As far as I am observing, car drivers tend to be lousy with their tyre pressures. I have only experienced tubed motorbike tyres where a weekly tire pressure checks are not crazy at all. I am curious how often a car tyre would need checking? I am guessing it would be a longer interval as motorbike tyres have soft sides that flex the rubber during operation. Also, how much it would effect the fuel economy and handling?

2 Answers 2


With all the cars I've owned in the last few decades, if a tire needs any air at regular intervals, there's something wrong. I've had car tires that haven't lost any pressure over a year or longer.

I don't usually check with a gauge, because that takes more air from the tires than they lose any other way. Thumb pressure on the sidewall will tell you if the pressures are different. Only use a pressure gauge if you think there is something to measure!

  • So if the car has « run flats » you can tell if the correct pressure is there or not? Just with your thumb - some tires have stiffer sidewalls than others - and between the W, H, Y and V ratings?
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 22, 2019 at 16:20
  • Never had a car with run flats, so no comment there. I am only comparing the tires on one car with each other, so unless there was a mix of brands and ratings on the one car (which I wouldn't have anyway), I don't understand why "some tires have stiffer sidewalls than others - and between the W, H, Y and V ratings" affects the "thumb test." Maybe I have hypersensitive thumbs though ;)
    – alephzero
    Mar 22, 2019 at 17:22

Tires should be checked with a gauge weekly and visually before getting in the car.

As they are similar in structure - car tires also have flexible sidewalls so the correct pressure is important.

Wrong pressures will cause poor economy by up to about 10% but as people’s driving changes it is difficult to be precise ie 2lbs low is 3% worse economy is not a given...

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