How to Properly Inflate Your Tires
When life gets busy and you’re more focused on where you’re going than how you’re getting there, the air pressure in your tires can be easy to overlook. But when it comes to tire maintenance, proper inflation is one of the easiest ways to maximize your safety, performance and tire life. So if it’s been a while since you’ve checked yours, come in and let one of our experts do it for free.
While our tire technicians are happy to check your tire pressure for you any time, it’s also something you can do yourself. To prevent over- or under-inflation and the possible tire failure that comes with them, follow these steps:
- THE RIGHT AIR PRESSURE: Your vehicle's manufacturer specifies the "right amount" of air for your tires; look for it on the door edge, door jamb, glove box door, or fuel door. It is also mentioned in the owner's manual of your vehicle.
- TIRES SHOULD BE COOL: Even if you’ve only driven a short distance, your tires will get hot. Always allow your tires to cool down before checking their air pressure. (NOTE: If you must drive a distance to get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up as you drive. Never “bleed” or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.)
- UNSCREW THE CAP: Locate the low-pressure tire and turn the valve cap to the left.
- CONNECT THE TIRE GAUGE: Press a tire gauge firmly against the valve.
- START THE AIRFLOW: To reach the recommended air pressure, add air.
- DON'T OVERFILL THE TIRE: If you happen to overfill the tire and need to release air, use your fingernail or the tip of a pen to press on the metal stem at the center of the valve. Then, using your tire gauge, recheck the pressure.
- SCREW THE VALVE CAP BACK ON: Replace the valve cap by tightening it to the right.
- ADD AIR TO EACH TIRE: Proceed to fill the rest of the tires, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure.)
- INSPECT THE TIRES: Visually inspect the tires to ensure that there are no nails or other objects lodged that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.
- INSPECT THE TIRE SIDEWALLS: Check the tire sidewalls for any gouges, cuts, bulges, or other anomalies.
NOTE: Air pressure in a tire goes up (in warm weather) or down (in cold weather) 1–2 pounds for every 10 degrees of ambient air temperature change.
Finding Your Proper Tire Pressure
The optimum air pressure for each tire on your vehicle is determined by the engineers who assisted in the design and production of your car. Proper tire pressure and inflation aid in optimizing the tire's and vehicle's driving performance, grip on the road while driving, and overall ride quality. Maintaining your vehicle’s tire pressure to the recommended pressure is critical to your vehicle’s ability to stop, start, and turn corners.
There are a few different places listed below to find your recommended proper tire pressure around your vehicle.
- Vehicle’s Owner’s Manual
- Driver’s Side Door Jamb Placard
- Glove Box Placard
- Gas Tank Placard