How to check your tyre pressure

Maintaining tyre air pressure is another one of those essential, if not slightly tedious, duties of every car owner. Driving on the inaccurate pressure can cause uneven tyre wear, poor mileage, and potentially even a tyre blow out. The process of checking tyre pressure is incredibly straightforward, and should be performed at least every month to ensure everything is in proper working order.

 

  1. Check your owner’s manual or the inside of the driver’s side door to find the standard cold tyre inflation pressure, which is the lowest PSI your tyres should be inflated to.
  2. Remove the valve stem cap from your first tyre (and don’t lose it!). The valve is the small black extension you’ll see near the hubcap, about 2-3cm long.
  3. Press the air pressure gauge evenly onto the valve stem and note the reading. If you hear a hissing sound out of the valve, you do not have a complete seal and the angle of the gauge may need to be adjusted to ensure an accurate reading.
  4. If the readings are the same as the manual’s specifications, there’s no need to do anything at all. Simply replace the valve stem caps, and your work is done.
  5. If the reading is lower than it should be, it’s simply a matter of adding more air. Most service stations have automated systems that allow you to simply record the PSI required, and the machine will do the work for you. If you are using a manual pump, keep adding air until you reach the required PSI, being careful not to over inflate your tyres. If you do happen to add a little too much, it’s easy enough to bleed air by pressing the centre pin in the valve stem with a fingernail or a tool.
  6. Remember, it is wiser to check your tyre pressure when tyres are cold, ie the car hasn’t been driven more than approximately 2km. Cars that have been running for a while will have a higher reading due to the additional heat.
  7. Replace valve stem caps and off you go.