How To Check Tyre Pressure

Keeping your tyres properly inflated is essential for maintaining the overall performance of your tyres. Regularly checking your tyre pressure and topping up as required helps you to enjoy longer lasting tyres, reduced fuel costs, and a safer driving experience.

How to Check Tyre Pressure

Note: If possible, it’s best to check your tyre pressure levels when the tyres are cold. The only time that this will be the case is when the car is not been driven for a while. Even when driving in cold temperatures, the friction between the rubber of the wheel and the road surface causes heat which can cause pressure levels to increase.

1. Check the recommended pressure level for your vehicle.

This information is usually included in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb. If you cannot find it in either of those locations, a quick search for “tyre “ will lead you online tools that help you to identify the optimal pressure levels for your vehicle. All you have to do is enter your vehicle’s registration number, and the tool will inform you of the best pressure levels.Note: The front and rear tyres will sometimes required different pressure levels.

2. Take a note of the recommended PSI levels for each tyre.

On a piece of paper or on a mobile device, write down the recommended pressure levels so that you have them on hand when topping up your pressure. Sometimes the recommended pressure level will be the same for all tyres, while sometimes the front and back will require different levels.

3. Use a tyre pressure gauge to check the pressure level in each tyre.

Firstly, remove the dust cap from one of your tyres, and position your tyre pressure gauge over the tyre’s valve stem. When placed over the stem, apply firm, even pressure towards the tyre, creating a temporary seal with the valve. As soon as a seal has been achieved, the tyre’s pressure reading will instantly appear on the gauge dial. Take a note of the pressure level in the tyre, replace the dust cap, and repeat this process for each tyre.

4. Inflate to the recommended PSI level.

Use an air compressor to increase the pressure as required to reach the optimal level. It’s often best to do this at home, since driving the vehicle first will create friction and heat which will alter the pressure level within the tyre.

Using an air compressor at home.

This is the optimal method since you will not be required to drive the car (which causes friction and heat) prior to taking your reading. Air compressors vary by manufacturer, so be sure to check the instructions ahead of use.

Using an air compressor at a petrol station forecourt.

For those who do not own an air compressor, the easiest option is to top up your tyre pressure at a petrol station forecourt. Drive your car into position so that the hose can easily reach to all of your vehicle’s tyres. Activate the machine by inserting a coin, and set the ‘target PSI’ level to the level established in Step 1 above. Hold the hose over your tyre’s valve stem, and apply pressure as you would with a tyre pressure gauge. As you hold the hose in place, you will see the current PSI level on the screen, as well as the target PSI level, allowing you to see how much air needs to be added. Swiftly remove the hose from the valve stem when the machine makes a sound indicating target pressure levels have been reached, and repeat for each of your tyres.[When filling up at a fuel station forecourt, you can compensate for the fact that your tyres will be hot by inflating the tyres to 4PSI above the recommended level. However, if you do this, it is important that you recheck the tyre levels when they are cold.]

5. Repeat this process routinely.

You should make checking your tyre pressure levels part of your monthly car maintenance routine, ensuring you can always drive safely and efficiently.

Why It’s Important To Maintain Correct Tyre Pressure

Stay safe on the road.  Driving with under-inflated tyres reduces the level of control and grip you have on the road, increasing the likelihood that your car will skid when turning corners.

Save money on fuel.  Driving with under-inflated tyres will mean that your car sits slightly lower, with increased tyre surface area in contact with the road. This results in increased friction between the tyre and the road, which will slow your vehicle down and decrease fuel efficiency. Over time, this can add substantially to your fuel costs.

Improved driving performance and handling.  Driving with tyres with the correct tyre pressure improves your vehicle’s steering and grip on the road, and can improve your stopping distances by up to eight metres.

Maintain tyre quality.  The increased friction that occurs as a result of driving with under-inflated tyres also has implications for the overall lifetime of your tyres. Under-inflated tyres will wear faster, meaning each tyre will have a reduce lifetime and will need to replaced sooner. The cost of replacing four tyres can be very expensive.

Under-Inflated Tyres vs Over-Inflated Tyres


How often should I check tyre pressure?

You should check your tyre pressure at least once a month, and before you set off on a long journey. It only takes a few minutes to do, and failing to do so can put you at risk of losing control on the road and increasing your braking distance.

How to fix over-inflated tyres?

If you have inflated your tyres to a point that is beyond the recommended PSI level, you can easily let air escape by using the ‘pressure release valve’ on our tyre pressure gauges. This allows you to fine tune the pressure to exactly the right level.

Should I use an analogue or digital tyre pressure gauge?

Analogue pressure gauges are preferable because they do not require any batteries to use. This means that, even if your pressure gauge becomes moist, or has been laying inactive in your garage for several years, your gauge will still work as well as the day you got it.


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