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How Do I Check My Car's Tire Pressure?

Have you ever been driving on the road and saw a bunch of frayed tire fragments laying about? Those are the remnants of a tire blowout. A tire blowout is a scary occurrence, because your tire literally explodes - and in severe cases, this can cause your tire to break apart on the road. Did you know that something as simple as low tire pressure is the the leading cause of a tire blowout?

Tire pressure is super important, and luckily is an easy measure to keep track of it. Proper tire pressure is important for a number of different reasons - it ensures the best vehicle handling, prevents excessive and uneven tire wear, helps you avoid tire blowouts, and gives you the best fuel efficiency. Let's look at how to check your vehicle's tire pressure. 

First, you should know what tire pressure is correct for your vehicle. You may be able to find this located on a sticker on the inside of the driver side door. If not, open up your vehicle's owner's manual that is hiding in the glove box. Check the table of contents for the section about tires - here you will find the correct tire pressure measurement. Tire pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). 

In order to check your vehicle's tire pressure, you will need a tire pressure gauge. We recommend that every vehicle driver should have one of these on hand. If you don't have one, you can purchase one at your local auto parts store or online. Keep it in your car's trunk - it will come in handy. 

Check your tire pressure first thing in the morning, before you have driven around. Next, follow these steps: 

  • Remove the cap from the air valve on the tire - don't lose it!
  • Put the tire gauge to the open valve stem on the tire.
  • Read the air pressure gauge and compare this number with the recommended tire pressure
  • Replace the tire’s air valve cap.

If your tires need to be inflated, you will need to find a an air compressor. They often have these at gas stations, or you can bring your vehicle's into our shop, Pete's Auto Service, and we can inflate your tires for you. 

If you are inflating your tires yourself, here are the steps you should take: 

  • Park close enough to the air compressor so you can reach all tires.
  • Remove the valve caps.
  • Press the hose nozzle down on the valve stem. Air may flow automatically or you may need to press a lever. You should feel air flowing through the hose.
  • Remove the hose fitting or release the inflation lever. Check the air pressure, as described above, using the gauge on the hose or your own tire gauge.
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 as needed until the tire is inflated to the correct psi.
  • Once the tires are inflated properly, replace the valve caps.

You may also find that your vehicles are overinflated, which is also not good. Here's what to do in order to release air from your tires: 

  • Briefly press the small dot or bead on the back of the tire pressure gauge into the center of the valve stem on the tire. You should hear the air escaping the tire.
  • Use the gauge to check the tire pressure.
  • Repeat these steps until you’ve released enough air to reach the correct psi.

We recommend that you check your vehicle's tire pressure at least once a month. If you need assistance with tire pressure service in Charlotte NC, bring your vehicle into our shop here at Pete's Auto Service. We can help with tire pressure inspection and inflation. Give us a call or stop by today! 

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