The Right Way to Check Your Car’s Tire Pressure and Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Tire pressure is pretty important. After all, without properly inflated tires, your car isn’t going to go very far. That’s why it’s important to know the correct tire pressure for your car, and how to properly inflate your tires. Here’s how to know the correct tire pressure for your car and how to keep your tires inflated. 

A woman checking her car's tire pressure
A woman checking her car’s tire pressure at a gas station | Sven Hoppe/dpa via Getty Images

What is the correct tire pressure for your car?

Maintaining your car’s tires is pretty important. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), properly inflated tires are essential to keeping yourself safe behind the wheel. With that in mind, it’s good to understand what the recommended tire pressure is for your car. Fortunately, finding out this information is pretty simple. 

First, know that tire pressure is measured in pounds per square inch, also referred to as PSI. According to Nationwide, the recommended tire pressure typically ranges between 30 and 35 PSI. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your vehicle’s tires should range between 30 and 35 PSI.

To determine what your car’s tire pressure should be, track down your car manufacturer’s recommendation. This information should be printed somewhere on your car, whether it’s on the edge of your car’s door, on the doorpost, or in the glove box of your car. And if you still can’t find it? Try your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

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Do you know how to check your car’s tire pressure?

If not, that’s OK. It’s actually pretty simple. First things first, you’re going to need a tire pressure gauge. Once you have that on hand, unscrew your tire’s valve cap and try to put it somewhere you won’t lose it. With that, you’re free to press the tire gauge onto the valve stem.

After a few seconds, you can try reading the gauge and comparing that reading to your car manufacturer’s recommendation. If the level of air pressure in your tires is below the recommended amount, you’re going to need to fill your car’s tires. To do so, try visiting a local gas station or auto parts store.

Keep in mind, however, that it’s important to check your tire pressure when your tires are cold. According to CarTalk, you can check it any time of the day but should do it after your car has been sitting for a few hours or hasn’t been driven more than a few miles. Make sure you’re checking all of your tires too, not just one.

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This is how often you should be inflating your car’s tires

This is a tricky question. According to Allstate, you should be checking your tire pressure on a monthly basis. If your tires happen to be low on a more frequent basis, however, that could point to a bigger problem. So, if you find yourself checking your tire pressure and having to inflate your car’s tires more than once per month, you might want to head to your local mechanic

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Does cold weather change anything?

Family Handyman reports that lower temperatures lead to lower tire pressure. According to Family Handyman, brands like Firestone and Goodyear both estimate that tires lose one PSI for every 10 degrees that the temperature outside drops. That means, come winter, you should be prepared to inflate your tires more often. 

Why checking your car’s tire pressure on the regular is so important 

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According to the NHTSA, 738 people were killed in tire-related crashes in 2017. The NHTSA added that many of these accidents could have been prevented through proper tire maintenance. As you might have guessed, this includes having properly inflated tires. So to keep yourself safe behind the wheel? Make sure you’re checking your car’s tire pressure on a monthly basis.