It’s important to have the proper inflation pressure in your tires, as underinflation can lead to tire failure or your tire to wear unevenly. You can’t tell if your tires have enough inflation pressure just by looking at them. Even though they may look fine, they may be underinflated by as much as 50%.

The inflation pressure indicated on a tire sidewall is the maximum pressure allowed for the tire. It is not intended as a guide for normal inflation pressure. The proper inflation pressure continues to be what is clearly stated in your vehicle’s owner’s manual and/or on the vehicle placard found on the driver’s side doorjamb, glove box or fuel door.

Follow these steps to check your tire inflation pressure:

  1. When you check the inflation pressure, make sure the tires are cool — meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (If you have to drive a distance to get inflation, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate inflation pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the inflation pressure inside to increase as you drive. Never “bleed” or reduce inflation 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 inflation to achieve recommended inflation pressure.
  5. If you overfill the tire, release inflation by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the inflation 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 inflation pressure leak.
  9. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.