It’s a question not enough people ask, and it’s probably because tyre pressure isn’t given the respect it truly deserves. It’s also an issue that can sneak up on you, like age. One morning you look in the mirror and there’s a drawn, haggard, slightly shocked sack of flesh staring back at you. When the hell did that happen? It’s the same with tyre pressure. You drive out with shiny black rubber, perfectly inflated, yet every day there’s a little less air inside those tyres until – before you know it – they’ve lost the ability to keep you safe on the road.
But before we get in to that …
What PSI should my tyres be at?
The first thing to acknowledge is that the correct PSI for your tyres is determined by the car you drive – not the type of tyres you have. There are three locations on your vehicle where you can find the recommended PSI:
- Inside the driver’s door
- In the car owner’s manual
- Inside the fuel flap
Your car may not record the PSI recommendations on all three locations, but you’ll find it on at least one of them.
How do I check the current PSI of my tyres?
A lot of people leave the maintenance of their car to their mechanic. By and large, that’s what we recommend, but there are some small (but important) tasks that need to be completed more regularly than services allow for. Case in point: checking your tyre pressure. Fortunately, it’s easy to do.
Nearly every petrol station has a tyre pressure gauge. Some even have fancy ones with digital readouts. All you have to do is connect the compressor (the hose part) to the tyre valve, making sure you hold on to the little black cap (once they start rolling, they will find a grate).
If it’s an old-school compressor with an analogue readout, you simply hold the trigger until the tyre is inflated to the recommended PSI, keeping an eye on the analogue readout. If it’s digital, you enter the PSI you want the tyres to be at into the compressor, then connect it to the tyre valve and squeeze the trigger until it beeps at you. The digital ones will even lower the PSI if the tyre happens to be overinflated.
This quick and simply task should be done every month. Why? Well …
Why is correct tyre PSI important?
You have four handprints size worth of rubber connecting your vehicle to the road. That’s all. It’s also the perfect amount. Any more or less and issues arise.
Overinflated tyres have a reduced footprint on the road, which means you have less grip and therefore less control – particularly when it comes to breaking and driving in the wet.
Underinflated tyres also have less control but specifically to do with cornering. They also wear faster due to increased friction which means they’ll need to be replaced more often. And they force the engine to work harder and consume fuel at a greater rate. All in all, underinflated tyres aren’t safe for you or your bank balance.
It’s not an onerous task and it doesn’t cost you a thing – in fact, it saves you money in the long run. So next time you fill up, take five minutes to check that your tyres are at their correct PSI.
However, if you’re near Eastern Tyre Centre, pop in anytime and we’ll check and adjust the pressures for you.