• How to Use a Tire Pressure Gauge

    Using a tire pressure gauge to periodically check tire inflation is necessary to prevent accidents, increase overall vehicle safety and potentially save money in the long run. Tire maintenance is essential, and to be an informed vehicle owner, having a tire pressure gauge on hand at all times can be of significant benefit. It’s important to know which tire pressure gauge is best for you, and how to properly use it.

    Step 1. Choose the Right Tire Pressure Gauge

    It’s possible to find a tire pressure gauge connected to the air pump at your local gas station or convenience store, but these devices receive heavy use and are not always functioning properly. To get a more accurate reading, it’s recommended that you purchase a tire pressure gauge in new condition. Prices for these range from inexpensive to fairly pricey, and they’re available in many styles. A basic device may be cheaper, but a digital tire gauge may be more easy for you to read, and a keychain model will be difficult to misplace. Compare features to select the tire pressure gauge that’s most appropriate for you.

    Step 2. Note Air Pressure Specifications

    Just as it’s not reliable to check your tire pressure by eyeballing it, it’s important to know the exact manufacturer tire pressure specifications before you read the data with your gauge. You can usually find the specs located on a sticker somewhere in your vehicle. If it’s not located on the door jamb, try inside the glove box or in the trunk. If you cannot find the sticker, you may be able to check the specifications online for the year, make and model of your vehicle. The specs listed on the tire itself reflect the maximum recommended air pressure, so avoid using these numbers as a guide.

    Step 3. Using the Tire Pressure Gauge

    In order to properly use a tire pressure gauge, you must first unscrew the cap from the valve stem on one of the tires. Press the appropriate end of your gauge against the valve, and wait for the reading. If you hear a hissing sound, air is escaping from the tire and you must push a little harder. This process should be repeated for each tire, and any variance from the recommended manufacturer’s air pressure should be noted.

    Step 4. Deciphering the Results

    If your tire pressure gauge has indicated that one or more tires are low on air, you must fill those tires until the readings are accurate. When filling a tire, you may need to repeat the process of using the tire pressure gauge repeatedly, for best results. If you don’t have access to an air pump at home, you can simply bring your tire pressure gauge with you to the nearest garage or gas station. Be careful not to overfill the tire, as this can create hazardous road conditions as well. A tire too full with air can wear on the rubber, leading to rapid loss of tire tread and decreased stability and control of the vehicle.