How to calibrate, use and read a tire pressure gauge

Knowing how to calibrate tire pressure gauge is regarded as a crucial step that helps ensure that your car is protected and maintained in the right status. It is also important to make sure that the tyre pressure gauge that you use is correctly calibrated or you obtain it from a trustworthy source to ensure accurate readings.

A tire can cause of harm or even an accident if not well taken care of. This article will, therefore, act as a guide on how to calibrate appropriately as well as read and use a tire pressure gauge, therefore, you should just read on to gain knowledge about it.

Calibrating a tire pressure gauge

Calibrating a tire pressure gauge

Main Special Features to consider while calibrating pressure gauges

All instruments require appropriate maintenance and the pressure gauges are no exception. There are many factors to put into consideration, but this guide will mainly focus on how to use pressure gauges.

  1. Accuracy classes – different pressure gauges have different accuracy classes hence you should ensure that you are aware of the accuracy class of the gauge you acquire so you can estimate the actual readings as well as understand how to check tyre pressure with the gauge.
  2. Pressure media – many a time, the most common media is either liquid or gas, and the media will also depend on the pressure range, either low or high range.
  3. Height difference – if the gauge to be calibrated and calibration equipment are at a different height, then the hydrostatic pressure of the media in the piping can lead to errors
  4. Torque – especially for the torque sensitive gauges, you should not use excessive force when it comes to connecting the pressure connectors to the gauge.
  5. Calibration – as these gauges are mechanical instruments hence its position will effect to reading thus it is therefore recommended to calibrate it in the same position as it is used in the process.
  6. How to use tire pressure gauge – the scale on manual gauges have limited ability, but it is good to know how to read a manual pressure gauge. It has minor and major scale marks, but it is quite hard to determine the pressure while the indicator is in between scale marks.

Steps on how to calibrate your pressure gauge

If you can make to calibrate one by yourself, you will learn that it is as well easy to learn how to read a tire pressure gauge.

NOTE: The Some best models of tire compressors have precalibrated gauges. You do not need to do anything with them

Marking the Hose

One starts by unraveling the hose and place a 25m tape beside the hose. Use the marker pen to mark every one meter as well as make different points on the hose.

Stand on a High Building

You should then stand on a high building and hold the hose freely in the air. Have in mind that keeping the hose straight is important for high accuracy, and you should then join the end of the hose on the ground to your pressure gauge.

Crosscheck calibration

Crosscheck calibration

Crosscheck calibration

You ought to add up some water until it reaches the one meter mark in the hose. You ought to observe a 1.4224PSI and if you find your gauge accurate, continue to add some more water. For every 1m of water added, the reading increases by the one mentioned earlier.

– Ensures that you obtain an accurate reading
– Accuracy at this stage ensures that equal pressure measures may be deemed reliable as well.
– Inaccuracy may transmit the results into the measuring of tire pressure


If after adding water up to 1m and still find the reading is not corresponding with the one cited above, then you need to recalibrate your handmade gauge then start again as from the second step. It is therefore essential to know how to put tire pressure gauge back together. However, if it is really hard to calibrate accurately your gauge, then it might because your gauge is faulty thus you’d need to acquire a new one.

– It is possible to correct the possible errors in earlier stages
– Helps determine whether the pressure gauge is faulty
– One, however, has to repeat the steps as from step 2 and this might be tiring

Shorter hose

Using a shorter tube is possible. Thus this negates the need for high buildings, lots of water and friends. However, the accuracy decreases thus it is not recommendable. It is more accurate to use the longer lengths of the hose.

– No need for high buildings, friends or lots of water
– Easier to calibrate
– Takes a shorter time to calibrate
– Less accuracy is prone

Gas station gauges

Although a huge majority usually rely on the gas station gauges, there have been many reports that the tire pressure readings may vary. This leads to a rise in sales of the digital tire pressure gauges. However, it is not compulsory that you know how to calibrate tire pressure gauge as most will be already calibrated for you. If you are considering buying a digital gauge, ensure that you get one of the best reviews and from the trusted sources and there is always a cost involved with this choice.

Gas station gauges

Gas station gauges


– They are readily available
– Easy to use
– Located away from fuel points hence cannot lead to delays
– You can get help from the workers at the station
– They may not be accurate therefore not completely reliable

Wrapping it up

You can have a gauge professionally calibrated. Having to calibrate the indicator by yourself may seem a demanding task, but it is quite easy if at all you follow the guidelines as above-indicated. Knowing how to calibrate a tire pressure gauge correctly is key to understanding the right amount of pressure in your car tires. It may be a time-consuming process but worthwhile. You should first know how to use tire pressure gauge, and you will realize that calibrating one by yourself, of course with some little help, can be easy. However, on the negative side, if you do not know how to adjust pressure gauges or go about it, it is not recommended that you do it by yourself. It may be a bit stressful to ensure that an accurate reading is achieved hence buying one that has already been calibrated and that is ready for use is the best idea.