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What Should My Tire Pressure Be?

Your car’s recommended tire inflation pressure is the figure determined by the vehicle engineers to help optimize performance, traction, and ride quality. The inflation pressure in your tires is what holds the weight of your car as it stops, starts and corners, so maintaining the vehicle recommended tire pressure is critical.

Filling up a tire’s air using a tire inflator

How Can I Find My Vehicle’s Recommended Tire Pressure?

The car manufacturer has provided the vehicle’s tire sizes and recommended cold tire pressures located on a placard somewhere in your car. The first place to check would be somewhere along the door frame around the driver’s door jamb. This tire placard lists the proper cold tire pressure for both the front and rear of your car.

Other places where you might find a tire placard are inside your glove box or inside the fuel lid. If the placard isn’t there, your vehicle owner’s manual will almost always list the proper recommended tire inflation pressures.

In order to determine your current tire pressure, you may:

  1. Use a tire pressure gauge,
  2. If available in your model vehicle, check your digital tire pressure readout on your dashboard,
  3. Visit an authorized Goodyear dealer to have your tire pressure evaluated.

Note: It’s important that tire pressure is checked while the tires are cold, which means the vehicle has not been driven for a minimum of 3 hours, and ideally the tires are kept in a shaded area.

One place to not look for the vehicle recommended tire pressure is on the sidewall of the tire. There will typically be an inflation pressure listed on your tire – but that pressure is the maximum inflation pressure for the tire, and not the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Checking the pressure in your tires is a relatively simple process. Learn more on how to check your tire pressure.

What Happens If I Use the Incorrect Tire Pressure?

A tire with an inflation pressure less than what is specified on the vehicle placard when the tire pressure is checked cold (not driven for a minimum of 3 hours) is considered underinflated. An underinflated tire may not support the load of the vehicle and can result in poor vehicle handling, uneven and premature treadwear, and increased rolling resistance - negatively impacting fuel economy, and potentially resulting in excessive heat buildup which could ultimately lead to tire failure.

Conversely, a tire with an inflation pressure greater than what is specified on the vehicle placard when checked cold is considered overinflated. An overinflated tire can result in a harsh ride, poor vehicle handling, be more prone to impact damage, and potentially result in reduced wet and dry traction.

How Often Should I Check My Tire Pressure?

Checking a tire's air pressure by using a tire pressure gauge

Most modern cars, model year 2007 or newer, have a tire pressure monitoring system (known as TPMS) that will illuminate a light on the instrument panel if any tire is 25% or more underinflated. This is a critical safety feature that may alert you to a rapid loss in tire pressure, or indicate a severely underinflated tire; however, tires can be in an overloaded condition prior to reaching the 25% TPMS threshold.

Whether your vehicle has a TPMS system or not, Goodyear recommends that you check your tire pressure at least once a month, to help make sure your car drives as well as it can, keep your tires in optimal condition, and maintain the best possible fuel economy. It’s also a great idea to check your tire pressure before you head out on a long road trip to minimize the chances of tire problems while a long way from home. Further, if the temperature swings significantly, it’s a good idea to check the pressure and adjust appropriately since the inflation pressure changes as the temperature changes.

Don’t forget to also check the tire pressure in your spare tire! If the unfortunate happens and you need to change the spare tire while on the road, that spare does no good if it’s flat. Your tire placard or owner’s manual will also list the proper spare inflation pressure, which is commonly different from your regular tires.

What Do I Do if My Tire Keeps Losing Air Pressure?

If your tire keeps losing pressure, you could have damage to the tire or valve stem. If you’re continually using the tire when it’s underinflated, the excessive heat and friction could cause damage to the tire. If your tire often needs re-inflation, the tire should be inspected by a Goodyear Authorized Dealer or replaced. Your Goodyear Authorized dealer can inspect the tire, repair it if possible, or suggest replacement options for your vehicle.

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