Having the correct air pressure inside your tire is essential to car maintenance and performance.
It’ll save unnecessary spending, guarantee safety, and ensure excellent vehicle functioning.
The procedure for putting air pressure in the tire is simple and quick, and the cost is budget-friendly.
How much air should I put in my tire? Ideally, the correct air pressure to put in a tire varies, depending on the car and tire type and size.
The manufacturer’s recommendation is also crucial. You’ll need to check your manual.
Nonetheless, the recommended PSI range for most passenger car tires is 30 psi to 35 psi when cold.
The truth is that vehicle tires lose at least 1 PSI every 10-degree negative change in temperature.
The heat generated when the tires make contact with the road causes friction, thus increasing the air pressure and temperature.
What Happens If I Drive With Low Vs High Tire Pressure?
The extremes of low and high air pressure have consequences for your safety and that of the car, as well as the tire’s lifespan. So, you wouldn’t want to overinflate or underinflate the tire.
If you do, I can assure you that you’ll potentially face these issues:
If you overinflate your vehicle tires, you potentially risk a tire burst. When a tire is overfilled, it becomes stiff and inflexible.
If it’s under-filled, the rims can suffer warping. This can allow the tire to contact the rim, thus eventually damaging it.
Consequently, when your car hits potholes or a damaged portion of the road, the tire can burst when working at maximum capacity.
Another consequence you’re likely to face if your tire is underinflated or overinflated is that the tire will wear fast.
Every tire has a warranty and lifespan.
If it doesn’t get the recommended air pressure, it will wear off in no time.
Blowout is one of incorrect tire inflation’s most dangerous safety risks.
If you drive on over or under-inflated tires, you’re at a high risk of losing control of the car, especially when in a collision or at high speed.
The braking distance can also increase due to incorrect air pressure.
Decreased Tire Life
When you put low or excess air pressure in the tires, the tires will be affected, causing them to wear and damage quickly.
It’s a no-brainer that when your tires are not operating with the right air pressure, they might damage and wear out quickly.
The implication is that you’ll spend more on buying, patching, or plugging tires.
Underinflated or overinflated tires will force you to drive at a very slow speed.
Because they’re high- or low-pressured, vehicle tires will cause irregular drive for the tire.
How To Check Tire Pressure
One of the easiest and best ways to check and know the amount of pressure in your tire is by using a pressure monitoring system.
Alternatively, you can use an air pressure gauge.
The gauge comes as a stick pressure gauge, dial pressure gauge, or digital pressure gauge.
I’ll advise that you shell out some bucks on the digital gauge. It gives the most reliable and consistent reading.
Through the door, the tire pressure monitor helps you know how much pressure is inside the tire.
You may also drive your car to auto care centers, tire shops, or gas stations.
Some offer centers offer free tire pressure checks.
Regardless of the procedure, check the tire’s PSI only when the tires are cold.
If the tires have been working for several hours, allow them to cool off for some time.
You’ll end with an inaccurate reading if your tires are hot since heat increases temperature and air pressure.
Using A Pressure Gauge To Check Tire Pressure
- Take off the seals to the tire’s air valve and keep them in a safe place.
- Insert the tire pressure gauge into the air valve. Make sure you properly place the gauge to the tire air valve to take an accurate reading. You can adjust the angle of the gauge or properly tighten it. If you hear any hissing sound, the gauge is not properly connected.
- Take the pressure readings in the tire. Repeat the readings three times and take the average recording. This way, you can minimize errors in reading.
- Compare the reading taken to the manufacturer-recommended PSI. If low, inflate the tire to the ideal PSI level. If high, reduce the amount of air pressure by releasing the air pressure. Simply push down on the air valve.
How To Check Tire Pressure Without Gauge
In case you don’t have a digital pressure gauge or any of the pressure gauge types in your toolbox, there are alternative procedures to check that your tire is either over or under-inflated.
Some are manual; others are intuitive.
Step 1. Look At The Tire:
Look at the wheels for any flattening. If you see that the tire is unusually flat on the surface, then your tire may need to be inflated.
Step 2. Check For Aggressive Bouncing:
If a tire is aggressively bouncing off the road, there’s a chance that it has excess air pressure. At that point, you may need to release some air pressure off it.
Step 3. Feel The Tire:
You can touch the tire with your feet or hand. A soft-feeling tire may also need you to add some air pressure.
Step 4. Sagging Under Load:
A tire that needs air will sag when you put some load weight into the vehicle. When you observe this, you should add some air.
Step 5. Listen To Steering Responses:
Sometimes, you may need to pay attention to the responses from your steering. A low or high-inflated tire will cause difficulty steering.
It may also cause some noise when you’re steering.
How To Put Air Pressure In Tire: A Complete Guide
Inflating a vehicle is straightforward. As a precaution, pull over on a safe, level surface. Here’s a step-by-step guide to inflating tires:
- Air pump or air compressor
- Pressure gauge (to check PSI)
Steps To Inflate Tires
- Park on a smooth, safe, and level surface. Make sure the vehicle is close to the pump to avoid losing some air.
- If you’re refilling the tire first thing in the morning, the tires will be cold. Else, you need to allow the tires to cool off after several hours of driving.
- Remove the tire’s valve stem cap and keep it in a safe place.
- Insert the air pump into the valve stem. Gas stations use coin-operated air pressure pumps. Alternatively, you can use an automatic air compressor.
- Add air pressure to the tire.
- Check the PSI of the tire using the air pressure gauge. You may be lucky to use an air pump with a built-in air pressure gauge.
- Set the PSI level. If you’re using a coin-operated air pump, you’ll need to throw some coins into the machine and wait to hear a beeping noise. The pretty noisy level of the coins indicates that the tire has enough recommended air.
- Depressing the center valve pin will release air from the tire.
- Once you’ve reached the PSI level, it’s time to screw the stem valve caps again.
What Is The Ideal Tire PSI For Winter Vs Summer?
As I said earlier, the season and whether you’re driving determines how much air pressure you can put in your vehicle tire.
Although the 32-35 psi range is recommended, winter tires can add about 3-5 psi. Summer tires can maintain the recommended pressure.
The reason is that the air in the tires decreases more rapidly during winter than in summer.
The pressure can contract up to 5 psi in a 10-degree temperature drop.
Where Can I Find Tire PSI?
There are three places to find the tire PSI.
Look into your owner’s manual. There is a sticker inside or near the driver’s door. You can also check your tire’s sidewall.
Do not fill your tire with the maximum air pressure indicated on the tire’s sidewall.
There’s a difference between recommended and maximum air pressure; you should always go with the former.
How Often Should I Check My Tire Pressure?
As I round off, I’ve come across different opinions about how often you should check your tire’s air pressure.
Here’s my recommendation. There are several things to consider before deciding on the frequency of tire pressure checks.
They include the weight of the load being towed or carried by the vehicle, the driving frequency, and the distance or mileage covered, which are things to consider.
Others include driving seasons, weather conditions, and the condition of the tire air valve.
However, what you must know is that the tire loses at least 1 PSI every month or a 10-degree decrease in temperature, whichever comes first.
What I will recommend, as a general rule of thumb, is that you must frequently check the tire pressure, at least once every month.
Like other car components, your vehicle tires will need to be replaced at some point in their life. You cannot endlessly continue to inflate and deflate the tire.
When you notice that a tire deflates quickly and at short distances, it may well be that it needs to be removed and replaced with a new one.
I will advise that you shouldn’t compromise your safety.
Any neglect of the condition and quality of the tire on your vehicle puts you at great risk.
Ensure the tire doesn’t have more or less air pressure than it should have.
Since it’s the interface between the road and the car, the tire must always be in good condition.
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