How To Check Your Tyre Pressure
Correct tyre pressure can help to extend the life of your tyres, improve vehicle safety and maintain optimum fuel efficiency, which not only saves you money, but is also better for the environment.
Tyres that are under inflated can overheat and over inflated tyres can lead to poor vehicle handling. An under inflated tyre also creates more rolling resistance and therefore consumes more fuel to maintain the same speed.
Over or under inflated tyres need to be replaced more regularly as they suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure. With well pressurised tyres you gain fuel-economy and reduce tyre wear. Thereby saving you money!
Pressure is measured by calculating the amount of air that has been pumped into the inner lining of your tyre in pounds force per square-inch (PSI) or BAR pressure.
How To Find The Right Tyre Pressure
You should be able to find the recommended pressure for your tyres on a small sticker on your bodywork, or in the vehicle handbook.
Alternatively, you could use online tools such as tyrepressures.com.
Keep an eye out for different pressures between tyres, and be aware that you may need extra inflation on rear tyres if you frequently travel with heavy luggage or rear seat passengers.
Why it's Important to Check Tyre Pressure
Your entire vehicle's weight is supported by tyres that are losing air on a regular basis, so it is essential to check your tyre pressure on a regular basis.
Tyre pressure affects a vehicle's handling and comfort particularly with regards to braking, cornering, etc.
Fuel consumption is also affected by tyre pressure. A deformed tyre can increase your car's resistance with the road, resulting in it working harder and costing you more.
The authorities and many tyre manufacturers predict that correctly inflated tyres can even improve your mileage per tank by as much as 3%, so it makes sense from an economic perspective too.
It’s not always apparent that air is being lost, so it is important to check tyre pressure regularly. Air generally escapes at the rate of up to two pounds of air every month. More air is usually lost during warmer weather through the tyre wall, so more regular checks are needed when temperatures rise.
Tyre pressures should be checked when the tyre is cold, as pressure increases as the tyre becomes hot. Take the cold tyre readings and check them against the recommended tyre pressures from your placard.
Heavy loads or towing puts an extra strain on your tyres. So if your vehicle is fully loaded with passengers and luggage, you will need to increase the tyre pressure. It is important to consult your vehicles handbook for the correct tyre pressure.
How to Check Tyre Pressure Step-by-Step
- Remove the valve dust cap from the tyre valve and place the pressure gauge onto the tyre valve stem
- Ensure you press down the gauge evenly on the valve stem to get an accurate reading.
- Determine if you need to deflate or inflate your tyres based on the reading on the pressure gauge
- If the tyres need inflating, use a suitable pump and avoid over-inflation by adding small amounts of air at a time
- If your tyres need deflated, use the metal pin on the valve stem to release air
- Take constant readings with the pressure gauge between inflating and deflating
It is important to check the pressure in each of the four tyres on your car, as the pressure can vary significantly within each tyre. Make sure to check the spare tyre too. It's easy to forget and you never know when you might need to use it.
Tyre tips courtesy of Bridgestone