Stop-start, cylinder deactivation and all the electronic fuel-saving wizardry found on today’s cars counts for little if you ignore tyre pressures. Even slight underinflation increases fuel consumption, as the engine needs to work harder to roll a partially flat tyre.
A few minutes with a gauge and compressor or pump keeps costs to a minimum as fuel consumption will be maximised and wear reduced. The car will also stop and corner as intended.
While LED gauges have become popular, there’s still a role for analogue versions that are often easier to read and don’t rely on batteries. So which is the one to keep your motoring costs to
a minimum? We tried eight to find out.
Research by Michelin has shown around 75 per cent of motorists drive on under-inflated tyres, and they are even more unlikely to check pressures if the gauge is tricky to use or hard to read.
We checked both plus accuracy against a calibrated gauge at 25, 30 and 35psi, and looked for psi and bar scales. The gauges were dropped from a metre and rechecked at 30psi. Extras like tread depth gauges were taken into account, plus we wanted an air release and the ability to hold the reading off the tyre when disconnected. Prices are from a variety of online sources.
Veteran dial gauge from RaceX takes another win more than a decade after its first. It remains accurate and easy to use. Laser is second and our pick of the pencil gauges, thanks to its accuracy and tread depth gauge. Oxford is our choice among the gauges with hoses.
1. RaceX Tyre Gauge RX0014
2. Laser Tyre Pressure/Depth Gauge 6317
3. Oxford Tyre Gauge Pro 0-60 OF313
4. Halfords Analogue Tyre Pressure Gauge with Dial
5. Draper Tyre Pressure Gauge 51541
6. Sealey TST/PG3
7. PCL Gauge DPG1H03
8. Silverline Tyre Dial Gauge