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Checking Air Pressure

May 14th, 2014

 

It's important to have the proper air pressure in your tires, as underinflation may lead to tire failure. The right amount of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner's manual.
 
1. When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool - meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (NOTE: If you have to drive a distance to get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up as you drive. Never "bleed" or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.)
 
2. Remove the cap from the valve on one tire.
 
3. Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.
 
4. Add air to achieve recommended air pressure.
 
5. If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the pressure with your tire gauge.
 
6. Replace the valve cap.
 
7. Repeat with each tire, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure.)
 
8. Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.
 
9. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities. NOTE: Air pressure in a tire goes up (in warm weather) or down (in cold weather) 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.
 
Nitrogen Versus Compressed Air
 
Most tires are filled with compressed air. But some tire retailers have started to put nitrogen into their customers’ tires. (Nitrogen is simply dry air with the oxygen removed. Air contains nearly 79% nitrogen already.) Because nitrogen replaces oxygen, less air can escape your tires, and your inflation pressure stays higher longer. Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the wheel) which prevent the guarantee of pressure maintenance for individuals using air or nitrogen inflation.
 
Nitrogen and compressed air CAN be mixed, if needed. Tires manufactured by Michelin are designed to deliver their expected performance when inflated with air or nitrogen, as long as the user respects the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer on the vehicle’s placard or by the tire manufacturer.
  Posted in: Tires 101