Can we trust gas station gauges? And the pocket ones? This video clears your doubts

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The tires of our cars they would be of absolutely no use if they were not filled with pressurized air. Pressurized air is what allows the contact surface of the tire with the road to remain stable, and that is why it is vital that the pressure is adequate, and that we monitor it periodically and methodically. And this is where some doubts may arise: Are pocket pressure gauges sold online reliable? And the gas station gauges? This video will clear you up.

The video in question, by the way, has been recorded by our colleagues and friends from PowerArt, to whom we send an affectionate greeting from Diariomotor. The premise of the video is simple: check first-hand if we can trust the pressure gauges with which we control tire pressure of the car. Inflating the tires to the right pressure is important for our safety, and it is especially so if we are going to drive our car in a sporty way, either on a circuit or on a route through twisty sections.

If you don’t want spoilers, take a look at the video first, located below these lines.

After a technical explanation about tire pressure, Guille gets down to work. The reference pressure gauge is a gas station payment gauge, and the same tire is always used, which will be inflated to 2.5 bar pressure. The way to check that this measurement is adequate is by using a high-end pressure gauge used in competition, a 400-euro device that determines that the pressure difference is only 0.02 bar with respect to the pressure gauge at the gas station. What is really surprising is what happens with digital pocket pressure gauges.

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Though they barely cost 10 or 15 euros, they are surprisingly precise, and they never show values ​​further than 0.05 bar with respect to the figure on the pressure gauge at the gas station. We might think that analog pressure gauges, similar to those that we can still find in some gas stations, would be less accurate. A well-priced analog gauge from a reputable brand shows no discrepancies in measurement, but an analog gauge purchased from AliExpress does show almost half a “kilo” less – an alarming difference.

The control gauge is highly accurate and is used in competition where reliable measurement is key.

The news is that pocket pressure gauges are very reliable, and except for a cheap analog gauge, they are all surprisingly accurate. Even old pressure gauges and a curious device of American origin that measures pressure by means of a mobile cylinder inside a tube. So, do not be afraid when it comes to inflating tires at a gas station: If the device is in good condition and its calibration is correct, the measurement will be reliable. And if you don’t trust, take a digital pocket pressure gauge to make sure of the result.

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Lastly, I want to give a capon to all the gas stations that have signed up to the fashion of charging for inflating car tires. Not only does it deter many drivers from checking something so vital to their safety with tire pressure, but as a service, it’s slow and downright inconvenient. We have talked about this at length in this article.

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