The task of checking tire pressure is one of the most important and at the same time, most often overlooked regular car maintenance procedures. In order to ensure that your car keeps you safe on the road, there is a need for proper tire maintenance. Incorrect tire pressure can lead to a tire blow-out, uneven tire wear, and poor gas mileage. You are certain to get the most out of your tires when you treat them well.
Learning how to check tire pressure will not only help your vehicle’s performance on the road but will also go a long way in helping to keep you and your family safe at all times. Here is what you need to do.
- Read through the tire information for your vehicle to know your tires recommended air pressure. This can be found in your vehicle owner’s manual, which will likely be in your glove box or in the driver’s door ledge or doorframe.
- Check the tire pressure when your tires are normal ambient temperature. This can be done right before you drive your car or at least 3 hours after driving it. Cold inflation pressure is the recommended pressure.
- Remember to check the air pressure of all your vehicle’s tires – even the spare tire. It is important to note that your tire pressure can be affected by changes in outdoor temperature. Tire pressure should be checked at least every month.
How To Use A Tire Pressure Gauge
If you do not know how to use a tire pressure gauge, then you can’t properly measure your tire pressure. Note that there are a variety of different tire pressure gauges that can be used to measure the air pressure of your tire. It’s important to always keep your preferred equipment in your vehicle at all times to ensure regular tire pressure checks can occur easily and frequently.
Using A Stick (or Pen) Type Gauge
Most stick type tire pressure gauges feature black notches on a white rod to enhance the ease of reading PSI measurements. Approximately the size of a pen, this conventional style tire gauge typically has a metal exterior with a plastic rod that will stretch out when the end is attached to a valve stem.
To effectively use this type of pressure gauge, you will have to:
- Unscrew the valve stem cap.
- Press the open end of the gauge evenly onto the valve stem.
- Note that a hissing sound signifies that air is escaping from the tire.
- Ensure a firm hold on the gauge at the stem.
- Once engaged, the plastic rod from within the gauge will stretch out.
- Where the rod stops, this will be the PSI measurement of the tire.
When you attach the air gauge to your tire, carefully watch how the rod extends and notice where it stops extending. Note that your reading is presented in whole numbers and not decimals. For instance, if the rod extends to a large 2 and a small 9, then your reading is 29 PSI, not 2.9 PSI.
Using Analog (or Dial) Type Gauges
The dial gauge is a popular instrument to use especially when it comes to measuring the tire pressure of a bike, truck, motorcycle, car, ATV, RV or SUV. As a standard for most gas stations, this mechanical gauge can help alert tire technicians or car owners of any inconsistencies with their pneumatic tires.
Analog gauges are both durable and easy to operate. They also offer fast and accurate measurements of tire pressure. However, before you can achieve accurate results with these tire gauges, you have to understand how they work. It’s alwo important to know how to rightly use of them.
It is important to know that measuring tire pressure takes more than simply knowing how to use a tire pressure gauge. The scale displayed on the analog dial face consists of graduations commonly presented in single increments in which every 10th number is bolded for easy reading. Once engaged with the valve, the pointer moves to indicate the amount of air pressure.
To operate this type of gauge:
- Create a tight airless seal by pressing the chuck end onto the valve stem.
- The reading is displayed on the gauge face with the pointer aimed at the pressure reading.
- Apply more pressure to the chuck if you hear a hissing sound. This “hissing” signifies air is escaping from the tire.
- An integrated hold valve, if equipped, will keep the reading once removing the chuck from the valve stem.
- To take another measurement, use the pressure release button to reset the gauge.
Using Digital Type Gauges
Recent advancements in digital technology have greatly helped to improve the standard of tire pressure gauges. Now, it’s simpler to get a tire pressure reading by using a digital gauge. For the most accurate results, digital gauges are recommended. This is because, generally, a digital gauge will read down to 1/2 PSI or smaller. If accuracy is of utmost importance to you, then a digital gauge is probably your best solution.
Featuring an electronic LCD display, the digital gauge clearly indicates measurement reading on a digital display screen. Apart from its ability to provide instant, accurate, and easy-to-read measurements, the digital gauge will often times include a backlit screen for better viewing.
Operate a digital type gauge as follows:
- Turn on the device and press it against the valve stem of the tire.
- While you depress it, ensure to hold it there firmly as to not allow air to escape.
- Remember to apply additional pressure to the gauge if you hear air escaping from the valve.
- Continue to press it, until the hissing sound stops and the reading is taken.
- The tire pressure reading will be shown on the electronic LCD display.
- Retighten the valve cap if the pressure reading is correct.
No doubt, digital tire gauges present the easiest and most accurate way to maintain the right pressure in your car tire. Be sure to check out Tire Gadgets’ best tire gauge options!