Safety Center

How To Safely Check Tire Pressure

Properly maintained tire pressure promotes longer tread life and reduces the odds of a flat tire. Help ensure your tires are safe by keeping a tire pressure gauge in your glove box and following these easy steps at least once a month.

Cold check

Vehicle manufacturers' air pressure specifications are measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Your vehicle's recommended PSI should be listed in the owner's manual and on the tires themselves. It also may be included on a sticker inside the driver's side doorjamb. Take the pressure when the car is "cold" and sits for at least three hours.

Gauging the pressure

To check the tire pressure, unscrew the valve cap from each tire, firmly placing the gauge on the stem until you get a reading. Be sure the pressure level on all tires is what the manufacturer recommends.

Use air compressor to inflate

If your tire pressure is lower than recommended, visit a nearby gas station or service center with an air compressor to inflate the tire(s). If you overinflate a tire, use the tire pressure gauge to release air until the tire is at the recommended pressure.

Check the spare

Remember to periodically check your spare tire's pressure to ensure it is properly inflated.

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  1. “How to Check Tire Pressure,”

  2. Edmunds, “How to Check Your Car's Tire Pressure and Inflate Tires,”, (May 2, 2018).

  3. Consumer Reports, “Your Tire-Pressure Warning Light Just Came On. What Do You Do Now,” -a4533815120, (November 9, 2017 | Updated December 4, 2021).

Our Safety Center pages are filled with tips related to the safety and maintenance of your home and autos. The information contained in these articles should not be construed as professional advice, and is not intended to replace official sources. Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers; therefore, NJM cannot guarantee their accuracy.