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How to double check your tyre pressures.

Person adding air to their underinflated tyres with an air hose.

Handling all of your own vehicle maintenance sounds daunting, which is why most people take their vehicle to a mechanic to get worked on. One aspect of looking after your vehicle that most people do themselves is just washing their car. Routinely washing your car leaves the paint protected with a layer of wax that protects it from the suns UV rays and helps your paint last longer.

Just like washing your car, checking your tyre pressure is an easy and simple step that just about anyone can do themselves, and will result in your tyres lasting longer and performing better.

Tyre pressures should not be overlooked, as your tyres play a pivotal role in ensuring your vehicle performs optimally, but more importantly, predictably, in a variety of conditions.

Tyrepower recommends that your tyre pressures are checked at least once a fortnight or whenever you put fuel in your vehicle. Check them more often if you notice changes in tyre pressure that can not be explained by ambient temperature changes.

Read on to learn about tyre pressure, what your recommended tyre pressure should be, as well as how often you should check your tyre pressures!

What is Tyre Pressure?

All modern car tyres are what are called pnuematic tyres, which means they are filled with pressurised gas (usually regular air, but sometimes nitrogen) which gives the tyre their load carrying capacity and resistance to deformation.

For tyres designed to be air filled, the inflation pressure is absolutely critical to everything from tyre lifespan, to vehicle handling, fuel efficiency and even safety.

Units of Measurement in Australia

In Australia, you’ll most often find tyre air pressure expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI) or kilopascals (kPa). Most tyre gauges and air equipment at your local service station will show both measurements, so you can use whichever one you’re not familair with.

Most tyre placards and owners manuals will also list your recommended tyre pressures in a few different units.

The Benefits of Correct Tyre Pressure

Making sure that your tyres are inflated with the recommended tyre pressures is beneficial for several reasons:

  • It helps ensure optimal fuel efficiency, as underinflated tyres require more energy to get up to speed and stay there.
  • It allows you to get the most lifespan from your tyres – improper tyre pressure causes uneven and premature tyre wear.
  • Properly inflated tyres result in better vehicle handling and performance.

If you’re looking for information on what the tyre pressure on your vehicle should be, the best source of information is the tyre placard sticker, usually located in your drivers’ door jamb, or in your owners manual. If you can’t find either of those, simply come down to your local Tyrepower store and ask the friendly team for advice.

Checking tyre pressure with a handheld gauge.

Adjusting Tyre Pressure for Specific Conditions

While you’ll find specific information on recommended tyre pressures in the places listed above, there are situations where you want to either add more air or remove some.

For instance, increasing tyre pressure can help accommodate additional load, if your vehicle is loaded up with people or stuff. The extra air prevents the sidewalls from flexing too much, which causes the tyres to overheat.

Alternatively, decreasing tyre pressures is advantageous when driving on soft surfaces such as mud or sand, where the increased contact patch surface area will provide extra flotation and traction. Just remember to reinflate your tyres before returning back to driving at highway speeds.

What to use to Check Your Tyre Pressure

It’s easy to check your tyre pressure with the use of a few simple tools. You can even do it at home.

Automotive stores will always have small inexpensive gauges you can use that are small enough to leave in your glovebox, allowing you to check pressures accurately whether you’re home or away. If you notice your tyres require a small top up, the same stores often sell small hand or foot operated manual pump, or even a 12v portable pump.

Alternatively, you can find a pressurised air outlet at most fuel stations that includes an inbuilt gauge of some time. The types of equipment vary, so if you come across an air hose you’re not familiar with, ask the attendant for a quick run down on how it works.

Stay cool under pressure

If you're looking for professional advice on what tyre pressures you should run, or what gauge or pump fits your needs, your local Tyrepower store is an excellent place to go! We offer free tyre advice and a wide range of services and products to ensure your tyres are in tip-top shape.

By keeping an eye on your tyre pressures routinely and adjusting them when required, you can ensure a smoother and safer ride, and save money by prolonging the life of your tyres as well as on your fuel bill.

Your local Tyrepower store is always on hand to provide expert advice and assistance with all your tyre needs. Contact us today for the right price and the right advice!

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