What’s the Correct Tire Pressure for My Car?

Check Car Tire Pressure

Are you going to inflate your car tires, but you have no idea of what tire pressure is correct for your car?

Having the correct tire pressure in your car is very important, especially nowadays when you have tire pressure monitoring systems. If you run with the wrong tire pressure, you will see warning lights on your dashboard.

In this article, we will go through how you can find the right tire pressure and some other tips about tire pressure.

How to find the correct tire pressure for your car

The fastest and easiest way to find your car’s tire pressure is to check the label you can see near the door lock when you open the driver’s door.

Here are some alternatives you can choose from to get the correct tire pressure for your car.

1. Check Label behind drivers door

Car Tire Pressure Label

On almost all car models, you will find a label when you open the driver’s door. Here is often the tire pressure listed for the original tire sizes and how much you should inflate the tire depending on your vehicle’s load weight.

Some cars do not have this label, and in this case, you have to try any of our other alternatives.

2. Check Service Manual

Car Manual

Almost every time you will buy a car, you will get a service manual of your car’s basic functions. This manual is often located in the glove box together with the other documents. In this manual, you can often find what fluids you should fill your car with and your car’s tire pressure.

If you cant find this service manual either it is time to go the the next step.

3. VIN decoder

Vin Decoder

There are a lot of free VIN decoders out there on the internet. The downside of this is that you need to find your VIN of your car. You can often find the VIN of your car below the front windshield, in the trunk, or under the hood.

On some US car part sites, you can also enter your license plate number to get your VIN and use it to find the correct tire pressure for your car.

4. Call Authorized Dealer

Call Car Dealer

If you are not sure of finding the correct tire pressure by using the methods above, you can always call your authorized dealer for your car model’s brand.

They can often get the correct tire pressure within the blink of an eye, and you will not have to make any other effort to find it.

What does cold tire inflation pressure mean?

Inflate Tire

On the tire pressure labels, you will often find something named “cold tire inflation pressure”. What does this actually mean, and should it really make a difference?

You need to know that the tire pressure differs a lot in your tires depending on the tire temperature. When you are driving for long distances, especially in warm weather, it will create a lot of heat in your tires, and this will also create a lot of pressure.

What happens if you fill the tires to 36 psi / 2.5 bar directly after this? It will probably sink to 32 psi / 2.2 bar when the tires are cold, and this will cause you to drive around with too low pressure.

This is why it is listed as cold tire inflation pressure and why you always should fill it with cold tires.

Is it better to have slightly over or under the recommended pressure?

Tpms System

I often recommend inflating your tires with 1 – 2 PSI or 0.07 – 0.14 above the recommended pressure. This is because many cars have tire pressure monitoring, and these sensors are susceptible.

For example, some TPMS systems have a fragile difference between the lowest pressure when the tire pressure comes on and the recommended pressure.

As you may know, the tire pressure can differ depending on temperature, and to make sure the tire pressure light will not come on directly after you inflated your tire, you should have a slight pressure above the recommended.

Having too high pressure is always better than too low tire pressure.

How to find it if I have aftermarket rims or tire size on my car?

Offroad Tires

You can either ask at the place that sold the tires or check this list down below for a very general tire pressure chart. This is just a list you should use for a thumb rule and not a recommended tire pressure.

  • Small Sized car normal tire size (around 185/55 – 15) ~ 2.1 bar  (30 psi)
  • Medium Sized Car normal tire size (around 195/55 – 16) ~ 2.5 bar (36 psi)
  • Large Sized car normal tire size (around 245/55 – 18) 2.9 bar (42 psi)

In general, if you have bigger rims with a lesser tire profile, you should use higher pressure.

Written by: Magnus Sellén

Founder, owner & main author of Mechanic Base. I have been repairing cars for more than 10 years, specialized in advanced diagnostics & troubleshooting. I have also been a drifting driver and mechanic for over 7 years.