The “why” and “how to” of inflating your tyres
Keeping your tyres in tip-top condition is vital for the safety of you and your vehicle on the road – and doing the small checks regularly can go a long way to ensuring exactly this result! So let’s take a look at the important task of checking your tyres’ inflation and then what to do about it if this needs adjusting.
- Why is it necessary to inflate my tyres?
Inflating your tyres to the specified tyre pressure for the vehicle’s tyre size and load is vital to ensure they perform optimally and safely and to maximise fuel economy. Accurately inflated tyres will not only help to reduce the chances of tyre damage and uneven wear, but also ensure that your tyres have the best possible contact with the road, providing you with a safe and stable ride.
- Always inflate your tyres when they are cool
This is an important rule, as trying to check pressures and then inflate your tyres when you have been travelling for more than a couple of kilometres (and they are warm or hot) is likely to result in an incorrect reading.
- Make sure you know what the specified pressure for your tyres and vehicle is
In most cases this information can be found on the inside of the driver’s door on your vehicle. If for some reason it’s not, have a look in your owner’s manual. The recommended tyre pressure will be shown as a “psi”. If your car is carrying a heavy load, or there are other unusual circumstances (such as towing), make sure you consult your owner’s manual.
- Service stations usually have the necessary equipment
Finding an air compressor and pump is usually an easy task – as most service stations have an air station which is free for anyone to make use of (even when you aren’t purchasing petrol).
- I’ve found the air inflation station, what next?
Inflating your tyres is pretty uncomplicated using the modern equipment that is readily available. However, if you’ve never inflated tyres before, it could be a good idea to take someone with you who has to provide a bit of help (or ask someone at the service station to assist). First up you need to check that the tyre pressure you need is correctly entered into the air compressor’s gauge (and showing on the monitor). Then unscrew the valve stem cap, attach the air pressure hose to tyre’s valve stem, and the pressure will adjust automatically to the chosen psi. You will usually hear a beeping sound when inflation is complete. Easy as! Make sure you check all your tyres as inflation levels may vary from tyre to tyre depending on a number of factors such as where they are situated on the vehicle and wear of the tyre’s tread.
- How often is inflating my tyres necessary?
Tyres should be checked at least once a month or more often if you do a lot of mileage.