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5 Tips for Checking Tire Pressure

There is a lot of data supporting how important it is to keep your tires inflated to an optimal pressure. Tires that are not properly inflated reduce gas mileage while shortening tread life. By checking tire pressure periodically, you can make sure you get the most wear out of your tires and every dollar that goes into your gas tank. Here are a few helpful hints:

  1. Know the ideal tire pressure for your car. Find out what pressure your tires are supposed to be inflated to before starting. The best tire pressure for your car should be indicat ed on the door jamb of the driver’s side door or in the owner’s manual.
  2. Check the pressure when the car is “cold.” Cold in this case means the car has been sitting for at least an hour, or has only been driven a few miles. The manufacturer’s suggested pressure is based on this type of reading, before the air inside the tire expands due to heat.
  3. Use an accurate tire pressure gauge. Toss out the $2 pencil-like gauges and use a digital or dial-type gauge available at all automotive stores for a few bucks more.
  4. Check all four tires. Don’t stop at one or two tires - you might miss a slow leak that could lead to a flat, or other potential problems. Even one under-inflated tire can hurt your mileage and the driving characteristics of your car.
  5. Don’t trust your eyes. Instead, put your trust in a gauge that gives you a precise reading. A tire that is 5 pounds under inflated looks very similar to one that is 5 pounds over inflated. Your eyes can be fooled, but the tire pressure gauge won’t.

It’s true you don’t have to wake up every morning and check your tire pressure, but periodically doing so between services, like regular oil changes, can save you money. If you bring your car in to Palo Alto Shell for any service or repair, we will make sure your tires are inflated properly.