How to check your tyres’ air pressure…and why it matters
How long has it been since you checked your car tyres’ air pressure? Here’s why that matters and a refresher on how to check if your tyres are at optimum pressure.
IT KEEPS YOU SAFE
Did you know that as much as 40% of all car-at-fault motor accidents are attributed to incorrect tyre pressure? Under-inflated tyres are a common culprit of blowouts which can be deadly.
Your tyres may feel fine on a day-to-day basis but changes in the load you are carrying (such as heavy luggage or extra people) could mean that your tyres require further inflation. Adding a quick tyre check into your road-trip checklist could be a lifesaving decision. However, you should ideally check your tyre pressure every month.
IT REDUCES THE COST TO YOU AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Under-inflated tyres are not only dangerous but they’ll cost you more to run too. How? Turning corners on tyres below optimum pressure requires more force…which means more fuel and higher CO2 emissions.
HERE’S HOW TO CHECK YOUR TYRE PRESSURE
You know how to inspect your tread but the last time you checked your tyre pressure was when your dad showed you how in high school. Uh-oh. Here’s a quick refresher course on how to make sure you’re at optimum tyre pressure and keep Pops proud.
Before you start
You can check your tyres at any service station. They all have pumps you can use to both check and inflate your tyres. Always check your tyres when they are cold. This means you’ll want to do this at the start of your trip, not at the end.
Check the sticker in your driver’s door panel or your car’s handbook to determine the right pressure for your vehicle. The sticker will list two values—one for a normal load and one for when the boot is loaded full. Ensure you adjust your pressure according to your planned activities.
1. Reset the service station pump to your car’s recommended pressure.
2. Remove the caps from your tyre valves and put the tyre pressure hose over top.
3. The pump will fill your tyres to the desired pressure and beep when it is finished.
4. Replace your dust cap and check all tyres (don’t forget the spare!). While you are filling up your tyres, it’s a good idea to inspect the tread for general wear and tear.