Car Clinic: How accurate are air pressure gauges at garage forecourts

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Car Clinic: How accurate are air pressure gauges at garage forecourts

Q. Are air-pressure gauges on garage forecourts checked officially? I got different readings at two garages.

MR, London


A. Trading Standards says drivers have the right to expect an accurate reading (where they pay for the service) and that gauges should be recalibrated at regular intervals, ideally every six months. But few local offices have the resources to check.

Also, many handbooks list pressures for cold tyres, but when you drive to the garage, the tyres warm up and pressure increases. So even with an accurate gauge, you are likely to be underinflating your tyres.

The solution is to buy a gauge and check the tyres yourself (a combined digital gauge and pump costs from around £20 — Michelin’s High Power Tyre Inflator is currently £33 at Halfords).


Sunday Times Driving Car Clinic: Tim Shallcross, advance driving advice

Tim Shallcross used to train AA patrols to fix cars. Now he advises the Institute of Advanced Motoring — read more from Tim here.

Email your question to or write to Car Clinic, Driving, The Sunday Times, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF, with a daytime phone number,
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