additionally, tires with incorrect pressure may lead to lower gas mileage and negatively impact your car’s handling. It’s vital to know how to check tire pressure as it is a significant component to maintain a safe driving experience.
The air pressure in tires measures in pounds per square inch or PSI. An essential first step is determining what your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure is. Your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure is on the sticker inside the driver’s door. Tire recommendations can be found in the owner’s manual as well.
While the weather is cold, use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure of your tires. With warm weather rolling into Boulder, it may be best to check the tire pressure in the early morning. If a morning time check is not possible for you, wait at least three hours for the tires to cool down before checking. Tire pressure can increase or decrease 1-2 pounds per square inch (psi) for every 10-degree temperature difference in weather. On average, air pressure should be checked once a month for tire maintenance.
When checking tire pressure, remove the cap from the air valve on the tire, and put it somewhere you won’t lose it. Unscrew the air valve cap on your tires and press the tire gauge against the open valve stem for a second or two. You may hear a hiss of air. The tire pressure gauge will display the air pressure either digitally or manually. Compare the number on the gauge with the recommended tire pressure of your vehicle.
If your tires need inflation, park close enough to the air compressor to reach all four tires with the air hose, fill your tires with air, and check the pressure to ensure the tires are not overinflated. Overinflated tires can lead to poor handling, skidding, and hydroplaning. If your tires are over-inflated, press the small bead on the back of the pressure gauge into the valve stem on your tire until you hear the air escaping. Check your tire pressure every few seconds until you reach the correct PSI.
The tires on a vehicle are one of the most critical aspects of your car. Low tire pressure can be expensive and cost hundreds of dollars in fuel economy. Regular care and maintenance are essential to the safety and reliability of your vehicle.