Back to Basics- Checking Your Tire Pressure!

Hello Readers,

 Today we’re going to be continuing our “Back to Basics” series! Last Friday, we posted a “Back to Basics” on how to change a tire, and this week, we’re looking to address another commonly unknown vehicle owner skill! How to… Check your tire pressure! This skill goes hand in hand with changing your vehicles tires, as keeping a careful eye on your tire’s pressure can help avoid some flat tire situations! So, if you need a quick refresher on how to check your tire’s pressure, keep reading. 

 First of all, why is consistent proper tire inflation important? Well, keeping your tires properly inflated can significantly improve your tires life span, provide quicker steering response, save fuel, and make for a smoother ride all around. Its not only under-inflation we’re looking out for either! Both over-inflation and under-inflation can cause pre-mature tread wear and tire failure (see “How To Change A Flat Tire post). The general rule of thumb is to check your tire’s pressure monthly. Lets talk about how:

Things you’ll need:

 -Tire Pressure Gauge 

-Pen and Paper 

-Air Compresser


 “Your tire pressure gauge can be digital or standard. Auto parts stores typically carry both. Many auto parts stores sell portable air compressors that run from your car battery or 12v power port. Alternatively, you can use the air compressor found at most gas stations. They usually cost $0.50 or $1.00 to use. (Source 1). 


  1. If possible, start with cold tires- Vehicle manufacturers specify “PSI’s” assuming that the tires are cold. The tires are considered “cold” if the vehicle has been parked for three hours, or has been driven at a very slow speed not too far in distance. A “PSI” is the unit your pressure gauge uses to provide readings.
  2. Check the Manufacturer’s Recommended PSI- Look on the driver’s side door jamb or your owner’s manual to find the recommended cold tire PSI for your front and rear tires.  If you cannot find it, you should consult your vehicle dealer, manufacturer, or a qualified tire professional.
  3. Record each tire’s pressures as you go.
  4. Using the Pressure Gauge- Remove the valve cap from one of your tires. Then place the pressure gauge on the valve stem and press down hard enough so the hiss sound disappears and your gauge provides a reading. Measurement units are etched into the bar.
  5. Repeat for all tires. 
  6. Fill to Recommended PSI- Use an air compressor to refill any tires with low pressure. Many Air Compressors are different, so read the directions carefully. If you’re using a gas station machine, insert change into the machine and fill each tire by placing the end of the hose over the valve stem and pressing on the lever. Using a gas station air compressor means your tires might be “hot.”  Adjust inflation pressure when tires are “hot”, set their pressure to 4 PSI above the recommended cold inflation pressure. Recheck the inflation pressure when the tires are cold.

       7. Double check each tire for proper inflation, and repeat monthly! 


 Thats it! You’re all set for a smooth drive on your properly inflated tires! 


Thanks for reading, safe driving everyone!

 HRC Insurance 





Since the 1900's...

Born under the name George Hutcheson, Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell Ltd. began providing insurance policies in Muskoka since the early 1900s. Bernard Reynolds joined the firm in the 1940s and purchased the firm from George Hutcheson in 1967. Finally, in 1980, David Caswell joined the company's ranks to complete Hutcheson, Reynolds and Caswell. We have grown along with our name and provide the same dedication to superior customer service and top-notch insurance coverage that George Hutcheson was famous for over 100 years ago.