How to Put Air in Tires
The air pressure in your tires is one of the keys to tire care that is easy to overlook but critical to overall performance. Proper tire inflation is one of the simplest methods to extend the life of your tires, improve the performance of your tires and vehicle, and help increase your safety while driving.
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If you hear your tires squealing, your tires feel deflated, or your tire pressure monitoring device light comes on while driving, your tires may be low on pressure. If you think your tires are under-inflated or over-inflated, follow these steps to properly learn how to inflate your tires:
- FINDING THE RIGHT PRESSURE: The “right amount” of air for your tires is specified by your vehicle’s manufacturer – check for it on your vehicle door edge, door jamb, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
- ALWAYS INFLATE COOL TIRES: When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool – meaning they are not hot from driving. (NOTE: If you have to drive a distance to get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up as you drive. Never “bleed” or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.)
- REMOVE THE CAP: Find the tire with low pressure and remove the cap from the valve on the tire by turning it to the left.
- ATTACHING THE TIRE GAUGE: Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.
- BEGIN FILLING WITH AIR: Add air to achieve recommended air pressure.
- IF YOU OVERFILL THE TIRE: Release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the pressure with your tire gauge.
- REPLACE THE VALVE CAP: Put the valve cap back on by tightening it by turning to the right.
- FILLING EACH TIRE: Repeat with the remaining tires, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure.)
- VISUAL INSPECTIONS: Examine the tires visually to ensure that there are no nails or other things embedded that might poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.
- SIDEWALL INSPECTIONS: Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges, or other irregularities.
NOTE: Air pressure in a tire goes up (in warm weather) or down (in cold weather) 1–2 pounds for every 10 degrees of ambient air temperature change.
What Should Your Tire Pressure Be?
The recommended air pressure for the specific tires installed on your vehicle is a figure set by the engineers who helped to design and produce your vehicle. Proper tire pressure and inflation help to optimize the tire and vehicle’s driving performance, a tire’s traction on the road while driving, and its overall ride quality. Because the inflation pressure in your tires is what retains your car's weight as it stops, starts, and corners, keeping the vehicle's prescribed tire pressure is vital.
Finding Your Tire Pressure
If you’re unsure of where to find what your proper tire pressure should be, depending on your vehicle it will be found in a few different areas.
- Vehicle’s Owner’s Manual
- Driver’s Side Door Jamb Placard
- Glove Box Placard
- Gas Tank Placard