Hope everyone had a Happy Valentine’s Day! Now don’t forget to show your tires some love this weekend by making sure their pressure is right. Not only will your tires love you for extending their service life, you will be happier because properly inflated tires mean safer driving and better gas mileage.
Be sure to check your owner’s manual to find out the manufacturer’s recommendation for proper tire pressure. Although you will see a tire pressure number on the tire, that number is the maximum pressure, so you’ll want to inflate to the pressure recommended in the manual instead.
Unscrew the valve cap and press the tire gauge on the valve stem. You will hear a hissing sound when you first press down, but it stops once you press all the way down. You only need a few seconds to get an accurate reading. Once you’ve reached the right pressure, replace the valve cap. Do the same for all four tires.
If your tires need air, you can fill them with a portable compressor, or use the air pump at your gas station. Filling the tires is a lot like checking the pressure except that instead of pressing the gauge to the valve stem, you’ll be pressing the fitting on the air hose to the stem. Watch the pressure as you inflate until you reach the right pressure number. If your tires are over inflated, remove the excess air from the tires with your gauge. Remember that hissing sound? When you hear it, let it go for a moment, then recheck the pressure. The more experienced you become with checking your tires, the better you will be able to tell how long you need to inflate or deflate to get the right pressure.
And remember, just because tires look good does not mean the pressure is right. By the time a tire looks underinflated, tire pressure is extremely low. Make sure you catch it before it gets to that point.