Car Tyre Pressures

Since tyres are the only contact between your car and the road, tyre pressures are essential to optimum performance of your tyres.

As the driver, it’s your responsibility by law to check and correct the tyre pressures on a regular basis. Don’t worry, checking and topping up your car’s tyre pressures are easier to do than you think.

 

Here’s a short how-to video for checking tyre pressures.

 

 

Finding Tyre Pressures

Each model and engine combination has its own recommended tyre pressure, which are set by Vauxhall when the car is first built, to maximise safety and performance.

 

There are two easy ways to find the recommended tyre pressures specific to your car:

 

1 - Look at the label just inside your Vauxhall’s door frame

2 - Find them in your owners’ manual.

 

While there are plenty of third-party sources of information online, remember these are the best ways to find the correct tyre pressures for your Vauxhall and get accurate values.

 

See here for how to check and adjust your car’s tyre pressures.

 

Understanding Tyre Pressures

Tyre pressure refers to the amount of air inside your car’s tyres. It can be measured using a tyre pressure gauge or via the electronic Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) if one is fitted to your car – see here for more information on TMPS

 

You can only read this when your tyres are cool. If the car has recently been driven, the tyres will be warm and the reading will be affected. So just wait a little.

 

The readings will give you a number, eg 32psi. PSI is the unit measurement, the pounds of pressure being applied to the tyre wall.

 

Overinflated tyres will give a higher reading because there’s more the air inside the tyre so pressure is higher. Underinflated tyres will give a lower reading because there’s less air in the tyre.

 

Tyres pressures are very important: if your tyre pressures are too high or too low, the car’s handling and fuel-efficiency will be impacted.

 

Under-inflated tyres

Over time, tyres can deflate if they aren’t topped up. An under-inflated tyre looks flatter and has uneven contact with the road’s surface. That means it will wear more quickly and affect fuel efficiency.

 

Sudden deflation is more likely too, which can be dangerous for you and those nearby.

 

Since air escapes more quickly during warmer weather, make sure to check your tyre pressures more often during the warmer months.

 

Punctures, whether fast or slow, will cause a tyre to deflate, so it’s important to check the tyre over for a nail or something similar. If it’s suffered a puncture, it’ll need repairing or replacing right away. Just visit your local Vauxhall Retailer to get it sorted.

If your tyre is under-inflated but not punctured, you’ll need to put more air into it, to bring it back up to its recommended pressure.

 

See here for how to find your car’s tyre pressures.

 

Over-inflated tyres

Tyres become over-inflated when too much air is put into them, so be mindful when topping up the air in your tyres that you fill to the recommended pressure.

 

Over-inflating tyres reduces the amount of tyre that makes contact with the road. This affects the handling and braking of your car, and causes the centre section of the tyre to wear more quickly.

 

If your tyre is over-inflated, use the air valve on the tyre to let out a little air and restore the tyre pressures to those recommended for your Vauxhall.

 

See here for how to find your car’s tyre pressures.

How To Check and Increase Tyre Pressures

You can check your car’s tyre pressures at home with a tyre pressure gauge or using the air pumps at most petrol stations.

 

When checking your tyre pressures, be sure to wait until your tyres are cold. If they’re warm, for example just after you’ve been driving, the pressures could raise a little, which will give you an inaccurate reading.

 

If you place the gauge on the tyre’s valve, it’ll give a numerical reading, which you can compare to the recommended pressure for your car.

 

If it’s lower, then add more air to your tyres until the reading is correct. If it’s higher, you’ll need to let some air out of your tyre until it’s correct.

 

It’s important to regularly check your tyres (and the spare tyre) for correct pressures, wear and tread depth to ensure they’re in good condition and keeping you safe on the road.

 

Find out more about checking tyre tread depth.

TYRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM

Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) work by having sensors in each tyre and reporting the readings to you as the driver via the dashboard display. As of 1st November 2014, a new EU regulation was introduced whereby all new-type cars are required to have TPMS fitted as standard.

 

If you have a tyre pressure monitoring system and a tyre loses pressure, the tyre pressure light will illuminate on your dashboard. It’s best to stop when you can safely and manually check the pressure.


Getting TPMS right

Because the recommended tyre pressures can differ for the front and rear tyres, you need to recalibrate the TPMS if you rotate tyres from the front to the back to even out the wear, so the system knows which tyre is where. If you use winter wheels and tyres, you’d need to ensure they are fitted with sensors too.

 

Specialist equipment and knowledge is needed to be able to calibrate the TPMS after changing tyres. To be sure you get proper care, visit the experts at your local Vauxhall Retailer.

 

Take note of TPMS and MOTs: from 1st January 2015, if the TPMS is faulty (or the battery’s died), it’ll be an automatic fail in an MOT test.

 

Need your TPMS calibrating or need new tyres? Your local Vauxhall Retailer is trained to help.

With Vauxhall OnStar, you can check your current tyre pressures, and get a health check of your car, online or via the app.