Digital Tire Gauge – How to Get the Most Accurate Readings

At present, there are two kinds of tire pressure gauges available in the market: digital, and analog. You’ve probably seen both at your local mechanic’s or the nearby gas station. The analog pressure gauge usually has a round face with a needle that indicates the pressure in the tire, while the digital one has an LCD screen to do the same.

As a rule of the thumb, a digital tire gauge trumps the analog pressure gauge when it comes to accuracy. The analog pressure gauges, in fact, are quite worthless when it comes to properly calibrating your tire pressure, with the indicating needle flying all over the place. If its accuracy you are looking for, a digital pressure gauge is the way to go.

However, one must keep in mind that the actual air pressure inside a tire can vary wildly depending on the time and weather conditions. Remember that air expands when it warms up. Therefore, in hot weather conditions, or when the car has been in use for some time, the tire heats up. This causes the air inside it to expand, increasing the tire pressure. Consequently, this can lead to varying readings.

The air pressure that car companies recommend to you is the “cold” air pressure. This is the pressure when the tire is cool, and the air inside settled. Therefore, whenever you decide to measure your tire pressure, make sure you do so in cool weather when the car has been sitting idle for some time. Mornings, before the sun comes out, would be an ideal time to do so.

Along with the time and weather conditions, faulty equipment can be another reason for inaccurate pressure readings. Analog pressure gauges can be off by as much as 5-10 psi, not to mention how difficult it is to actually see the readings on them. Digital tire gauges, on the other hand, have an error range of just +-0.05 psi over 5-150 psi. Therefore, these are a whole lot more accurate and a must investment if you are interested in keeping your car’s tire pressure at an optimum range to increase fuel efficiency, performance, and your tires lifespan.

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