How To Tell If Tire Needs Air? (Explained for Beginners)

Low tire pressure creates many harmful effects on your vehicle, and your trip will indeed get canceled. It can also decrease the mileage and cause your vehicle to emit more fuel. As a result, you are stopping for more gas, which is a waste of time and your money.

So, how to tell if your tire needs air? There are many ways to tell that your car tire needs air. First, if it’s flat or you notice annoying sounds. At the same time, if your car’s capacity decreases to reach its maximum speed.

Having low tire pressure can also lead to road incidents. When the tire pressure is low, it puts too much weight and force on the broken tire, which causes you to tread more petite than usual. 

In worse cases, it can also cause the tire to explode or separate, which causes you to lose control and hit another car. 

If you are conscious of your safety and others, you need to be responsible and take the essential measures to prevent any problems. 

Basic measures are simply calling a professional car service to attend to your tire issues. Also, teaching yourself how to replace a flat tire makes it easier to solve this issue.

Moreover, if you want to dig deeper into telling if your car needs air, continue reading the signs of the flat tire below!

How To Tell If Tire Needs Air

Signs That Your Tire Needs Air

The signs that you need to know:

1. Your Tire Is Flat

A flat tire is the most basic way to tell if it needs air. Usually, the best way to detect a flat tire is to do a quick spot check or pressure test before you drive. However, you might also know your tire is flat if it’s challenging to reach a certain speed or you hear an odd sound.

2. Tire Has Low-Pressure Reading

Using a digital pressure meter, you can check your tires to see if the air pressure is on its average level. If you have a modern car now, your car’s dashboard also will give you a warning light when your tire pressure drops to its average level.

3. Poor Fuel Efficiency

If your car is flat, your car will experience two percent of fuel economy. Also, if your wheels lose the average amount of air, you might end up gassing up more often than usual. In these signs, you will know how to distinguish if it’s time to increase your tire’s air pressure.  

How Do You Tell If A Tire Is Flat Or Just Needs Air?

You can check your tire right away if you have a digital pressure meter. You can also tell if your car is flat and needs air if its appearance is flat. 

You will also notice that your car needs air because it will appear on your car dashboard. If this happens, you need to put some air pressure on your tires. 

Can I Drive On A Tire That Needs Air?

Yes, you can still drive it but only for short distances. If you don’t want to break its rim, you can park it at the side of the road, then call for help.

How To Know Which Tire Needs Air Without A Gauge?

Checking your tire pressure without a gauge makes sure that your vehicle is in good shape before having a long drive session. One of the main things if you don’t want to worry about having a troublesome car is to buy a quality brand car that consists of a driver’s manual with information on your vehicle PSI. 

Rest assured, if you buy a quality brand car, you’ll worry less about getting a car issue, including flat tires. Of course, there’s no wrong with buying a pre-owned car, but if you do, always check before using it.

How To Check Tire Pressure At A Gas Station?

Checking tire pressure at a gas station is going first to a nearby gas station with an air machine for filling tires. Next, pick one tire to start and locate the PSI label on your tire.

The third step, remove the tire air stem cap. If it’s a black stem, it means your rim is protruding, which means your car tire needs air. The pressure bar will read the current PSI level in your tire. 

Remember, the standard PSI of a tire is between 32-40; if it is lower than this number, it means your tire needs some pressure.

How To Check Tire Pressure With A Gauge?

Here are the steps on how to check your tire with a gauge:

  1. It starts with your cold tire
  2. Check it’s manufacturer-recommended PSI level
  3. Then, write down the PSI level of each tire
  4. Check It using a Gauge
  5. After checking it, you can start filling the recommended PSI

It is a simple test to check the normal pressure of your car at the same time to check if it is safe to take on the drive.


In summary, there are lots of ways to tell if your tire needs air. But it would help if you familiarize yourself with identifying a low-pressure tire.

Hoping that this article helps you identify more accurately if your car needs air or needs more fixing. As owners, we should be aware of the issues related to your car to maintain its maximum capacity.



Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more