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Check Your Car’s Tire Pressure

Check Your Car’s Tire Pressure

This simple technique should be performed to your car at least once a month, but many people are unaware of how important "tire pressure" is, especially to your car’s fuel tank and your wallet.

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Yeah…that humongous pump there is what the so-called car experts and auto mechanic use in an auto shop to pump up your tires.  Most of us are unfortunate enough to have experienced a flat tire sometime, and tire pressure usually is the key here, not just sharp objects that blow a hole in the rolling device of your car.  Checking your car’s tires every week would be favorable in order to ensure that air is not leaking through any tire valves, but once a month can work as well.  It’s useful to know it all yourself, so you won’t need to call an auto mechanic or AAA to save you from car distress.  Here are some do-it-yourself steps that will help prevent your tires from not fulfilling their purpose:

  1. When checking your tires, make sure to do so during cool temperatures, like in the early morning when your car has had time to rest overnight.  Hot air influenced by hot weather will increase the tire pressure readings, while cool air will give a more accurate reading.  Remember from physics about how air expands when heated and compresses when cooled?  That is scientific fact—it’s definitely true.
  2. Get yourself a basic tire gauge.  It does not have to be a fancy one that costs $5.  Some stores, like Walmart, sell simple tire gauges for less than $1.  Make sure the reading stick inside the gauge is intact and not broken.
  3. Buy yourself some extra tire valves.  Again, stores like Walmart sell these in the automotive section for less than $1, and you never know when a valve can get accidentally (or purposely) loose and get crushed or lost.
  4. After you carefully unscrew your tire’s valve, put the end opposite of the reading stick on top of the air valve of the tire and press gently forward on the gauge.  You should get a reading immediately.  Check with your car’s manufacturer or your car’s maintenance guide on the correct tire pressure measurement for your car’s tires.
  5. If your tires have lost air, go to the nearest gas station.  In states like California, each gas station is required by law to turn on the air pump for free for all customers who buy gasoline.  When the pump is on, insert the hose on your tire(s) the way you took the reading with the tire gauge.  Inflate until you’re reasonably convinced that your tire has the correct measurement.  The best way to do this is to interrupt the pumping very often and take readings with the gauge.
  6. Correct tire pressure affects your car’s gas usage, so keeping this car habit is beneficial to your financial budget and your car.  Meaning…doing this once a week makes you and your car win all the way.  Besides, caution is the best rule in order to evade any possible tire ruptures or flat tires due to defective tire valves.
  7. NOTE: Pumping too much air into your tires is dangerous.  Tire pressure is a tricky business, and having too high of a reading could result in your tires accidentally rupturing when you’re driving.  Sliding off the road doesn’t just happen in the movies.  It also happens when your tires blow up on the road from being overinflated.  So always be careful.  Cars are not toys you can replace easily if they get broken, and a new set of tires is pretty expensive.
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