It's easy to take modern cars for granted, but they still need a little TLC between annual visits to the garage. As well as basics like oil and water, the tyre pressures need checking regularly too. 

Driving with your tyres at the right pressure is crucial for safety and saves you money. 

Besides the risk of a puncture, tyres lose pressure slowly over time. Under-inflated tyres wear out faster, increase fuel consumption and reduce your car's grip, handling and braking performance. 

You also have a legal duty to maintain your vehicle in a roadworthy condition – and that includes tyre pressures.

You'll find the correct tyre pressures in your car handbook, or on a sticker inside the driver's door or fuel filler flap. There are usually 2 figures; one for normal driving and a higher one to use when the car's loaded with passengers and luggage.

Units

Tyre pressures are usually given in either psi (pounds per square inch) or bar, and most tyre pressure gauges will be calibrated in both – make sure you use the right scale though, as 1 bar = 14.5 psi.

Tyre pressure gauges are cheap, reliable and easy to use – keep one at home so you can check tyre pressures before you drive anywhere.

You will find a gauge and tyre inflator at many petrol stations but bear in mind that the heat generated by driving will add 3 or 4 psi to the pressure. Allow for this if you're inflating a soft tyre but don't let air out of a hot tyre to reduce the pressure to that in the handbook – they'll be too soft when they cool down.

How often?

The Highway Code recommends checking tyre pressures every week, but we think that every couple of weeks – or before a long journey –is about right. Why not set a reminder in your phone so you don't forget?

The pressures given in the handbook are for cold tyres so it's important to check the pressures at home or after the car has been standing for at least 30 minutes.

Check tyres for any damage or uneven tread wear at the same time.

If you have a spare wheel in the boot, remember to check that at the same time. There's nothing worse than getting a puncture and discovering that your spare is flat.

Buying new tyres

Buy your tyres from us and a fitter will come to you, at a time that suits, and fit brand-new tyres that are all perfectly balanced and at the correct pressure – so you're ready to go. We can even check your other tyres while we're there. And we'll send you a reminder afterwards, when your tyre tread is likely to be getting low. 

More information on tyre pressure

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