Checking your tire pressure is important for maintaining good working tires, improve mileage and fuel efficiency, and have even tread wear. In case you’re not handy with changing tires, it also helps to avoid tire blow outs.
Ideally, you should check your tire pressure once a month while the tires are cold, such as in the morning before driving. If needed, wait at least 30 minutes after driving to check. It’s especially important to check it seasonally as cold air lowers air pressure and hot air increases air pressure.
The tire pressure in your car wears out depending on what you’re carrying inside, whether it’s from buying that new TV, to moving, to carpooling, etc.
You’ll need a tire pressure gauge to do this with. They come in a variety of different formats: with a dial gauge face, in a pen-like tube, digitally, or even with a built-in pump.
Step 1: Find Out What Your Tire Pressure Should Be
The tire pressure for each car will vary based on the type of vehicle, weight, and so on; therefore it’s important to check what the PSI (pounds per square inch) should be. You can quickly find this on the inside of the driver’s side door next to the seat or in the owner’s manual.
Note that the back and front tires may have different PSI requirements. This one needs 32 PSI per tire.
Step 2: Check the Air Pressure in Tires
Unscrew the cap off a tire and evenly press in the air pressure gauge. If you have a pencil gauge, a white stick inside will pop out, indicating the current pressure. It’s ok to be 1 PSI over or under.
If it’s a dial gauge, it may take a second to catch where the long hand hits. Digital gauges may require you to press a button before getting a reading. Check every tire on your car.
Step 3: Inflate Your Tires
If you don’t have an air compressor, you can go to the gas station where the air pumps have a built-in gauge to let you know when you’ve reached the right PSI. If you had to drive to a gas station to fill up your tires, the rule of thumb is that it’s ok to overfill by 3 PSI but you should still check it later when it’s cold.
If there’s too much pressure, just release some of the air by pressing the back of the gauge down onto the air valve and repeat until it’s at the right level. Don’t forget to replace the caps on all the tires.
If you plan on moving heavy objects long distance, it’s good to fill the back tires with a little more air to offset the uneven weight distribution.
Now you can rest assured that you’ll be getting better gas mileage with balanced tire pressures and avoid any blowouts.