How To Check Tire Pressure Without A Gauge?- [Explained!!]

You can check tire pressure without a gauge from the dashboard of your car. You can check it by just looking at it or pressing the tire with your hands. You can apply weight on the tires to see how much it deforms. You can even drive with them and do an ink test to determine the tire pressure.

But, there’s still so much more to know. So stick with us till the end to know more.

Checking Tire Pressure Without A Gauge- 5 Methods

Even without a gauge, you can check the tire pressure. Here, we’ve prepared five methods for you to check the tire pressure. 

Except for the dashboard method, you won’t know the exact tire pressure with these methods. But, you’ll know if the tire pressure is low or high. You’ll be able to adjust it accordingly then. 

Dashboard Method

On most modern cars, the tire pressure can be found in the dashboard. So, how to check tire pressure from dashboard? 

Just turn the ignition on so you can access the dashboard options. Then, keep on scrolling down for the tire pressure. Usually, there are buttons on the steering wheel to scroll up and down. Follow your owner’s manual to find out the exact navigation for tire pressure.

Source: Youtube

The dashboard will show the exact tire pressure of your individual tires. Compare it with your recommended tire pressures. It’ll be written on your owner’s manual or a sticker on the driver’s door seal.

Visual Method

You can guess if the tire is under-inflated by just looking at it too. First, park the car on a plane road. Then, check for bulges in your tires. Carefully inspect the tires from all sides.

Source: e90post

Measure how much the bulge is lifted up than normal using a scale. Here, you have to measure the height of the bulge. Hold the scale vertically against the tire sidewall. Measure the highest point of the bulge while considering the lowest point zero. 

If it’s more than 1 cm, the tire is under-inflated. Inflate the tires accordingly.  

Hand Pressure Method

Another easy way to check tire pressure is by applying hand pressure. Press the tire’s exterior and feel if it’s soft. If it is, the tire pressure is low. On the other hand, if it feels stiff, the tire is overinflated. 

In both cases, inflate the tires to the recommended level. 

Adding Weight Method

Here, you check the deformity of your tire by applying weight. Put something heavy on top of your tires and see how much it deforms. If it deforms more than 10-15%, the tire pressure is low. You’ll have to inflate it.

You can also load your vehicle with some heavy cargo. Then check if the tire is getting weighed down. When one tire is under-inflated, it’ll get more weighed down than the others. Notice this change and inflate that tire.  

Test Drive Method

You can also drive with the tires to see if they’re under-inflated. Here, use the ink method.

First, go to a smooth road or pavement. Then, apply some ink to your tires. Now, drive the car a bit and examine the trail marks. 

Source: dunloptyres

Properly inflated tires will leave relatively smaller marks than underinflated tires. The rubber spreads out more in underinflated tires. Thus, the ink mark smears more than usual.

After you’ve identified the tire, inflate it according to the recommended level.

Symptoms of Underinflated Tires

Even without measuring you can guess when the tire pressure is low. Just look out for these symptoms: 

  • The TPMS indicator light will be yellow.
  • It’ll be harder to control your vehicle. As the tire sidewalls are flexed, it’ll take longer to brake. The car will seem to pull on one side automatically. 
  • As underinflated tires get misaligned, they’ll create vibrations. You’ll feel them from your steering wheel too.
  • Due to underinflation, the sidewall of your tires will get damaged much faster. 

If you’re facing these symptoms, inflate the tires properly. 

Is Car Tire Pressure Reading Accurate Without Gauge?

The accuracy depends on the method you’re using. If you use the dashboard method, you’ll have an accurate reading. But, using any other method won’t yield the same result. As mentioned before, you’ll only be able to judge if they’re under or overinflated.

It might be that your car doesn’t show tire pressure on the dashboard. Then, it’s advised to always keep a gauge in the car trunk.

Can You Drive With Underinflated Tires?

No, you shouldn’t drive with underinflated tires. At high speeds, underinflated tires will make you lose control of the car. Thus, severe accidents might happen. Also, underinflated tires wear out faster and will produce burning smell if drive for too long. This will also cause lower fuel economy.


How Often Should I Check Tire Pressure?

You should check the tire pressure at least once every two to four weeks. However, if the temperature is colder outside, check more frequently. That’s because the PSI level drops rapidly in colder temperatures. Depending on the temperature, the tire pressure can even fall down to 5 PSI.  

Why Should I Check Tire Pressure Regularly?

Checking tire pressure regularly ensures that it’s always properly inflated. When the PSI level is right, you’ll have a better driving experience. As the tires aren’t under or overinflated, they’ll last longer. Also, you’ll be able to identify any problems earlier. Thus, the repair will also cost less. 

Does Tire Lose Air Overnight?

The tire might lose air overnight depending on the temperature drop. Tires lose 1 PSI for every 10 degrees drop in temperature. Thus, if the temperature drop is significant, the tires might get underinflated. The same can happen if you have a damaged Schrader valve or a leak in the tire. 

Bottom Line!!

Hope you have no confusion left about how to check tire pressure without a gauge. Still, there’s one last thing you should know. Don’t drive if your tire pressure is too low. It may blow out and cause an accident. Thanks for staying with us till the end.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.