Maintaining good tyre pressure is one of the best ways to save you money when it comes to car maintenance. It is easy and most of the time has a very small financial investment or, if you know the right place to go, it can be free!
Checking Your Tyre Pressure at Home
To check your tyre pressure at home, you’ll need to invest in a tyre pressure gauge. This handy device is small enough to be kept in your glove box if you don’t have a car tool kit. There are several types available, from those that have a dial, to those that use a slide. However, they all work in the same way regardless of size and functionality.
Know Your Car and What Pressure Your Tyres Should Have
Most cars will have the recommended pressures marked on the vehicle. Usually located on a sticker inside the driver’s side door. While you can find a pressure recommendation on the tyre itself, it is best to practise to follow the car manufacturers guidelines as this considers the specific weight distribution of the car, where the one on the tyre is more about general use.
Know Where the Location of the Closest Air Pump Station
Many service stations have free air available. Most people will have a favourite service station that they fill up at. Familiarize yourself with the location of the air pump and the best way to park next to it. If it is the first time using the air filling station, try to pick a time the service station is not busy.
Using the Air Gauge
Using an air gauge is a relatively simple operation:
- Remove the plastic clip from the tyre
- Place the tyre gauge onto the air valve
- Use a notebook to mark the reading
- Complete for all of the tyres
- Replace the plastic air valve caps
- Check your reading against the manufacture’s recommendations
Adjusting the Air in Your Tyres
The air pressure in your tyres will either be: spot on, over-inflated or under-inflated.
- Spot-on – Good job, you’re done for the day!
- Over-inflated – You need to let some air out of the tyres. Use a tool – a long metal nail will usually be enough and press down on the pin in the air valve. You’ll hear some air escape, then check it with the pressure gauge again. Repeat this until you are spot-on or slightly under. If you let too much out, you’ll need to fill them back up.
- Under Inflated – Take your car to the local service station and fill up your tyres. Check with the air gauge again, as you shouldn’t rely on the accuracy of the service station gauge as it probably gets a lot of use and may be worn.
Perform a General Inspection of Your Tyres
After you have adjusted the pressure, it is a great time to inspect your tyres. Look for signs of wear and any damage. Feel around the tyre and flick out any pieces of debris that may be stuck in the track.
If you see any uneven wear patterns on the tyres it may be time for them to be rotated or replaced. Book your car in for a check at your local tyre retailer.