How to Chalk Tires

by David Montoya
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tires on water image by JoLin from

Chalk and tires aren't two things that go normally together unless you're thinking about that ever-watchful meter maid who just marked your car to be ticketed in the next 30 minutes.

There is a reason why you would want to chalk your own tires though--to test your tire pressure. This method of checking tire pressure, called the chalk test, demonstrates if your tire is bulging from too much pressure or if it is slightly concave from a lack of pressure.

Step 1

Drive to a flat area. This can be your driveway or the street in front of your house. Just make sure there aren't a lot of cracks, bumps or pot holes in the ground.

Step 2

Draw a thick, straight line across the width of the tire.

Step 3

Drive the car forward at least one-full car length.

Step 4

Inspect the chalk on the ground and on the tire. A tire with the proper air pressure should press the chalk line evenly across the ground. This means you'll see the entire chalk line imprinted on the ground. An over-inflated tire will bulge and only the center of the line will touch the ground. You'll only see a small portion of line if this is the case. If you're tire is underinflated, you'll see only the sides of the lines since the middle of the tire is not making contact with the ground.

Step 5

Adjust your tire's air pressure according to the chalk test results.

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