How to Check Tire Pressure & How to Put Air in Tires?
Checking the tire pressure is something that professional mechanics recommend doing from time to time. Do you know why? Because when the tire is inflated correctly, it will have a higher lifespan, and the steering response will be an all-time high.
Additionally, it can ensure a smoother overall ride and better fuel efficiency. However, if you do not know how to check tire pressure and how to put air in tires when they are deflated, you can notenjoy any of the benefits mentioned above.
But the good news is that you have stumbled upon the right source to learn both things. We have a good amount of experience regarding checking the pressure and inflating them at the right amount when they require inflating. And we will make the whole process easier for you. So, stick till the very end!
How to Check Tire Pressure?
Let us start with the basic knowledge first. Most of the vehicles that are manufactured after 2007 will have TPMS. It is a system that monitors the pressure of the tires. And that will alert you when the tires are underinflated or overinflated.
Nonetheless, even if your vehicle does have that modern monitoring technology, it is better to check the pressure on your own. Wondering why? Well, most of the time, the TPMS is not responsive. In other words, it will not alert you right at the moment when the pressure is optimal.
That being said, when it comes to measuring the pressure, you need to be familiar with PSI. It is a unit that states pressure per square inch. Most of the cars will need around 30 to 35 PSI to operate optimally. And to check the PSI of the tires, you need a pressure gauge.
What Is a Tire Pressure Gauge?
As the name suggests, it is a gauge that states the overall pressure of the tires. This tool comes in a variety of styles. But the real question is, where will you find one of these? In automotive parts store! However, there is no need to opt for high-end or advanced gauges. A pencil-style gauge will be more than enough for this job.
But if you want to rely on the gauge totally, we would recommend getting a digital one. Those are exceptionally precise and are easy to use as well. On that note, these are going to cost you anywhere between $15 to $20.
What Is the Recommended Air Pressure for Tires?
The recommended tire air pressure rating of your car can be found in two places. One is on the owner's manual, where there will be a section named "tire pressure." And the other place would be a sticker that will be on the door jamb or on the driver's side. However, this sticker might not be present on all the vehicles.
No matter what you do, do not rely on the PSI rating printed on the tires' sidewall. That is not the recommended PSI! Instead, it states the maximum pressure that the tires can handle. And if you inflate the tire on that amount, it will be highly unsafe to drive the vehicle. The tires can even blow while driving.
On that note, the manufacturer recommended pressure rating is set when the tires are cold. So, in order to get the most accurate reading off the gauge, you need to check the pressure during the morning or after the vehicle is parked for three hours or more.
Measuring the Tire Pressure
Now, let us get back to the topic of measuring the tire pressure. And the steps that you would need to follow to check the pressure of the tires are as follows:
Step 1: Park the Car and Remove the Tire Cap
First and foremost, you need to park the car the vehicle properly. Ensure that the emergency brake is turned on. Then, gently remove the valve cap of the tire. Make sure that you are keeping that in a safe place, such as in your pockets.
Step 2: Place the Gauge and Measure the Pressure
After removing the valve cap, you would need to press the gauge firmly onto the valve stem. Hold it in place for a couple of seconds, and the gauge should state the pressure of the tire.
There is a high chance that you will hear air leaking while holding the gauge. If that happens, move the gauge around a bit. It should seal the valve, and the hissing should stop immediately.
Step 3: Understand the Reading
For the pencil-style gauges, a thin bar should pop out from the very bottom. And the markings on the bar should show the PSI of the tire. Keep the number where the marking is in your mind.
When it comes to digital gauge, the PSI should be stated on the dial. And the gauge will display the reading on the screen. And for the dial gauges, the dial should stop on the maximum reading.
On that note, to get the most accurate reading, we would recommend taking the reading at least two to three times. Write down each of the readings and do an average in the end. Also, put the stem caps back into place.
How to Put Air in the Tires?
After checking the pressure rating, you might find the PSI level to be lower than the recommended rating. Well, in that case, you would need to put air inside the tires. And the steps that you would need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Get Yourself an Air Pump
Commercial air compressors can be a bit costly. But the good news is there are portable options out there. And you can get one by spending as low as $50. However, if you do not want to go through the hassle of purchasing an air pump, rely on the air pump available at your local gas station.
Step 2: Park the Vehicle
After you secured access to the air pump, you need to park your vehicle at a place where you will be able to quickly get access to the tires. Ensure that the spot offers you easy access to each of the four tires and that you have set the emergency brake.
Step 3: Remove the Valve Stem Caps
Next, you should remove the valve stem caps and, just like before, keep them in a safe place. Your pockets might be the best place to keep them secure.
Step 4: Attach the Air Compressor and the Gauge
We would not recommend relying on the gauge that comes attached to the air compressor. Those are not really that accurate. Instead, check the pressure using a separate gauge. If the tires are warm, you would need to add 2 to 4 PSI to the reading. Then, attach the air compressor tube accordingly.
Related Article: Why Do Tires Lose Pressure in Cold Weather
Step 5: Turn the Compressor on
If the compressor is a free-air pump, you would have to manually push a button to get it started. However, some of the commercial air pumps will require payment before it starts working. So, complete the payment, and the pump should start automatically.
Step 6: Monitor the Air Compressor
Do not leave the air compressor unattended. Instead, hold the air hose against the valve stem. Also, some of the air pumps might have a lever or handle, which you must squeeze to get the air flowing. So, consider that as well when you are filling up the tires.
Generally, each of the tires will require 10 to 15 seconds of filling. And once you are done filling up the tires, check the PSI level again using the gauge. If it is still under the recommended PSI level, continue filling up the air.
On that note, some of the automatic air pumps will ask the user to set the desired PSI beforehand. It will beep once the desired amount of PSI is reached.
Step 7: Check if the Pressure Is Optimal or Not
After taking the air hose from the valve stem, set the gauge on it again. Check the pressure. If it is too much, release a little by pressing the pin that is inside the valve system. You can use the little knob that is on the back of the pencil gauge or the air hose nozzle to release the pressure.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
Repeat the process for the other four tires. Follow the same process that we have mentioned and do ensure to check the pressure of the tires before you shut off the air compressor. And finally, screw the valve caps back into place.
Learning how to check the tire pressure and how to put air in tires is pretty crucial. If you rely on a mechanic for doing all of these, you would be looking to spend money, which you could have saved by learning those things on your own.
And we hope that the steps we have mentioned were easy to follow and could guide you through accordingly.