How To Check Your Tyre Pressure

Tyre Pressure Guide

Ensuring your tyres are at the right pressure is important. Tyre pressure can affect your car’s handling, turning, braking and fuel efficiency. A tyre at the wrong pressure will wear out faster, cost you more money and might put your safety at risk.

How to check your pressure

Checking your tyre pressure yourself is easy to do. All you’ll need to do so is a tyre pressure gauge. You can pick these up relatively cheaply and they should be small enough to fit inside your glove box. Once you have one, follow the below instructions. 
  1. Check pressures when the tyres are cold. If the tyres have driven any distance for around 2 hours prior to checking the pressures, the air inside them could be warm and expands, meaning any reading could be inaccurate. It is recommended to check the pressures first thing in the morning when weather conditions are unable to warm the tyre and the vehicle has not been driven.
  2. Check your tyre’s recommended pressure – start by finding out what the recommended pressure should be, so you know what you’re comparing against. You can usually find this in the vehicle handbook or on the inside of the driver side door. Alternatively, it may be on the inside of your petrol tank flap. If you can’t find your tyre pressure information, you can search for what your tyre pressure should be online using your registration plate.
  3. Unscrew the tyre valve cap – and place the gauge over the valve. Don’t worry if you hear a bit of hissing when placing the pressure gauge on the valve – that’s normal.
  4. Compare pressures – compare your reading on the gauge with your tyre’s recommended pressure from the vehicle manufacturer. If your tyres are underinflated, go to the next step. If they are overinflated, skip to step 5.
  5. If underinflated, put more air in – you can use your own air compressor or get your local garage to do so.
  6. If overinflated, release air – you can use your own air compressor or get your local garage to do so.
  7. Re-check your pressure – it’s always good to double check, so re-check with the gauge and compare with the recommended pressure from the vehicle manufacturer
  8. Replace the valve caps on each tyre – knowing your tyres are at the correct pressure, you’re good to go. 

What Should my Tyre Pressure be?

To find the correct tyre pressure for your car, check your vehicle handbook or take a look on the inside of the driver side door. Alternatively, your tyre pressure may also be printed on the inside of your petrol tank flap. Be aware that some vehicle manufacturers may recommend slightly different pressures for your front and rear tyres.

Under Inflated Tyres

Even in ideal conditions, tyres lose pressure over time causing them to become under inflated. If your tyres are under inflated, they will wear out at a faster rate, especially on the inside and outside edges of the tread.

How would under inflated tyres affect your vehicle?

Under inflated tyres will cause your tread depth to wear down faster and may affect your braking performance. Not only that, but under inflated tyres will also cost you more money on fuel, as there will be increased rolling resistance, meaning your fuel efficiency will be reduced.

Over Inflated Tyres

Over inflated tyres can cause you as much trouble as under inflated tyres, only in slightly different ways. An over inflated tyre will increase the wear in the central part of the tyre, which will reduce its lifespan and mean you’ll need to change your tyres sooner.

How would over inflated tyres affect your vehicle?

If you put too much air in your tyres, you will decrease the area of contact with the road, which will cause a loss of traction, poorer handling and braking. Over inflated tyres also increase the risk of tyre failure, putting you at unnecessary risk. 

When Should You Check Tyre Pressure?

Tyres slowly lose pressure over time, so you should be checking the pressure of each tyre once a month. Even in the best of conditions, tyres will lose about 0.069 bar or 1 pound per square inch (psi) per month.

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