How are your tires? Overinflated? Underinflated? How do you even know? Let us take some of the pressure off by sharing the important details about checking tire pressure.
PREPARING TO CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE
Start with a tire pressure gauge. You can buy one at your local auto parts store. Check the pressure when the tires are cold – first thing in the morning is best. Friction from driving causes tires to heat up and this affects pressure. If you’ve already driven the car, wait at least three hours for the tires to cool down for an accurate reading.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR CHECKING TIRE PRESSURE
- Remove the cap from the air valve on the tire and place it where you won’t lose it.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Compare this number with the recommended tire pressure. The proper pressure for your car tire can be found on a tire placard typically located near the driver’s side/front door latch, trunk, or glovebox. (Can’t find it? Ask a Jiffy Lube® technician to look up the proper pressure for your vehicle.)
- 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.
- Replace the tire’s air valve cap.
- Repeat this process for each tire.
HOW TO FILL YOUR CAR TIRE
What if the tire pressure is lower than the manufacturer’s recommendations?
- Remove valve cap.
- 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 you’re trying to fill the tire, you should check that it is properly connected to the tire valve stem.
- Remove the hose fitting or release the inflation lever.
- Check the air pressure, as described in above steps, using the gauge on the hose or your own tire gauge.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed until each tire is inflated to the correct pounds per square inch (psi).
- After the tire has been properly inflated, replace the valve cap.
WHAT ABOUT OVERINFLATED TIRES?
You don’t want to overinflate your tires– 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:
- 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).
- Use the gauge to check the tire pressure.
- Repeat these steps until you’ve released enough air to reach the correct psi.
READ MORE ABOUT IT
Now that you’re a pro at checking tire pressure, learn about tire tread wear here.
NOTE: Not all services are offered at all Jiffy Lube service centers. Please call ahead or check jiffylube.com to ensure the service is available.