Tires provide the only connection you have with the road when driving. They are designed to have good handling, a safe ride, and good fuel economy. Improper tire pressure might cause premature wear to your tires and might become a safety hazard. You should know how and when to check your tire pressure, as this is an invaluable skill every motorist should have.

Preparations: Before You Start

The first information you should arm yourself with is the correct inflation pressure for the tires fitted to your vehicle. The tire’s proper inflation pressure of your car is on the driver-side doorjamb sticker. This sticker displays the tire specifications, vehicle weight restriction, and recommended tire pressure for the front and rear tires.

Another preparation is the means of checking the tire pressure. A tool called a tire pressure gauge gets the correct readings from your tire. The readout is usually in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). There are three types: digital, dial, and internal slide gauges. These come in prices and features that suit your taste.

Checking Your Tire Pressure

You get accurate readings when checking tire pressure first thing in the morning when the tires are still cold, or 3 to 4 hours after you park your vehicle in a cool, shaded place. Also, ensure it is on a firm, level surface.

To start, get your tire pressure gauge. Ensure it is in good condition.

Get a note and a pen to record your readings. Go to a tire, remove the air valve stem cap, and keep it safe. Press the tire gauge against the exposed valve stem for a few seconds (not more than 5). Hearing a momentary hiss of air when the tire gauge is engaged is normal. Read the air pressure gauge and record value and tire location. Compare this value with recommended tire pressure and location (front or rear).

If the tire is over-inflated, release air in a short burst by pressing against the valve stem (but not enclosing it) and re-measure until air pressure is within specifications. Use a portable tire compressor (if available) to fill and recheck if underinflated. If you do not have one, drive to a tire shop to fill up to the recommended pressure (after checking the other three tires). Replace the tire valve stem cap.

You can repeat this process for other tires, including the spare tire.

When To Check Your Tire Pressure

You can make it a habit of checking your tire pressures once a month or after the vehicle has been parked for a long time (over a month). Also, check if you ever run over a sharp object or hit a curb. Taking care of your tires and checking tire pressure from time to time is good to guarantee safe and dependable vehicle performance.

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