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How to check your tyre pressure

You should check tyre pressures on a regular basis, (including the spare wheel). it will help the tyres last longer and keep you safer on the roads. You should do this at least once a month, and before long road trips.

Bridgestone found that 90% of all cars have incorrectly inflated tyres, which means that 9 out of 10 drivers are in danger.

The most accurate readings are done when tyres are cold and haven’t been driven in a few hours. Correct tyre pressures can be found in the owner's handbook, on the driver's door or on the fuel cap.

Here is everything you need to know to check tyre pressure accurately.

Simple stick style gauge for checking tyre pressure

Tyre Gauge – Tyre pressure checks can be done either at a local service station or in your driveway or garage with a standard air pressure gauge like the one shown. Digital gauges are equally accurate and easy to use.

Recommended PSI – You will also need to know the recommended air pressure for your specific vehicle and tyre. This can be found on the placard on the inside of the driver’s side door post on most vehicles. Alternatively, you can find it in the vehicle owner’s manual.

If you are carrying a full load of passengers or luggage or will be towing a trailer or caravan, pressures should be increased in line with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

Incorrect tyre pressure can result in tyre damage, increased fuel consumption and adversely affect the handling of the vehicle. Tyres that are not correctly inflated cause longer stopping distances, reduce stability for braking and cornering and increase your chance of a blow-out.

Incorrect pressures also reduce the life of your tyres by causing uneven wear, so need replacing sooner.

If you are unsure on any aspect of tyre pressure or tyre condition take your vehicle to an approved fitting centre and speak to a qualified specialist.

The effect of underinflation

Driving on underinflated tyres has a negative impact on:

  • steering response
  • directional stability
  • driving safety (tyres can dislodge from the rim when cornering)
  • economy (higher fuel consumption, lower mileage)
  • tyre durability
  • irregular wear

SAFETY WARNING - Underinflation can lead to the inside of the tyre being damaged. This can result in tyre failure or even a blowout. Hidden tyre damages are not rectified by adjusting the tyre pressure.

The effect of overinflation

Driving on overinflated tyres will have a negative impact on:

  • driving comfort
  • directional stability
  • Vehicle handling behaviour, especially when cornering at speed
  • Irregular wear

Keep to the specified pressures recommended by the vehicle and tyre manufacturer.

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