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How Often Should You Check Tire Pressure? Essential Guide

How Often Should You Check Tire Pressure? Essential Guide

June 12, 2024
Revvo Technologies

Tire pressure checks are a critical part of vehicle maintenance – but how often should you check tire pressure? Some say once a month is the best option while others believe that’s unnecessarily frequent. This guide will break everything down so you know the ideal schedule for monitoring tire pressures.

Understanding Tire Pressure Checks – What’s The Point?

Before we look at how often tire pressure should be checked, let’s discuss why these checks are important. All cars should be at the recommended air tire pressure – or as close to it as possible – because problems arise when the tires are either over- or underinflated.

The American Safety Council notes the following common issues when tires aren’t at the right pressure reading:

  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Increased running costs
  • A higher risk of damaging the vehicle
  • A lack of vehicle control while driving
  • A reduction in ride comfort and stability, leading to suspension damage

In other words, tire pressure checks will help you save a lot of money, avoid accidents, and keep your vehicle in the best condition for as long as possible.

Where To Find The Recommended Tire Air Pressure

The recommended tire air pressure typically can be found in either of these locations:

  • The vehicle owner’s manual
  • On a sticker inside the driver’s door

In both instances, you’ll find details of the tire pressure for your front and rear tires. Some vehicles will have differing numbers depending on how the load is distributed throughout the chassis.

Things get more complex when you’re driving typical fleet vehicles like vans or trucks. These vehicles may have additional tire pressure recommendations depending on how much weight is loaded. You’ll typically need to increase the tire pressure as the heaviness of the load goes up.

How Often Should You Check Tire Pressure?

How often should you check your tire pressure to make sure your tires are staying healthy? It’s a question that’s more complicated than it sounds, as your tire checks vary in frequency depending on a few factors:

  • How often you’re driving the vehicle
  • How long the journeys are
  • How much weight is loaded

For the general population, it’s advised that you check your tire pressure once a month.

This is because your tires can lose around 1 PSI of pressure every month if you’re driving an average amount. Dipping 1 PSI below the recommended tire air pressure isn’t a huge problem, but the longer you leave it, the more issues it can cause. It’s also a lot faster and easier to re-inflate your tires when they only drop by 1 or 2 PSI, which is why monthly checks are recommended.

If you’re reading this as the manager of a fleet, you’re likely asking the question: How often should I check my tire pressure compared to the general public? Looking at the factors we mentioned earlier, you can see how vehicle fleets are affected by all three. Each vehicle is likely to do more than the average daily mileage, they’re going to be driven extremely frequently, and they will often be driven with heavy loads inside.  

This means once-a-month checks aren’t enough for fleet managers. You’ll need to increase the frequency depending on how much usage you get out of your vehicles. If they’re on the road for multiple hours a day, 5-7 days a week, then tire pressure checks should be done once a week – possibly once every two weeks at the absolute minimum. Ideally you can use a tire management system such as Revvo and have constant monitoring of your tires health at all times and be proactively notified if anything needs attention.

We also recommend checking your vehicle fleet tire pressure before setting out on any journey when the vehicle is fully loaded. This is because you’ll need to adjust it to make the tires more inflated, accommodating the added load.

Should You Check Tire Air Pressure Before and After Long Journeys?

Yes – tire pressure checks should be carried out before and after long journeys. If you conducted your monthly tire check a few days before setting off on a long journey, you don’t need to do it again. This ensures your tires will be inflated to their ideal pressure as you embark on a long drive. Having underinflated tires is more problematic when you’re driving for a long time as there are more opportunities for issues to happen.

Check the pressure readings after long journeys so you can assess the health of your tires following a trip. It’s common for the pressure to drop dramatically due to excessive usage – also, the road quality might differ during a long journey, increasing tire wear and making them lose more pressure than normal. A quick check when you return ensures that everything is okay and all tires are not under-inflated.

Guidelines for Checking Tire Pressure

You must follow some essential guidelines when checking the tire air pressure in your vehicles. Thankfully, these rules aren’t difficult to follow – if you neglect them, you’re likely to get inaccurate readings that can impact the tires’ health.

  • Always check the tire pressure when the tires are cold. According to Continental Tires, tire pressure readings are the most accurate when the tires are cold. This is because the air inside tires expands when they’re warm, which can raise the pressure. If you take a reading when the tires are warm, it’s likely to be a lot higher and may make you think the tires are over-inflated.Checking the tire pressure in the morning is the best option, but if you want to do it after driving then you should wait at least 3 hours to let the tires cool down fully.
  • Check tire pressure using a proper tire pressure gauge. You can buy these online or find them at most gas stations. Be sure the device you’re using is reliable – read the reviews before purchasing online.Check the pressure by removing the end cap on the tire’s air valve and attaching the tire pressure gauge to the valve stem. Press down as firmly as possible until you no longer hear the sound of air being released. The gauge should show a reading in PSI.
  • Perform multiple checks of all tires plus any spares. One way to test if a tire pressure gauge is accurate is by taking multiple readings across all of the tires. This lets you see if the first reading was an anomaly; if all the other readings show a different number, then you know those readings are the true ones. Taking 3 readings is recommended for the most accurate results.Don’t forget to check the spare tire pressure either – you never know when it may be required, so ensure that it’s always inflated and ready to use.
  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Tire pressure readings should only be compared with the manufacturer’s recommendations. All vehicles are slightly different, so don’t use another vehicle’s tire pressure recommendations as your own.

Tire Pressure Maintenance for Healthy Tires

Maintaining the right tire pressure is important to keep your tires healthy. When tires become under or over-inflated, they change the way a vehicle behaves. Here are some general maintenance tips that’ll ensure your tire pressure remains stable and the tire pressure warning light doesn’t appear on your dash:

  • Take regular tire pressure readings. As mentioned earlier, you should check your tire pressure at least once a month. If you own fleet vehicles or drive more regularly, this should be increased to once every week or two. It’s the best way to manage tire pressure and check that it’s never dropping too low.
  • Adjust the tire pressure for loads. Tires will become under-inflated very quickly if they’re not adjusted when carrying heavy loads. Vans and trucks should have additional recommendations for this, but the general rule is to increase the tire pressure by a couple of PSI if your vehicle is full.
  • Don’t forget to check and adjust all tires – Having tires with different pressures can ruin the balance of your vehicle. While front and rear tires might require different pressure readings, it’s unwise to have two wheels on the same axle with different pressures. If you’re adjusting the tire pressure, make sure you go around the whole car and check for imbalances.

Final Thoughts On Checking Tire Pressure

To sum up, monthly tire pressure checks are a necessity for everyone. The average driver will benefit from these checks and prevent their tires from under-inflating and causing a host of problems – such as excess fuel consumption, more tire degradation, and a higher risk of road accidents.

For fleet owners, we recommend more frequent tire pressure checks depending on how often your vehicles are used. With the help of Revvo, you can use state-of-the-art technology to persistently and automatically monitor fleet tire pressure and know when they need to be re-inflated. It makes everything easier as you protect against having vehicles with under-inflated tires driving around.

Revvo — Your AI Tire Management Solution

Reducing friction isn’t just between tire and road, but between data collection and analysis. With rich analytics from AI such as Revvo’s TireIQ, fleet managers are finding ways to improve performance, safety, and uptime on the road. The result is lower costs for fleets of all types.

Looking to increase your performance, safety and uptime? With analysis from 375 billion data points, Revvo is ready to share useful insights for your fleet. See a demo today.

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