How To Properly Inflate Your Tires

Fully-Inflated Tires
Daniel Oines, Flickr

Few car maintenance issues are as easy as checking the air pressure on your tires. Neglect this simple procedure, you may be paying more at the gas pump and buying a new set of tires sooner than you think.

Most of the time, you don’t even need to have a pressure gauge of your own – most gas station air pumps have a built-in gauge that’ll tell you how much air your have in your tire. Where things can get confusing, however, is determining the right amount of air to pump. Usually, what’s stamped on the sidewall of your tire doesn’t match the owner’s manual.

Most gas station air pumps have a built-in gauge that’ll tell you how much air your have in your tire Click To Tweet

Here are a few helpful tips to help you properly inflate your tires:

  • Check the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure for your car. This information can be found in your owner’s manual. If you don’t have your owner’s manual, take a look on the inside of your driver’s side door jamb or in the glove compartment. There will usually be a sticker there telling you how much air pressure to pump into your tires.
  • Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation. As long as it doesn’t exceed the maximum pressure limit listed on your tire, it’s strongly recommended that you fill your tires to match the suggestion found in your door jamb, glove compartment, or owner’s manual. Sticking with this number will give you optimal gas mileage, ride comfort, handling, and braking.
  • Don’t exceed your tire’s maximum air pressure limit. If you take a close look at the sidewall of your tire, you’ll find a numerical value followed by the letters P.S.I. This stands for “pounds per square inch.” Pay attention to this number, as this is the maximum amount of air pressure your tire can hold safely. Never inflate your tire past this number. Over inflating or adding too much pressure to a tire can cause the center treads to wear faster because most of the vehicle’s weight is resting on the center treads. What you don’t want is uneven wear which will result in a trip back to the tire shop for a new set of tires.
  • Don’t under inflate your tires. Similar to over inflating, under inflating your tires leads to excessive wear on the tire’s outer edges. Under inflating a tire also generates excessive heat due to friction because there is a greater area of tire surface in contact with the road. More friction means less miles per gallon of gas and faster tires wearing faster.
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Remember that as you drive and your tires heat up, the air pressure in your tires expands. For this reason, always check your air pressure before you’ve done a lot of driving to get the most accurate results.

Always check your air pressure before you’ve done a lot of driving to get the most accurate results Click To Tweet

Still have questions? Talk to an auto maintenance professional in your area, start with Openbay. Compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button. Openbay is car repair for today’s world.