Which Tire Pressure Gauge Is Best? - 8 News NOW

Which Tire Pressure Gauge Is Best?

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At least a quarter of the cars on the road have a serious safety flaw. Consumer Reports says they have one or more substantially under-inflated tires. Tire pressure gauges can tell you if your tires are properly inflated. But which one should you get? Consumer Reports just tested three different kinds to see which can help you keep your tires in good shape.

Getting into the habit of checking your car's tire pressure once a month is part of good car maintenance according to auto experts at Consumer Reports. But you shouldn't necessarily rely on a gas station gauge for a good reading.

"Most gas stations don't have tire pressure gauges, and the ones that do aren't very accurate. We recommend that you buy a tire pressure gauge and check them yourself," said Consumer Reports' Mark McEntee.

He just tested three types: dial gauges; pencil gauges; and digital ones, which are the most expensive.

Gauges were checked for accuracy, making sure the reading on the gauge matched the pressure of the air tank. All the gauges did well.

Then he assessed how easy they were to read. "The small markings on the pencil gauges make them slightly harder to read," McEntee said.

Testers also checked for ruggedness, dropping the gauges three feet to the floor. The dial gauges tested were knocked out of calibration.

When all the tests were done, three digital gauges had performed flawlessly.

One to consider is the Accutire 4020. It costs about $15. This gauge has a reading range of 5 to 150 psi, or pounds per square inch. That'll let you check your space saver spare along with your regular tires.

The government considers tire pressure such an important issue, in the next few years all vehicles will have to have a built- in tire pressure monitoring device. But Consumer Reports says even with these devices, you'll still have to check your tire pressure regularly. Be sure to do it when your tires are cold, or your car has been standing for at least three hours.

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