Before hitting the road for a trip this summer, it’s important you make sure your car is in good condition. In addition to checking your fluid levels and packing an emergency kit, you’ll also want to check your tire pressure. Use the following instructions to make sure your tires are inflated to the proper levels so you can stay safe.
- Grab a tire pressure gauge. You will use this tool to measure the air pressure in your tires, noted as pounds per square inch (PSI). For the best measurements, opt for a digital gauge that provides instant readings.
- Wait three hours after driving to check your tires. When you drive your car, your tires build up heat, which may slightly alter the PSI. Give them a chance to rest and cool down so you can get a more accurate reading.
- Locate your valve stem, remove the cap, and insert the tire pressure gauge. The gauge will be located on the inner edge of the tire, often inside the hubcap. If you can’t find the valve, there’s a chance your hubcap may be covering it if it wasn’t installed correctly.
- Remove the gauge after the reading appears and replace the cap. For a digital gauge, this should happen almost immediately. Old-fashioned gauges have a stem that will pop out to a specific number; this is the PSI of your tires.
- Compare your PSI to the recommended PSI. Most cars have a sticker inside the driver’s door that notes what the ideal PSI is. If you can’t find this, check your owner’s manual or do a quick Google search. If the tire is underinflated, add more air. For overinflated tires, you’ll want to let some air out.
In some cases, tires can lose up to one PSI each month, so checking on them every so often is imperative to keeping you, your passengers, and your car safe. And don’t forget about your spare, as it won’t do you much good when you have a flat tire if the replacement is also flat.
“Tire Pressure – How to Check Tire Pressure.” Michelin, Michelin North America Inc. https://www.michelinman.com/US/en/safe-driving/tire-safety/tire-pressure.html. Accessed 11 July 2019.