The right tire pressure on the car: it is vital for survival – and also saves you a lot of money. How do you measure the car tire pressure correctly? Our guide explains what pressure is right, how often you should measure it, and how you do it.
The only connection between car and road is the tires. Whether full throttle or full braking – your safety in the car depends especially on the condition of the tires. And that includes the right air pressure. You can find out what is important here.
Measure the car tire pressure: this is how it is done correctly
The best way to measure the car tire pressure is at a petrol station,because here you will find everything you need. Measure on the most cold tyre possible and not after a long ride – the tyre would then be warm, and this would allow you to measure a distorted pressure.
First unscrew the valve cap, then put the meter on. Air escapes briefly: it hisses. However, this should be over quickly, otherwise you will have to re-install the meter again.
Now the meter shows your tire pressure, which you can correct immediately. Press Plus to increase the pressure and vice versa to Minus. On newer devices, you can directly adjust the desired tyre pressure. After measuring, screw the valve caps back on.
Always think of all tires
Important: Always check the pressure on all four tires, because the pressure does not escape evenly from all tires. However, the same pressure on both tyres of an axle is important for the car to drive and brake safely.
Manufacturers often indicate slightly different tire pressures for the front and rear axles. The value also depends on how heavily the axles are loaded (partial or full load) – for example, whether you go to work alone or go on holiday with the whole family.
Think of the spare wheel as well. Otherwise, you will not be able to continue safely in the event of a breakdown.
Consequences of incorrect tire pressure
Many motorists only measure tire pressure only occasionally, for example before larger holiday trips. But this is a mistake – with sometimes drastic consequences: many people die each year in accidents due to defective tires, according to the authorities. The experts recommend that you measure the car tire pressure every two weeks when refuelling — and correct it if necessary.
In addition to the safety risk, incorrect tire pressure has other negative consequences:
- The tire wears faster, so an air pressure that is too low shortens its lifespan.
- Pressure that is too low increases tire rolling resistance, which also increases fuel consumption.
- The braking distance increases, and the driving characteristics of the car deteriorate — especially in cornering.
- In the worst case scenario, the tire may even burst.
Tyre pressure: Better a little too much than too little
Generally speaking, better a little more tire pressure than too little. It is true that too much tyre pressure can reduce driving comfort: unevenness in the roadway is passed on more noticeably to the passengers. In addition, the tyres wear out more unevenly. Nevertheless, experts say that a tire pressure increased by 0.2 to 0.3 bar is unproblematic – in contrast to too low tyre pressure.
Information on the correct tire pressure on the car
Which tyre pressure is ideal, you will find indicated in several places of your car:
- In the owner’s manual
- On the inside of the filler flap
- On the b-pillar on the driver’s side
- In the glove compartment
You can also find it in your manufacturer’s tyre print tables on the Internet. You can also find help in a workshop or at the petrol station.