How often should you check your tire pressure? It’s important to know because low tire pressure can lead to many issues with your car and driving efficiency.
The importance of checking tire pressure
You might not have thought that checking tire pressure is not important. But it is. Maintaining good tire pressure at all times is crucial not only for smooth driving and the well-being of your car but also for road safety for you and everyone else on the road.
Tires are filled with air. And with less air inside, they would crumple up like a paper bag. Driving a car with tires that are low on pressure is very dangerous. It’ll start developing friction and rolls into the sidewall. The pressure of the tire determines the tire’s height, and driving at low pressure will cause a skid when taking turns.
Properly inflated tires play a big role in safety, better mileage and efficiency, better quality ride, and tire wear. Tires will last longer if you maintain their pressure well. It also gives you the efficiency of fuel, so maintaining good tire pressure is economical too. Running the tire pressure at the recommended levels can save you up to two weeks of extra fuel as opposed to driving with low pressure. Incorrect tire pressure can lead to uneven tire wear and poor mileage.
Checking tire pressure is quite easy in modern vehicles where they have a tire monitoring system inbuilt in cars. But if your car is older than 2007, then you probably don’t have this system and must check the tire pressure manually. It’s best to keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle. The ideal tire pressure level is written on a sticker on your driver’s side.
How often should you check your tire pressure?
It’s always a good practice to check the tire pressure every time you stop for gas. But otherwise, you should check them every two weeks. But how often you should check depends on many factors.
Cold weather affects tire pressure. So during winter, you should be checking your car at least once a week. Usually, for every ten degrees of a drop in temperature, your tire pressure would drop too by a pound. Some manufacturers recommend to higher the tire pressure during winter as a result. Tire pressure is also very important in bad weather conditions.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
You might have heard of the tire pressure monitoring system or TPMS. This is a system designed to control tire pressure and reduce vehicle emissions and safety. And this is installed in modern cars. This system will inform the driver as soon as the pressure of tires reduces by 25% of the recommended pressure for the type of vehicle and tire. Through this system, drivers can stop in time to pump air, and it also informs how urgent the tire pressure needs to be regulated.
There are two types of TPS. Direct TPMS have sensors installed inside the wheels or tires. Indirect systems calculate tire pressure based on differences in volume and speed of rotation of tires. Direct systems are much more reliable and accurate but can be prone to false alarms.
If you don’t have an inbuilt TPMS, then you have to check the tire pressure manually.
How to check the tire pressure?
Check your tire pressure using a tire pressure gauge. It’s best to check your tires when they are cold, before driving, or a couple of hours after they are driven. Firstly, check the ideal pressure required for your car as mentioned inside the driver’s door or owner’s manual. Sometimes, this sticker may be inside the fuel door.
Then, place the gauge over the valve stem on the tire. Press the button for reading if it’s a digital gauge. If it’s a pencil-style gauge, it will read automatically. If you are hearing a hissing sound, then then the gauge is not placed properly, so reposition it so that it’s parallel to the valve stem.
Compare the readings with the required tire pressure. If your reading is too much, then you have too much air. Let it out by pressing the middle of the valve stem until you reach the required level. If the tire pressure is too low, then add more air until you reach the best pressure. Do not compare your readings to the pressure stated on your tires.
If you do not own an air pump at home, then you can use a coin-operated pump from the gas station. Place the tip of the hose over the valve stem of the tire firmly. If the pressure of the tires is very low, it may take a few minutes to fill them. If not, it should not last more than 30 seconds. Pull the hose away once done. Check the pressure again. If you have too much, let out air till the pressure is just right.
How often should you check your tire pressure?: Summary
How often should you check your tire pressure? Always make sure to check your tires as often as you can, or at least once a week or once in two weeks, depending on the weather. It’s good practice to check the tire pressure every time you stop for gas. Maintaining good tire pressure contributes to safe driving, fuel efficiency, and more long-lasting tires.
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