No matter how prepared you are it never fails you walk out to your car running late and you have a low tire that needs air. While it might be your first instinct to get in the car and drive to your local gas station or garage to get your tires filled it could be a bad decision. If you drive on tires that are too low in air it can damage your tires and cause them to fail prematurely or when you fill them up. Below we cover the basic steps to airing your tires up on your car at home.
- Check Your Air Pressure- Before you get started you should check all of your tires air pressure with a tire gauge. In the old days you had a couple of simple tire gauges you could choose but had to have a separate air chuck to fill the tires. We suggest to get a Digital Air Pressure Gauge and Inflator combo. This will allow you to quickly and accurately check the pressure in your tires.
- Find the Optimal Tire Pressure- All vehicles have the suggested air pressure for your vehicle either in the door jamb on a sticker or in the owners manual. You can also look at the tires themselves for the maximum pressure the tires can be filled to. If you can’t find any of this anywhere a safe pressure for most vehicles is 30-35PSI.
- Remove Valve Stem Cap- The valve stem cap is a cover over where you fill the air. It keeps the dirt and water out of the valve stem. It will be a black or silver cover you unthread from the valve stem itself.
- Check Air Pressure- Turn your digital air gauge on and attach the lead to the valve stem. Don’t be concerned if you hear a little air escape as you install the pressure gauge lead to the tire. The gauge should then read a pressure on it and tell you where you’re at.
- Fill The tire- If any of your tires need air you can install an air compressor hose to the digital gauge/inflator. Even a small pancake air compressor will be able to fill your tires, so anyone can own an air compressor. Once the air compressor has filled and turned off you can begin filling your tires. Pull the lever on the inflator for a few seconds and let off to monitor the air pressure after adding to the tire. Continue to do this until you get to the optimal tire pressure. If you added too much air there is a release on most digital tire inflators to let air out until you get to your desired pressure. You can then install your valve stem cap and drive as normal. You may need to have a mechanic reset a pressure warning light on newer cars if it is still on after filling the tires.