Man inflating tyre

Why Correctly Inflated Tyres Are Essential

Chances are you don’t think much about the air in your tyres. But tyres, being the final link between your car and the road, play an outsized role in acceleration, braking and cornering and need to be in a certain pressure range to do their best work.

By Shell on Nov. 27, 2019

A vehicle with under- or over-inflated tyres will not only be less comfortable, less enjoyable to drive and less safe, but drink more fuel and chew up the rubber it’s riding on. Obviously, then, you want to ensure you’ve got your pressures right, but how do you do it? Read on.

What is the correct tyre pressure?

The answer is simple – whatever your car asks for.

All cars are fitted with a placard stating recommended inflation pressures, typically around the driver’s-door opening, inside the fuel-filler cap or in the glovebox – see example image below. This information can also be found in the physical or - if applicable - online owner’s manual.

Why Correctly Inflated Tyres Are Essential 2
Why Correctly Inflated Tyres Are Essential 2

Then it’s just a case of going to the service station, finding the air pump and hose, and then checking and inflating your tyres to the recommended pressures. Pressure recommendations are for cold settings, so always check and inflate before or well after a long drive. Because tyres lose pressure with time, do it at least once per month – and don’t forget to check the spare!

Pressure variables

Manufacturer recommendations are designed to deliver the best combination of fuel economy, comfort, handling and braking – a compromise in other words. They are also given for normal driving conditions and normal loads.

If you’re driving with a heavy load, towing or doing constant high-speed touring, check the placard or owner’s manual for recommendations for these situations. They’ll typically be a little higher; for towing, a 4psi (27.5kPa) increase for the rear tyres is common.

Air pressure pumps are available at all Shell and Shell Coles Express locations nationwide. Serious off-roaders, who commonly alter their tyre pressures to suit whatever conditions they’re driving in – whether it’s rocks, mud or sand – would require access to a mobile-inflation system. That’s a whole story in itself.


Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd (“Viva Energy”) has compiled the above article for your general information and to use as a general reference. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken by Viva Energy in compiling this article, Viva Energy does not warrant or represent that the information in the article is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use.

Where information, recommendations, opinions or ideas have been sourced from third parties external to Viva Energy (Third Party Information), Viva Energy cannot be certain that the Third Party Information is accurate, current or complete, nor should a mention of any business, product, service or website of a third party be taken as a recommendation, approval or endorsement of, or warranty or claim regarding, that business, product, service or website.