- Car Safety & Safe Driving
How to check the air pressure in your tires: a step-by-step guide
Improper tire inflation pressure is one of the leading causes of poor tire tread life and gas mileage and in today's economy, anything to help save you money, especially something as simple as checking the air pressure on your tires is well worth it. By following these few simple steps, you will be able to check your own air pressure on your vehicles tires.
1. Remove the valve stem dust cap- The valve stem is located in the wheel itself and is close to the edge of the wheel. Simply unscrew the cap to start checking the air.
2. Checking the air- Using an air pressure gauge, press the nozzle down firmly on the top of the valve stem. The gauge will stick out from the bottom with the current psi of the tire, from this you will know whether or not you need to add air. To know how much air pressure your tires are supposed to have in them, look on the inside of your cars drivers door. There should be a small sticker with your tire information on it. Look where it says psi. This is the amount of pressure you need to have in your tires.
3. Adjusting the pressure- If your tires pressure is below the recommended psi you need to add air to the tires. To do this you will need either a service station air compressor or one of your own. Once you have turned on the compressor, locate the air chuck that is at the end of the hose, this is what you will use to inflate your tires. To begin adding air, press the end of the chuck down on the end of the valve stem. You may also need to pull a trigger on the chuck to inflate the tire. You may hear a slight hissing at first followed by hearing the air going into the tire. How long you should add air depends on how low the tire is. If your tire is extremely low, you may need to wait for a few seconds before removing the chuck and checking the pressure again with the gauge. If your tire pressure is or goes above the recommended psi you will need to remove air from the tire. To do this, simply press down on the core of the valve stem, either by using the back of the pressure gauge or any small pointed object, until you hear air releasing from the tire. After a few seconds, release and check the pressure again. Adjust the pressure accordingly until you reach the recommended psi or within 1 or 2 pounds of it.
4. Recap the valve stem- Simply screw the cap back on the dust cap, this will help to prevent dirt and moisture from clogging the valve stem.
Once you have checked all your vehicles tires, you may want to take a little extra time and check the pressure in the spare tire if you have one.
Importance of proper tire inflation pressure
Proper tire inflation pressure is extremely important in getting proper tire tread life, road traction, and gas mileage. Under-inflation can lead to uneven tire wear, especially the outside edges of the tread, and if tires are ran for extended periods of time while under-inflated they may blow out. Over-inflation can lead to uneven tread wear in the middle part of the tread and if tires are ran for extended periods of time while overinflated they may experience steel belt separation and possibly blow out. By keeping your vehicles tires properly inflated, as well as keeping them rotated, and checking your vehicles alignment, you will get the full life out of your tires as well as improving your gas mileage.