Best Tyre Pressure Guides are for you car and driving conditions not the tyre.
When I discussed the risks of getting your tyre pressure check wrong in my last post, I pointed out that most people make the mistake of looking at the numbers on the tyres when checking what tyre pressure they need to inflate to (rather than the cars tyre pressure guide). The tyre number is the tyre manufacturer’s recommended maximum for that particular tyre. The best tyre pressure that you should use will most likely be lower than this.
In this post, I’ll explain where to find the tyre pressure guide for your car, and how to make sure your tyres are always inflated correctly.
What it the best tyre pressure for your car?
The majority of cars have a tyre pressure guide label on the inside of the driver’s door frame – commonly on the pillar. Sometimes you’ll find this label on the side of the glove compartment or the glove compartment door. Some manufacturers ‘hide’ it on the inside of the fuel filler door.
If you can’t find the pressure guide in any of these places, then you’ll need to refer to the owner’s manual, which came with the car.
You can check your tyre pressure with a good pressure gauge. Generally, the more you spend on a gauge, the more accurate it will be. However, you don’t have to spend any money on fancy tools and instruments to make sure your tyre pressure is right.
The easy way to check tyre pressure
Take your car to the nearest petrol station with an air station, and follow these steps:
- Make sure your tyres are cold. Heat expands the air in a tyre, so ideally you shouldn’t have driven more than a couple of kilometres before checking tyre pressure. If you’ve driven further than this, have a coffee, read a newspaper, or take a ten-minute stroll.
- Locate the lowest number on your tyre pressure guide. This is the cold tyre pressure recommended by the car manufacturer.
- Set the air compressor to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. You’ll be able to either read your tyre pressure or inflate the tyre to the pressure you’ve set.
- Unscrew the valve cap from the stem on the tyre, and connect the air pressure gauge to the tyre valve. If it hisses, the gauge isn’t plugged in correctly.
- Check the pressure reading is the same as the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. If it isn’t, inflate to the right pressure. Replace the valve cap.
- Repeat for all tyres on your car.
Factors that make a difference to tyre pressure
In hot weather, tyre pressures rise, while in cold weather they fall. So it’s especially important to check your tyre pressure when the weather changes.
If you’re carrying an extra heavy load, you may need to inflate to higher than the recommended pressure – but never exceed the maximum PSI on the tyre sidewall.
Never make a judgment about tyre pressure by just looking at the tyres. Modern tyres can be deceptive, and often look underinflated when they’re not.
A word or warning about pressure gauges at petrol stations
It’s always best to spend a few dollars on an accurate pressure gauge. Petrol station air pumps are free, but they suffer a lot of abuse, and may not be calibrated accurately. So use the above method to check tyre pressure, but understand that your tyres might still be inflated to the wrong PSI.
If you have any doubts about the correct pressure for your tyres, or if you might have a slow leak, call into our tyre shop, or contact us on 3375 3566 to put your mind at rest.
Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,