Lately, tyre manufacturers have been putting an extra effort into developing products that improve fuel economy, increase tyre life and cut down on tail-pipe emissions from automobiles. As a consequence, you get all sorts of different and technologically advanced tyres like low-rolling resistance tyres, silica based tyres etc. However, as an end user, you won’t be benefiting from these technologies if you do not maintain correct tyre pressure.
As a thumb rule, it is advised that you check the level of your vehicle’s tyre pressure once every fortnight. While most of us follow this religiously, some don’t. Also, a majority of motorists do not even bother to check air-pressure of tyres regularly. This is because it has traditionally required paying a special visit to a fuel station or a tyre-shop. But, there’s an easier way to keep a tab on the inflation pressure of your car’s tyres. Use a portable electronic tyre inflator!
Operating a portable electronic tyre inflator is fairly easy and requires a simple plug and play technique. Lets take a step by step rundown on how to use these portable saviors when you unsuspectingly face a flat tyre or notice an under-inflated tyre,
1. First and foremost, you need to connect the air inflator to a 12V power socket in the car. Mostly, air inflators are provided with an extendable power cord so that you can take it closer to individual wheels. As a precautionary measure, keep the engine of the vehicle running so that the compressor does not drain out the car battery.
2. Before taking-on the task in hand, check the condition of the tyre. If you see or find a large puncture on the tyre, care not to inflate it since it won’t be able to hold the air. In this case, it’s better to swap it with a spare wheel or call for assistance.
3. In case of a slow leak or when the tyres are a little low on air, it is safe to use an air inflator. To inflate tyres, connect the nozzle of the compressor to the tyre’s valve-stem correctly. Make sure the connections are proper before turning on the compressor pump.
4. Switch on the air inflator to allow compressed air to enter inside the tyre. If you hear any hissing sounds during the sequence, switch off the inflator and re-tighten the nozzle and valve-stem connection properly. A hissing sound means improper connection and will lead to an air leakage in the system.
5. Periodically stop and check air pressure using the pressure gauge so as to prevent over-inflation. Also, do check the recommended air pressure for your vehicle make. It can be found in your vehicle’s owner manual or on a placard on the driver-doorjamb.
Inflating a fully flat tyre might take 2-3 minutes whereas a slightly under-inflated tyre will take about 40-50 seconds. Once your are done with it, safely discharge the compressor nozzle by switching it off first and then loosening the connections.
Getting a reasonably priced tyre inflator is fairly easy. A good and easy to use air-compressor, along with a built-in pressure gauge, will set you back anywhere in between Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500. However, in return the benefits will be significant.