Fall Auto DIY Project #2
We have another installment of our 5 simple DIY auto maintenance projects for you today. (Fall Auto DIY Project #1 is here, in case you missed it) We have faith that we are beginning to help prepare your vehicle for fall and save you some money along the way by doing the projects yourself.
Hopefully, you have completed Fall Auto DIY Project #1 successfully and you are now ready to move onto Fall Auto DIY Project #2, checking your tire pressure. “Autumn is a good time to check your spare tire to ensure that it is properly inflated,” says Jim Travers, associate editor for autos at Consumer Reports.
We agree! Tire pressure drops one PSI, or pound per square inch for every 10 degree drop in temperature, according to AAA. So, we recommend beginning to check your tire pressure on your spare and the rest of your tires once a week as the seasons change and the temperature begins to drop.
To be able to check on your tire pressure you have to have a tire pressure gauge. Obviously, you would need to purchase one if you don’t already have one. It is vital to have a tire pressure gauge in order to check the PSI. Unlike the common misconception that you can tell if the pressure is correct by just looking at your tires, a tire pressure gauge is the most precise way to measure. A nice tire pressure gauge is not expensive at all, the average price is around $15. Once you have a tire pressure gauge then determine the air pressure specifications for your car’s tires. Generally, you will be able to find this on a sticker located on the driver side door jam.
Unscrew the plastic cap on the air valve, keep it in your pocket while you check the pressure as you don’t want to loose it. While the cap doesn’t keep the air in it does keep dirt and moisture away from the valve mechanism in the valve stem, which does hold air in.
Before beginning to take measurement of the air pressure make sure your tires are “cold.” If your vehicle has been parked you are good to go. But, it is important to allow your vehicle to sit for few hours if it has been recently driven before you check the pressure for the most accurate reading. Then press the tire pressure gauge against the valve and hold it down firmly. If you hear a hissing noise, you are letting the air out so press harder. Read the measurement on the gauge. If it is low then you must add some air and if it is too high you must remove air as needed. After adding or removing air make sure you remeasure the air pressure as you want to ensure that the tire is properly inflated at this time.
* For SUV and truck owners we have an additional step for you. Due to your spare tire being suspended underneath your vehicle, you should lower and raise your spare to check that the cable mechanism is working freely. In the fall, we recommend to also spray the cable with a rust penetrate like WD-40 & to lubricate it with a white lithium grease.
Let us know if you have any questions for us in the comments section below.