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How to Check Your Tire Pressure
Checking and maintaining proper tire pressure is easy! Just follow these simple steps:
- Get an accurate tire gauge and keep it somewhere handy… like on your key ring or in your glove compartment.
Helpful hint: One Change recommends a reliable digital tire gauge, which can be found at Canadian Tire or other retailers in your area.
- Find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle (in pounds per square inch or psi), which is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or the glove box, as well as in your owner’s manual.
Helpful hint: Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.
- Be sure you have an air pump handy—either at a local gas station or a portable air compressor at home.
Helpful hint: Most gas stations provide an air pump for customers to use for free. Even if they charge a nominal fee, the fuel and money you will save from maintaining proper tire pressure far outweighs the cost. For example, if you spend $100 a month on fuel and have to pay 50 cents each month to fill up your tires, you will still save about $40 in fuel per year!
- Remove the small cap on your tire’s air valve and press your tire gauge onto the air valve to get your current air pressure reading. Psst!
Helpful hint: Be sure to check your tires while they are cold—when your vehicle hasn’t been used for at least 3 hours (and try not to drive more than 2 km or 1 mile before checking them). When your tires are warm from driving, the air inside expands and you won’t get an accurate pressure reading.
- Compare your tire’s current air pressure with your vehicle’s proper pressure for that tire.
- If your tire pressure is too low, use the air pump to add some air to your tire.
- If your tire pressure is too high, use a hard object like a car key to push on the pin in your tire’s air valve and release some air. To avoid injury, do not use your finger and keep your face at a safe distance.
Helpful hint: Some tire gauges have a pin to release air pressure from your tires.
- Re-check your tire pressure and add or remove air as needed until you reach the correct pressure for each tire. Once correct, don’t forget to replace your air valve cap.
- Follow steps 4 through 6 for each tire on your vehicle (and don’t forget your spare tire). If you’re at a gas station, be sure to leave the air pump in a tidy manner for the next user.