We all know how to check if our car is running low on gas, but do you know how to check your tire pressure? More importantly, what should you do if your tire pressure is low?
”Checking your tire pressure regularly is the best way to be certain that your tires are running at the predicted pressure level. It’s best if you check them every time you fill your gas tank. It will take only couple of minutes. The tire pressure level is written on a sticker located on your drivers side”.
In this article you will learn about:
- How Often Should I Check My Tire Pressure
- Why Should I Check My Tire Pressure
- How To Check My Tire Pressure
- Should I Higher My Tire Pressure At Winter Time
How Often Should I Check My Tire Pressure
In normal weather conditions, you should check your tire pressure every 2 weeks. In the winter time when it gets extremely cold, I would tell you that we need to be checking at probably once a week. Scott Zubrod is a senior instructor at Dunwoody college. He says it’s most important to check your tires when they’re at their coldest. It’s proven for every 10 degrees the temperature drops, you’ll lose one pound of pressure. Say if you go from 0 to 20 below, you have now just lost two pounds. Should we go off the recommendations of the tire or what the vehicle recommends? We don’t want to go out from the tire because the tire is the maximum pressure that the tire can hold. That’s by the manufacturer. Instead, Zubrod says check the required tire pressure from the sticker that is located on your drivers side door.
Properly inflated tires play a role in safety, better mileage, better ride quality and tire wear, meaning they’ll last much longer if you keep the tire pressure at predicted level. The experts say we should all keep a tire pressure gauge in our vehicles. You can get yours from Amazon here. They remind the drivers that you won’t be able to tell if your tires are just a few pounds low. If they’re running ten pounds or more that is noticeable, making it that
much more important to check the tire pressure in cold weather.
Why Should I Check My Tire Pressure
- It’s dangerous to drive with tires that are low on pressure, especially if you don’t know it’s going on. If you’re not realizing it. Ideally, the air pressure is what maintains the height of the tire, and how rigid the sidewall is gonna be. If you run it low on pressure, you actually reduce the surface contact. So the tire will actually wear the outside edges, and you’ll lose partial contact with the center portion of the tire. So you could have hydroplaning when you go into a turn.
- Beyond the safety of the tire, whether it’s under-inflated or overinflated, there’s also the economic value of having it properly inflated. So, if you’re running a tire low on pressure, it builds up more rolling resistance, which requires more energy, and in turn, more fuel. So if you run your tire at the air pressure that’s recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, you can get an additional two weeks of free fuel consumption.
- The other thing being that a tire that’s eight pounds below its recommended pressure, will get 15,000 kilometers less tread life over the course, which it could be an additional year of driving.
How To Check My Tire Pressure
- A Tire Pressure Gauge
There are several types of tire pressure gauge’s. You’ll want to check your tire pressure when your tires are cold, if you’ve driven for less than a mile or so, or a couple hours after you’ve driven. This will provide for the most accurate reading. Here’s how to do it:
- First, check the proper tire pressure for your tires. This information can be listed on the sticker inside of your driver’s side door, or in your owner’s manual. On some car’s it’s located inside of the fuel door.
- Place the gauge head over the valve stem on your tire. If you’re using a digital gauge, you may have to press the button for the gauge to start reading the air pressure. If you’re using a pencil style gauge it’ll begin reading the pressure automatically. But, definitely check the manual that came with your air pressure gauge for how to properly use it, If you’re hearing a hissing sound, then the gauge head is not pressed firmly enough over the valve stem, or it’s not parallel to the valve stem. So, make sure you reposition it.
- Now, compare the measured pressure to the proper pressure. Do not compare it to the pressure listed on your tire. If the measured PSI is above the proper number, let air out by pressing on the center pin of the valve stem until it matches the proper number. If the measured PSI is below the number, add air until it matches the proper number. If you own an automatic air pump, or even a bicycle pump, then great you can use those. If not, most gas stations have a coin-operated air pump.
- Place the tip of the hose over the valve stem. Hold it firmly and listen as the air fills the tires. If you hear a wild spraying of air, reposition the hose tip flush against the valve and hold it firmly. If your tires are low on pressure and may take up to a few minutes to fill them. If you’re just topping them off, the process may take only less than 30 seconds. But, be sure to check every 15 seconds or so. When you think you’ve had enough air, pull the hose away and use a tire pressure gauge to check the air pressure. If you’ve added too much air, release some air in small increments until the measured pressure matches the proper pressure. If you’ve added too little air, grab that hose and add some more.
Should I Higher The Tire Pressure In Winter Time?
Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that you higher your tire pressure during winter time. While none of them actually say why, there are some theories that can support the practice.
- Recommended 2 bars pressure for tire inflated in 20 Celsius degrees will drop to 1.8 bars in 0 Celsius degrees.
- Another temperature drop to a level of about -10 Celsius degree will result in 1.7 bar pressure.
- At a minus 20 Celsius degrees tire pressure will reach only 1.59 bar, which is 20% less than manufacturer recommendation.
Having correct tire pressure ensures optimal grip level dedicated for a vehicle which is extremely important, especially in tough winter weather conditions. However, there is no middle ground and adjusting to correct pressure may be difficult in frequently changing weather conditions and temperatures. Thus, for safety reasons it is recommended to increase tire pressure by 0.2 bar when low temperatures last longer than few days. It is important not to forget about adjusting tire pressure again when temperature rises.
I hope that this article provided the information that you were looking for. Short summary, always make sure to check your tire pressure. I do it every time when I fill my gas tank with fuel, which is every week. It only takes me 2 minutes. If your tire looks kinda flat, even if the tire pressure is in the recommended borders, make sure to go to your local store and have a specialists check them. Also, when buying new tires, make sure you check the year of the manufacturing. Back in 2017, I bought a brand new tires, but when I carefully inspected the tires, the manufacturing date was 2014. So that’s that. Do you have any experience that you want to share?