When is the last time you checked your tire pressure? If it's been over a month, it's been too long. Tires can lose air over time, so it's important to check the air pressure routinely to extend the lifetime of your tires. Driving on low-pressure or over-pressured tires can lead to many problems, the worst being a flat. Atlanta traffic is no fun, and the highways are full of hustle and bustle. So, don't get stuck on the road with a preventable flat tire. Learn how to properly check your tire pressure and save yourself the hassle.
Reasons for checking tire pressure
To be a savvy driver, you should familiarize yourself with the benefits of properly inflated tires. Some of these include
- Avoiding a flat: This reason is at the top of the list; flats can be dangerous depending on the circumstances.
- Preventing tire damage: Improper pressure levels can cause abnormal tire wear, decreasing the usable lifetime of the tire.
- Gas mileage: Proper tire inflation allows your car to work more efficiently, resulting in less fuel consumption.
Finding the right tire pressure
Every vehicle has tire pressure guidelines provided by the manufacturer, which are specific to that vehicle. These specifications are usually found on a sticker on the driver's door where the locking mechanism is located or in the owner's manual. There you will find values based on PSI, which is pressure per square inch. You should stick to this value, and do not over or under inflate your tires. Be aware, your tires will also have a "maximum pressure" rating, but this pertains to the tires' specifications and not your vehicle's.
Guidelines for check tire pressure
The first thing you need to check your tire pressure, in this case PSI value, is a pressure gauge. Once you learn how to use one, checking your tire pressure will be a breeze. The most important thing to remember about checking tire pressure is to check tires when they are "cold." This is because hot air expands, meaning that your PSI level will be higher if the tires have been in use. So, to get an accurate reading, make sure that you have not driven for at least three hours before checking pressure. There are three simple steps to checking air pressure:
1. Locate the valve stem of your tire, uncap it and insert the gauge into the stem.
2. Air will flow out of the tire to give you a reading on your gauge. Once you have a reading, remove the gauge to avoid letting more air escape.
3. Compare the PSI value to your vehicle's specifications and then adjust the air accordingly.
If you are still unsure about how to properly check your tires, consult with an Atlanta-automotive service technician to learn how to effectively use a tire gauge. If you happen to notice air leakage, a professional will be able to help you find and remedy the source of your leak.