Correct tire pressure
The air pressure in your tires affects your vehicle’s driving performance and impacts fuel efficiency as well as potential safety. Correct tire inflation also extends the life of your tires – poorly inflated tires are prone to excessive and uneven wear.
Regular pressure checks are essential
All motorists are advised to check their tire pressure at least once a month, and both prior to and following long journeys. You are also advised to inspect your tire treads for uneven wear, which can be a symptom of over- or under-inflation.
Even under ideal driving conditions, tires will typically lose pressure at a rate of about 0.069 bar or 1 pound per square inch (psi) per month, more so in warmer conditions.If you’re not sure of the correct pressure for your tires, check your vehicle owner’s manual or the tire sidewall.
How to check your tire pressure
- You will need a pressure gauge. The air compressor at your local garage or filling station will typically have a built-in gauge, or you can purchase a small, hand-held model from an auto supply store.
- Make sure to check your pressure only when your tires are cool – first thing in the morning or prior to setting out on your journey. As tires warm up, from driving or owing to warm conditions, the air inside them will expand, meaning your pressure reading could be inaccurate.
- Locate the air valve on your wheel and unscrew the plastic cap. Place the gauge over the valve and press down – you should hear a brief hiss and the needle or indicator on your gauge should move.
- Compare the pressure level indicated by your gauge with the tire manufacturer’s recommended pressure level, measured in bar or psi.
- If you are using a garage compressor you can now inflate or deflate as necessary. If using a gauge only you will have to now use a home compressor, or take your vehicle to the nearest garage.
- Repeat for all four tires. If you notice excessive pressure drops in one or more tires it may indicate a leak. Have these tires checked by a professional as soon as is convenient.
- Once each tire is inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level, replace the valve caps.