Checking Tire Pressure
It is important to check your vehicle’s tire pressure at least once a month for the following reasons:
- Most tires may naturally lose air over time.
- Tires can lose air suddenly if you drive over a pothole or other object or if you strike the curb when parking.
- With radial tires, it is usually not possible to determine underinflation by visual inspection.
For convenience, purchase a tire pressure gauge to keep in your vehicle. Gauges can be purchased at tire dealerships, auto supply stores, and other retail outlets.
The recommended tire inflation pressure that vehicle manufacturers provide reflects the proper psi when a tire is cold. The term cold does not relate to the outside temperature. Rather, a cold tire is one that has not been driven on for at least three hours. When you drive, your tires get warmer, causing the air pressure within them to increase. Therefore, to get an accurate tire pressure reading, you must measure tire pressure when the tires are cold or compensate for the extra pressure in warm tires.
Steps for Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure
- Step 1: Locate the recommended tire pressure on the vehicle’s tire information placard, certification label, or in the owner’s manual.
- Step 2: Record the tire pressure of all tires.
- Step 3: If the tire pressure is too high in any of the tires, slowly release air by gently pressing on the tire valve stem with the edge of your tire gauge until you get to the correct pressure.
- Step 4: If the tire pressure is too low, note the difference between the measured tire pressure and the correct tire pressure. These “missing” pounds of pressure are what you will need to add.
- Step 5: At a service station, add the missing pounds of air pressure to each tire that is underinflated.
- Step 6: Check all the tires to make sure they have the same air pressure (except in cases in which the front and rear tires are supposed to have different amounts of pressure).
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Source: Tire Safety