How to fix car tire pressure

5 Easy Steps to Fix Low Tire Pressure

Not many things are worse than driving with low tire pressure. Properly inflating your tires is crucial for safety, especially when you go on a long road trip or drive on the highway.

Fortunately, doing this requires only a few minutes of your time and little to no knowledge in cars or mechanics. You can do it while on the road, or when you visit a gas station. Here is everything you need to do to fix the low tire pressure.

Repercussions of Driving with Low Tire Pressure

There are a few reasons why car and tire manufacturers recommend drivers to keep the tires properly inflated. And, the primary reason for that is safety.

When the pressure in the tires is low, the overall stability will be worse than with properly inflated tires. That’s especially true if your tires are a lot of PSI (Bar) under the recommended tire pressure.

More accurately, because the tires are softer, the handling will be less responsive – your car will feel heavier. Also, the vehicle becomes unstable at very low speeds, which is only exaggerated on the highway.

Furthermore, underinflated tires worsen the performance and fuel economy of your car. While you probably won’t be able to feel the performance decrease, the “mpg” meter on your car will show much lower numbers.

On average, the fuel consumption of your car will increase by 0.2% for every PSI of pressure dropped. This means that if the pressure falls from 32 PSI to 20 PSI, you will experience around 1.5% worse fuel economy.

Finally, driving on low tire pressure can accelerate the tread wear of your tires. Accelerated wear can quickly render your tires useless, especially for driving on wet surfaces. Moreover, this means that you’ll replace the tires sooner, which might cost you in the long run.

How to Fill Your Tires with Air

Inflating the tires on your car is quick and straightforward. However, to do it properly, it’s best to prepare well.

First, make sure that your tires are cold when inflating and measuring the pressure. It would be best if you did it in the morning, or only after driving a few miles. Never measure the pressure after a long ride.

Then, prepare with some tools. To check the pressure on your tires, you’ll need a tire pressure gauge. Nowadays, gauges are very inexpensive, and they are also tiny so that you can keep it inside the area for the spare tire.

Then, you will also need an air pump to inflate the tire. Many types of air pumps exist, including hand-operated, foot-operated, and an automatic air pump.

The hand- and -foot-operated air pumps are less expensive, but they also require much more force and take more time.

Automatic air pumps usually connect to the 12V socket in your vehicle, which makes the whole job faster and much more convenient.

Now, let’s see what’s needed to inflate your tires properly.

Step 1. Remove the Valve Stem Cap

Unscrew the plastic cap that sits over the valve stem. On steel rims with wheel covers, you might also need to remove the cover. Place the plastic cap in a safe place – you’ll need to screw it in place later.

Otherwise, dirt and debris might get into the valve stem, which can get in the way the next time you want to inflate or measure the pressure in your tires.

Step 2. Use a Tire Pressure Gauge to Measure the Existing Pressure

Place the end of the hose of the tire gauge on the valve stem. Push as hard as needed, so there is no hissing noise. Then, check the reading – on analog gauges, the needle should jump immediately. On digital gauges, though, you might need to push a button to activate it.

Step 3. Check the Recommended Tire Pressure for Your Car

Once you measured the pressure inside the tire, it’s best to compare it to the recommended pressure first. You can find the recommended tire pressure on a sticker on the sill of the driver’s or passenger’s door. If you can’t find it there, it’s best to refer to the owner’s manual.

Don’t inflate the tire if the tire pressure is equal to the recommended one.

Step 4. Inflate the Tires Using an Air Pump

Place the end of the hose on the valve stem and make sure that it clamps in place. If you hear a hissing sound, you won’t be able to inflate the tire. On some air pumps, you might need to hold the tip of the hose firmly pressed against the valve stem.

Then, start pumping for a while. Check the tire pressure on every 15-30 seconds, as overinflated tires will also not perform well. And, even if you overinflate the tire, don’t worry. Press the core of the valve stem with a sharp object, and the tire will start deflating.

Once you reach the recommended pressure, place the plastic cap back over the valve stem.

Step 5. Inflate the Tires at the Nearest Gas Station (Optional)

You can also fix low tire pressure at the nearest gas station. The air pumps at gas stations will automatically reach the desired pressure. Just enter the recommended pressure on the apparatus, put the hose on the valve stem, and wait until you hear the sound signal.

What to Do if the TPMS Light is Still Illuminated?

When one of your tires is underinflated, the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) on your dashboard will illuminate. As soon as you inflate the tire, though, the light should go out. However, in many cases, the light might not go out immediately. Here is what you need to do to rectify that.

Drive for a While

Driving for around 5-10 miles at speeds of 40-50 mph should be enough for the TPMS light to go out. If it doesn’t go out, make sure to recheck the pressure.

Reset the TPMS Light

If you are sure that the tires are correctly inflated, you can reset the TPMS light. Most vehicles have a reset button on the lower part of the steering wheel column. If you can’t find it there, consult your user’s manual.

Then, turn the key to the “ON” position, push the button, and hold it until the TPMS light blinks three times. It should stop shining after.


In this day and age, fixing a low tire pressure is very easy and straightforward. Every gas station has an air pump, and you can even purchase an automatic one on the cheap and keep it in the trunk. There is simply no justification in driving with low tire pressure, precisely because it hurts safety.

And, even if this article didn’t help you find a solution for your underinflated tires, feel free to put a question down below. I’m sure we can find a solution to your issue. And, crucially, stay safe!

How to Fill Your Tires With Air in Six Steps

How to Fill Your Tires With Air in Six Steps - MySynchrony

Automotive>Tires & Brakes | Maintenance & Repair

November 10, 2022

Don't Take Your Tires For Granted

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 12% of the nation's passenger cars have at least one tire underinflated by 25% or more. Considering tire pressure can affect things like handling, braking, riding comfort, mileage and safety, that's a surprising statistic.

Purchasing new tires can be a pretty involved process. There's a lot to consider when making such an important purchase, especially if you're not a car enthusiast or expert.

Many late-model cars are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which is an internal car system that alerts you when one or more tires are significantly underinflated by displaying the yellow low-tire indicator on your dashboard. Resetting your car's TPMS after the tire(s) are inflated depends on the car model, as well as whether or not you have a direct or indirect TPMS.

Tip: Tires normally lose a small amount of air pressure every day. Left unchecked, that can add up to a problem.

There are recommended techniques for both reaching and maintaining tire pressure and reducing tire wear. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, driving on underinflated tires can cause unsafe handling problems, as well as contribute to tire wear and reduced gas mileage.


What happens when you drive on underinflated tires?

Tire pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). The recommended tire pressure or psi specified by your vehicle's manufacturer or on the tire itself is there to ensure that you get optimum performance every time you drive. This includes optimum tire wear and comfort.

Granted, underinflating your tires to make them softer can result in a smoother ride and a larger contact patch (area) with the road surface. But not without some tradeoffs.

When an underinflated tire (even by as little as 6 psi) hits a pothole, it increases the possibility of damaging it. With decreased tire pressure, the center of the tire's tread bows in slightly, causing the tire to ride on its outer edges. The result is excessive wear on the tire's inner and outer shoulders. In addition, the softer sidewall of an underinflated tire can exaggerate the sway your vehicle experiences when cornering, and may cause a top-heavy vehicle to roll over.

Tip: Make it a habit to check your tire pressure once a month.

How to check tire pressure

Ultimately, low tire pressure can shorten the lifespan of your tires. Having the correct pressure in car tires also helps you get good gas mileage. To understand the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle, review the tag on the inside of the door.

Here are 6 steps to follow when checking the tire pressure:

  1. Remove the cap from the air valve on the tire, and put it somewhere you won't lose it.
  2. Press the tire gauge against the open valve stem for a second or two. It's normal to hear a hiss of air.
  3. Read the air pressure gauge. For manual gauges, a dial points to the pressure or a bar indicates the pressure by how far it was pushed out. The pressure will appear on the screen of a digital tire gauge.
  4. Compare this number with the recommended tire pressure.
  5. Replace the tire's air valve cap. (Hold off on this step if you need to adjust the air pressure.)
  6. Repeat this process for each tire.

How to fill tires with air: 6 Steps

  • Position your car next to the air pump so that the air hose will reach all four tires.
  • Unscrew the valve stem cap of the first tire and put it where it won't get lost—like in your pocket.
  • Use your tire pressure gauge to check the psi of the tire.
  • Place the air hose nozzle over the valve stem as you did with the tire gauge and add air in short bursts until you reach your vehicle's recommended tire pressure. Follow the tire pressure chart affixed to your vehicle's inside doorpost or inside the glove box. As a rule of thumb, a tire will inflate by one pound per square inch every second and a half. Some vehicles require all four tires inflated to the same psi. Others require a differential between the front and rear.
  • Check your tire pressure with your gauge to make sure it's at the recommended psi. If too low, continue to add air in short bursts and recheck. If you add too much, let out some air by pressing the pin in the center of the tire valve with the back of the air hose nozzle or your tire gauge. Generally, the tire will let out approximately one psi for every three seconds the pin is depressed.
  • Replace the cap on the valve stem and move on to the next tire.

Having trouble getting air in your tires or not sure if you've got the right pressure? Just keep checking periodically until you get it right.

Tip: Driving heats up your tires, which increases the psi. It's best to check them in the morning while they are still relatively cold. You can also check them after your car has been sitting for a few hours or driven for just a few miles.

Learn more about the benefits of Synchrony Car Care today. With the right partner, you'll be prepared for all your car maintenance needs.


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How to reset a tire pressure error: a few easy ways

Save article:

The article says:

  1. Why you need a tire pressure sensor
  2. What are the reasons for triggering the sensor
  3. How can I reset the tire pressure sensor error
  4. How to adjust tire pressure sensors

When the tires are optimally inflated, the low tire pressure indicator (TPMS) does not light up on the vehicle's dashboard. However, in some cases, it lights up even if the pressure is normal. This can't help but be annoying, especially when the tires are inflated normally. In our article today, we will figure out how to reset a tire pressure error.

Why do you need a tire pressure sensor

American and European scientists conducted a study, during which it was found that most drivers do not check whether the wheels are properly inflated before getting behind the wheel of a car. Only 40% of car owners perform such a check - and even then only once every 12 months. This is the reason for a large number of accidents.

The TPMS (Tyre pressure monitoring system) system is designed to monitor tire pressure, as well as warn of a malfunction. If the tires are under-inflated or over-inflated, an error will be displayed on the remote control or an audible signal will appear.

What is dangerous too high or, conversely, low pressure? The risk of an accident increases, the car begins to consume more fuel, in addition, the rubber wears out faster.

Photo: Shutterstock

The above devices operate on the same principle. Let's figure out how information about what tire pressure gets to the control panel.

  • Each wheel is equipped with a controller. It records tire pressure data.
  • Information is transmitted from the sensor to the transceiver with a frequency of 2-3 seconds . The controller transmits data using Bluetooth.
  • The program analyzes the received data, which should correspond to normal values ​​ . Otherwise, when the tires should be lowered a little, the program sends a signal to the car owner. Exactly according to the same principle, a signal is transmitted if the rubber needs to be pumped up.
  • Depending on the device, the error signals are sound, as well as light .
  • The driver can set the operating parameter limit himself . As a standard, the automaker makes it possible to adjust the device from 1.7–3.2 bar.
  • On some car models, the TPMS system sends data to your phone.

Consider how pressure is calculated by measuring instruments. Typically, the sensor performs a comparison of the angular rotation of the wheel. Knowing the value of this parameter, you can calculate the distance that the wheel will travel in one rotation.

Obviously, if the tires are under-inflated or over-inflated, then the outer diameter of the wheel will be different. Visually, a person cannot determine this change. But the sensor notices even such changes. The system fixes non-compliance with the required parameters.

Causes of tire pressure sensor activation

The sensor will still respond, despite the fact that the wheel circumference has changed quite a bit. In this situation, it is necessary to find out what mechanical reason led to this. Only in this way can you eliminate the misinterpretation of the signals transmitted by the system. This can happen because:

  • tire is under-inflated;
  • you have installed a different wheel whose shape, dimensions and tread are different;
  • was supplied with a "spare wheel", in terms of parameters it also differs from other wheels;
  • there was a puncture or rupture of rubber;
  • there is an uneven load on the car, as a result, the car skewed to one side;
  • you have installed anti-skid chains on the wheels;
  • one of the axes has been overloaded; this happens when you are driving uphill or downhill, towing a trailer.

Also, the TPMS system gives an error when you install new wheels or rearrange them.

When, after these steps, a tire pressure error appeared, indicating unbalance, you should reset the settings, and then set the basic parameters. In this case, the control signal may remain even if the basic settings have been selected.

Why such problems may occur:

  • different tire pressures . Some wheel is under-inflated or vice versa;
  • The error occurs because the system has crashed . It will only be possible to reset it at the service station;
  • the indicator lights up when you operate the car using a sporty driving style, driving on ice, a dirt road . At the same time, as soon as you drive out onto an asphalt surface or start driving calmly, the error disappears.

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How to reset tire pressure error? To begin with, imagine that the TPMS system is working properly and the blinking light indicates a problem with the undercarriage of the machine. The first thing you should do is slowly release the gas. You can not brake sharply, turn the steering wheel. After the car has stopped, inspect the tires to make sure the rubber is not punctured or broken. Then you can check if the tire pressure is normal.

Pay attention! The TPMS will not always show a tire pressure error. For example, if the tires are slowly deflating, the system will not inform you about the problem. In the same way, she will not notice the error if the tire pressure starts to drop rapidly. This usually happens when a tire ruptures. This feature of the TPMS system is explained by the specifics of identifying and counting nonconformities.

However, in some cases, it happens that the TPMS system indicator is on, but the tires are in perfect condition. How to reset tire pressure error? We understand.

A few simple ways to reset the tire pressure sensor error

The complex TPMS system in some cases starts to work incorrectly. Usually, car owners observe the following picture: a tire pressure error is displayed on the display (the tire is underinflated), but in reality everything is fine with the wheel. You have to reset the tire pressure error. Otherwise, the TPMS system starts to work incorrectly.

Photo: Shutterstock

You also have to reset the tire pressure error when there is radio interference from high voltage power lines. Or when sources of radio signals are located in the immediate vicinity. But as soon as you move away from them, the pressure error disappears and the system begins to function properly.

The reason for the malfunction may lie in the sensor, which is "failed". This damage cannot be easily repaired. How to reset a tire pressure error if the sensor flashes, while you hear a beep, lose your vigilance and find it difficult to drive a car? There are 4 ways to fix this problem.

Method 1

To reset the error, pick up a speed of 80 km / h and continue driving for another 15 kilometers.

This method is the easiest to implement. If your car has this feature, then turn on the cruise control so that the speed does not change. Depending on the model of your car, you will be able to reset the tire pressure error at a speed that exceeds the specified one. After you cover a distance of 15-20 kilometers, maintaining the same speed of 80 km / h, make a stop. Turn off the motor. When you start it again, the tire pressure error will disappear.

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Method 2

Press the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) reset button on your car and you will be able to reset the error.

It does not matter what type of low pressure warning system is used. In any case, there will be a sensor on each wheel of your car. Sometimes it may be necessary to reboot the touch system of the car. Read the owner's manual for the vehicle. It contains information on how to reset a tire pressure error. Most often, the instructions indicate which button to press to reset.

The ignition key must be in the lock. No need to start the car, just turn it to the “on” (“ON”) position. Then press and hold the reset button, which may be under the steering wheel. We are waiting for the low pressure indicator to flash 3 times. After that, you can release the button. We start the car, it should work for 20 minutes. After this time, the computer will calibrate the sensors on the wheels. Now you can turn off the car.

Method 3

Lower and then re-inflate the wheels.

Failed to reset tire pressure error using the previous method? Then we inflate all tires to 0.2 bar, this is the pressure that should be according to the recommendations of car manufacturers. Did the error go away? Then we lower the pressure in the tires completely.

Now we pump up the wheels again. The pressure in them should be the same as indicated on the driver's door pillar or in the car's operating instructions. When there are sensors on the wheels, you need to remember about the spare tire. Now you need to drive about 3-5 kilometers, adhering to a speed of 25 km per hour. So you can reset the tire pressure error.

Method 4

Remove the battery terminals and then connect it to reset the error.

Each car has a computer that receives data from all kinds of vehicle sensors, including TPMS system sensors. However, any electronics can fail. To reset the error, you will have to reboot the system, for which you need to turn off the power.

Photo: Shutterstock

To do this, open the hood. The battery is located under the hood. Disconnect the negative terminal from it. To perform this operation, use a wrench. Then sit in the driver's seat, turn the key to the "ON" position, but do not start the car. Now you need to press the signal for 3 seconds. This will use up the energy that remains in the electrical system of the machine. Then reconnect the battery. This way you can reset the error.

How to adjust the tire pressure sensors

Sensors keep track of tire pressure. However, you need to be sure that they function properly. Of course, you do not need to constantly walk around with a special measuring device and find out the status of the sensors. It just needs to be calibrated from time to time.

It is performed quite simply. The most important thing to remember is that, depending on the make and model of your car, for each wheel there are pressure parameters strictly defined by the manufacturer for winter and summer. These values ​​should be given to the sensors. How the installation and configuration will be performed depends on the controller used.

  • Mechanical controller . It is convenient to use. We just screw it in instead of the cap. Nothing else needs to be configured.
  • Electronic controller . The installation procedure will be more difficult, because the device has a control unit. It can work autonomously or you will need to connect it to the cigarette lighter. We turn on the device in the training mode. Then proceed according to the tuning algorithm that is set by the manufacturer. You will have to put the device on all wheels, starting from the left front. Once the installation is done, make sure that all gauges are correctly displayed on the monitor. Otherwise, you will have to rearrange them so that everything matches the parameters on the display.
  • Internal controller . Such devices are the most difficult to mount, because for this you will have to use special equipment for tire fitting. Experts do not recommend using the internal controller yourself. However, additional settings are not required if the data is read using the screen that is directly on the control system.

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To prevent a tire pressure error from appearing, it is important to calibrate (adjust the TPMS system) every time a change is made. For example, when you installed a new set of wheels, repaired tires, did balancing, and the like. Using TPMS controllers is quite simple. The main thing is to read the instructions for use of the device. And make sure that the tire pressure is the one recommended by the car manufacturer.

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Every car owner gets annoyed if the tire pressure error icon lights up on the dashboard. This indicator informs you that something is wrong with the wheels. However, even if the tire pressure is optimal, the tire pressure error must be reset.

The fact is that if the TPMS system icon constantly signals insufficient pressure, the driver will not be able to know when the rubber will actually begin to deflate. Driving becomes dangerous for both you and other road users. It is necessary to find out the cause of the malfunction as soon as possible and reset the tire pressure error. This is the only way to operate the vehicle safely.

Tire pressure: problems and their causes

Home / Articles / Tire pressure: problems and their causes

Checking tire pressure is perhaps the simplest and most frequently performed procedure for a motorist. An experienced driver eventually develops the habit of walking around the car before a trip to visually check the condition of the wheels. If you do not notice in time that the wheel is partially or completely flat, this is fraught with costly repairs. The side of the tire is much thinner than the working part. When the pressure in the wheel has dropped, the side begins to participate in the adhesion of the wheel to the surface. But the most detrimental effect on the tire in this case is the bending of the cords inside the rubber. Cords are a frame made of steel threads of a tire, which provides it with the necessary structural rigidity and strength. Driving a few kilometers on a badly flat tire means changing a pair of tires. Therefore, at least a visual check of tire pressure before each trip is required.

It is more difficult to determine the loss of tire pressure during a trip. You can determine this by changing the controllability of the car. Usually in this case, the car starts to “pull” to the side, the noise from the tires changes. As a result, the suspension begins to work out bumps and pits on the road more rigidly. If the tire is completely deflated, then a characteristic popping sound will be heard when driving.

  • Puncture The working surface of the tire was pierced by a nail or other similar object. This is the most common cause of pressure loss.
  • breakdown. Usually occurs when the tire hits the sharp edges of the pit at high speed. In this case, the working area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe wheel is damaged. The result of a tire puncture is usually several holes in the tire at once.
  • Side puncture. A very rare occurrence. It is difficult to imagine a situation for the occurrence of a side puncture during a trip.
  • Cut. It also occurs quite rarely. To do this, it is necessary to drive the wheel on some sharp object, for example, on trimming a channel.
  • Disk failure. Occurs when a wheel hits a hole at high speed. In this case, the tire itself may not be damaged, and the loss of pressure occurs due to the loose fit of the disk to the tire.

Minimize the chance of a flat tire while driving by following a simple tip. Never brake if a wheel hitting a hole has become unavoidable. In this case, it is better to sharply apply the brake and release it just before the impact. At the same time, it is necessary to strive for the wheel to fall into the pit evenly, so there is less chance of severe damage to the steering system. If nevertheless there was a puncture and a tire shot, then call a mobile tire service 24 hours a day.

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