How Do I Check My Tire Pressure?

Low tire pressure can be an expensive proposition, costing you hundreds of dollars a year in lost fuel economy and prematurely worn tires. Add to that, decreased handling and an increased risk in tire failure, and it’s easy to understand why maintaining proper tire pressure is so important. Tires naturally lose 1 to 2 pounds of pressure a month. Cool temperatures cause even more pressure loss. So it’s important to check your vehicle’s tire pressure regularly.

We recommend you check your tire pressure at least once a month or twice a month in the winter.

Using an Air Pressure Gauge

Here’s how you go about it with an air pressure gauge, can be found at most any auto parts store.

Standard cold tire inflation pressure information

First, look in the owner’s manual or on the inside placard of the driver’s side door for the standard cold tire inflation pressure. This number is the PSI, or Pounds Per Square Inch, you will inflate your tires to, as suggested by the car’s manufacturer.

Next, unscrew the cap from the valve stem on the tire.

Tech checks tire pressure

Now, press the air pressure gauge onto the valve stem and record the reading given. If there’s a hissing sound, try re-seating the gauge for a tighter fit and more accurate reading. Note that if the reading on all four tires is the same as the manual’s specifications, you’re done. If any of the tires have inadequate pressure, add air until they’re properly filled. Make sure you put in the correct amount by rechecking the pressure in each tire after refilling.

Finally, replace the valve stem cap to protect the valve mechanism from dirt and moisture.

While you’re at it, check the pressure on your spare tire, as well. You never know when you might need it.

Follow along as we show you how in this video:

Or you can simply stop by your nearest Les Schwab Tire Center, where we not only check tire pressure for you but also adjust it, if necessary. Free of charge.

Have any questions about tire pressure? One of our experts will be happy to help.