There are a lot of crucial elements to your car that can affect how well you can drive and how safe it is to do so. One of the most key parts of your car, and one that you definitely can’t overlook, are your tires. Given that they’re what connects your car to the road, they go through a lot of hard work, so it’s crucial that you know how to check tire pressure to stay safe on the road.
Know the Recommended PSI For Your Car
The PSI that your tires will need to be varies depending on the model of your car. This is because different models weigh different amounts, and handle differently, putting different amounts of stress and weight on the tires. The recommended PSI can also be affected by driving conditions and suspension setups, but for most drivers, you can comfortably follow the manufacturer’s recommended PSI. This can be found in the owner’s manual for your car.
Prepare Your Tires
To accurately measure the pressure in your tires, there’s one very important thing that you have to do first: prepare. Tire pressure is measured in PSI (or pounds per square inch), and when a manufacturer recommends a PSI, they measure it while the tires are cold.
To make sure that your tires are cold (not just to the touch, “cold” also means that they’re settled), try to only measure your pressure after the car has been parked for a few hours – ideally more than three.
Take the Cap Off Your Tire and Measure the Pressure
Measure your tires one tire at a time. As soon as you take the cap off the valve stem of a tire, it’ll start losing air (and pressure), so you don’t want to uncap the valve stems of all of your tires at the same time, because by the time you reach the final tire, you’ll have wasted a lot of pressure.
Remove the cap from your tire, and put the valve stem into the measuring gauge. If you’re using a digital gauge, the reading will start to show automatically. If you’re using an analog one, you might have to wait a few seconds for it to start moving – that’s normal, don’t worry. Wait for the reading to stabilize and make a note of it. You’ll need to compare it against the recommended PSI for that tire later.
Repeat for Each Tire, Monthly
Once you’ve completed one tire, move around your car and repeat it for each tire in turn. It’s a good idea to repeat this test every month, to ensure that you’re driving safely and not at risk of skidding, sliding or being unable to control your car in an emergency.
At the end of measuring each tire, compare it to the recommended PSI for that tire. Adjust your pressure accordingly, either adding more air or removing air until you meet the requirement.
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