Knowing how to check the tire pressure on your car is considered basic car knowledge.
It’s a very simple task that takes only minutes to complete but is very important.
This article will show you how to check the tire pressure and how to inflate or deflate the tires.
This example is shown on a Skoda Fabia, but the basic principle applies to all cars.
At the end of the article, you have a video tutorial that you can also watch on our YouTube channel.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED?
In this example, we’re going to use an air compressor. It’s a hobby model, good for using at home, widespread and lots of people have these.
It’s practical and perhaps the quickest way to learn how to check tire pressure.
Also, with it, you can easily inflate or deflate the tires.
Besides the air compressor, there are a couple of alternatives.
You can use the old-fashioned manual pump or you can use the portable 12-volt electric compressor which is meant to be connected to the lighter socket in your car.
Also, a good solution is to go to a gas station, if you have one nearby. Most of them have air compressors and you can do the check there.
What you may also need (if you don’t have one already on the tire inflator) is a tire pressure gauge for checking the pressure.
HOW TO CHECK THE TIRE PRESSURE?
Before we start just a couple of tips: it would be best to check the tire pressure while the tires are cold, before you start driving.
Also, check what the proper tire pressure for your car is.
In the case of the Skoda, a data table is conveniently located on the gas tank cap. Other common places for cars are the door sill, glove compartment, and of course the user manual.
Adjust the tire pressure according to those values and take into consideration factors like if you’re gonna have more load while driving, if it’s colder or hotter weather, are you going to drive through the snow for instance, and so on.
Now, for the procedure:
1. TAKE OFF THE PLASTIC VALVE CAP
On the tire, you’ll find a valve sticking from the tire with a plastic cap on it.
Remove the cap by turning it to the left. Set it aside in a safe place so you don’t accidentally lose it. This is a common mishap so pay more attention to this.
Losing it means that dirt and grit can get into the valve and cause damage or prevent the connection of the tire inflator.
If you have hubcaps, they may get in the way. If you have to take them off and later return them, click here to read an article that may help.
2. CONNECT THE TIRE INFLATOR TO THE VALVE
In this case, the tire inflator is pistol-like, with a handle and trigger. This is one of the most common models in use.
Another common option is that the inflator looks like a stick that you just push down onto the valve.
So, connect the tire inflator to the valve. This is done, in this case, by squeezing the metal clip on the connector located at the top of the inflator hose.
Squeeze the clip and push the connector onto the valve. You’ll hear a short hiss as some air will get out but should immediately stop. If it does, that means that the connection is OK.
If the hissing of air continues or you can’t pump air into the tire check the connection again.
3. CHECK THE TIRE PRESSURE
Once the tire inflator is connected, you’ll immediately see the pressure on the gauge.
Again, compare it to the standard values so you know what to do.
4. INFLATE OR DEFLATE THE TIRE
If you want to inflate, just press the trigger on the tire inflator and watch the gauge. Inflate until you reach the wanted value.
If there’s too much pressure in the tire, you’ll find a release valve on the inflator. It looks like a small button and has the task of letting air out of the tire.
Just press it until you deflate to the needed value.
5. REMOVE THE TIRE INFLATOR AND RETURN THE PLASTIC CAP
Once you’re finished, press the metal clip and remove the inflator connector from the valve. You’ll again, hear a short hiss of air when you release the connector.
Return the plastic cap on the valve by screwing it to the right. Don’t overtighten so you don’t damage the thread on the cap. If you do, it will fall off over time and leave the valve unprotected.
Repeat the same procedure for all the other tires. While you’re at it, you can also check the pressure of the spare tire.
The same principle for knowing how to check the tire pressure refers to the manual pump and portable air compressor. To be honest, it can be done but it’s slower, harder, and overall much more inconvenient.
If you don’t have an air compressor, my recommendation for doing this would be to visit a gas station or even a tire shop. At most of these places, you can do this for free and in a matter of minutes.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CHECK THE TIRE PRESSURE?
It would be best to do this at least once a month under normal exploitation.
Also, if you, for instance, tow a trailer a lot or your car is constantly under a heavy load you should do it even more often.
You should check the tire pressure If you plan on driving more load (like on a road trip). This usually means more passengers and luggage. Know that the values are different from driving under normal circumstances.
Know that the tire pressure also varies during the winter and summer seasons.
Of course, the tire pressure should be immediately checked if you notice that the tire is deflated and near flat.
Checking the tire pressure, as you’ve seen, is one of the easiest tasks for a driver. It’s done literally in a couple of minutes for all the tires.
One more reason to do it on a regular basis. The tire pressure is of huge importance mainly for safety as the tires are the only car part actually holding you to the road.
Also, the proper pressure will significantly prolong the life span of your tires over time.
Again, It would be good to check the tire pressure at least once a month or when making other regular checkups on your car.
A small amount of time for a huge amount of safety on the road.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO CHECK THE TIRE PRESSURE? INFLATE OR DEFLATE THE TIRE-YOUTUBE VIDEO