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How to check car tyre pressure.
Save fuel, increase on-road safety, and get more life out of your tyres by making sure they are properly inflated. Bridgestone explains how to check your tyre pressure and pump up your tyres to perfection.
Why it's important to check your tyre pressure
When was the last time you checked the pressure of your tyres? If you haven’t checked your tyres in over a month, then you might just be wasting fuel, and risking your safety.
Correct tyre pressure is important for three main reasons. Firstly, badly inflated tyres make it harder to handle your car on the road, impairing your ability to steer, corner, accelerate and brake. Secondly, over and underinflation wears your tyres down quicker, as the wrong parts of the rubber make contact with the road. Lastly, incorrect tyre pressure increases rolling resistance, burning more fuel and sending your fuel economy out the window.
So what are you waiting for? Learn how to check your tyre pressure and refill your tyres below.
To refill your tyres to the correct pressure, you’ll need an air compressor. You can buy a portable air compressor from an auto parts store, but we recommend you simply pop into a petrol station - air compressors there are usually free, and most can automatically fill your tyre to a chosen pressure.
For the best results, you’ll also need a tyre pressure gauge. You can use a manual gauge, or upgrade to digital for an easier experience.
We also recommend you check for pressure and inflate your tyres when they are cold. Your tyres will be cold if your car has been parked for at least three hours, or has been driven less than 2km at a moderate speed. So it’s best to find a petrol station that’s close by.
Step 1: Check the recommended tyre pressure
Before you can start checking your tyres, you’ll need to know what pressure is ideal. To do this, you’ll need to find the tyre pressure recommended by the manufacturer of your car. You can usually find this information on the driver’s side door frame, inside the fuel door, in the glove box, or in your car’s manual.
If you can’t find the recommended pressure, you should consult your vehicle dealer, manufacturer, or a qualified tyre professional.
Step 2: Check your tyre pressure
Many petrol stations now have automatic tyre inflation. Simply set the desired pressure in kPa or PSI, then attach the lead to the valve of each of your rims. Attach the lead firmly to the valve, the machine will do the rest. If an automatic machine is not available, pressure will need to be added or removed then checked with a tyre pressure gauge.
Step 3: Fill your tyres
Now, it’s time to refill your tyres to the perfect pressure. The process is slightly different depending on which type of air compressor you are using. Check which steps are right for you below, and make sure to always follow the instructions on your air compressor.
If you find your tyre is overinflated, release some air by turning the valve cap around and then pushing on the valve core, or with your fingernail. If you find your tyre is underinflated, reattach the hose and refill your tyres, slightly increasing the desired kPA. Then, check the pressure is correct once you have finished.
How often should you check your tyre pressure?
Check your tyre pressure monthly. Regularly checking your tyre pressure is the best way to ensure your tyres never dip far below the optimal PSI.
Should I adjust my tyre pressure for towing?
Heavy loads or towing puts an extra strain on your tyres and many tyre placards will outline slightly higher pressures for use under these conditions.