If you want to be a responsible car owner and avoid accidents or damage to your tires, you’ll need to make sure your tires have the right tire pressure. Tires can be both underinflated or overinflated, and either one can lead to severe damage.
But caring for your tire pressure isn’t very complicated and doesn’t require you to purchase special equipment. Most gas stations will have the equipment for customers to use and check pressure and fill the tires up.
If you’re ready to care for your tires’ air pressure, here’s our guide on how to put air in tires at a gas station.
How to Inflate Tires at Gas Station
If your car’s indicator light lets you know it’s time to check your tire’s air pressure, you’ll want to get to the nearest gas station right away. Once you’re there, here are the steps for how to put air in tires at a gas station:
- Look at your tires’ correct inflation level. There will usually be a sticker placed at the bottom of the driver’s door. This will tell you what the proper level is for each tire.
- Remove the cap on your tire valve. This is located on the inside of your tire.
- Use a pressure gauge to check the tire’s pressure. Know before you start filling if it’s underinflated, overinflated, or just right.
- Place the air hose in the tire valve. Allow it to add air in short bursts. After each addition of air, check the pressure with the gauge until you reach the correct pressure level.
- If overinflated, use the back of the air hose or with the knob at the back of the tire gauge.
- When at the correct pressure level, replace all the valve caps, and you’re good to go!
How to Know How Much Air to Put in a Tire?
There are two components to knowing how much air to put in a tire:
- Knowing the correct pressure level.
- Having a tire gauge to measure the tire’s pressure.
You can check the correct tire pressure level for your car by looking at your vehicle’s sticker. It is often located on the frame of the driver’s door. You can also look for it in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
With the correct pressure level in mind, use a tire gauge to check your current tire pressure. For example, if the correct pressure level is 30, and yours is currently 28, you’ll know to add 2 psi.
Can You Overinflate Tires?
Yes, you can overinflate tires. If you check your tire pressure, and it’s more than the proper pressure level, use the back of a tire gauge or air hose to decrease the pressure level.
If you subtract too much, you’ll need to put air in tires at a gas station again.
How Much Does It Cost to Inflate Tires?
Some gas stations offer free air. In fact, in California, it’s the law that gas stations provide free air to anyone that purchases gas. If you want to find free air for your tires, you can use a site like Free Air Pump to find free air near you.
However, some gas stations do charge for equipment service, especially if you’re not making another purchase. Prices vary but generally cost up to $1.50. The benefit of paying for air at a gas station is the more advanced, convenient equipment.
For example, if you get free, you may need to remember to bring or purchase a tire gauge. You will then need to continually check the tire pressure.
But if you pay for gas, you will enjoy equipment that tells you your exact PSI. You may even be able to input the proper pressure level, and the machine will notify you when the correct tire pressure is reached.
So when it’s time to find a gas station, you can choose between free service and bringing your own tire gauge and put in a little more effort. Or you can pay for air and enjoy updated equipment.
To avoid flat tires, road gators, and accidents with other cars on the road, you need to keep the correct pressure levels in your tires at all times. As you drive, pressure levels decrease. But with air equipment at almost every gas station near you, you can easily maintain your tires.
Use these tips for how to put air in tires at a gas station to easily and quickly fill your tires and get yourself back on the road!
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