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Tyre inflation is an important factor to ensure your safety and that of your passengers. If your tyre pressure is incorrect, it can also impact your vehicle's operating costs through premature tyre wear and higher than normal fuel consumption.
In this article, you will learn when you should check your tyre pressure and how to inflate tyres in 3 simple steps. You will see that tyre inflation has to be done differently depending on whether your tyres are cold or warm and that the spare wheel should also be checked regularly, although not as often as the other tyres.
We will also address the question of the portable tyre inflation compressor as an alternative to petrol stations and help you decide if you should inflate tyres with nitrogen.
A tyre naturally loses air : usually around 0.1 bar per month (1.45 PSI).
This phenomenon can also be accelerated by other sources of leakage due to:
● an accidental puncture
● a defective valve: it must be replaced each time the tyre is changed (including valves with pressure sensor)
● the absence of a valve cap: it is essential to guarantee a good seal
● the condition of the rim: it must be cleaned each time a tyre is fitted
That is why we recommend checking your tyre pressure once a month and before a long car journey.
You can find more information about the causes of pressure loss in this article.
If you do not use your tyres for a long time, for example if you change your tyres twice a year to alternate summer/winter tyres, it is essential to check the pressure when refitting them on your car.
A properly inflated tyre is safer, more economical and more eco-friendly!
Do not look for the recommended pressure on the sidewalls of your tyres, it is not there!
You will usually find the recommended pressure:
Since a tyre naturally loses air, it is of course necessary to check your spare tyre as well. However, since this tyre is not used every day, you can do it only once or twice a year.
Be careful if you use an tyre inflator in a petrol station: their tyre inflation gauge is not always calibrated, hence not always reliable.
For this reason, it is important:
A portable air compressor is an accessory that sends compressed air into your tyre. Depending on the model, it plugs into the cigarette lighter socket or into a power socket. Its built-in pressure gauge allows you to ensure the correct pressure in your tyres.
You can find a portable compressor in automotive accessory stores and some supermarkets.
Nitrogen is air from which oxygen has been removed. About 79% of the air is nitrogen.
During assembly, the tyres are mostly inflated with compressed air. But some professionals may propose exclusively nitrogen-based inflation.
Most tyres can be inflated with air or nitrogen, as long as the pressure recommended by the car manufacturer is observed.
Nitrogen and compressed air can mix very well (when adding pressure, for example).
When nitrogen is substituted for oxygen, your tyres lose less air and stay longer at the desired pressure.
Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tyre/rim contact area, valve, valve/rim junction, etc.), and neither air nor nitrogen can keep the correct pressure indefinitely. Be sure to check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before a long trip.
There are no petrol stations where you can inflate tyres with nitrogen. This service is chargeable and generally offered by tyre professionals, garages or dealers. Euromaster network across Europe, for example, offers this kind of service.
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