Experts say that you must check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before going on a long trip. Also, make it a habit to check your tyres every time you fill up with fuel. Ideally, tyre pressure should be measured when tyres are cold—that is, when you have driven less than a mile. Otherwise, your tyres may have heated up, increasing the air pressure inside them by several pounds. This is normal. Never "bleed" or reduce the air pressure in a hot tyre.
There is no universal "right" pressure for all tyres. The proper inflation level will depend on what tyres you have, and it may even be different for your front and back tyres. To find the correct pressure for your tyres, look at the tyre information placard that’s mounted inside the frame of the driver’s door, in the glove box or inside the fuel door. You can also get that information in your vehicle owner’s manual and from your tyre dealer.
It's important to be accurate in filling your tyres. Don't try to guess the pressure — a tyre can lose half its pressure without looking flat. Instead, use a reliable tyre pressure gauge. It's also a good idea to have your own gauge, because you can’t always count on the gauge on the air hose at the garage or filling station.
Wheel alignment and balancing are important for safety and maximum mileage from your tyres. Inspect your tyres regularly: at least once a month inspect your tyres closely for signs of uneven wear.
Uneven wear patterns may be caused by improper inflation pressure, misalignment, improper balance or suspension neglect. If not corrected, further tyre damage will occur. These conditions shorten the life of your tyres and may result in loss of vehicle control and serious personal injury.
If any of these conditions exist, the cause may often be corrected at your tyre dealer or other service facility. Your tyres will then last longer.
In addition to performing regular maintenance, you must also keep an eye out for potential problems that might affect your tyres. Regular inspections can help you prevent tyre trouble, and keep you safely on the move.
When inspecting your tyres, look for:
- Uneven tread wear. This can include more wear on one tread edge than the other, a rippled pattern of high and low wear, or exposed steel wire. Uneven wear can be caused by problems such as underinflation, misalignment and improper balancing.
- Shallow tread. Bald tyres tend to skid and slide on the road, and are more likely to be damaged by potholes and other road hazards. The tread on your tyre should be at least 1.6mm deep. If it isn’t, the tyre must be replaced. To help you see tread problems, tyres have built-in “tread wear indicators.” These are narrow bars of smooth rubber that run across the tread: When the tread is even with the bars, you are approaching the time when the tyres are due to be replaced.
- Troublemakers. Check for small stones, pieces of glass, bits of metal and other foreign objects that might be wedged into the tread, and carefully pick them out. They can cause serious problems if they are pushed further into your tyre as you drive.
- Damaged areas.Cracks, cuts, splits, punctures, holes and bulges in the tread or on the sides of the tyre can indicate serious problems, and the tyre may need to be replaced.
- Slow leaks. Wheel and tyre assemblies lose some air pressure (about 2 psi) over the course of a month or so, but if you find that you have to add air every few days, have the tyre, wheel and valve checked—and if necessary, repair or replace the tyre.
- Valve caps. Those little caps on your tyre’s valve stem keep moisture and dirt out, so make sure they are on all your tyres. Also, when you have a tyre replaced, have a new valve stem assembly installed at the same time.
Driving on a damaged tyre can be dangerous. If you see something you’re not sure about during your inspection, have it examined by your tyre dealer. Any time you see damage to a tyre, don’t drive on it — use a spare if you need to go somewhere. And finally, pay attention to the “feel” of your tyres as you drive. A rough ride may indicate tyre damage or excessive wear. If you notice vibrations or other disturbances while driving, and/or you suspect possible damage to your tyre or vehicle, immediately reduce speed, drive with caution until you can safely pull off the road and stop, and inspect your tyres.
If a tyre is damaged, deflate it and replace it with your spare. If you do not see any tyre damage and cannot identify the source of the vibration, have the vehicle towed to a mechanic or tyre dealer for a thorough inspection.
Tyre fitting can be dangerous and should be done only by trained persons using proper tools and procedures. Serious injury or death may result from explosion of tyre/rim assembly due to improper fitting. Always get a tyre dealer to fit your tyres on rims.
Please refer to our Tyre Sidewall page for further information.