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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a tire gauge at Autozone about a year ago - paid $6 or $8, didn't get the cheapest one. Checked it against some other gauges early on and it seemed fairly accurate.

Fast forward to this week and I check my car tires and it's showing 22 psi! So I go to an air hose that has a built-in gauge, and the built-in gauge is telling me 30 psi. Go to another air hose at another location with a built-in gauge, it's reading 30 psi.

Check my motorcycle front tire with the Autozone gauge - guess what? It's showing me... 22 psi! Hose built-in gauge at the QuickMart shows 28. Should be 33-34 based on manufacturer recommendation, so I add air.

I really want to keep my tires properly inflated - both car and bike. Can anyone recommend a good brand or specific model? I don't mind paying for quality - within reason. I'm thinking no more than $20-$30 max?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Gone
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The built-in gauges on air hoses are usually not very accurate. I use a small dial type gauge for the motorcycle that seems to be right on.
 

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I use a $8 one that I bought from OReilly Auto parts, and it seems to be fairly accurate. I have never trusted the one on air hoses.
 

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Have you replaced the battery?

I picked this one up from cycle gear for $8. It shows to the half pound. When it loses accuracy, I'll replace that battery. If that doesn't work, I'll toss it and get another one.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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Just playing devil's advocate here, but how do those of you that say your gauges are accurate KNOW they are accurate? What is the standard you check them against?
 

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At my previous place of employment we had a top quality gauge that we had calibrated every year and then for many years I also had a large quality gauge that was kept calibrated.

Over the years I tested MANY tire gauges against the calibrated gauges and found it was really hit and miss. Some cheapie gauges were great and some expensive gauges were crap. I no longer have access to a calibrated gauge but have one known-good industrial gauge that stays in the shop that I use as my standard.

As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the gauge the more likely it is to be inaccurate. An industrial quality gauge will hold its calibration well but anything that gets knocked around is going to deteriorate.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The built-in gauges on air hoses are usually not very accurate. I use a small dial type gauge for the motorcycle that seems to be right on.
I agree, but long story short I checked a total of four different gauges that all showed 28-30, and my gauge read 22, so I figured it was extremely unlikely that four were wrong and mine was right...! Especially since the car tires didn't seem to be underinflated by appearance or by handling.
Mine doesn't have a battery.
 

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It's really a crap shoot with gauges. About the best you can get is an average based on several. But who can afford buying that many. Chances are the newer digital ones will be more accurate since they would have to check them against a known source. Maybe???? Mine is a dial type that happens to give the same reading as several pencil ones I have. Or as close as can be since the pencil type don't have good increments so it's difficult to even guess anything within a 5 pound range.
 

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I compare against other gauges, occasionally. Right now, I have two pumps with built-in gauges and the one I mentioned above. As long as all three are in the same ballpark, that's close enough for me.

I've always heard people recommending a high-dollar gauge, but it hasn't been my experience that they're any better on a consistent basis.
 

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This is what I use but it's like anything else, no way to know if it is actually accurate. It just happens to show similar to other gauges I have in pencil style.



http://www.getagauge.com/index.cfm
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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What most of you are saying has been my experience as well. I have about a dozen tire gauges of varying types around the shop and only three consistently agree with each other so those have become my 'go to' gauges.

Otherwise, unless like Dianne we have/had a way to check gauges against a calibrated source, saying we have a 'fairly accurate' gauge is only a best guess.
 

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Troublemaker
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I bought three like tire gauges, on one tire, one read 32, one read 37, and the third read 41. I don't know of any good tire gauges at any price, I just go with one and continue using it. If I am getting tire wear that can be diagnosed, I will adjust accordingly. I do know that the one on my air compressor reads the same at the end of the hose as it does on the gauge on the compressor, not that it is right, but that's the only two that read the same.
 

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Otherwise, unless like Dianne we have/had a way to check gauges against a calibrated source, saying we have a 'fairly accurate' gauge is only a best guess.
If the gauge shows reasonably similar psi to others and the tire doesn't show unusual wear over it's life, then that's close enough for me. If I were racing professionally, I might worry about being more accurate. Otherwise, as the saying goes, "close enough for government work." :biggrin:
 

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Since tire gauges seem to disappear around here, I went to wally world and bought 3 cheapos 1 for wife, 1 for son, and 1 to have laying with the air tank, and I bought one them round ones for about $15...........all of them tested the same tire at the same pressure.

And thanks for reminding me, I'm heading out now, I had bought a trigger end with gauge for my air hose, same brand as the compressor, its made to fit into the tank outlet not the hose(how stupid), so I need a coupling to attach to the hose.......I'd bet it will show the same pressure as all the rest.
 

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They're all cheap. And if you drop 'em once, that's it. So the trick is to own several different gauges, once in awhile check 'em all against each other on the same AUTO or TRUCK tire, and throw away any that read too far afield.

I have found no greater accuracy in electronic or fancy $20 dial gauges than in .99 pencil gauges from auto parts stores.
 

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Motorbike Macgyver
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I use a hand pump with a built-in gauge. I probably put air in my tires at least once a month. It's almost always 3-5psi low when I attach the pump to the valve, but I can tell it's low by squeezing the tire with my hands, something I usually do about once a week. The lowest my tires have ever been is about 8psi below manufacturers recommendations, and that was after more than a month, possibly two months. I don't really know if the built-in gauge on my pump is accurate, but I've never had any problems with mileage or excessive weather. My tires are rated for 35-85psi, and I like having them at about 42.
 

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The ones that are digital often give a false sense of accuracy as well, I've compared a couple of mine to a more expensive analog one that reviews on Amazon claim to be highly accurate and some of them are routinely off 3+ PSI.
 
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