On our daily drives, we pay attention to the things in front of us—our radio or infotainment system, the gauge cluster, the dashboard lights, and more. But sometimes, we forget about four important details that make up our vehicle: our tires.
Your tires are as essential to your car as the engine, and it’s important to make sure that they’re always running (literally) in good shape. That means checking the tire pressure. We’ll explain why this is important, and how you can check it yourself. Read on to find out more!
What is Tire Pressure?
Think about when you’ve had a flat tire. The tire didn’t melt to the ground, leaving just a hubcap. There was still air in there to keep it pretty inflated, right? That’s because tire pressure isn’t just air inside your tires—it’s the atmospheric pressure that essentially measures the amount of air inside the tire.
What’s the Big Deal?
Tire pressure is way more important than we might think, initially. If your tires are low, or even inflated too much, it can cause faulty braking and instability. Tires that are properly inflated ensure your vehicle’s ultimate safe handling. You can even save up to 3% in gas mileage when your tire pressure is at the right level.
How to Check Your Tire Pressure
What you’ll need:
- An accurate tire pressure gauge. These can be purchased at most gas stations, and are normally no more than $15.
- Your manufacturer’s PSI, found in your owner’s manual. “PSI” means pounds per square inch, and is the number you’ll need to know when determining if your tire pressure is correct.
First, you want to make sure your car hasn’t been driven in several hours to get the most accurate reading, or at least when your tires are cold. Then, with your tire pressure gauge and manufacturer’s PSI handy, use these step-by-step instructions:
- Take the end caps off your tire’s air valves. Place them either right next to the tire, or bring out a small bag to keep them in. These are small, and can easily be lost.
- Put the tire pressure gauge into the tire’s valve stem, and press down to see what the reading is.
- Check this number against the PSI, and see if it’s either over or under. You may want to do this a few times to get the most accurate reading.
- If the reading is above the recommended PSI, you can then press the valve in to release some air from the tire.
- If the reading is below the recommended PSI, use an air pump to fill the tire with air until you reach the correct reading.
When to Check Your Tire Pressure
You should check your tire pressure at least once a month, but especially if there is a drastic change in outside temperature, if you have been driving long distances, or if you’ve towed or added weight to your car on a recent trip.
Essentially, checking your tire pressure is a quick and easy process, and will save you money on long-term damage, and even fuel, in the long run. If you have any more questions about tire pressure or any other maintenance problems, feel free to contact our service center at Stateline Nissan at any time!