Car Quiz – Tire Pressure

Q: What is the correct amount of air pressure for your tires?
a. it is listed on the inside frame of the driver’s door
b. it is imprinted on the sidewall of the tire
c. 32 pounds per square inch (psi)
d. 30 psi in winter, 34 psi in summer

A: Many people believe the number shown on the outside of the tire to be the correct answer, but that is actually the maximum pressure allowed. In other words, you really don’t want your tires quite that full of air! 32 psi may be the answer for many tires, but certainly not all of them, so don’t just assume it to be applicable to your car. And although (d) raises an important point about the difference in air pressure when hot vs. cold, this one-size-fits-all kind of answer for tire pressure still doesn’t work. (Incidentally, the most accurate way to measure tire pressure is in the morning when the tires are cold, before having been driven.) The correct answer is (a) – you should be able to find the recommended tire pressure for both front and rear tires listed on the driver’s door jamb. (If it’s not there, check your glove compartment door or owner’s manual.) This pressure has been determined to provide the optimal combination of performance, handling, and gas mileage for your vehicle.

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