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Hey, you're in the vehicle / car zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Cars / Trucks / Vans Category: Tires

Maintenance Issues:

How to maintain proper tire pressure.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Tire pressure gauge

  • Pen/pencil (for pressure notation)

  • Piece of paper (for pressure notation)

  • Air pump/compressor/gas station air service machine


To properly maintain your vehicle, and, of course, help ensure your safety and those of others who travel in your vehicle, you must regularly check the pressure of your vehicle's tires.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration strongly urges that motorists, such as yourself, should check the pressure of your vehicle's tires at least once a month.

The following are basic steps of how to properly maintain your tire pressure:

  1. Before you intend to check the air pressure of your vehicle's tires to make sure they are compliant with the inflation pressure per square inch standard ("psi") established for your tires by the tire manufacturer (psi found on the sidewall of the tires), make sure that your vehicle has not been driven for at least three hours in order to obtain an accurate "cold pressure" reading.  Otherwise, checking the pressure of the tires just after driving will provide a false reading, since the warmth generated as a result of driving will increase the air pressure found in the tires.

  2. Consult the informational sidewall of each tire to find out the (stamped) correct inflation pressure per square inch (psi) of each tire established by the tire manufacturer.

  3. Making sure that the vehicle has not been driven for at least three hours in order to get the actual "cold pressure" reading, use a tire pressure gauge to gauge the current air pressure of each tire, and note each tire's pressure.

  4. For tires that are determined to have too much air pressure/psi according to your tire pressure gauge, slowly release the air pressure from these tires until the air pressure


    of these tires is reduced to the psi determined by the tire manufacturer, using your tire pressure gauge to make sure your ultimate reduction of air pressure is sufficient to meet the psi of the manufacturer.  If, on the other hand, the air pressure/psi is too low of one or more tires, identify and note the difference of air pressure/psi between each affected tire and the established psi of the tire manufacturer, and then use either your own air pump/compressor or the available air pump service at a gas station to pump air into each affected tire that is equal to the aforesaid respective air-pressure difference found of each such tire.

  5. Finally, using your tire pressure gauge, double check the air pressure/psi of all your tires again to ensure that they have the air pressure/psi determined by the tire manufacturer.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team



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