Different Tire Pressure Units You Must Know

Tire pressure is crucial for safe driving. Overinflated tires might blowout, especially when traveling during warm weather. Moreover, too much pressure on tires reduces traction. The car has a lesser grip on the road, which could lead to accidents particularly when raining and snowing. Also, excessive tire pressure results in a bumpier ride despite traveling on a smooth road.


Meanwhile, tires with little pressure can cause great damage to the engine since it forces the motor to work. If the engine has to work double, it has to consume more fuel than before. Furthermore, too little pressure can lead to premature wear and tear on tires.

These facts only show that maintaining tire pressure is imperative.

On Tire Pressure Units

Car manufacturers place the suggested tire pressure levels on the driver’s door. You can also find it at the company’s car manual. And no doubt, you looked into these details.

The first time you have been browsing for a car to buy, you probably noticed that vehicles have different tire pressure units. Chances are most of the cars you checked using PSI to measure tire pressure. However, some cars use different pressure units.

The tire pressure jargon is confusing and hard to understand. As a guide, below is a summary of air pressure measurements to help familiarize and learn more about it.

  • PSI

PSI is the most common pressure unit used by car manufacturers. PSI is an acronym for pound-force per square inch. This unit typically refers to gas or liquid. This pressure is the result of a force of one pound-force applied to one square inch area.

This pressure unit is an Imperial System Unit. Hence, it is commonly used by countries that mainly utilize the Imperial System for measurements, such as the United States, and the UK.

  • KPA

KPA stands for kilopascal. It is an SI unit of pressure since its basic unit is Pascal (Pa), which is equivalent to N/m2 (Newton per square meter).

In this pressure unit, one KPA is equivalent to 1000Pa.

  • BAR

BAR is a non-SI unit of pressure. The IUPAC defines BAR as equal to 100,000 Pa (Pascal).

If you own two or more vehicles, wherein each one uses different tire pressure units, you probably might experience difficulty in putting the right amount of pressure. Here is when you’ll need to use automotive digital gauges.

A tire pressure gauge is the easiest way to measure tire pressure. High-quality tire gauges can measure different units of pressure, including PSI, KPA, and BAR. All you have to do is choose the right unit on the device’s control settings to measure tire pressure. You no longer have to consult a professional or do manual conversions to find out the right amount of pressure to put on your car.


It is not a big issue if your car uses a different pressure unit rather than the most common measurement. With the help of a digital tire pressure gauge, you can check and maintain your vehicle’s tire pressure anytime and anywhere you go.

You must know that not all tire pressure gauges in the market measure a wide range of pressure units. To find out which the leading devices that measure three or more types of pressure units, go to My Automotive Zone.