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Tyre Air Pressure – The Common Mistakes

Checking your car’s tyre pressure is not something you have to do every day. But you should know that the tyres are paramount for your safety.

The air in your car’s tyre depletes slowly as you drive, so it’s best to check every two weeks to ensure its optimum pressure level.

What is the correct tyre pressure for any car? When it comes to the right tyre pressure, the maximum is not the optimum.

Read on to learn why.

Easy way to know if the pressure is right

Photo credit: www.tyre-shopper.co.uk

Under inflated tyres – BAD

Does your car occasionally feel heavier than normal? That’s because you are experiencing increased rolling resistance with the road. That also means reduced fuel efficiency and increased CO2 emissions.

If you notice that the inside and outside edges of the tread that is already ‘botak’, that’s because you have been driving with under inflated tyres.

What you may think: Under inflated tyres will make the car ride less bumpy. That’s not true because bumpiness of the ride is affected by the suspension and absorber, not the tyres.

Over inflated tyres – BAD

More means better right? Not really, when it comes to tyre. Putting too much air in your tyres can be just as damaging and costly.

Over inflated tyres will have smaller contact patch which can lead to a loss of traction and poorer braking distances.

Not only that, your tyres will wear heavily and unevenly across the central part of the tyre leading to shorter tyre lifespan.

What you may think: Some might think that over inflated tyres provides better acceleration. But at what cost?

The optimum tyre pressure – GOOD

You don’t have to bring along a scientific calculator and do the math every time you want to inflate your tyres.  If it’s not there, try looking on the trunk lid, in the console or on the fuel tank flap.

When your tyres are inflated to the recommended PSI, you will have happy tyres which means optimum life and performance.


What you must know before pumping the tyres

1. Know the recommended tyre air pressure

air pressure door jamb

Photo credit: autofixpal.com

You’ll find the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure for your car on the sticker in the door jam (Yeah! It’s there and it’s for your tyres!), or in your owner’s manual.

2. Your air source is at the nearest petrol station

Image of an air pump at petrol station in Malaysia

Photo credit: gohighways.blogspot.my

DSC03725

Air pump at petrol stations around Malaysia are easy to operate. You can use the air pump to check the tyre pressure and at the same time inflate the tyres. Though you will get a more accurate reading with a tyre gauge.

Most of the pumps comes with a chart to help you convert from psi to kPa or vice versa. No math required 😛

3. Get em’ tyres pumped

Photo credit: adrianbriencars.com.au

Photo credit: adrianbriencars.com.au

Be patient. The sound of the air rushing to fill the tyre is almost as satisfying as an orchestra. It will take as little as 20 seconds to a few minutes to fill each tyre. Remember to screw back the valve cap after that and you are ready to roll!

Why does it matter?

Having the right tyre pressure may help prolong the life span of your vehicle’s tyres, increases the vehicle’s safety and helps save fuel.

A tyre’s life-span may decrease up to 75% if it is operating at around 80% of the optimum pressure. It’s good to get a tyre pressure gauge for the household and get every driver in your family to be responsible for their car tyres.

Always check the tyre pressure when your tyres are cold. Also, if you are using your vehicle to carry additional load or weight, always consult your vehicle handbook for the correct loaded tyre pressure.


The next time you pay a visit to the petrol station, give your car tyres a quick check and get the air pressure right. Trust me, you will feel the difference for the better.

And if you have a flat tyre, remember there’s the CARPUT mobile app to get reliable help changing to a spare tyre!

January 18, 2017
written by Isaac Wong
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