Tips for Understanding Car Tyre Pressure

Having well-maintained tyres helps you enjoy a hassle-free time on the road and keeps you safe whenever you're out for a drive. The tyre pressure needs to be checked regularly to ensure that everything is in tip-top condition and prevent greater damage, which usually means a greater expense on repair work or tyre replacement. Not sure how to take care of your tyres? Here are the vital things you should know about tyre pressure. 

What should my tyre pressure be?

It's variable, but most cars need tyre pressure between 28 and 38 pounds per square inch (PSI). If your car carries heavy loads or has large-diameter wheels, the tyre pressure needed might be higher. However, the exact number depends on the car manufacturer. You should start by checking the owner's manual. You may also check the sticker typically placed inside the driver's door or the fuel filler tap. Look for the number with the unit PSI or Bar/kPa.

If you don't have the owner's manual on hand or cannot find the sticker, a quick check online using your phone may help. Visit the official website of the car manufacturer to see the recommended tyre pressure for your specific model. They will usually give you some options too - according the tyre size, number or passengers or load.

The tyre pressure should measured when the tyres are cold - although of course you might need to drive to your local garage or supermarket to do it and that's fine! But if your vehicle has been sitting in hot sun, or has been recently driven a good distance, the PSI will show higher than usual. 

When should tyre pressure be checked?

Check tyre pressure at least once a month, and especially before going for a long drive. When you check the pressure, make sure that the tyres are cool and have not been driven for a while. If you check your car's tyre pressures immediately after driving a distance, you'll find that the pressure will read too high so not be accurate. This is because tyres and the air inside heat up, thus increasing the pressure. If you have a newish car then you might be lucky enough to have a dashboard warning come up when your tyre pressure is low. It will usually tell you if you can carry on driving too. However these can be a bit oversensitive, particularly in winter, so always best to check. 

How to check my tyre pressure?

The first thing you need to check tyre pressure is a tool to measure it, such as a tyre pressure gauge. Once you have found that, checking your tyres is a very straightforward process. Here are the steps:

  1. Locate the valve dust cap on the tyre valve and remove it. 
  2. Get the pressure gauge and place it onto the tyre valve stem. 
  3. Evenly place the pressure gauge when pressing it down to get an accurate reading.
  4. With the reading from the pressure gauge, you may now make the necessary adjustments. 
  5. Slowly add small amounts of air to inflate tyres so they won't be over-inflated.
  6. For deflating, you may use the tip of a flat-head screwdriver to push the valve stem metal pin. 
  7. After you've inflated or deflated the tyre, make sure that you measure the pressure again.
  8. Or if you're using an automated machine at a garage, you will need to insert change. (£1 - £2)
  9. Set the required pressure into the machine and it will bleep when you've reached that.

How do tyre pressure sensors work?

Tyre pressure sensors are a safety feature in most modern cars manufactured after 2014. These sensors can notify the driver of any issues with the tyres through an indicator warning on the dashboard. If the tyre pressure gets too low, you will immediately see a warning, and you need to find the nearest petrol station or garage to re-inflate or change your tyres. 

The sensors are mounted in the tyres, providing you with real-time readings and notifying you instantly if there's any issue with the tyre pressure. Some sensors can also provide you with other information such as tyre temperature, which is important to know when the sensors may set off inadvertently during colder months. 

If you're driving an older car that is not fitted with tyre pressure sensors, you may add this safety feature using an aftermarket tyre pressure monitoring system. You can install the system yourself or ask your trusted auto mechanic to do it for you. Having tyre pressure sensors can help put your mind at ease whenever you're on the road. 

How to reset the tyre pressure light?

Suppose the tyre pressure sensors detect an issue, and one of the car light symbols on your dashboard lights up. In most cars, it will turn off automatically after all the tyres have been inflated properly. It might be worth checking your manual for instructions. But if the warning light remains on even when all tyres have the right pressure, you may try starting your car and driving at about 50mph for at least 10 minutes to reset the sensor.

You may also try turning the key to "on" but don't start the car. Locate the sensor's reset button on the steering wheel, press it long enough until the tyre pressure light blinks three times, and then release the button. You can then start the car and wait for about 20 minutes for the sensor to reset. 

Time for a new ride?

If you're tired of driving your old car with no tyre pressure sensors, maybe it's time to start shopping for a new car with the latest safety features. Financing a car is so easy nowadays that you can apply for car finance 24/7.

Carmoola does this best! All you have to do is download our app on your phone and start the application process. You'll know the amount you can potentially borrow in just a few minutes, and then if you wish to proceed to a full application simply verify your identity with a quick selfie and give us more details and you will get a decision there and then. Driving that new set of wheels has never been quicker and easier!

Got questions? Reach out to us. Our friendly team will  be happy to answer them! 👍😀