Car service & maintenance: How to check your tyre pressures.
Maintaining the correct tire pressure is a fundamental aspect of car servicing and maintenance that often gets overlooked. Proper tire pressure not only enhances your vehicle's performance and fuel efficiency but also ensures your safety on the road. We often see underinflated tyres in our Southampton car service centre and believe that its an easy mistake to avoid. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to accurately check and maintain your tire pressure.
Why is Tire Pressure Important?
Tire pressure affects various aspects of your driving experience, including:
- Safety: Properly inflated tires provide optimal grip, improving your vehicle's stability, handling, and braking capabilities.
- Fuel Efficiency: Underinflated tires can lead to increased rolling resistance, causing your vehicle to consume more fuel.
- Tire Lifespan: Maintaining the correct tire pressure helps ensure even tire wear, extending the life of your tires and saving you money in the long run.
Steps to Check Tire Pressure:
1. Gather the Necessary Tools:
To begin, ensure you have the following tools ready:
- A tire pressure gauge.
- An air compressor or manual air pump (if needed).
- Your vehicle's recommended tire pressure (found in the owner's manual or on a label inside the driver's side door jamb).
2. Park Your Vehicle:
Park your vehicle on a flat surface and turn off the engine.
3. Locate the Valve Stem and remove the cap:
Identify the valve stems on each tire. They are usually capped and can be found on the wheel rim. Unscrew the valve cap from the valve stem and set it aside. Make sure not to lose these as they are important for protecting the valve.
4. Check Current Tire Pressure:
Place the tire pressure gauge over the valve stem and press down firmly to get a reading. Ensure the gauge is straight and not at an angle for an accurate reading.
5. Compare with Recommended Pressure:
Check the pressure displayed on the gauge and compare it to the recommended pressure for your vehicle. If it's below the recommended level, you need to add air.
6. Inflate Tires:
If the pressure is below the recommended level, use an air compressor to add air to the tire. Recheck the pressure periodically to avoid overinflating. Running a tyre on low pressure for too long could cause damage meaning you would need to replace the tyre.
7. Replace Valve Cap:
Once you've achieved the correct tire pressure, replace the valve cap securely.
8. Repeat for All Tires:
Repeat the above steps for all tires, including the spare tire.
Tips for Maintaining Tire Pressure:
- Check Regularly: Aim to check your tire pressure at least once a month and before long trips. This can help with unnecessary wear and reduce the chance of car repairs being needed.
- Check When Cold: Tire pressure readings are most accurate when the tires are cold (driven for less than a mile).
- Follow Manufacturer's Recommendations: Refer to your vehicle's manual or the tire placard for the recommended tire pressure.
- Check Spare Tire: Don't forget to check the spare tire periodically. It's often overlooked but crucial in emergencies.
Maintaining proper tire pressure is a simple yet critical aspect of your car servicing and maintenance . Regular checks and timely adjustments can enhance your driving experience, ensure safety, and contribute to the longevity of your tires.
Make it a habit to monitor your tire pressure along side checking your oil level, and you'll reap the benefits in terms of fuel efficiency, cost savings, and road safety.