How to Check Your Car Tire Pressure and Inflate Tires

Step 1: Know the recommended tire pressure

Every month, following a change in temperature or after storing the tires for several months, your tires should be reinflated. Before starting the inflation operation, know the recommended pressure for your tires. It may be different depending on whether it is the rear tires or the front tires.

Where are the pressure indications of your tires? There are several possibilities.

  • On the back of the tank valve
  • In the glove box
  • On the driver's side door
  • In the car manual or on the tire.

You have two types of pressure: the one shown for regular use and the one intended when the car is loaded (higher pressure). To ensure better handling, slightly over inflate your tires when your trunk is overloading.

As for the unit of measurement, the pressure can be in bar kg/cm², in psi (pounds per square inch), or KPA (kilopascals). Typically, the air pressure in the tires is between 30 and 35 psi. Note that one bar equals 14.5 psi or 100 KPA.

Tire Pressure Units

Tire Pressure Units

Step 2: Make Sure the Tire Is Cold

This step is crucial when you need to measure the tire inflation pressure. Make sure your rubbers are cool so that they have not been available for at least two hours. Indeed, if the gums have been rolled, the result may be distorted because of the increase in the pressure of the hot air. Finally, you may inflate your tires.

Step 3: Check the Tire Pressure

This step is to assess the pressure to know if the tire is over-inflated or under-inflated. To do this, you must use a dial gauge or failing that an air compressor with a gauge. Then follow these guidelines:

  • Find the valve of your tire that should be along its edge,
  • Remove the cap that covers the valve of your tire,
  • Place the nozzle of the compressor or the gauge on the valve,
  • Press the end of the device on the valve and maintain this position.
  • Wait for the device to read the pressure measurement. A tiny hissing sound accompanies it.
  • Remove the device and read the tire pressure.

The result will allow you to adjust the amount of air needed to inflate your tire.

Step 4: Choose an Air Pump

Gas Station Pump

If you are wondering where to inflate the tires, the easiest way is to go to a gas station. The air pump is always away from the fuel pumps. If you buy the fuel from certain stations, we will offer the use of the pump. Otherwise, put in the coin machine 50 cents for a few minutes of pressing.

Gas Station Pump

Gas Station Pump

Mini Compressor

If you are inflating your tires at home, have a portable air compressor. You can easily have it on the market for about twenty euros. There are digital models for easy pressure reading. For power, the mini compressor can be electric. It can run on a battery or be powered by the cigarette lighter in the car.

Step 5: Inflate the Tires

You should remember that if the tire is too inflated, it suffices to deflate a little by simply pressing on the small rod located inside the valve to let a little air escape. You can recheck the pressure once we finish this stage.

If the tire is deflated, place the compressor hose against the valve and hold it. A whistle will sound. Always try to hold the hose to the appliance until the whistling stops. You can then turn on the compressor. Once you have got the recommended pressure, stop the device. Then remove it and close the cap.

In winter, when the temperatures are too low, the tires lose their pressure to 0.2 bar. It is the reason to add 0.2 bar to the recommended pressure. And if it inflates your tire with nitrogen, be more careful.

When to Check the Tire Pressure?

It is ideal to check the tire pressure once a month when cold. While driving, the tire's heat has the effect of distorting the pressure. If you have bought a new vehicle since November 2014, it comes with a pressure sensor called TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) that theoretically tells you if your tire pressure is correct.

There are two systems of pressure sensors. The indirect TPMS analyzes the speed of rotation to deduce with the help of the ABS whether the tire is correctly inflated. The second one is the direct TPMS that constantly measures the air pressure at the inside of each tire.

If you have irregular wear of a tire because of a geometry defect, the indirect TPMS will not transmit the correct information. It is because the rotational speed of the wheel will not be identical to the others.

These dashboard lights may appear on cars equipped with TPMS to signal a pressure fault. It can be a real pressure fault but it can also be a problem with the sensor itself and a lack of resets. These warning lights may also appear when switching between winter tires and summer tires and if you have just adjusted the tire pressure, you must then reset the onboard computer. We must write the procedure in the technical log.

TPMS sensor valves are subject to wear and should be replaced with each tire change. If your vehicle comes with an indirect system without an electronic valve, you must reset the system each time you adjust your tire pressure. Failure to reset may cause the sensors to measure your tire pressure.

In Summary

Tire inflation should not be taken lightly. The tire is the safest asset for all road users. Under-inflated rubber increases rolling resistance and fuel consumption. Its lifespan is shortened and its performance is reduced.

As for an over-inflated tire, we can reduce its grip while its tread may wear out quickly. There may be a risk of the tire bursting or puncturing. If you notice a bump or deformation, it may be time to change your tires.

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