Posted under Car Tires

With the cooler months quickly approaching, it’s important to learn how to check tire pressure to ensure optimal tire performance and longevity. Why? Cold temperatures cause the air molecules inside the tire to lose energy, resulting in reduced pressure. For every 10°F drop in temperature, tire pressure typically decreases about 1-2 pounds per square inch (psi) — meaning the amount of air inside the tire.

So how are your tires? Overinflated? Underinflated? Do you even know where to check tire pressure? Keep reading to learn more about how to check your tire pressure.

Preparing to Check Your Tire Pressure

To accurately check your tire pressure, you need a tire pressure gauge, which you can purchase at your local auto parts store. For an accurate reading, check the pressure when the tires are cold, ideally first thing in the morning. Keep in mind that friction from driving can cause the tires to heat up, which can affect the pressure. If you've already driven the car, wait at least three hours for the tires to cool down before taking a reading.

Step-By-Step Guide for Checking Tire Pressure

Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Remove the cap from the air valve on the tire and place it where you won’t lose it. 
  2. Press the tire gauge against the open valve stem for a second or two. It’s normal to hear a hiss of air at this point.
  3. Read the air pressure gauge. For manual gauges, a dial points to the pressure, or a bar indicates the pressure by how far it is pushed out. For digital gauges, the pressure appears onscreen. 
  4. Compare this number with the recommended tire pressure. You can find the proper pressure on a tire placard typically located near the driver’s side front door jamb, trunk, or glove box.
  5. If the tire needs air, skip to the next section to learn how to fill your car’s tire. If the tire pressure is good, continue with these steps. 
  6. Replace the tire’s air valve cap.
  7. Repeat this process for each tire.

To help keep your vehicle rolling smoothly, check your tire pressure once a month, even if your tires look fine. Also, check your tire pressure if you drive over a sharp object or hit a curb.

How to Fill Your Car Tire? 

What if the tire pressure is lower than the manufacturer’s recommendations? Follow these steps to add air:

  1. Remove the cap from the air valve on the tire.
  2. Press the hose nozzle down on the valve stem for 10 seconds 
    • Air may flow automatically, or you may need to press a lever.
    • You should notice the tire inflating and feel air flowing through the hose.
    • If you hear or feel air coming out of the hose nozzle while trying to fill the tire, you should check that it’s properly connected to the tire valve stem. 
  3. Remove the hose fitting or release the inflation lever.
    • Check the air pressure, as described in the above steps, using the gauge on the hose or your own tire gauge. 
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed until each tire is inflated to the correct pounds per square inch (psi). 
  5. Replace the valve cap after properly inflating the tire.

What About Overinflated Tires?

You don’t want to overinflate your tires because that could lead to poor handling, accelerated tire tread wear, reduced ride quality, and place your car at risk of skidding and hydroplaning.

If the tire pressure is higher than the manufacturer’s recommendations, follow these steps to release air:

  1. Briefly press the small pin on the back of the gauge into the center of the valve stem on the tire (you should hear the air escaping the tire). 
  2. Use the gauge to check the tire pressure. 
  3. Repeat these steps until you’ve released enough air to reach the correct psi.

Visit Your Local Jiffy Lube for All Your Tire Needs

Checking tire pressure is just one component of proper tire maintenance. You also need to regularly rotate your tires and check the tread depth to keep them performing at their best. Don’t worry! Save time and effort by bringing your vehicle to your local Jiffy Lube. Trained technicians can inspect your tires, check and adjust the pressure, and measure tread depth to help ensure a safe, stable ride.


NOTE: Not all services are offered at all Jiffy Lube service centers. Please call ahead or check to ensure the service is available at the Jiffy Lube location near you.