Introduction: How to Determine and Modify Tire Pressure

The only thing separating your automobile and the ground is four patches of rubber, each patch roughly being the size of your hand. On a motorcycle we know, that we are already are dealing with half of the number of tires but the contact patch on each tire is reduced to a third of that found on an automobile. This already small area of contact can be diminished in size further by improper tire pressure due to under or over inflation. It is important to maintain proper tire pressure on all vehicles not only for reducing premature tire wear but more importantly your safety. Following these next steps will aid in determining and adjusting tire pressure.

Step 1: Required Tools and Removal of Valve Stem Cap

The only tools required to check and adjust tire pressure is an air compressor and tire pressure gauge. To begin the process of checking tire pressure start by locating the valve stem found on the rim of your vehicle. After determining the location of the valve stem, turn the valve stem cap counterclockwise until removed. The purpose served by the valve stem cap is to help deter road debris from obstructing the valve located at the end of the stem.

Step 2: Determining Air Pressure in Tire

Now that the valve stem cap is removed, the next step is to place the head of the tire pressure gauge onto the valve stem. Place the head of the pressure gauge onto the valve stem. Pressing the head of the pressure gauge onto the valve stem will result in the pin of the gauge to be forced out to the corresponding location that is relative to the amount of air pressure in the tire.

Step 3: Adjusting Amount of Air in Tire

After determining how much air is in your tire, add or remove air accordingly. If unsure of how much air pressure your tires should have, refer to your owner’s manual or the metal tag found in your driver’s side door jam. Adding air should be done in short bursts of around ten seconds to avoid overfilling your tire. While checking the amount in the tire between the bursts of air, doing so the same way prior to beginning to add air. If the tire does become overfilled, place the tip of a flathead screwdriver inside and depress the pin on the valve to relieve air.

Step 4: Achieving Proper Tire Pressure

Upon achieving desired air pressure in the tire, replace the valve stem cap by turning clockwise until snug. Tire pressure is often neglected and should be checked once a month to ensure uniform wear. By following these instructions, will ensure that the tires on any vehicle will be performing in the best way possible.