How To Check Tire Pressure Without Gauge – Easy Ways

If you are thinking of going out with your bike or car, the very first thing which you should confirm before hitting the road is to check the tire pressure of the vehicle which you will be riding and inflate them as required. This is one of the most important parts of maintenance of your bike or car. But there time comes when you do not get a gauge close to your hand but you still need to check the tire pressure. For those who are worried how to check tire pressure without gauge, this article is for them. Continue reading to get the solution of your query.

Importance Of Proper Tire Pressure:

The very first and foremost reason why you should check for proper tire pressure is your safety. Low tire pressure can cause serious accidents. When there is low pressure on the tires, it puts more weight and force on it causing flat tires which in turn produces friction. Thus speed is reduced. Moreover, in worst cases, the tires explode or separate causing you to lose control or balance of the vehicle which you are riding and as a result accidents might occur.

If your vehicle is a car then there comes one other issue to consider. Low tire pressure causes more friction which in turn generates high heat and extra resistance resulting higher fuel consumption.

On the other hand over tire pressure is also hazardous. It reduces sufficient friction between the tire and the road causing the tire to slide easily especially when they are wet. In addition over inflated tires can make your ride bumpy and bouncy.

Thus we can see that both low tire pressure and over tire pressure is bad for your vehicle. So you should always check tire pressure before every ride or at least before filling the tires with gas.

However there are some factors on which inflation of air depends. Surrounding temperature affects the tire pressure. Each 10 degree Fahrenheit fall of surrounding temperature causes a 2% fall in the tire pressure. Moreover inflation of tires also depends on the conditions the riders are riding their bikes or cars and also on the surface of their ridings. For example smooth surfaces needs hard tires and on the other hand rough, bumpy surfaces needs softer tires. Keeping all these factors in mind we should check tire pressure and inflate the tires as necessary.

flat tire

How To Check Bike Tire Pressure Without Gauge:

Needless to say, the following steps will not give you the exact reading which an air pressure gauge will give you. So if you are a new rider then you should try your best to find a pressure gauge. But if you are an experienced one then you are more familiar with your bike as well as how the tires should feel when properly inflated with air. Even though you will not get the exact measurement, yet you might get very close to the recommended air pressure.

1.  Press The Wheels By Hand For Checking The Tire Pressure Without Gauge:

When you wonder- ‘‘How to check tire pressure without gauge?’’, the very first solution which you can follow is pressing the wheels by hand. Here your hands acts like a gauge. Keep your hand on the tire and press it down. Try to feel the condition of the tire. If it feels soft and spongy then you have to understand that there is low air pressure. Thus more air pressure is required in order to reach the manufacturer recommended PSI.

Likewise, if you feel that the tire is hard as a rock and you are unable to push your hand down, then you have to understand that it is over inflated. In this case you release some air.

If you feel that the pressure is low, pump air slowly while keeping your hand on the tire. Meanwhile keep pressing the tire in order to feel the pressure. If the tire becomes rock hard then immediately stop pumping more air into it. This means that the tire is now over inflated. So you have to release little air in order to reach proper tire pressure. You will now be able to press the tire slightly- nor too hard nor too soft. This is a reliable method of checking tire pressure without a gauge.

2. Use Eye Ball Method To Check Tire Pressure:

Eye ball method is one of most common method of how to put air in tires without a gauge. But there is one problem- you have to be experienced to follow this eye ball method or else you will not understand the difference of air pressure in the tires.

 For this purpose you have to park your vehicle on a flat surface like road. Then from the front and the back of your vehicle at a distance, observe the tires keenly. Looking from all angles, see if parts of any tire are protruding one or two millimeters or even a slightest bit. This means that the tire has low pressure and needs more air. Inflate the tire with air so that it becomes hard but not as hard as a rock. Release excess air if it becomes hard as a rock or else accidents might occur.    

3.  Ride Through Puddle or Mud Test:

This test might sound funny but it works. In order to check the tire pressure, find out a puddle or mud and ride through it first and then ride on flat dry land. Then observe the trail of water or mud behind you. This trail will give you a comparative result of how much the tire is hitting the ground. If the trail is thicker than normal then you have to understand that the tire was hitting the ground beneath the puddle or mud more. This means that the tire pressure is low and more air is needed. Then inflate the tire with some air and repeat the same method again for proper tire pressure.  

ride through mud to check tire pressure without gauge

4.  Check Sag:

Another way for how to check bike tire pressure without gauge is by checking sag. Sit on your bike and try to check the sag in your tire to see if there is sufficient air on the tires. If not then you have to give some air into it. You can ask a friend of yours to help you do that. If you are an experienced rider then you will know how your tire should look after sitting on the bike.

5.  Weight On The Wheels:

Another way to check the tire pressure of a car is by loading some weight on it. When a tire has low pressure, it will deform or bulge more than 10% from its actual proper inflated tire size. This means some air needs to be filled in it.

6.  Own Feel:

Whichever method you use to check tire pressure without gauge, according to me the best way is your own feel. If you are a regular rider, you will understand when your bike or your car needs more air in the tires. You will know how your bike feels and how fast it is going. For example- suppose during your commute to work you ride your bike regularly at more than 20mph speed. But there time comes when you will not be able to ride at your expected speed (according to the speedometer in the bike). You will then understand that your bike tires need more air. Just fill in some air and observe the rise of speed of your bike just like before.  

understand how your bike tire feels

7.  By Using Tire Pressure App:

I am pretty sure that you have a smart phone in hand. Do you know that your smart phone can help you to inflate tire with proper pressure? All you have to do is just download and install the tire pressure app in your smart phone.

Whenever you think of checking the tire pressure of your vehicle, just take a picture of the tire with the camera of your smart phone and upload it on the app. The app will then match the current shape of the tire in the uploaded image with the images of tires of same brand in different states of inflation from its database. Next the app recommends you to fill in more air if required. This way you will inflate the tire and keep on uploading its current shape on the app and the app will compare and finally give you best resemblance of properly inflated tire of same brand.

For checking tire pressure accurately in this method your vehicle brand needs to be present in the database of the app as they do not cover all manufacturers.

use tire pressure app

8.  Visit A Gas Station To Check The Tire Pressure:

 If you do not have a pressure gauge with you, there is another way you could measure the tire pressure of your vehicle. It is simple. Just visit a nearby gas station. Most of the gas station has an air compressor tire inflator which also measures the tire pressure. You can use that device to measure your vehicle’s tire pressure. This air compressor tire inflator will show the reading of the tire pressure while filling gas into the tire. You just have to be careful not to over inflate the tires by exceeding the manufacturer’s recommendation of the PSI of the tires.

visit a gas station to check tire pressure

Tips to follow:

  • Tire pressure depends on many factors like quality and type of tires, vehicles, amount of load on it, volume of pump, etc. So you should be well aware of all the risk factors and should have experience to make judgments about the tire pressure.
  • It is recommended to check and inflate the tire when it is cold. Here cold does not mean outside temperature. Rather it is meant that the tire should rest for 3 to 4 hours before it is inflated with air.  
  • While filling air inside the tire you should be careful not to put too much air at a time. This is because too much air can explode the tire.
  • Never ride your bike or car with flat tires. By riding with a flat tire you would be risking your safety as well as other road users’ safety.
  • You should have good idea about the required air pressure of your tires, how to put air in tires and how to check tire pressure.
  • Before facing a situation in which you have to check tire pressure without gauge and put air in tires, it is better you do the above experiments with gauge and your own judgments.
  • In order to avoid any undesirable situation better apply more than one of the above mentioned methods.
  • If you owe a car and you have a spare tire, it is better to often check its pressure as well. This is because though sitting idle air can still leak out through it.

Final Remarks:

To sum up we can say that proper tire pressure is one of the most important parts of maintenance of your vehicle. This is because it is responsible for taking you safely from one place to another. So it should be always kept in a check.

By now I hope by reading the above article you have got the solution of your query- “How to check tire pressure without gauge?” However, it should be kept in mind that though it is possible to measure tire pressure without gauge with the help of the above mentioned methods, but it is wiser to use a gauge instead. Checking tire pressure without a gauge is a bit risky as it will not give accurate result like a gauge and that might be misleading to beginner riders. So always try to keep a gauge handy. And if incase you forget to take your gauge with you, check and refill the tire from a mechanical workshop or a gas station. And if that also not possible then follow my above mentioned method in emergencies. Take care of your vehicle and stay safe and allow others on the road to be safe as well.

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