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Tyres  /  Tyre NewsHelp and Advice  / How to Check Your Tyre Pressure

"Pressure is for tyres!" How to Check Your Tyre Pressure

Tyre Pressure How To Check

As the great Alan Shearer said, “What pressure? Pressure is for tyres!”

Whilst that quote was right after England stood victorious against a determined Switzerland side, they also remind us of something very important on the roads.

Keeping the right tyre pressure isn’t just a technical detail; it's about safety, saving fuel, and making sure your car performs at its best.

Also, in the UK, it is a legal requirement to have the correct tyre pressure and failure to do so can result in a fine if your tyres are seriously underinflated.

In this guide, we'll show you how to easily check and maintain your tyre pressure.

Tyre Pressure How to Check

Checking tyre pressure is a straightforward process that requires a few simple tools and a basic understanding of how to read a tyre pressure gauge.

Once you know what the pressure should be complete the following steps:

  1. Remove the valve dust cap from the tyre valve (place this carefully to the side. They are easy to misplace… believe me)

  2. Next, attach your pressure gauge onto the valve stem with firm and even pressure.

  3. Check the digital display to find out what pressure the tyre is currently at.

  4. If your tyre needs to be inflated, use a suitable pump and/or air compressor to add air into the tyre. Do this in small increments to ensure you do not overinflate the tyre.

  5. If the tyre requires to be deflated, you can use a flat-head screwdriver to release air. Simply press the tip of the screwdriver against the valve’s pin. You will hear a hissing noise as air is released.

  6. Repeat this for all 4 tyres, as each tyre will likely lose air pressure at slightly different rate – and the spare tyre if you have one.

  7. Once complete, enter your car and set the tyre pressure on your car’s system. This will ensure that the car resets the tyre pressure monitoring. If you do not remember this step, you may get false readings or warnings that your air pressure is incorrect.

Petrol Station Tyre Pressure

If you do not have a tyre pressure gauge at home, most petrol stations have a machine which you can use for a small fee. Usually, 50p.

Air pressure at Petrol Station

These tend to have an air pump that allows you to adjust the pressure at the same time you are testing. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you have removed the dust cap for each of your tyres’ valve ahead of time. To save doing this once you have put your money into the machine. You only have so long to get around all 4 tyres. Again, be careful to not lose the dust caps. They are small, and they like to roll off. Don't ask me how I know this…

  2. Set your required tyre pressure on the machine. You can normally do this in either PSI or BAR. Put your money into the machine and begin.

  3. At each tyre insert the machine’s gauge/air pump into the tyre’s valve stem. This machine will take a reading of the air pressure and then inflate or deflate automatically depending on what is required. Wait for the air pressure to meet the required level and then move onto the next tyre.

  4. Do this on each tyre. Once all tyres have been checked, then replace the machine’s gauge/air pump.

  5. Replace the dust caps to the valves on each tyre.

  6. Once complete, enter your car and set the tyre pressure on your car’s system. This will ensure that the car resets it’s monitoring of the tyre pressures.

It is important to avoid common mistakes such as checking the pressure when the tyres are hot (i.e. have recently been driven on for more than a few minutes) or using a gauge that is not calibrated properly.

Given not everyone lives next door to a petrol station, and it is advised that you do not test the tyres when they are hot, it may seem an impossible task to do.

One tip is to check your tyres at the petrol station next to a supermarket. That way you can park your car and do some shopping beforehand, letting the tyres cool down from the drive.

Understanding tyre pressure

Put simply, tyre pressure refers to the amount of air that is in your tyre.

It is generally measured in PSI or BAR.  

The recommended pressure for your vehicle can normally be found on the manufacturer's information label (inside one of the front doors of the car) or in the owner's handbook.

Tyre pressure gauge

Different car manufacturers require specific tyre pressure levels for their vehicles.

There are several factors that can affect the level and amount of tyre pressure loss, such as driving conditions, and the weight of your vehicle.

Driving conditions

The type of driving that a person does also has a baring on tyre pressure. If, for example, a person regularly drives on rough or uneven roads, the constant bouncing of the vehicle can lead to air pressure inside your tyres decreasing.

City driving

City driving can also cause stresses on the tyres – from the constant stopping and starting – which leads to an increase in the air escaping the tyres over time.

Vehicle weight

The weight of your vehicle can impact tyre pressure. The heavier your vehicle is, the more stress it places on the tyres – which can lead to a loss in air pressure.

Tesla in hills

This is why it is important to ensure that your vehicle fits the right type of tyres, suitable for it’s use. I.e. heavier vehicles may require extra load tyres - such as EV tyres - as they have been built to deal with the extra weight of larger vehicles.

What should my tyre pressure be?

The recommended pressure the tyres on your vehicle will normally be found in the car's handbook or on a pressure label sticker - usually located on the driver's side door jamb or glove compartment.

It's important to follow the recommended pressure for your vehicle, as it ensures optimal performance, safety, and fuel efficiency.

When should tyre pressure be checked?

Air pressure should be checked regularly, ideally at least once a month, to ensure your tyres are properly inflated. Additionally, it's a good idea to check the tyre pressures before long trips or if you notice any signs of underinflation or overinflation.

Maintaining proper tyre pressure

It is recommended to check the pressure of your tyres at least once a month, or more frequently if you drive under harsh conditions.

Before you set off on a long trip – when you are going on holiday for example - is another very important time to check your tyre pressure – as sustained use on tyres which are not correctly inflated can cause major issues and even tyre failure. The last thing you want when travelling to a holiday destination.  

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