5 Reasons Why You Need a Tire Pressure Gauge

bottom side view of a cars tires on the road

Flats are always a drag. However, unless your car requires a pit crew to change tires, the best way to make sure your tires are up and running is a tire pressure gauge. Here are five reasons why you need a tire pressure gauge.

1. Keeping Tires Properly Inflated Boosts Road Safety

Too much or too little air pressure can be dangerous. Improperly inflated tires are more likely to blow out or deform, resulting in a fatal accident. Additionally, ill-inflated tires will make cars unstable and harder to stop, handle, and steer, which increases the risk of an accident. Avoid this by keeping tabs on inflation levels using a tire pressure gauge. 

2. Keeping Tires Properly Inflated Saves Money

Underinflated tires have a larger contact patch between the rubber and the asphalt. This increases friction and ramps up fuel consumption because the tires drag the car down. You can improve your car’s mileage by 0.6 percent on average (and up to 3 percent in some cases) by keeping tires properly inflated. This will also reduce wear, which stretches their useful life, prevents excessive damage, and curbs replacement costs.

3. Tire Pressure Levels Change Over Time

hand with tire pressure gauge on a car wheel

Seasonal changes will impact tire pressure, as it changes between summer and winter. When it is chilly out there, tire pressure will drop slightly, so you will need to adjust inflation levels accordingly. On the other hand, when temperatures rise, the air inside your tires will expand and increase pressure, so you should let a little air out if needed. 

Not all tires are the same, so you need to determine the recommended inflation levels and use a tire pressure gauge to keep them there. You can find the ideal inflation levels on the driver’s manual or a sticker inside the driver’s door. It will appear as a tire pressure chart with the ideal PSIs for the front, rear, and spare tires.

4. Your Car’s Sensors Might Miss Small Pressure Changes

While most vehicles equip a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) these days, a tire pressure gauge will help you deal with seasonal pressure variations that the system might miss. In general terms, the TPMS might miss small variations and only alert you when a tire is seriously low on air. 

5. Keeping Tabs On Inflation is Easy

To check your inflation levels, first make sure that your tires are cold. Then, remove the valve cap from your tires and apply the gauge on the stems. Press the gauge hard enough to hear a hiss and get a reading. Write it down and compare these readings with the recommended levels and adjust accordingly.

If a tire is overinflated, you can use the gauge to let some air out until it has the right pressure. If it is underinflated, use an air pump. Always double-check your tire pressure levels after inflating them.

Another great way to make sure you stay safe on the road is by having the right car insurance coverage with Cost-U-Less. Start your free California car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.