Tire Inflation: How To Put Air In Tires?

How to Check and Maintain Proper Tire Inflation? 

Purchasing a vehicle is one thing. Maintaining it is another. One essential aspect of automobile maintenance that many vehicle owners don't seem to take seriously is proper tire inflation. It shouldn't be like that. You have to know that having a properly inflated tire plays a crucial role in minimizing your risk of a road accident, extending the lifespan of your tires, improving the performance of your vehicle, and optimizing fuel efficiency. 

Getting in your vehicle and driving without checking if your tires are in good condition is an error. An error like that can be fatal. There's nothing as reassuring as driving a car with tires in excellent condition. This guide will provide a detailed overview enabling you to check for and maintain proper tire inflation to get the best out of your vehicle. 

Why Should You Be Mindful of Proper Tire Inflation?

Before I give you tips on checking and maintaining proper tire inflation, you have to first get familiar with why you should take it seriously. That's the only way you can appreciate the importance of proper tire inflation. The following are the upsides of maintaining a properly inflated tire:


When your tires are accurately inflated, keeping your vehicle under control becomes easier. That's because well-inflated tires have a firm grip on the road, and the vehicle goes in whatever direction it's steered. 

On the other hand, a poorly inflated tire (over-inflation or under-inflation) will make your vehicle assume a life of its own because there's less grip or traction on the road. Your tires will easily wear and will occur unevenly across their surface. The consequence is that your car will become difficult to control or steer in the right direction, and the chances of a road accident are very high. 

Improves Tire Lifespan

This is arguably the most important benefit of proper tire inflation. When the tire has sufficient pressure, it won't wear and tear easily or before it's supposed to. The exact opposite is what happens to tires inflated with deficit or surplus pressure. 

When a tire wears and tears easily, it won't last till the end of its expected lifespan. This will incur more expenses because the vehicle owner will have to buy new tires prematurely. Fortunately, this outcome is a preventable one. Getting your tires inflated properly will save you significant money in the long run. 

Fuel Efficiency

There's a parallel relationship between a car's fuel usage and the state of its tires. When your tires are not well inflated, your car will use more energy to keep the car moving because there will be more rolling resistance. The more energy your vehicle uses to move, the more fuel it will burn. 

On the other hand, proper tire inflation will ensure your car moves smoothly because there will be less rolling resistance. The car needs less energy to move and will burn less fuel. The bottom line is that properly inflated tires improve your fuel economy, saving you money in the process. 

Vehicle Performance

The engine is the powerhouse of a vehicle, but it's useless if there are no tires to propel the vehicle. That's why the condition of your tires affects the overall performance of your car. Things such as acceleration, handling, and braking work best when the engine and tires are in optimal condition. 

So, if your tires are under-inflated or over-inflated, you won't be able to increase or reduce the speed of your vehicle properly. That will be a horrible trip. 

On the other hand, if your tires are properly inflated, your car will function efficiently. Braking or accelerating your car will be a walk in the park because your suspension, steering wheel, and other essential components will work in seamless tandem with your tires. 

The above reasons explain why checking and maintaining proper tire inflation is essential. Now, let's deal with the "how."

How to Inflate Tires

The Process of Checking and Maintaining Proper Tire Inflation

Determine the Recommended Tire Pressure

This is the first thing to do to ensure you inflate the tire properly. Anything below the recommended PSI will be an under-inflation, while going above that is an over-inflation. Every vehicle has its ideal tire pressure. Finding yours is easier than you think. All you have to do is check your owner's manual, which is either in the glove compartment or on a sticker on the driver's side. 

The manufacturer will state the recommended pressure to take the tires in the manual. It takes certain factors into consideration, including the load you usually carry and the car's weight. If you're doing this for the first time, it's normal to assume that the ideal tire pressure is the same for all tires, but that's not the case. Your rear tires and front tires have different ideal pressures. So when checking your vehicle manual, have this in mind. 

Getting the Tools Needed

The next thing to do after finding out what your recommended tire pressure is getting what you need to put the right amount of air in your tires. For starters, you'll need a tire pressure gauge to measure your vehicle's tire pressure. It comes in varieties, and you can purchase the digital or manual gauge at automotive stores. 

Secondly, you'll need an air compressor. Alternatively, you can locate a gas station with an air pump. The purpose of this second tool is to increase the pressure in your tire if it's under-inflated. 

Check Your Tire Pressure at Regular Intervals

This is important. Always check your tire pressure before hitting the road from time to time. Your schedule for this can be monthly or bi-weekly, depending on how frequently you drive. Furthermore, check it if you're about to travel a long distance. The last thing you need is your car failing you on a long trip. Lastly, always check your tire pressure during extreme weather conditions because it often fluctuates during this period. 

Check Tire Pressure When Cold

You need to be accurate with your tire pressure reading for proper tire inflation. That's why you should check the tire pressure when your tires have cooled down. As you drive, your tires heat up, and this increases their pressure. So checking your tire pressure when your tires are heated will give a false reading. To ensure your tires are cold, give your vehicle three hours to cool down after driving or do it first thing in the morning before driving out. 

Remove the Valve Cap and Attach the Pressure Gauge

Aside from checking your tire's pressure gauge, this tool checks for air leaks. Take off the valve cap from the tire you want to check. The valve cap prevents debris from gaining access to the valve stem. Press the tire pressure gauge on the stem and ensure it seals it properly. Then pay close attention so you can listen for air leaks. If you notice it, that means your valve stem is faulty and should be worked on. 

Reading Tire Pressure

Attaching the tire pressure gauge on the valve stem will give you the current tire inflation reading. If you're using the digital gauge, it will directly show the tire pressure reading. On the other hand, a manual gauge will display its readings through a small rod which is part of the gauge. 

Comparing the Reading with the Recommended Tire Pressure

After checking your current tire pressure, get your manual and compare what you've seen with the pressure specified by the manufacturer. If it's a match, the tire is properly inflated. If it's lower, it's a case of under-inflation and vice versa. Either way, you must adjust the tire pressure to the recommended one. That brings us to the next step. 

Adjusting Tire Pressure

If your tire is properly inflated, you can skip this. However, if your tire is under-inflated, get an air compressor or use the air pump at the nearest gas station to pump it to the recommended pressure. While at this, monitor the gauge to prevent over-inflation. The best way to pump your tire is to do it in short bursts, then look at the pressure gauge. Keep at it till it reaches the recommended pressure. 

If it's a case of over-inflation, slightly deflate the tires by attaching the gauge tip to the valve stem and release air in short bursts. Just like before, check the gauge while doing this to ensure it's on par with the recommended reading. 

Repeat these processes for the other tires while ensuring you don't use the recommended rear tire pressure for the front tires and vice versa. 

Tire Inflation


The importance of proper tire inflation and its role in ensuring your safety, fuel efficiency, tire durability, and optimal vehicle performance cannot be overemphasized. Adherence to the processes outlined for checking and maintaining proper tire inflation will ensure your tires remain in good condition. 

Always inspect your tires regularly and when you want to travel long distances or drive in extreme weather conditions. Always checking and maintaining proper tire inflation will give you a sense of reassurance and a seamless and pleasant driving experience.