Testing the tyre pressures is one of the most important maintenance checks to your car, one that should be performed on a regular basis. The tyres hold the car on the road, and if not inflated correctly can drastically affect the handling and steering of the car, increase fuel consumption and cause uneven tyre wear.
The are a number of pumps available for testing and inflating your tyres, some can be purchased and used at home such as those that require pumping a foot leaver, others are electrical based and use a compressor to generate air flow whilst larger machines are also available at most petrol and service stations.
In this example we’ll be using a standard single piston foot pump, which is available from most motor spares stores.
Remember to only check your tyres when they are cold, checking the pressures after a journey will give inaccurate results due to the heat in the tyres.
Step 1: Step One Â Find Out the Correct Pressure Levels
Every car has recommended pressure levels for its own tyres and weight, this can usually be found near the passenger door frame but may vary between cars. This information is also available in your cars handbook. Remember to check these figures when setting off on a long journey, extra passengers and baggage may require higher tyre pressures.
Step 2: Step Two Â Locate the Valve
Every tyre has a valve for inserting and expelling air, locate the valve on the first wheel and remove the dust cap by twisting anti-clockwise. Keep the cap in a safe place.
Step 3: Step Three Â Attach the Air Pump
Press the attachment onto the valve and lock into position with the lever. The attachment on each pump may vary, consult the instructions for advice on how to correctly fix the pump.
Step 4: Step Four Â Check the Pressure Reading
Read the gauge on the air pump to determine the current air pressure in the tyre, on this gauge the black arrow is the current reading, while the red arrow is an adjustable indicator.
Add air to the tyre as necessary to match the air pressure to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Step 5: Step Five Â Repeat the Process
Once the tyre pressure check is complete, repeat the process on the remaining three wheels.
While testing your tyre pressures it is also worth visually checking the tyres for splits, gashes and foreign artifacts. Run your hand around the tyre to feel for nails or other sharp objects penetrating the tyre.