When to check tire pressure
Tires lose air due to permeation even when you don’t have a leak. So it’s critical to check tire pressure and add more air when they’re low. Keeping your tires inflated to the correct air pressure ensures maximum tire life and maximum traction.
Check tire pressure every month
Tires lose 1 to 3-psi. per month even if you don’t have a leak. If you ignore tire pressure for more than a month you could easily be driving on tires that are dangerously low on pressure. That causes excessive tire wear, lower gas mileage, longer stopping distances, and less stability.
Check tire pressure before going on long trips
Driving for long distances on underinflated tires causes the sidewalls to flex excessively and build up heat that causes the rubber to crack and fail. So it’s critically important to check tire pressure and inflate to the recommended pressure before going on a long trip
Check tire pressure before hauling a heavy load
Carry a heavy load in your car or truck puts maximum stress on your tires. The recommended tire pressure is listed on a placard on the driver’s door or pillar. But when you load your vehicle to its maximum capacity, you should increase the tire pressure at each tire to the maximum pressure shown on the tire’s sidewall. That’ll support the extra load and prevent the tire from rolling on its shoulders. When you’ve finished hauling, reduce the pressure to the recommended psi listed on the placard.
Check tire pressure and add air when outside temperature drops
Because cold air contracts, you must add air when air temperatures drop. Tires lose 1-psi. for every 10° drop in air temperature. As Fall and Winter approach, air more air to your tires to keep them properly inflated.
Check tire pressure when the tires are cold
As you drive on your tires, the flexing and friction heats up the air in the tire, causing the air to expand and increase air pressure. If you check the air pressure in your tires when the tire is hot, the tire will be severely underinflated when it’s cold. All recommended tires pressures are based on checking the tire when it’s cold. If you don’t have a tire air compressor at home and must drive to a convenience store or gas station to fill your tires, don’t drive more than one mile or the tire’s higher temperature will prevent you from getting an accurate pressure reading.
If you live more than a mile from an air filling store, check the air pressure at each tire while the tires are cold and before you drive. Compare the reading to the recommended pressure and note exactly how much air each tire needs to bring it to the recommended pressure. Then drive to the store and check the air pressure in each time when the tire is hot. Based on your readings when the tire was cold, add that amount of air to the tire.
Buy your own tire pressure gauge
The tire pressure gauges at convenience stores and gas stations are incredibly inaccurate because the gauges are mishandled by the public. A mechanical tire pressure gauge loses accurate when it’s dropped or mishandled. So it’s best to invest in your own tire gauge and keep it in your glove box.
What’s the most accurate tire pressure gauge
Stick gauges are the cheapest, but they’re inaccurate. Dial gauges are more accurate than stick gauges, but can be damaged by dropping. Digital tire pressure gauges have dropped in price and now very affordable and provide the most accurate reading.
How to check tire pressure
• Remove the plastic tire valve cap
• Center the gauge over the valve stem and in a quick even motion, press it straight onto the tire valve. Quickly remove it.
• Read the pressure and inflate as needed.
How to add air pressure
Using the compressed air hose at the convenience store or gas station, center the nozzle over the valve and push it tightly onto the valve. Hold it in place as you add air. As a general rule of thumb, hold it in place one second for every 1-psi. of pressure you want to add.
Buy a tire inflator
Owning your own digital tire inflator is easiest best way to check and inflate your tires. Simply plug the unit into your vehicle’s power port and turn it on. Then enter the recommended tire pressure from the placcard on the driver’s door. Remove the plastic valve cap from the tire valve and insert the nozzle. The tire inflator will stop when the tire’s air pressure reaches the set pressure.
©, 2016 Rick Muscoplat
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat