How often should you check your tire pressure? We often get this question from car owners. If you also ask the same, this post is for you.
As a rule of thumb, you should check your tire pressure at least once a month and adjust it accordingly. However, the frequency may vary depending on the outside temperature. This routine is easy to carry out and has many benefits for you, other road users, and the environment.
Read on for detailed information on when to check your tire pressure and how to do it.
Why Should You Check The Tire Pressure?
The tire pressure fluctuates drastically depending on the outside temperature. Many car owners report a significant drop in winter when temperatures fall below freezing point. But why should you check your tire pressure regularly?
Regularly checking your tire pressure comes with many benefits, which include the following:
Reduce Tire Replacement Cost
Underinflated tires wear out faster and reduce fuel efficiency. On the other hand, overinflated ones wear out unevenly. These conditions shorten the lifespan, making you replace the tires prematurely. Regularly checking your car tires and ensuring they are of the right pressure helps avoid these problems.
Maintain a Smooth Ride
An appropriate tire pressure makes your car more drivable and maneuverable. Regularly checking and adjusting them ensures proper handling and performance on the road.
Vehicle handling becomes sluggish if the tires are underinflated. Cornering at high speeds becomes dangerous if the tire pressure rises above the recommended level. It can result in an accident that can cause injuries or become fatal.
Underinflated tires will cause your vehicle to consume more fuel. That leads to more carbon emissions into the atmosphere. But with the recommended tire pressure, everything is in perfect balance. You will get maximum fuel efficiency and less environmental pollution.
How Often Should You Check Your Tire Pressure?
The tire pressure depends on the outside temperature. You should regularly check and adjust. Just don’t drive your car with underinflated or overinflated tires.
As a rule of thumb, check your tire pressure every month. That is because your car tire loses about 1 PSI every month. Failing to observe this routine can see you driving your car with dangerously low tire pressure.
If your car has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), it will alert you when the tire pressure drops or rises. But still, you should manually check the tire pressure whenever you can.
Tire pressure drastically drops during winter because of the cold temperatures. To ensure you are safe, check the tire pressure once every month or even more frequently.
Tire pressure changes may not be as frequent in summer as during winter. However, that doesn’t mean you stop checking them. The summer heat can cause an increase in tire pressure beyond the recommended value. Also, there is a slow pressure drop that happens continuously. Checking your tire pressure once a month can help you detect any significant changes and adjust the pressure accordingly.
How to Check Tire Pressure
Checking your car’s tire pressure is easy. You only need to know when to do it, recommended tire pressure, and find a pressure gauge for taking the measurements. Let’s get to the details of these steps.
Know When to Check Tire Pressure
As mentioned, you should check your tire pressure at least once a month in winter and summer. Since outside temperature affects the tire pressure, you should do it when tires are cool.
Check your car’s tire pressure when the tires cool down, probably before you go about your daily tasks or late in the evening after work. Let the car rest long enough to cool if you are doing it in the evening before taking the pressure measurements.
Check Reference Data
Most manufacturers specify a tire pressure of between 30 and 40 PSI, but some can be out of this range. Check your car’s handbook for the recommended tire pressure for front and rear wheels. These may be different in some models. You can also source the same information from the door post on the driver side or fuel filler cap. Note down that value!
Find a Tire Pressure Gauge
You will need a reliable gauge. It is okay if you have one in your garage, but you can also drive to a gas station or find a car mechanic. Using a gauge at a gas station is usually free.
Take off the end cap on your tire’s air valve if there is one. Once done, push the gauge down the valve until the hissing stops. That is when you should read the value on your gauge. It will be in PSI.
Adjust the Pressure
You need to remove the cap on the valve of the tire. After that, the gauge should be placed over the valve to read the pressure. You now have two sets of readings; one from the vehicle’s handbook and the other from the gauge. Adjust the gauge readings according to the recommended values. You may need to release more air or add, depending on the actual tire pressure reading shown by the gauge.
Remember to check the tire pressure on all wheels and adjust them accordingly.
Check your tire pressure regularly and adjust it according to the manufacturer's recommendations. You should do it at least once a month to enjoy all the benefits of proper tire pressure. It ensures you are safe on the road, maximum fuel economy, and long lifespan of the tires.