Your handbook will tell you what pressure you should have in your tyres.
Often you’ll find a small sticker with the tyre pressures on too – usually inside the fuel filler flap or on the drivers’ door edge.
- Pressures are given for cold tyres
- There are usually two figures, one for 'normal' use and a higher figure for full loads.
If you can't find the correct tyre pressures, contact the vehicle manufacturer’s customer services team. You’ll need a note of:
- The size of the tyres fitted, taken from the sidewalls
- The make, model and registration number
Aim to check your tyre pressures every couple of weeks, with the tyres cold, using a reliable and accurate tyre pressure gauge.
- ‘Cold’ means that the car shouldn’t have been driven for a couple of hours
- The pressure inside your tyres naturally increases as they heat up so if you set your pressures when your tyres are already warm, their pressure will probably be too low.
- Take a bit of time to check the tread for wear and also to look for cuts, or bulges on the sidewalls
- Get any cut you find checked out by a tyre specialist.
- A bulge means the tyre’s got internal damage and must be replaced.
Why’s tyre pressure so important?
Tyre pressure affects your safety, running costs and comfort:
- Under or over inflation increases tyre wear so you’ll have to buy new tyres more often.
- An under-inflated tyre will wear more on the edges of the tread
- An over-inflated tyre will wear more in the centre of the tread
- Under inflation increases your tyre’s rolling resistance which means higher fuel consumption
- Under inflated tyres will flex more and get hotter, making sudden tyre failure – blowouts – more likely
- Under inflated tyres will increase stopping distances and affect your vehicle’s handling so that collisions are more likely
- Higher pressures can mean a harsher more uncomfortable ride, but don’t be tempted to reduce pressures for a softer ride.
6 February 2017