Tires are one of the most important – but most overlooked – components of your car.
They are, after all, the only things truly connecting your car to the road.
It therefore amazes us here at Garage Dreams how few people take proper care of their tires.
One of the biggest issues is incorrect inflation/tire pressure.
Incorrectly inflated tires can cause a whole raft of problems, from reduced fuel economy through to increased risk of tire blowouts and worse handling of your car.
Therefore, it’s important to get your tires inflated to the correct pressure (not too high, but not too low) and then maintain that pressure.
For the purposes of this article, we assume that you already know what your tire pressures should be – we are in the process of writing another article on how to determine what your correct tire pressure should be, and we will update here when that is complete. For starters, if you aren’t sure on your required pressure, check your owner’s manual or online for your specific vehicle.
Why Do You Need To Check Your Tire Pressure?
Let’s say you find your correct tire pressure and get your tires inflated.
Why do you then need to check your tire pressure again?
Surely your tires should stay correctly inflated, right?
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
All tires gradually lose pressure over time, especially if subjected to extreme temperature changes.
Somewhere in the range of 1-3 PSI of pressure loss per month is generally considered to be normal, which means that if you don’t check your tires you can quite easily find yourself down on pressure.
Therefore, it’s important to check your tire pressures regularly and ensure correct inflation of your tires.
How Often Should You Check Your Tire Pressure?
Most experts recommend that you check your tire pressure at least once per month.
This is because tires tend to lose (on average) about 1 PSI per month through the natural process of air molecules escaping through the tiny “pores” in the tire wall.
If you fill your car up once a month, for example, then that would be a perfect time to check your tires!
If you are doing lots of driving, then you might want to consider checking your tire pressures more frequently.
We personally like to check every time we fill up our cars; it’s a quick process with a good tire pressure gauge that you can keep in your car, and it will help keep your tires in the best possible condition.
Checking at the gas station/service station is often a good idea because most of these stations will have compressed air hoses you can use to top up your tires if required. You can usually use these compressed air hose systems to simply check your pressure as well, even if you don’t need to add any more.
How Do You Stop Your Tire Pressure From Decreasing?
Ultimately, this isn’t possible. Your tires will always lose some pressure over time.
There is some argument/benefit to using nitrogen to fill your tires, so if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t fancy checking their tires on a regular basis, then click here to learn more about nitrogen in tires and the benefits/disadvantages of this option.
Conclusion – How Frequently Should You Check Your Tire Pressure?
The most common recommended interval for checking your tire pressures is monthly.
For most motorists, a once-per-month checkup of your tire pressures will be absolutely fine (and a lot better than many of your peers on the road are doing).
However, if you are driving large distances or driving in more extreme weather conditions (or you are doing a lot of spirited driving) then it’s worth checking your tires more regularly, perhaps even weekly.
You should also always check your tire pressures before heading out on a road trip or long drive as well. This is along with other checks, such as oil level, coolant level, ensuring you have washer fluid etc.