Towing Service Bakersfield CA
Tire Repair Bakersfield CA | Checking Tire Pressure
Below are some information on how to check your tire's air pressure. This is an excerpt from the book Dare to Repair Your Car, A Do-It-Herself Guide to Maintenance, Safety, Minor Fix-its, and Talking Shop (1st ed, copyright 2005) by Julie Sussman & Stephanie Glakas-Tenet. If you don't carry a tire gauge in your car with when you travel and by visual inspection think that you will be running on flat tires, it is safer to pull over and call us for a tire change. We can do it efficiently for you if you don't know how to or just want it done right. Call us for emergency flat tire repair or tire change if you have a spare with you. For emergency 24-hour towing check us out here.
You only need one tool to measure psi, and that's a tire gauge. We suggest buying your own, because a gauge at a service station is overused and exposed to the elements, and therefore will probably give you a false reading. You can purchase a tire gauge at any auto supply store; in fact, buy one for every car in your household. The best place to store the gauge is in the glove compartment.
There are two types of tire gauges: (1) electronic/digital, and (2) mechanical (stick or dial). A digital gauge is more expensive and runs on batteries, but it is typically more accurate. A mechanical gauge may not be as reliable as the digital one because the stick can become bent or dirty with residue and not release completely; therefore, we recommend that you buy a digital gauge because it's a small price to pay for reliability. When looking for a digital gauge, find one that has a notch for air release, too – it's easier to use than your nail or a key (you'll understand as you read along).
Checking Tire Pressure
Note: Remember to check tire pressure only when the tires are cold, which means that the vehicle has been parked for at least 3 hours and/or has been driven less than a mile. A valve cap is important to the tire because it keeps dust, dirt, and water from entering into the valve stem and tire, which could result in air loss and tire damage. It doesn't matter if the valve cap is rubber or metal, but there should be a valve cap on every tire. If not, then you need to purchase one immediately. Remove the valve cap by turning it counterclockwise with your fingers.
Some digital tire gauges require you to press a button to activate them; if so, do it now. Whether you're using a digital or a mechanical tire gauge, the process is the same – press it straight and firmly onto the valve stem.
If the cold psi reading is lower than the tire's recommended psi, you'll need to add air to the tire. If the cold psi is higher than the tire's recommended psi, than there is too much air in the tire and you'll need to release some of it. Use the notched part of the gauge and gently press down on the, metal stem in the center of the valve to release some air. You'll know you're doing it when you hear a hissing sound. But don't overdo it! In fact, it’s best to release some air, check the psi, and then repeat the step, rather than releasing too much. Replace the valve cap and tighten.
Repeat this process on the remaining tires, including the spare. (Check the car owner's manual for the correct psi for the spare, because it's common for the spare to need a higher psi than the other tires.)
Write in the back of the owner's manual the cold psi reading for each tire and the date. Keeping a written record of your tires' psi readings will enable you to keep track if a tire is losing more air than the others, which will give you a heads-up on any leaks."
For tips on wheel alignment and tire rotation, see you on the next blog post!