Part of your car's maintenance is checking the air pressure in your tires. It's very important for you to keep your car's tires properly inflated. You will get better gas mileage, experience better handling and extend the useful life of your tires if they are properly inflated. Purchasing and using a 12 Volt air compressor is an easy, effective way to inflate your tires at home.

Things You Will Need

A 12 volt compressor

Step 1

Check your auto manufacturer's handbook for recommended tire pressures. Most cars have a panel inside the driver's side door jamb which stipulates the recommended tire pressures for the front, rear and spare tires. Be sure to make careful note of the recommendations - some cars have different pressures for the front and rear tires, and the spare as well. Don't use the recommended pressures from the tire manufacturer – the auto manufacturer know best when it comes to the cars they make.

Step 2

12V CompressorNow, to inflate your tires, simply plug the power cable of the 12 Volt compressor into your cigarette lighter or power outlet on your car's dash or console. Your key most likely will have to be in the accessory position for the compressor to work.

Unscrew the valve cap and connect the air compressor to the tire's valve stem.

Turn the compressor on and watch the pressure gauge until it reaches the prescribed tire pressure.

Repeat this procedure for all tires - don't forget the spare. Check your tires once a month, since most tires lose 1 to 2 pounds of pressure each month, depending on the amount and type of driving you do. Your car will get better gas mileage, handle the way the manufacturer intended it to, and your tires will last longer.

Always inflate your tires when they are cool.

Use the car manufacturer's recommended pressure levels for optimum handling and gas mileage.

Tips & Warnings

• Don't trust the air stations at gas stations. Their pressure gauges are usually not well calibrated and are often wrong. If you must use the gas station air station, get yourself a good tire pressure gauge at your local hardware or auto parts store. Use it for correct inflation pressure.

• Your 12 Volt compressor also has many other uses: it can be used for other inflatable items such as footballs, basketballs, pool toys, etc.

• Don't forget to keep your spare tire properly inflated as well. You'd be quite upset if it is flat when you need it the most.