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How To Check Tire Pressure


Maintaining proper tire pressure is one of the most important and basic parts of car care. Proper tire pressure allows for better handling, gas mileage, and minimizes the probability of flats. It is recommended that you check your tire pressure once a month and before long road trips.

Tire pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). If you look at the writing on the tire you will find the appropriate tire pressure for that particular tire. You can find this information in your owner?s manual, but only for the tires that originally came on the car.

In order to check tire pressure, you will need a tire pressure gauge. Service stations usually have a tire gauge built into the air hose, but if you do not want to go to the service station, pick up a tire pressure gauge at a store for about five dollars.

How to Check Tire Pressure
It is best to check tire pressure when the tires are cold, meaning the tires have not been driven on in a few hours. A hot tire will give you an incorrect pressure, since the air expanded from the heat. But should you drive a short distance to the gas station to check your pressure there, the heat generated from a short drive would not be a problem.

? Find the air valve near the rim and remove the cap.
? Press the open end of the tire gauge into the valve. If you hear hissing air, then the gauge is not in straight or you are not pressing firmly enough.
? Check the pressure reading on the gauge.
? Replace the cap on the valve.
? Check all your tires, including the spare.

How to Add Air to Tires
After checking the tire pressure, you may have a low reading. You?ll have to add air using an air hose. Many service stations will have free air hoses or coin operated ones that will cost you around a dollar for a given period of time.

? Park close to the hose so you will be able to reach all the tires. Remove all 4 caps off the valves, so you can save time and money.
? Press the air hose firmly into the valve and let the air flow in short bursts.
? Stop the air flow every few seconds to check the tire pressure. Make sure you do not over inflate. If you do so by mistake, you can release the air by pressing the metal nipple inside the valve.
? Repeat the process for all four tires. Replace the caps on the valves.

If you find that you are consistently low on air, you may have a leak. Take your car into a mechanic, so they can check for leaks.

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