One of the most critical aspects of driving a car is to make sure that your car’s tires always have the right amount of air pressure. If your car tires do not have the right amount of pressure, it can damage your vehicle and put you at risk of an accident.
Use this guide to learn how to put air in a car tire and when to do so.
Adding air to your car tires can be as easy as 1,2,3:
- Remove the cap from your tire valve.
- Attach the air hose to the valve and add air in short bursts.
- Keep an eye on the pressure till it reaches your desired amount.
You can drive to a gas station to do this or do it at your home using an air pump.
Why Does Tire Pressure Matter?
Knowing how to put air in a car tire is crucial for vehicle owners because it gives you better control over tire pressures.
You’re putting your life and the lives of others at risk when driving with tires that don’t have the right amount of air. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving on under-inflated tires can cause serious crashes and waste a lot more money on fuel. Incorrect pressure also can detract from the longevity of your tires.
How Do You Know How Much Air to Put in Your Tires?
Besides knowing how to put air in a car tire, you also need to know how much air they need.
It is essential to keep a tire pressure gauge handy, so you can always go for a precise fill. These are widely available for cheap at most auto-parts stores or even online.
To check the pressure on your tires, look inside the rim of your tire for a small valve. You should be able to unscrew it easily. Attach the pressure gauge into the air valve and hold it steady while it reads your tire pressure.
Most cars will have their recommended tire pressure displayed on the inside of one of the doors, in the car manual, or sometimes on the tire itself. Look for the tire’s PSI (pounds per square inch), and this can vary from 32 to 40 psi.
If you cannot find your car’s recommended air pressure or do not know how to put air in a car tire, you can always take it to an auto-shop and have a professional take a look at it or learn how to put air in tires at gas station.
Always wait for your vehicle and tires to cool down before checking their tire pressure and filling it. When a vehicle is in use, friction from the road generates heat and causes the air pressure and temperature to rise.
If you live in a hot climate or during peak summer, it is best to fill slightly more air than usual (just 1 psi more is enough). And if your car is running hot, it is normal for the air pressure to read much higher than it is.
Should All 4 Tires Be the Same PSI?
The appropriate psi will usually depend on the type of vehicle you drive.
For standard-sized vehicles and all-wheel-drive cars, you want the same psi on all four wheels. With modern cars, especially, that use computers to maintain vehicle health, the air pressure readings will affect performance.
For heavy cars, the pressure should be slightly higher on the front tires than the rear to make up for the added weight of the engine. If you are carrying a large load at the back, have a vehicle full of passengers, or heavy luggage, you can add extra pressure on the back tires or keep all four tires the same.
While adjusting pressure for different vehicles and loads may seem tricky, the good news is that the process for how to put air in a car tire is the same.
How Often to Check Air Pressure
It’s best to get your tire pressure checked at least once a month and do a visual check for any punctures, tears, or damage to the tire’s tread. Some experts also recommend rotating your tire every 10,000 miles to make the most of its wear.
Most car manufacturers recommend replacing your car tires every 6 to 10 years, depending on how much you drive the vehicle and how damaged the tires are. In the US, the market for replacement passenger tires sits at almost $26 billion, so not checking the tires frequently can lead to costly issues down the line.
If you have purchased a used car and don’t know how old the tires are, look for the tire’s Department of Transport Tire Identification Number (DOT) on the tire’s sidewall. The last four digits should give you the month and year of manufacturing.
Taking good care of your tires will ensure that your vehicle performs better in the long run, will give you fewer problems in the future, and save you on maintenance and fuel costs as well. For extra guidance on how to put air in a car tire, ask a mechanic or your local gas station for help.
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