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Beginner's Guide: How to Check Your Tire Pressure

The industry recommends that all motorists check their tires once a month, but it's better to do it more often than not. Having an inaccurate tire pressure can lead to irregular tire tread wear, ultimately lowering your gas mileage and affecting your vehicle's handling. It can also result in having to replace your tires prematurely. Don't worry, though, because Pickering's Auto Service has got you covered. Here's our beginner's guide to fulfilling your tire pressure checking routine.


How to Look For the Tire Pressure Requirements for Your Vehicle

Before you bring out any instruments, you need to know how much air your tires need. Tire pressure is scaled in units of psi or pounds per square inch. You should find a sticker that shows the recommended tire pressure on the driver's side door or door frame. If you struggle to find the sticker, you can look for the information in the owner's manual or online.


How to Check Tire Pressure

The ideal time to measure your tire pressure is when the car has been parked for several hours and the tires are cooled down. You will need a tire pressure gauge which can typically be found at gas stations or bought at auto stores.

  1. Remove the cap from the air valve on the tire, and put it someplace you won't lose it (like your pockets).
  2. Press the gauge on the exposed valve stem for several seconds. You should hear a hissing noise.
  3. Read the air pressure gauge.
  4. Match the number you see with the suggested tire pressure by increasing or decreasing the psi.
  5. Return the tire's air valve cap in its place.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for each tire.

When measuring your tire pressure, also make a note of its treadwear and inspect for any leaks. If any one tire has much lower psi then the others, it may indicate a slow leak. Most newer vehicles have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) which will illuminate a light on your dash letting you know that one or more of your tires may be lower than desired. Usually this light looks like an exclamation point inside of parenthesis (!). Your tires are your vehicle's most indispensable safety component, which is why you should handle them with care. If you get in the habit of monitoring your tires regularly, you can adjust the pressure as it shifts throughout the year. We offer a wide range of tire maintenance services to keep your vehicle in excellent shape throughout the year. If you require tire service, our team of experts would be glad to assist you. Give us a call or visit Pickering's Auto Service today to schedule an appointment. You can also check out this blog if you are in need of new tires.

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