How to Inflate Tires
While our experts are happy to check your tire pressure for you any time, it’s also something you can do yourself. To prevent over- or under-inflation and the possible tire failure that comes with them, follow these steps:
- The “right amount” of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer – check for it on your vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner’s manual.
- When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool – meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (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 from the valve on one tire.
- Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.
- 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.
- Repeat with each tire, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure.)
- Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.
- 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 temperature change.