We here at Scott’s Fort Collins Auto know that your car can be confusing. There is so much to remember with the different fluids, the tires, and the engine components. If you’ve wondered how often you should check tire pressure and really just how to go about it, here’s help.
Why Should I Check Tire Pressure?
Many people think that unless their tires are punctured, the tires will continue to have the same amount of air as was put in them. However, this is not the case. Tires begin to lose air over time which will mean tire pressure will be altered. Checking this means that you will have safety when going on rough roads or long trips. Tire pressure is vital to the life of your tires as well. Running on improperly filled tires can lead to tire weakness or rupture which can lower the safety of your family’s trip. By checking tire pressure on a regular basis, you can extend the life of the tire and help keep your family safe.
How Often Should it Be Checked?
All four tires, plus the spare, should be checked on a monthly basis. While you can check more often, you shouldn’t go longer than a month before your next tire pressure check. This means that you may want to pick a day you can remember easily, such as a birthday or anniversary, and check every month on that date. Mark a calendar or set a reminder on your smart phone. In fact, there are some apps on the market that can help store all the information you may need such as PSI pressure and how many miles your tires have gone between pressure checks. Check the Google Play store to see some of these applications.
How Do I Check It?
To check your tire pressure you will need a tire gauge. These are found in any auto parts store. After you get a tire gauge make sure to keep it in a handy location, such as your vehicle’s glove box or center console. When you go to check your tire pressure, take it out and go toward the first tire you’re checking. On the tire should be a valve stem, a protruding piece that is capped. Uncap the valve stem and place the tire gauge over it. There should be either a digital reading, if you got that type, or a stick that shoots out that tells you the tire pressure. Make a note of this tire pressure. Do this for all four tires, plus your spare, and then fill your tires as needed with air. You may need to take several tire pressure tests to insure that you have all your tires filled properly. Don’t rush the procedure, as tire pressure is important to get right.
Should the Tires be “Cold”? Is That Air Temp, Tire Temp, What?
Yes, tires should be what is termed “cold” when you check the tire pressure. No, this does not mean the air temperature should be cold or the tires need to be cold to the touch. It means that you shouldn’t have driven on them for at least three hours. Even the shortest driving distance can mean that you will not get an accurate reading. Best case scenario? Wait until after you are home for the day and check them before you head out in the morning. That leaves the entire evening for them to settle so that you can get a more accurate reading.
Which PSI Rating Should I Go By? The Tire or the Vehicle?
Always fill your tires with the PSI that should be on your vehicle’s recommendation. The PSI listed on the tire is actually the maximum permissible and isn’t what is recommended for all vehicles. You can find the PSI for your vehicle in your owner’s manual, on your tire information label, or you can go online and find it.
If you ever have any automotive questions or if you have an issue that you’d like to see resolved, we are here to help. From engine noises to something as simple as tire pressure, we are going to listen and resolve your problems. Come by 1900 E Lincoln Avenue or just give us a call at 970-692-5313 and we’ll try our best to give you the best in customer service. Scott’s Fort Collins Auto is here for you.