Tyre Pressures

One of the simplest and most important routine maintenance checks a car owner can carry out is to check and adjust the tyre pressure to ensure that the tyres are correctly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level.

Why do tyre pressures matter?

Although this is a task that takes only minutes and can be carried out by virtually all car owners, irrespective of their personal level of skill, it is vital to ensure that the tyres do not wear unevenly, improves the fuel efficiency of the vehicle and also – critically – increases the safety of the car and the passengers inside.

Extend the life of the tyre

All tyres wear over time and the higher the mileage, the quicker the wear on the tyres. However, wear should occur evenly around the centre of the tyre as opposed to around the edges which will require early replacement at a cost to the owner of the car.

Tyres which are underinflated are more likely to experience wear around the edges and the tread depth could quickly fall below the legal requirement of 1.6mm (although it is worth noting that a depth of approximately 3mm is considered safest to maintain necessary braking distances). By simply maintaining the correct pressure in your car’s tyres you could extend their life considerably.

Increase vehicle safety

Underinflated tyres are dangerous and are more likely to contribute to accidents than tyres which are correctly inflated. They can cause steering to be inaccurate, leading to the vehicle pulling to one side, and can dramatically reduce braking distances, especially in wet or wintry weather. Experiencing a blow out at high speeds is more likely as the tyres are unable to support the weight of the vehicle and the sidewalls of the tyres become distorted. Most drivers will be aware that a high speed blow out can be potentially fatal to both the occupants of the car and other road users.

Improve fuel efficiency

High fuel prices continue to be an issue for many drivers keen to reduce the cost of motoring but underinflated tyres can have a drastic impact on the cash in your pocket! Tyres which are underinflated are unable to ‘roll’ smoothly along the surface of the road, meaning the engine has to work harder to drive the car forward. Unsurprisingly this leads to increased use of fuel and the need to refuel sooner.

How do I find the correct pressure for my tyres?Click here to check your tyre pressures

Every car model has a recommended tyre pressure and it is important that owners know what this is so they can ensure their vehicle’s tyres are correctly inflated to the manufacturer’s specification.

The recommended tyre pressures can be found in a number of places including the owner’s manual, inside the fuel cap, or on the sill of the driver’s door. Many petrol stations also display wall charts with the tyre pressures for many leading car makes and models.

Alternatively click the button above and enter your registration number.  The tyre pressure checker will tell you the correct pressures to use on your tyres.

How do I check my car’s tyre pressure accurately?

Checking the tyre pressure of your car is simple and requires limited technical knowledge or skill. A tyre pressure gauge is required – don’t rely on visually checking or feeling the tyres – and can be bought either as a separate tool or as part of a pump system (many petrol stations also have equipment for checking and inflating tyres, for a small cost). By simply unscrewing the valve cap and pushing the gauge onto the valve, the pressure of the tyre will be displayed. This may be as a digital reading or on a numbered scale. Some modern cars now incorporate an automatic tyre pressure monitoring system that will alert the driver if any of the tyres loses pressure.

Checking tyre pressuresTyre pressure should only be checked when the tyres are ‘cold’, when the car has been standing for a period of time or after a short journey (less than two miles). Also, if the car is carrying additional weight, such as more passengers or extra luggage, the tyre pressure should be checked and adjusted if necessary before commencing a journey.