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Refresher course time! Checking your tire pressure is a simple way to keep your car operating smoothly and safely.  Want to brush up on how to check your tire pressure or are you interested in teaching your teenager the basics before you hand them the keys? Check out this quick tip article for checking your tire pressure. All you need is a tire gauge – a simple one will do the trick.

Make sure the tires are "cold." This means they have been driven for one mile or less before checking the tire pressure.

For each tire, remove the cap of the valve and press the gauge into the valve, makign sure that you do not hear air hissing out of the valve (the seal between the gauge and the valve should be tight). 

Read the pressure on the gauge and compare it to the recommended tire pressure range that should be printed directly on the tire itself, or in the owner’s manual. You want your tire pressure to be within the range provided by the manufacturer. Note: tires should not be inflated to the maximum listed amount – this is usually far beyond the optimal tire pressure.

Add air if one or more of your tires has low pressure, or is lower than the others. This can be done at most gas stations. 

Tires lose pressure naturally over time, so check your pressure once per month to maintain optimal performance and safety.