How to check your tyre pressure and inflate your tyres
Save fuel, increase on-road safety, and get more life out of your tyres by making sure they are properly inflated.
We explain how to check your tyre pressure and pump up your tyres to perfection.
Why it's important to check your tyre pressure
When was the last time you checked the pressure of your tyres? If you haven’t checked your tyres in over a month, then you might just be wasting fuel, and risking your safety.
Correct tyre pressure is important for three main reasons:
- Badly inflated tyres make it harder to handle your car on the road, impairing your ability to steer, corner, accelerate and brake.
- Incorrect inflation wears your tyres down quicker, as the wrong parts of the rubber make contact with the road.
- Insufficient tyre pressure increases rolling resistance on the road, causing your car to use more fuel.
Check your tyre pressure monthlyCheck and adjust your tyre pressure every month. This will help keep your tyres, and your driving experience, at its best.
So what are you waiting for? Learn how to check your tyre pressure and refill your tyres below.
Air CompressorTo refill your tyres to the correct pressure, you’ll need an air compressor. You can buy a portable air compressor from an auto parts store, but we recommend you simply pop into a petrol station. Air compressors there are usually free, and most can automatically fill your tyre to a chosen pressure.
Tyre Pressure GaugeFor the best results, you’ll also need a tyre pressure gauge.
You can use a manual gauge, or upgrade to a digital gauge
for an easier experience.
Ensure your tyres are coldWe also recommend you check for pressure and inflate your tyres when they are cold. Your tyres will be cold if your car has been parked for at least three hours, or has been driven less than 2km at a moderate speed. So it’s best to find a petrol station that’s close by.
- If your air compressor allows you to set the desired tyre pressure, enter the correct kPA. Generally, this should be the recommended manufacturer pressure you found in step one. However, if you’ve recently driven your car more than 2km, and your tyres are hot, we’d recommend increasing the pressure by 20-50 kPA.
- Unscrew the valve cap from your tyre.
- Attach the air compressor hose to the valve. Make sure you put pressure on the hose so that air can’t escape while the tyre is filling.
- Press on the lever to fill your tyre. If you’re using an automatic tyre compressor, simply hold down the lever until you hear a beep. When the beep sounds, your tyres are at the set pressure. If you’re using a manual air compressor, press the lever and let air into your tyre in short bursts. Measure your pressure at regular intervals and repeat as needed.
- Check your tyre pressure, to make sure your tyres have been correctly inflated. Be aware that petrol station compressors can be inaccurate, so it’s best to check your tyres with your own tyre pressure gauge to make sure the pressure is perfect.
If you find your tyre is overinflated, release some air by turning the valve cap around and then pushing on the valve core, or with your fingernail. If you find your tyre is underinflated, reattach the hose and refill your tyres, slightly increasing the desired kPA. Check your tyre pressure again once you have finished.
Should you adjust your tyre pressure for towing?
Heavy loads or towing put an extra strain on your tyres and many tyre manufacturers will recommend a slightly higher tyre pressure. Check your manufacturer specifications.