How to put air in your tires, something every Wo(man) should know
Oh the pressure (no pun intended) I’ve felt for the last two weeks about what my first actual post will be about! I have so many things to tell you and tips to share! I settled on talking about how to air up those flat tires because I was inspired by my wonderfully girly friend at lunch last week.
We were discussing blogs because she has started one as well! Her’s will focus on tasty morsels and pretty things - exactly opposite of mine. If you check hers out, please promise you won’t leave me forever! Just think of us as a nice balance - the perfect women when you put us together! You can find her blog here, Donce Niente.
Anyway, when she heard what my blog was about, she laughed and then launched into how her “low pressure” light has been lit up for some time, but she has no idea how to air up those bad boys. I was not shocked and this further confirmed what I am here for, ALLELUIA!! Remember, I’m the weird one with the manly streak. This is a very small detail, but is incredibly important for safety and maintaining your tires…those things are NOT cheap! I know most of you are paying for those handy services where someone else will worry about this for you, but what happens when you’re in the middle of the desert and your tires are low? Huh?
And now, for your lesson:
How do you check your tire pressure? You need a tire gauge to check the pressure and you should go ahead and put one in every car you own. They can be found at most gas stations, AutoZone, Pep Boys, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Napa Auto Parts, Walmart - those sort of places. I recommend the ones with a metal body rather than the cheap plastic ones. Another kind I like, but have had trouble finding, is a round one like this (I found this one at AutoZone). I like it because it’s easier for me to apply even pressure with my small girl hands when I’m checking my tire pressure.
Another question you may have is, how much air do I put in my tires? On your tires, there are a bunch of numbers, locate the numbers that indicate how much pressure they should hold when full (usually have psi after them). As you can see, mine require 35psi when full and hot*.
Find a place, usually a gas station, that has an air hose. Most of the time they are labeled pretty well and are in a free standing thingy with a water hose. And sometimes they are just a air hose coiled on the ground. It usually costs around 75 cents and they run for a couple of minutes. Usually you would have to be Speedy Gonzales to air up your tires in their allotted time. (I own my own, of course, but you can be just like me). See the little button inside the round head? That will fit over the little button inside of your tire stem and when pushed together, allow air flow to happen.
Remove stem cap from stem - don’t lose it. Check your tire pressure to see how much air you need to put in. Mine are about 5 psi low, which isn’t much, but can effect the wear of my tires and shorten their life if I continually drive around with too little air.
To air up, put the air hose attachment on tire stem so that it fits over opening snugly and then push down evenly. If you don’t get it on there straight, air may not be going into your tire and/or you will be freaking out because of the intense pressure of compressed air is making a hissing sound and you think you’re about to blow up. You’re not, it’s just not connected correctly. Once you begin filling your tire, be sure to stop and check the pressure every 15 to 30 seconds to see how much more air you need to add. Once your tire is at the recommended psi, put the cap back on stem and move to the next tire!
If you put too much air in your tires, you can always let some out by pushing on the little button in the middle of the tire stem with your fingernail (I need to make sure my nails look better than this next time) or the back of a tire pressure gauge. The air will come out forcefully, don’t freak out.
It’s always good to check your spare tire about every 6 months. If you do end up getting a flat, a flat spare is not going to do you any good! Hmm, that would be a good post, how to change a flat tire…
*This is important to consider - if you have been driving around prior to filling up your tires, the pressure reading will be higher than if you are testing them while they are cold. Remember high school chemistry - hot air expands. So, if you drove 20 minutes to the gas station to fill up and you check your tire pressure there, it will show you have more air in your tires than you actually do. In this instance, you may want to overfill 3-5psi. But, it is NOT a good thing but if you put too much air in your tires, so err on the side of caution.
A few tips - 1. A lot of gas stations will turn the air on for you for free…usually because you’re a cute girl. 2. You can prepare by removing stem caps and pre-checking your tire pressure in each tire before turning on the air pump. This way you can move more quickly from tire to tire. 3. If you know me and you know where I live, I have my own compressor and would love to teach you how to fill up your tires!