How Do You Calculate the Correct Air Pressure for the Tires on Your Car?

How Do You Calculate the Correct Air Pressure for the Tires on Your Car?

How Do You Calculate the Correct Air Pressure for the Tires on Your Car?

The correct tire pressure for a vehicle is listed in the owner's manual or on a sticker located in the driver door edge, glove box, fuel door or trunk lid. Tire pressure information is also available on a tire load and inflation table, which can be found at most tire stores.

A vehicle's owner's manual and sticker contains information on the standard tire size recommended for the vehicle, as well as the maximum load amount. If a vehicle has a specialty or plus-sized tire, look up the specific tire number on a table to see the optimal pressure and maximum load. Generally, tires that are larger than the standard size have higher pressure needs.

Although maximum air pressure is listed on a tire's sidewall, that is not the recommended air pressure for the tire. Inflating a tire to the maximum can cause premature wear on the tire and inefficient braking. On the other hand, underinflation can also cause a tire to wear and the car to handle poorly. To match air pressure recommendations most closely, inflate tires when they are cold. A tire that has been driven for more than 1 mile has higher pressure than one that has not.