Essential tips for maintaining tire pressure: keep your tires safe and save on fuel Essential tips for maintaining tire pressure: keep your tires safe and save on fuel
Driving safety, fuel savings and tire wear prevention – all these benefits are directly linked to your car’s tire pressure. Yet many drivers neglect this important aspect of car maintenance, costing them money and putting their safety at risk.
The importance of correct tire pressure
Tire pressure is crucial for a number of reasons. Firstly, incorrect tire pressure can affect your car’s handling and traction, which can make driving more difficult and less safe. In addition, under-inflated tires can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency, which can increase your fuel consumption and be expensive in the long run. Under-inflated tires tend to wear out more quickly, meaning you’ll have to replace them more often, which can cost hundreds of euros over the long term.
How to check tire pressure
Using a tire pressure gauge
The most accurate way to check your car’s tire pressure is to use a tire pressure gauge. These devices are available from any hardware store and are very easy to use. Simply place them on your tire valve and read off the pressure reading. Compare this value with the recommended pressure indicated on the side of your tire or in your car’s owner’s manual.
Your car’s TPMS
Modern cars are equipped with TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems) which automatically detect tire pressure. If your car is equipped with TPMS, you can easily check tire pressure on your dashboard display.
Visual inspection of your tires
If you don’t have a tire pressure gauge or TPMS, you can check your tire pressure by visual inspection. Look for tires that appear under-inflated or have a squashed appearance along the tire surface.
Recommended tire pressure
The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle depends on the type of car you drive, the weight of the car, the loads it carries and the performance you’re looking for. Tire pressure is usually indicated on the driver’s door label and can be found in your car’s owner’s manual. If you can’t find this information, asking an automotive professional may be a good idea.
Tire inflation and deflation
The most common way to inflate your tires is to use an air compressor. Air compressors are available at most service stations and auto repair garages, and can inflate your tires in a matter of minutes. When inflating your tires with an air compressor, make sure you don’t exceed the maximum recommended pressure for each tire (this is usually indicated on the side of the tire).
Hand pumps are a practical alternative for inflating your tires if you don’t have access to an air compressor. These pumps can be bought in stores and allow you to inflate your tires with just one hand. However, this can take much longer than using an air compressor.
Safe tire deflation
If you’ve accidentally over-inflated your tires, or need to deflate them for off-road driving, it’s important to do so safely. Use a screwdriver or tire wrench to open your tire valve until you hear the air escape. Keep an eye on tire pressure as you deflate, and don’t forget to check your tire pressure when you’re ready to hit the road again.
Benefits of good tire pressure maintenance
- Safer driving
- Improved fuel efficiency
- Reduced tire wear and tear, which means you can replace them less often
Regular tire pressure maintenance is crucial for your safety and to reduce long-term costs. Follow these tips to make sure your tires are properly inflated, save money on fuel and extend the life of your tires. Regular tire maintenance is a key element of a safe drive, so remember to check your tire pressure regularly and inflate your tires correctly.