One of the most understated aspects of maintaining your vehicle is to be sure that the tires are always properly filled. Maintained tires can have an impact on everything from how your vehicle handles to the fuel mileage your vehicle gets. While it is extremely beneficial for your car, most drivers neglect to regularly check their tire pressure. Whether it’s viewed as just not as important as other regularly check-ups or seen as a skip-able thing, the benefits it can have for your vehicle should ensure it’s never skipped again. Here are just some of the positive effects monthly tire pressure checks can have.
If you’re still unsure about regularly checking your tires even with all of the positive effects that properly inflated tires can have on your vehicle, the ease with which you can check, even from the comfort of your home should settle it once and for all.
To check your tire pressure from home you only need two things: a tire pressure gauge and an air compressor. Most tire pressure gauges are relatively inexpensive and have similar designs but it is possible to spend a little bit more to get one with an easier to read display, making sure that your tires are filled as accurately as possible. Another great way to be confident that you’re getting something good is to consult a local professional auto mechanic on what they recommend or use in their shop. Air compressors usually run a little bit more expensive though, but with dozens of uses throughout the home they represent a great investment to have on hand in your home.
Before you get started, make sure to note the recommended PSI for your tires, sometimes the front and rear tires will have different PSIs so check to see if yours require different pressures.
Once you’ve noted the optimum tire pressures for your vehicle, use your pressure gauge to measure the PSI of each tire. You’ll get a more accurate reading if your vehicle hasn’t been used yet that day and the tires are still relatively cool. After checking the pressure for each of your tires, use an air compressor to refill each tire to the recommended PSI. It’s also important that once you’ve refilled your tires, you take the time to measure the PSI once again to make sure you haven’t overinflated them. Overinflated tires can lead to as many issues with your handling and fuel efficiency as underinflated tires in some instances.
If you don’t have a gauge or air compressor, most gas stations offer both usually for around $1 to use. However, because of this, there’s a good chance your tires will be hot from use so be sure to inflate them a little bit over the recommended PSI, usually by 2-4PSI as some pressure will be lost when the tires cool back down.
The whole process at home should take you less than 30 minutes and doing it just once a month is a great way to maximize the life of your tires along with improving the overall function, handling and efficiency of your vehicle.
The tire pressure light is one of the most often ignored “emergency” lights as it’s seen as a non-emergency but in reality, ignoring it for too long can have disastrous and costly results. Making sure to check your tire pressure monthly is a great way to avoid the stress of having a dashboard light on and an easy way to reduce the stress of having to take your car in to the shop. So next time your car handles a little funny or you notice a dashboard light on, even something as simple as checking the tire pressure can save you time and money, making your drive as smooth as possible.