How to use a car tire pressure gauge and inflator

a portable car tire inflator

How to use a car tire pressure gauge and inflator

Regularly refilling your car tires to the correct pressure helps prevent tire blowouts. It also maximizes gas mileage and reduces tire wear and tear. It also makes you a more efficient driver by giving you better control of your vehicle on the road, in terms of traction and steering. For this regular routine, you need the best portable air pump for car tires and a pressure gauge if your car has no automatic pressure monitoring system.

Pressure gauge for a car without TPMS

If your car doesn’t have a tire pressure monitoring system, then you’ll need to carry a tire pressure gauge. This will help you to measure and precisely determine whether and by how much the pressure has dropped. To measure pressure with this gauge, unscrew the valve stem and press the pressure gauge onto the revealed air valve. Unhook the gauge and read the auto tire pressure.

A pressure meter for car tires

You might be wondering how much pressure should be in a tire. If yours is a mid-sized car, then it must be in the 30-35 PSI range and higher for off-road vehicles and trucks. However, you can check your car’s manual for the recommended car tire pressure. The driver side doorjamb may also be labeled with the recommended pressure.

How to inflate the tires

For pumping the tire, first and most important: make sure that your car tires are cold, preferably in the morning or before you have driven for more than 2 miles. Otherwise, the pressure gauge readings won’t be the real pressure required.

Then go for a tire inflator with a compatible valve connector and that can operate from a 12V DC outlet in the car. That way, you won’t have to worry about how to adapt the air hose to the valve or going under the hood to reach the battery.

a portable car tire inflator
A portable air pump

Patiently press the air hose tip against the tire valve tip and listen to the flow of air as the tire inflator starts pumping. If the some air sprays out, it may be possible that the hose tip and the valve are not flash. If you are just refilling, then the top up will be fast but if the tire was outright flat, then you need to be a little patient.

Why does the engine have to be running as you pump? With the vehicle engine running, the alternator charges and maintains the car battery at a shade above 12V. It will therefore, be more efficient in powering the portable tire inflator which probably can’t take less than 12V and less than 10A.

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