How To Check Tire Pressure

How to check your tires for wear and tear to see if they need replacement, or infaltion/deflation.

Good driving habits and common sense will give you the most benefit and longevity from your tires. Sudden stops, fast starts, bad front end parts, bad shocks, bad air pressure, poor alignment and turning sharp corners (cornering) will decrease the lifespan of your tires. Driving your vehicle with incorrect tire pressure or overloading the vehicle with weight will increase the tread wear.

Visually inspect your tires frequently. Look for any bubbles, cracks, deep cuts or under inflation. If you see any cords or wires showing through the tires they need to be replaced. Look for uneven tread wear on your tires, this may be an indication that you need a front-end alignment or the tires are out of balance.

Proper tire inflation cannot be stressed enough. You can easily check this yourself with a tire pressure gauge. Tires normally lose some air in day-to-day use, and you may have to add a few pounds of air periodically and it is not usually a sign of a leaking tire, but of normal wear. Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold, tire pressure increases with temperature.

Check your driver's manual for your car for the exact amount of pressure it suggests for your make and model of vehicle. The average pressure of most cars is 28 to 35 pounds of air pressure. It may vary from front to back tires. That is why it is so important to familiarize yourself with your car manual.

When you are ready to check your tires pull up to the air pump, go to the rear tire knowing before hand how much pressure is needed in your tires. There is usually a guide as to how much pressure is needed in the door jam of the car. Unscrew the valve that is located on the rim of your tire and use your pressure gauge (you can purchase at any auto part store for one to three dollars) to see how much air is currently in your tire. If your tire is over inflated use the open end of the pressure gauge to release as much air as needed. A measure stick will push up and out of the end of the gauge reading off what the pressure is so you can easily monitor how much air is or is not in your tires. If you need to add air use the air hose and firmly push down fitting the air hose over the valve until you hear the air going into the tire, not air escaping. There is a distinct sound as to the air escaping, it is a hissing noise, and air going in sounds much like a balloon being blown up. Once you have done this to all five (do not forget about the spare) tires making sure to replace the valve covers you are ready to go.

So that your tires wear normally it is recommended that you have your tires rotated at least every 7,500 miles or so. Make sure you have enough tread on your tires a good way to measure this is to use a penny. Inset the penny into the tread depth, when the top of Lincoln's head is visible this means you should replace your tires.

Subtle signs there may be a problem that is easily corrected: When you let go of the wheel and your car and pulls to one side or the other, this could mean wheels are out of alignment, tire pressure is unequal, or the tires are not the same size all around. If your car vibrates at high speeds this could mean wheels are out of balance or they need an alignment or possible front-end work.

If you become unsure of yourself and would like someone to check after you have checked the tire pressure for the first time usually the local gas station attendant or local auto repair place will be more than happy to check and let you know if you have properly checked your tire pressure free of charge.

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