Get more bang for your buck outta your tyres by learning how to check tyre pressure (and fix it) right here, right now!
Under inflated tyres may cause premature wear
and pose a potential hazard to yourself and other road users. Regularly checking your tyre pressure is the best way to ensure that your tyres don’t dip too far below their optimal PSI (pounds per square inch, or the amount of gassy stuff you’ve got in your tyres).
Ideally, you should be checking your tyre pressure monthly. For serious.
- Increases the life on your tyres (when done properly, so read carefully!)
- Greater fuel efficiency
- Quicker steering response
- A smoother ride
You can find the required tyre pressure level for your car
in a few different ways. Firstly, there’s your vehicle/owner’s manual
- lost your copy? You can usually locate a version online. You can also find this information on a sticker in the door jamb on the driver’s side
of your vehicle (on occasion it may be on the glovebox or fuel cap) - known as the vehicle placard
. It’s worth noting that in some vehicles different pressure levels may be required for the front and rear tyres.
Once you’ve found out the recommended PSI for your tyres, checking the pressure is a fairly straightforward task. The recommended PSI is based on the tyres being cold , so if you’ve been driving your vehicle, ideally it will have been stationary for a minimum of three hours to ensure that the tyres have cooled down.
To check the pressure, you will need a tyre pressure gauge. What kind you use - digital or standard, is up to you. Both are readily available, but just be careful of the ones that you find at servos, as they can get inaccurate after being dropped lots of times! Decent ones should start at about $20 from your local car bits shop.
Testing one tyre at a time, remove the valve cap and place the pressure gauge on the valve stem. Press down hard enough so that the hiss sound disappears and your gauge provides a reading. Note down the reading and repeat this process on all four tyres.
To refill your tyres, use an air compressor - you can usually find an air outlet at the local servo. Always read the instructions before using as they can vary. Once you have filled your tyres, use the gauge to check the pressure again. If you have over done it, you can always let some air back out. It’s important to note that an over inflated tyre is also problematic so take the time to ensure that it’s correct.
Not confident to do it yourself? Your local tyre shop would almost always be happy to help, so give them a call to check whether they’re happy to do a free tyre check for you.
And there you have it! A simple monthly thing to do that produces a lot of benefits to make sure you’re getting the most out of your tyres.