Most people understand that tire pressure is an important measurement when it comes to the safe operation of their vehicles. In fact, if you’ve found this article, it is probably because you are in the process of checking your own tire pressure.
Many experts always say that it is a good idea to check your tires regularly and top up the air pressure when needed. That leads people to two of the most common questions which are “How to do that?” and “Just what should tire pressure be on a car?”
Unfortunately, it is quite hard to give an entirely accurate answer to that question, but we can give a general answer, and that is: almost all car tires will have a recommended pressure of between 30 and 40 PSI. In addition to that general answer, we can also give a recommendation, and that is to find out the tire pressure of your specific tires before you start to inflate them. Luckily that is very easy to do, as there are several methods.
The first and easiest way to find your tire pressure is to go straight to the source: the tires themselves. The side of the tire, known as the tire wall, will have a lot of information printed on it. Along with the manufacturer name, which is normally written in the largest font, you may also find the recommended tire pressure PSI written right there.
If not, you should look on the inside of the driver side door. You may find a sticker that looks like a chart where a lot of numbers and codes are connected to a list of recommended tire pressures. This is a list of tire models that the car manufacturer recommends as suitable for the vehicle, along with the required pressure. Take a look at your tires again and see if they have a model code that matches those on the tire chart sticker.
The third way is to look the tire up online. Take the model code and manufacturer name and enter it into Google or the search engine of your choice. It will almost certainly take you to a page on the manufacturer website that lists out all the potential recommended pressures.
The final resort is to take the car to a mechanic or a shop to have a professional inspect your tires and tell you the recommended pressure. It’s pretty unlikely it will come to that though.
Why do all this effort though? Well, to us, at least, there are two good reasons and they are:
Probably the most important reason of all is safety. Think about it like this: the tires are the essential part of the car that comes into contact with the road surface. Therefore, the tires will ultimately carry out all instructions that you, as the car driver, give to the vehicle.
Whether that is acceleration, braking, or steering, all the action taken will go through the tires. Tires have a recommended pressure for a good reason, and that reason is that they provide the most grip when inflated to that pressure. To put simply, the more grip, the better they can carry out commands from the driver and the safer the vehicle will be overall.
A secondary but still good reason to keep the tire properly inflated is that it saves you money. Properly inflated tires simply roll better across the road surface. That makes the car more efficient, which in turn means the engine has an easier job, which ultimately results in lower fuel consumption and more money in your pocket.
Now that you know roughly what your car’s tire pressure should be and why you should measure it, the final question is quite naturally how you measure it. There are a few different ways out there, including high-tech options like downloadable phone apps.
However, the simplest and easiest way is using a car tire pressure gauge. These are simple little devices that set you back about 10 bucks and are small, easy to use, and above all, very accurate. Pick one up, pop it into the glove box, and use it to check your tire pressure levels regularly.
As we have seen, the answer to the question “What should tire pressure be on a car?” is probably not as straightforward as you might have assumed! It is though easy to discover the right pressure range for your tires from a variety of sources. That said, you should always make sure that you know your car tire’s specific pressure so that you won’t be fidgeting around once your tires show signs that they need to be inflated.
Nonetheless, you can also use practical tools like car pressure gauges to measure the tire pressure in real time and reap all the rewards of correctly inflated tires.