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Unlike your engine or your steering wheel, your car’s tires never get a break. The four wheels always carry several tons of weight to roll you along the routes you drive to make money. By purchasing the best tire pressure gauge, you can ensure that your tires continue performing well throughout their lifespan.
The health of your tires is critical to your vehicle’s performance and, therefore, your performance as a rideshare driver. Tire gauges play an important role in measuring the well-being of your wheels, allowing you to maximize your investment.
In this article, we’ll further explain why you need a tire pressure gauge and list out our favorite products.
Why Do I Need a Tire Pressure Gauge?
Tire pressure gauges are affordable tools that every driver — regardless of their current gig — needs to own. These are essential to ensuring your tires are properly inflated at all times.
Why exactly is proper inflation important? First off, evenly inflating tires ensures your wheels will evenly wear when paired with a tire rotation every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Even wear is critical for saving money as a rideshare driver, because if the tread on a single tire is too low, you’ll need to replace all four to pass your annual vehicle inspection.
In addition, overinflation is one of the leading reasons why drivers get flat tires. It can cause faster wear and tear as well as an unpleasant riding experience due to the inflexibility of the tire material. Underinflated tires can cause even more damage, putting you at risk for complete blowouts and tread separation while you’re driving. Your gauge will keep your inflation within a healthy range.
Finally, correctly inflated tires will last longer and improve your overall vehicle performance, ensuring you don’t waste any fuel due to lagging or inefficient tires. By using a tire pressure gauge within your vehicle maintenance routine, your wheels can reach or exceed their full potential of 50,000 miles on the road.
5 Best Tire Pressure Gauges
There are many types of tire pressure gauges that help drivers make the most of their vehicles. With options including analog, digital, and compact, you can find your ideal gauge.
There are some features you do want to pay attention to when you shop. First, make sure the maximum amount of air pressure (measured as PSI or pounds per square inch) your tire pressure gauge can read is compatible with your car model. The maximum reading should be at least 10 PSI above your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure, so you’ll know when your tires are overinflated.
Additionally, you’ll want a tire pressure gauge that provides accuracy without easily popping off your valve stem. Anyone seeking an easy-to-read digital pressure gauge should also pay attention to battery life (this will save money in the long term).
Now then, here are the best tire pressure gauges we’ve found for rideshare drivers:
1. TEKTON Instant Read Digital Tire Gauge With Lighted Nozzle (5941)
The TEKTON 5941 digital tire gauge is one of the most highly acclaimed modern gauges in the industry, providing drivers with an ergonomic grip to ensure the compact gadget never slips out of their hands. It’s even equipped with a light-up screen and nozzle for easy use in low lighting and complete darkness. Its auto shut-off feature will power the gadget down following 30 seconds of inactivity, saving the battery.
Additionally, the device can read up to 100 PSI with accurate measurements that display on your digital screen, so you can properly inflate your tires to the exact recommendations.
The only downside to the TEKTON digital gauge is it runs on a set of four unique batteries: one CR2302 lithium battery and three LR-44 batteries. However, the product comes with brand new batteries that should last at least two years. A $5 purchase of batteries should keep the gauge working for four more years.
You can purchase the TEKTON Instant Read Digital Tire Gauge With Lighted Nozzle (5941) on Amazon for $11.40.
2. TireTek Premium Car Tire Pressure Gauge
If you’re looking to avoid battery replacements altogether, a dial gauge may be the best tire pressure gauge. TireTek’s compact, pocket watch-sized product is a heavy duty mechanical gauge. Equipped with a steel casing and rubber protector, it can be used in all weather conditions.
One of the best features of this product is its air bleeder valve, which allows for easy tire pressure monitoring whenever you need to deflate your wheels. This can help you go from overinflation to proper inflation without the guesswork.
When you want to keep the air pressure as it is, the TireTek gauge has an extended nozzle with a rubber cover for the best no-slip readings. This keeps the air in your tire while you measure the pressure. This product officially provides Grade B accuracy up to 60 PSI, which means you’ll definitely get a reading within 2% accuracy — perfectly safe for all vehicles.
As you’re using the TireTek premium tire pressure gauge, you may also find its swivel chuck nozzle helpful, as it allows you to spin your dial 360 degrees to avoid glares or bad lighting while your gauge is already attached to your wheel.
You can purchase the TireTek Premium Car Tire Pressure Gauge on Amazon for $18.99.
3. JACO ElitePro Tire Pressure Gauge
JACO has plenty of high-quality analog products drivers love, and this one is no exception. For a slightly higher price (though you can currently get a $20 discount), you receive a tire pressure gauge that provides impressive readings within 1.5% accuracy up to 60 PSI.
In many ways, the JACO ElitePro product is much like the TireTek gauge, with a nozzle that allows for 360 degree rotation and an air bleeder valve for convenient deflation. However, its strong air hose allows for better flexibility and leak-proof readings, improving both ease-of-use and accuracy.
The dial of this gauge is equally impressive. With a unique glow-in-the-dark face, this is one of the few battery-free tools that nighttime drivers can easily use. If the lighting in your area still makes it difficult to read, this JACO dial will lock your reading into place until you press your reset button. That way, you can always head back inside the car before taking a look.
You can purchase the JACO ElitePro Tire Pressure Gauge on Amazon for $39.95.
4. Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
Accutire stays true to its brand name with this tire pressure gauge that provides readings within 0.5 PSI or 1% accuracy. Its range also beats out the rest of our contenders, allowing you to get readings from 0 PSI to 150 PSI.
The Accutire digital tire pressure gauge has a backlit LCD display that provides clear, exact numbers. Surrounding this LCD screen is a small body with heavy duty construction that should last, whether it spends most of its time in or out of your glove compartment.
Like the TEKTON digital gauge, you’ll need three LR-44 batteries for this gadget to function. Your purchase includes your first set of batteries. You can purchase the Digital Tire Pressure GaugeAccutire MS-4021B on Amazon for $11.76.
5. Milton (S-921) Single Chuck Head Pencil Tire Pressure Gauge
Our final pressure gauge is different than the rest. Known as a stick gauge, this Milton product is the most compact option for rideshare drivers who want the best tire pressure gauge they can take on the go.
This affordable, no-frills gauge can read between a range of 5 PSI to 50 PSI, which should be perfect for whatever vehicle you’re driving. Though it’s extremely lightweight compared to its competitors, the Milton pencil tire pressure gauge is made with high-quality materials and includes everything you need plus an air bleeder valve.
A note here — stick gauges generally tend to be more difficult to read, which can cause accuracy to dip when they’re not used as recommended. This pocket-sized gauge is best for drivers with minimal storage who want to avoid a trip to the gas station while they’re between trips. The Milton gauge is also particularly great for getting solid readings during cold weather.
You can purchase the Milton (S-921) Single Chuck Head Pencil Tire Pressure Gauge on Amazon for $6.99.
Frequently Asked Questions
Purchasing the best tire pressure gauge for your vehicle will help you drive accident-free on the road. We’ve answered three common questions to further guide you in your decision-making process:
1. Can tire pressure gauges be used for all tire models?
Yes, you should be able to use your gauge no matter what brand or wheel size you own. Tire valve stems are universal in width, since virtually all motor vehicles are equipped with Schrader valves. Schrader valve stems only differ in length, but this won’t affect your ability to get a reading with your tire pressure gauge.
2. How often should I check my tire pressure?
A standard recommendation is to check your tire pressure once per month. However, we recommend that rideshare drivers make this part of their weekly car maintenance routine, since you use your car far more than an average driver and are therefore more susceptible to improper inflation.
3. How do I find the recommended tire pressure for my vehicle?
The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle can be found within your owner’s manual. You can also use Firestone’s handy online tire pressure search tool or visit your local auto shop to get an accurate listing for your car model. Typically, the recommended tire pressure will be within the 30 to 35 PSI range.
Keep Your Car in Ideal Condition
Once you’re equipped with the best tire pressure gauge in the market, you’ll be able to get the most accurate readings in a matter of seconds. In no time at all, you can ensure your tires will be safe on the road, so you and your passengers can be safe as well. We hope this buying guide helps you make a smart purchase that will provide better fuel economy and benefit your vehicle.
With your gauge in hand, you can start shopping for the tool that will get you from underinflation to proper inflation straight from home. Read our guide to the best portable air compressors to get a multi-purpose tool to fill up your tires.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.