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How to Properly Check Tire Pressure

Checking your tires frequently is super critical for safe and economical driving.  After all, tires are what make your car rolling smoothly on the road.  Failed tires can lead to all sorts of dangerous situations.

In order to maintain the proper air pressure in your tires, the first step would be finding out what the recommended PSI is for your car.

All cars sold in the U.S. are required to display this information on the driver-side doorjamb. It displays the vehicle weight restriction and tire information. The same information can also found in the maintenance or car-care section of your vehicle’s owner's manual.

Don't be surprised to find out if the front and rear tires require different PSI.  Also, you may have to consult with tire shop or dealership if you have changed your tires to a different size from what came with the car.

DO NOT refer to the sidewall markings on your tires.  The PSI number indicated on the tire is the maximum tire pressure.

There is a few commonly made mistakes when it comes to maintaining proper tire pressure:
  1. Measure the pressure while the tires are cold.  It's best to check the pressure in the morning before you start driving (whether it's summer or winter).  If you car has been sitting outside for a while with the heat from the sun hitting on one side, the PSI reading can be off by 2-3 easily.
  2. Park your car on a level surface.  You won't get accurate reading if the car is parked on a steep hill
  3. You cannot visually check tire pressure unless it is really low in air.

Basically, temperature affects the air pressure in a big way - roughly 1 psi / 10 degrees.  Another reason for tire pressure check-up when season changes.  For instance, you could have too much air in your tire going into summer season.

Here are the basic steps.  Before you do this, I recommend you getting a quality digital tire guage
  1. Park your car on a level surface in the shade.
  2. Remove valve caps.
  3. Firmly press the tip of the tire gauge straight on to the tire's valve stem.  Digital gauges typically give audible or visual sign for confirmation.
  4. Repeat the step 3 times.  Disregard numbers that is out of the range and use the average of the readings.
  5. If the number is within +/- 1 of the recommended PSI than you don't need to do anything.
  6. If the measure reading is higher than the recommendation - press the gauge tip slowly on the valve stem until you hear air leak out. The air can leak out pretty fast so let it out only for 1-2 seconds at a time and repeat step 3.
  7. If the reading is lower than recommended PSI, fill the tire with air by firmly pressing the air-hose tip onto the valve stem. The air pump at gas stations are very powerful and can fill up needed air within a matter of few seconds.  If you prefer the convience of maintaining the air in your tire at home, check out Kensun Portable Air Compressor. It costs $60 but much better than typical $20-$40 cheap compressors that won't do the job right.
  8. Place the valve caps back on. It is important to have the caps on at all times.  If you are missing caps, you can buy them from here for $2

How to Properly Check Tire Pressure Reviewed by Brandon on 9:44 PM Rating: 5

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