How to Properly Test your PSI: Prestige Service Advice
How to Properly Test your PSI
Properly inflated tires will provide you with better gas mileage; this will save you an extra ducat here and there, which will, in turn, afford you the opportunity to buy a few more pieces of hard candy next time you’re shopping at your local five-and-dime. Likewise, maintaining the correct PSI will help prevent blowouts and other tire-related hazards, giving you a safer driving experience. Finally, ensuring your inflation rates are correct will give you a smoother ride, offering you the most comfortable drive your vehicle can deliver (and you know you deserve it, gosh darn it).
The copywriters over at DMV.org have already compiled a thorough page on how to properly gauge your tire pressure. You can read the entire article at their site, but, frankly, that probably would be overkill. The highlights, therefore, are as follows:
Recommendations may vary, but you should never inflate the tires five PSI more or less than what is recommended. Under-inflating wears out the sides of the tire, and is actually a driving hazard. Over-inflated tires will wear more quickly, and are also dangerous because of the increased possibility of a blowout. If you are unsure about the PSI for your tires, or it is unclear or worn away on the side of your tires, ask your mechanic or someone who knows about vehicles what PSI you should have for your tires.
Smaller compact and mid-size sedans typically have PSI levels between 30 and 40 PSI. Larger vehicles with larger tires, including bigger sedans, usually have higher pressure, around 45 PSI.
To get a PSI reading on your tire, place the air pressure gauge onto the tire’s valve stem, the pencil-width air nozzle on the side of the tire. Try to place the gauge evenly onto the valve stem. This will allow air to escape, but once you firmly press the gauge down on the valve stem, it will stop the flow of air and give your gauge a reading, either by blowing out the metered stick with a traditional gauge, or a reading with a digital model gauge.
There’s also a bevy of video explanations on how to properly gauge your PSI. For instance, the below video with Chris Cozad, President of Alternative Auto Care, does a solid job:
Cozad also mentions that the valve covers should be put back on after inflating the tires. If you lose your valve caps they should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid damaging the valve (a valve replacement will be both expensive and inconvenient). The plain black caps can be picked up at any auto parts store for very little money. If you want to add a little flair to your tire valves you can also consider getting valve caps that have either the Audi or Porsche logo. You’ll spend a little more but your tires will have never looked more dapper.
Not all tire pressure gauges are created equal. Consumer Reports produced a buying guide explaining the difference between the three main types: stick, digital, and dial. They also warn to use a gauge that has been well maintained (that means you can’t trust the one attached to the air pump at the gas station). You should also select a pressure gauge that will be easy to interpret and useful even in low light conditions.
You can pick up the Audi and Porsche crested valve stem caps or order an OEM Audi or Porsche dial gauge through the Prestige Imports Parts Boutique. If you are interested in getting some tire gear or need more information regarding how to properly test your psi, call our Service and Parts Department at (833) 825-5423.
Cover image by Antti, courtesy of Creative Commons.