Just got my second car after 6 years with my first one. So far I used to go top up my tyre pressure as soon as I saw that tyres started to show visual signs of needing it. Apparently that's a bad idea.

An article suggest to "push the thumb into the side of the tyre". But 99% of what I find say a tool is required. I feel this is overkill and unnecessary in most cases.

What easy, tool-free method is used by lots of people throughout the world?

  • (In the UK) Go to a petrol station, they will generally have an automated tire-pump. Set the desired pressure on the pump (2.3Bar or 35PSI as a guess). Put in 50p, you get 4 or 5 minutes of air. Take off the tire cap, check (and automatically in/deflate) the tires. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Do this every month or so. – Neil Sep 24 '18 at 12:59

What easy, tool-free method is used by lots of people throughout the world?

There isn't. Unless your car has built in tire pressure monitors the only ways of doing it without a tool are by eye or by pressing on the tire as the Lookers article suggests but both are pretty inaccurate and also depend upon the tire being sufficiently under-inflated for this to become apparent to either method which likely means it's been running below optimal inflation for some time.

A tire pressure gauge is cheap, simple to use, and accurate so that's pretty much what most people do. That or they get into a routine of checking them at a petrol/service station regularly (e.g. combining it with a fuel stop).

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There is no way to accurately tell your car tire pressure without a gauge, and anyone who says so is mistaken. Tire sidewall thickness and compounds vary, shape varies to the point it gives you little more information than visual inspection.

If you can get your thumb into it then it's certainly low, but the reverse isn't true - a firm feel does not mean the tire is inflated to the required level.

Gauges are cheap and plentiful, under-inflation and over-inflation cost far more due to shortened tire life.

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Tire pressure is such a safety concern that most new vehicles are equipped with a system to monitor it. With the proliferation of low profile tires it is difficult to tell if a tire pressure is low visually. On some models you can scroll through a dash menu to check each tire. You can do it yourself with an inexpensive handheld gauge. If you don't feel comfortable checking them yourself there are also replacement valve caps that contain a small gauge that pops out when the cover is removed. Another type has a small pop-out gauge that shows a green, yellow or red indicator. That particular model comes in a variety of calibrations. You will need to check the owners manual to find your vehicles recommended pressure and order the correct cap.

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There is an aftermarket TPMS product that you can buy that has its sensors on an included valve stem cover and the receiver is installed in your dash connecting it to a power outlet (most likely your 12v socket). It works wirelessly so the only installation required is to change your valve stem cover and connect the receiver to a power source.

Here is a sample product of what I am pertaining

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