Car maintenance doesn’t have to be something only your mechanic knows how to do. One of the easiest things to learn is how to put air in car tires to inflate them. Over time your tires will eventually need to be inflated due to normal wear and tear.
Below we discuss why inflating your tires is important and how to do it effectively.
How to Put Air in Car Tires: Determining the Right Tire Pressure
Unlike inflating a balloon, inflating a tire to the right level isn’t easy to see, but you can test what your current tire pressure is by using a tire pressure gauge. These come in a variety of forms, but they generally all operate the same.
Once you know the tire pressure of your tire you need to inflate, you can check the driver’s side doorframe for what each tire should be inflated to (measured in psi). Typically, most tires are rated for their best performance around 32-35psi.
Don’t overinflate your tires either, you can reduce crucial contact with the road and end up reducing your traction. Avoid underinflating your tires as well since doing so will affect your fuel economy and wear down your tires significantly faster. Just use the “Goldilocks” level your car is set for.
If you can’t find the pressure in your doorframe or have an older car, the psi will be listed in your owner’s manual or potentially stickered in your glove box, fuel filler flap, or trunk lid.
Simple Steps to Take for Inflating Your Car Tires
Inflating your tires is simple once you know the right tire pressure.
- Unscrew the tire stem cap on the tire you need to inflate.
- Turn on the air compressor at the gas station or your own personal one and make sure it’s blowing air when used.
- Attach the head of the air compressor to the tire stem—you will need to press in gently for the tire to fill with air.
- Use the air compressor to fill the tire with air. You should hear a faint whooshing sound if your tire is being filled with air properly. The air compressor will inflate the tire quickly and typically only take about a second per psi you need to fill. Therefore, it’s best to inflate your tire in bursts of about 3-5 seconds then check the tire using a tire pressure gauge to see what pressure the tire is at until your reach the right psi for your car.
By inflating your tires to the proper levels you ensure your car has the best grip and traction on the road and will contribute effectively to keeping you safe.