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How to check your tyre pressures

By WhichCar staff, 23 Jul 2019 Car Advice

tyre pressure gauge

Neglecting the pressure in your car’s tyres simply compromises your safety – and that of your passengers – every time you hit the road

We’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that 99 percent of people don’t check their car’s tyre pressure often enough. About once a month should do it.

Thing is, without the correct air pressure inside the tyre, the tyre can’t perform at its best which – to break it down as far as it will go – means it doesn’t grip as well, so every function of your car from accelerating, to braking, to cornering is compromised. And so, therefore is safety. Simple as that.

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So how do you tend to this critical monthly chore? For a start, check the tyre placard on your car (it’ll be inside one of the door jambs or the glovebox) and find the correct inflation pressure. Now, using the air pump at a service station is okay, provided you don’t trust the gauge that’s fitted to it. These get left out in all kinds of weather, run over by fuel tankers and thrown on the ground when the last person has finished with it. Digital gauges are better, but you can't always rely on their calibration.

For peace of mind you should think about getting your own gauge and look after it, so it will remain accurate. Keep it in the glovebox.

Also, tyre pressures should ideally be checked when the tyre is cold, that is: Before it’s been driven on any real distance. And don’t forget to replace those valve caps.

Now read all you need to know about tyres