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Proper Tire Inflation 101: How to Check Tire Pressure

May 24, 2017

Proper Tire Inflation 101: How to Check Tire PressureThe idea of tire inflation seems pretty straight forward, but it has to be done properly in order to maximize vehicle performance, fuel efficiency and driver safety.

When to check tire pressure levels

It’s recommended you check your tire pressure at least once a month, or when there is a swing in temperature—up or down—because the temperature outside can have a direct impact on your tire’s inflation.

How to check tire pressure levels

When it comes to checking tire pressure levels, it should never be done visually. It’s generally recommended you keep a good tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment for convenience.
Proper Tire Inflation 101: How to Check Tire Pressure

  • Check all four tires while your tires are cold (parked for at least three hours). Jot down the noted pressure for each tire.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual or the tire information placard to see what the pressure should be. The placard lists the proper pressure for both your front and rear tires and is usually located on one of the vehicle’s doors or in the glove box or trunk. Do not rely on the number found on the side of your tires because that’s the maximum tire pressure not the recommended tire pressure.
  • If your tires are under-inflated, fill to the recommended psi. If they’re over-inflated, release some of the air.
  • Test the tire pressure again with your gauge, and repeat, until the optimal tire pressure is reached for all four tires.

Once your tires are properly inflated, don’t forget to check your spare tire too.

Benefits of proper tire inflation and why you should care

There’s a lot of economic benefits that come with keeping your tires properly inflated. It’s also a matter of safety. Proper tire inflation is crucial in order for your vehicle to function safely, and if not undertaken regularly can lead to:

  • Poor gas mileage resulting in more trips to the pump
  • Shortened tire life requiring replacements more often
  • Handling problems because your tires may not accelerate, brake or steer as expected

Gauge Your Tire Pressure and Save

All it takes is a few minutes a month to check the pressure of your tires. A few minutes can save you money over the long run and help keep you safe. And if you’re looking to save even more money, compare car insurance rates. Not only is it as easy as checking your tire pressure but InsuranceHotline.com shoppers can save up to $700 after shopping their car insurance rates.

Updated regularly to ensure relevancy.

  • John Habart

    A common myth is that tires filled with nitrogen don’t lose pressure and don’t need to be checked. Famous last words. Air is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other garbage. Do you think it’s only the oxygen that seeps from your tires?