How To Pump Tires

The Basics Behind a Smooth Ride

Pumping car tires is not a difficult task, but it must be done properly in order for it to have any real benefit to your car. By keeping your tires at the right pressure, you can enjoy a smoother ride and even save money by increasing your gas mileage. So here are the basic steps to take when pumping up your auto's tires:

Step 1

Measure the actual pressure. When measuring the air pressure of your tires, make sure to do so when the tires are somewhat cold. If the pressure is measured right after you have recently used your car, the reading will be incorrect. Measuring the pressure is a simple task to undertake and can be accomplished with just a tire pressure gauge. This is a handheld device that often looks like a small metal rod with a bulb at one end. Simply unscrew the cap from the tire, as you would with a bike tire, and firmly press the gauge onto the valve. Hold it on the valve for just a few seconds and record the pressure. Don't be scared if you hear air hissing from the valve; this just means that you need to press the gauge on harder.

Step 2

Determine the correct pressure. To find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle, look in the door jam of your car or read the owner's manual. If you still cannot find the correct amount, about 32 psi should suffice for your car. On the tires themselves, a maximum pressure is listed, so while you may not be able to exactly determine the proper amount, you will have a ceiling amount to go by. Just make sure that you don't exceed the maximum, because it could damage your tires.

Step 3

Operate the pump. In order to pump the tires, you can use a foot pump or visit a local gas station. Most gas stations offer free air or charge about a quarter to use their tire pump. To fill the tires, remove the valve cap and attach the pump to the tire. Alternate between letting air into the tires and checking the pressure with the gauge to ensure that you get the proper amount. Once the tires are full, remember to screw the cap back on, and you should be good to go!

Pumping car tires is one of the easiest car maintenance jobs to accomplish, and it should be done regularly to maximize your car's efficiency. These basic steps will help you finish this easy check-up to get your car back out onto the roads.  


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By James Goetz