Monitoring your vehicle’s tire pressure is one of the most simple, yet important forms of maintenance that can be performed on your car. Underinflated tires increase your stopping distance, lower fuel economy, and shorten the life of your tires, while overinflated tires make for a rough ride, and are more likely to get damaged from everyday road hazards like pot-holes.
What You’ll Need
All you need to perform this maintenance is a quality tire pressure gauge and an air compressor with the correct fitting.
Before you check your tire pressure, it is important to be sure that your tires are “cold”, or haven’t been driven recently. Next you need to find out your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure. This can be found in your owner’s manual or inside your driver’s side door. Note that this number and the maximum PSI listed your tire’s sidewall may not be the same number, as this number is the recommendation for the pressure while carrying the heaviest load that the tire can support.
First unscrew the valve stem cap from the valve stem of your tire and press the air pressure gauge against the valve stem to measure your current tire pressure. If your reading matches the specifications for your vehicle then you can move on and check the rest of your tires after replacing the valve stem cover. If your measurement is not the same, then use your air compressor to fill your tire to the correct specification. Replace the valve stem cover and then repeat this process for each of your other tires.
Remember, the current temperature affects your tire pressure, so be sure to check it regularly as the seasons change. With this simple guide to checking tire pressure, you can help your car provide the smoothest and safest ride possible.