How to check tire air pressure

The easiest way is to bring your car or truck to any of our stores where we'll do it for you, free. If you have to do it yourself, though, here's how:

  • First, check the pressure recommended for your car or truck. (You'll find it on the decal in your glove box or on the driver's side doorjamb.)
    • The pressure level may differ for the front and rear tires.
    • The number on the car may not match the number molded into the tire. Go with the number the car or truck maker recommends.
  • Tire pressures are always given for COLD tires. So check the tires in the morning or after they have been sitting for a couple of hours. Driving heats up the tires and causes the air inside to expand, which makes readings several pounds higher.
  • Use an accurate tire gauge. The built-in gauge on an air hose or compressor at the gas station is often wrong.
  • You can add or release air from the valve stem until your tire's pressure matches the recommended pressure.
    • Add pressure by putting the air nozzle over your tire stem. Squeeze the lever on the end of the hose. You'll hear air going in the tire. It doesn't take long to add — seconds at most. So add a little, check and add some more.
    • To let air out, press down on the needle in the middle of the valve. Most gauges have a small knob for this, but you can use a pen or nail as well.

Checking tire pressure is important. Low air pressure makes tires run hot, uses more gas and affects handling. So make it a simple habit to drop by any of our stores once a month for your free pressure check.

Related Links