It was a Facebook post that got everyone’s attention—and hopefully made the poster pay attention to her tires. “The tire pressure on my van’s tire was 15 psi-I’m guessing that’s not good?” Needless to say, 15 psi is not the correct tire pressure for her van (or for almost any tire). If you’re asking the same question, here’s the answer—and answers to a few other common questions about car and truck tires.
What is the correct psi for my tire?
First of all, psi stands for pounds per square inch. In essence, it is the amount of pressure that you should have in your tire (and for good reasons: safety, tire wear, ride, money savings, gas mileage). The answer is different for every car and truck, but is fairly easy to find. The proper psi for your vehicle can be found in your car’s owner manual or on a decal that is on the frame below you as you climb in the driver’s side door.
How often should I check the psi of my tires?
Your tire pressure may rise and fall with the weather and road conditions, so make sure you check it on a regular basis. To remember, have your mechanic check at every oil change. Don’t rely on a quick glance or the tire pressure monitor on your dashboard; sometimes your tire can be low and you don’t even know it. If your tire pressure psi is consistently low, contact your mechanic to find out if the problem can be fixed or if you need a new tire.
How can I find out what the psi of my tire is?
The first step is to buy a tire pressure gauge; they’re fairly inexpensive (depending on how high tech of a gauge you buy) and easy to find. Next, unscrew the cap from your tire stem. Insert your gauge into the end of the stem. Your tire pressure gauge tells you what the psi is (here’s a video to help you figure it out) so you know if you have a leak and if your tire is at the correct psi.