How to Check Tire Pressure

How to Check Tire Pressure: An Essential Guide for Motorists

The right amount of tire pressure is necessary for the optimal performance of the vehicle. If you’re confused about the correct tire pressure for your vehicle then check the manufacturer’s manual. The vehicle manufacturer and tire producers are the principal agencies that can recommend the correct tire pressure. The recommended tire pressure is different for every model—the handbook of the vehicle consists of such information.

Many factors are responsible for maintaining the air pressure in the tire:-

  • The total weight and the size of the vehicle
  • Towing weight capability of the vehicle
  • Size of tire recommended by the manufacturer.

The basic thumb rule is followed in automotive engineering. If the tire pressure drops by 10 degrees Fahrenheit, there will be a drop of 1 PSI in the air pressure. It is mostly applicable to passenger vehicles.

Commercial vehicles are inflated twice as much as passenger vehicles. Here is a drop of 2 PSI for 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. Hence, it is required to accurately monitor the air pressure in the tire if the person is travelling in-between places having temperature differences.

Also, such checks are essential when the seasons change. Ideal Gas Law is a basic equation that can approximate the behaviour of the gases working in the tire.

Investing a few minutes at the beginning of the month is a long-term beneficial step for your car. According to scholarly sources, the vehicle’s weight is balanced by the air pressure inside the tire and not the actual rubber tires. Hence, it is safe to say that maintaining tire pressure is very important. The tire pressure, directly and indirectly, affects the performance of your vehicle like:-

  • Driving comfort
  • Directional stability
  • Cornering and braking grip
  • General handling behaviour

All these features are essential for the long-term stability of the car. Incorrect tire pressure will negatively affect these significant factors. As we stated before, there is always a recommended tire pressure for each class of vehicles.

How to Check Car Tire Pressure?

  • Recommended Tire Pressure:- The manual handbook provided by the car manufacturer will be the best possible source that will tell the person what should be the minimum value of air pressure inside the tire. According to the car manufacturing company, the back tires and the front tires should have different variations of air pressure.
  • Unscrewing the Valve:- Located near the hubcap, the valve stem is a black or silver-coloured device. It is the size of a pencil. The valve stem cap should be removed or unscrewed from the valve stem, and then the pressure of air can be checked.
  • Provision of Air Pressure Gauge:-The air pressure gauge can be kept over the valve stem. It will evenly record the air pressure in the most accurate fashion. Any hissing sound should be prevented as it will indicate that the valve is not fixed correctly
  • Valve Stem Cap:- This cap is provided because it acts as a preventive mechanism for dirt and moisture on the valve mechanism. Hence, all the parts are placed in the tire with full functionality. This cap can be handy in the long run.

How To Check Tire Pressure With a Gauge?

With the help of a trusted pressure gauge, the air pressure of the tire can be measured. Under the cold weather, the air pressure is measured in PSI. It is then tallied with the recommended air pressure of the car manufacturer. We recommend not going above the recommended tire pressure as mentioned in the manual.

How to Check Tire Pressure Without a Gauge?

  • Hand pressure: By pushing the tire with your hand, the tire’s air pressure can be measured. It should be inflated more if the tire is perceived to be soft enough. If it is figured out to be a rock-like feeling, then the air is pumped to the tire’s highest possible pressure. But hand pressure is only a rough estimate.
  • Weight on the wheels: The deformation pattern of the lower side of the tire will best explain the additional pressure requirement in the tire. To get zero deformation, the tire should be inflated in the right proportion. The wheels carry the entire weight of the car. Hence, no strain should be kept.
  • Eyeball method: It is an old way of checking the tire pressure. The person can estimate the tire from a considerable distance and roughly comment on the tire pressure. A slightly protruding tire outwards will exhibit that the tire is not adequately filled with air. More air pressure is required to inflate the tire. In most cases, only experts can predict it.

How To Check Tire Pressure At The Gas Station?

Step1

A gas station houses an air machine that is used to fill the tires. A small box with a long hose attached at the back is a typical look of an air machine.

Step2

One by one, tires are chosen, and the air is inflated into them with the help of an air machine. The PSI label will guide as the parameter for the limiting factor.

Step3

There is an air stem cap protruding from the rim. It should be removed before filling the tire with enough air pressure.

Step4

The air hose is pulled over to the tire. The trigger assembly at the end of the tube will be the governing equipment for controlling the air hose’s action.

Step5

There is a pressure bar reading that will reveal the current air pressure status of a particular tire. Some lines and numbers indicate the current state of the air pressure.

Ways To Know Your Tire Pressure

You can check the manufacturer’s manual; the car manufacturer provides information about tire pressure. You will find information regarding the tire pressure that will be the optimum value for your vehicle. The maximum value can be obtained by necessary approximation or calculation

Check Tire Pressure At Home

The first and foremost thing that the person should do is check the handbook where the tire’s recommended pressure is given. The trunk lid, the fuel door, or the sticker at the driver’s side door can be in the manual. The digits will show the minimum requirement of tire pressure that should be maintained to take the vehicle’s weight. Before measuring the strength, the time of measuring must be fixed. If the car has run for a few hours, it is warm, and checking at this time will give inaccurate readings.

Hence, the first half of the morning will be the ideal time to measure the tire’s pressure. A reliable gauge will be the best possible tool for checking tire pressure. The tires should be inflated in the right proportion. After that, the spares should also be examined.

Ways To Know When The Tire Needs Air

There are some signs and symptoms that can give an estimate that the car needs more air for inflation in the tire. A simple visual inspection can be performed by running the vehicle on a flat smooth road. If the tire pressure is gradually decreasing, the lower part of the tire will have a flattering appearance. It is now making more contact with the ground surface. This is often called the bulging of the tire.

Optimum tire pressure will give you the best footprint on the ground. Sometimes the car screeches when the vehicle is driven at the corner points. Hence, there are some visual experiments by which it can be concluded that there are many ways that shows the tire exhibits the requirement of extra air for inflation.

Is 40 PSI Good Tire Pressure?

According to transportation engineering recommendations, the optimum tire pressure should lie in the range of 30 PSI to 35 PSI. But this pressure can be increased beyond this limit. A force in the higher range is not harmful. But the field should be within the maximum inflation pressure. Are you wondering how you can find this pressure? Again, check the owner’s manual! Hence, 40 PSI can be a safer limit depending on the maximum inflation pressure for that particular vehicle class.


To Sum It Up

Measuring tire pressure is an important activity that falls under the category of active maintenance and personal vehicles’ servicing operations. Checking the air pressure of tires in advance will prevent any car problem during running conditions, apart from any mechanical failure.

We discussed some of the most used methods to check the tire pressure all by yourself. But if you are still feeling any difficulty in measuring the tire pressure, the local general tire dealers will always be there to help you out. They will assist you and clear any doubt related to air pressure in tires.

Optimum tire pressure will greatly reduce the chances of accidents in the long run. The braking efficiency can be controlled and maintained if the tire pressure is kept at adequate levels. There are many companies that give monthly and annual checks regarding tire pressure. They can be consulted and proper treatment can be done on the car. Fuel consumption is also lowered due to such practices.

Do you have any questions? Shoot them in the comment section!

FAQs

How Does Tire Pressure Influence the Fuel Economy?

The fuel economy is directly governed by the rolling resistance between the road and the external tire surface. It can be explained from a single fact. If the tire pressure is lower, the contact patch area is much more significant. As a result, the rolling resistance is much more. It creates a poor quality of fuel consumption.

According to recent studies, tires contribute 1/5th of the total fuel consumed in the entire cycle.

If it is possible to lower the pressure by 1-bar, it will save fuel by 5% approximately. Hence, the economy of the fuel is affected by the air pressure in the tire. One should properly take care of the inflation procedure. If something goes wrong, the life cycle of the car may get hampered.

The contact patch is the deciding factor for the rate of wear and tear of the tire. Premature wearing of the tire should be avoided as in no condition; the tire is inflated at the right proportion. Either the tire is under-inflated, or it is running with a great deal of over-inflation.

Whether it is over-inflation or under-inflation, tire pressure hugely impacts on driving performance. According to traffic rules and regulations, under-inflated tires increase the chance of accidents—the surface contact between tire and road results in the tire’s gripping action.

If the tire is overinflated, the contact patch radically decreases. But the reverse mechanism occurs when there is under-inflation. Fuel is consumed at a higher rate with under-inflation.

This condition also accompanies the wear and tear of the tire. The most terrible effect on the tire is hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is the condition when water pockets are produced between the wheels and the road surface. It gradually prevents the tire and wheel system from running according to the control inputs, making the vehicle prone to accidents.

All new cars are installed with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System based on sensors and unique concepts. It is a susceptible device that checks the tire pressure only under some specific conditions. Hence, they can be regarded as very accurate measurement tools of tire pressure. There are two kinds of TPMS observed in new cars. They are described as follows:-

Direct Systems:- There is a provision of a pressure sensor attached to the rim located inside the tire. In many cases, a valve is attached to the pressure sensor.

Indirect Systems:- There is no provision of the pressure sensor in this case. Rolling circumference changes indirectly measure the pressure difference in the tires.
The car manufacturers equally choose both options, and there is no chance of partiality. The car manufacturer puts an inbuilt recommended pressure on the car. If the car pressure falls by 25% relative to that pressure, the TPMS system will be activated. Until and unless a significant drop in tire pressure takes place, it will not give any warning signs. The specialists need to check the system every month using a tire gauge.

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