With another heat wave approaching, I’m going to have to tweak my car’s tire pressures accordingly in preparation for a weekend road trip. And then when temperatures drop back down, I’ll need to add in a bit more air. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but in addition to providing a smoother and safer ride, properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage.
I have a number of tire pressure gauges, but no clue as to where they are at the moment. After a few minutes of shopping around, I came across this Joes Racing glow in the dark gauge, for $24 on Amazon. I have been wanting a gauge like this for a while, but didn’t really need one until now. Wherever they are, I also have an Accuture digital gauge and maybe 2 cheap/free stick gauges.
Not that digital gauges don’t perform well enough, I was looking for something a little more flexible and with greater resolution.
- 0-60 PSI dial (0-15 and 0-30 gauges also available)
- 17-inch flexible hose
- glow in the dark face
- rubberized body
- air-bleed valve
- ball and angle chucks
It’s hard to get excited over a tire gauge, but the Joes Racing gauge made pressure readings ridiculously quick and easy. Reaching the tire valves was made easier with the 17-inch hose while I held the dial at a favorable angle.
Because the portable inflator I was using never inflates tires to the right setting, I had to set the desired pressure to 2-3 PSI greater than the target pressure. This worked for 3/4 of the tires, but led to one being slightly overinflated. I attached the gauge, let some air out via the push-button valve, checked the pressure, and repeated until I reached the desired pressure.
The dial does glow brightly in the dark, but this didn’t really make a difference since I used the gauge outside during the day. Readability is great under all conditions I could test the gauge in.
This is the best tire pressure gauge I have ever used. There are pricier, more accurate, and more durable models on the market, but this one seemed appropriate for my level of usage. It’s quick and easy to use, and the measurements seemed to be spot-on.
One thing I’m slightly concerned about is how a single drop onto concrete will ruin the gauge. The rubber grip around the gauge will do nothing to protect against that type of shock, and is probably just there to provide a better grip. I had better be careful!
If I break, misplace, or give away my Joes Racing gauge, I will definitely buy another, or maybe even one of their digital models.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
More Info(via Joes Racing)
The hose says Made in USA, and so I am assuming the entire product is made in the USA.
The sample tested was purchased for personal use at full retail pricing.
Looks a LOT like the Longacre liquid filled gauge, including the glow-in-the-dark dial. If it performs as well, for almost half the cost, it sounds like a great deal!
I suspect that I use my tools for different reasons than the majority of readers of this blog, so I may look for different things when I shop. Anyway, I treasure tools that make me money by being faster, easier or better to use than other equipment, and when it comes to tires, the only tire pressure gauge I reach for is the Accutire tread depth and tire pressure digital combination gauge ($9). It’s very affordable, dead on accurate for me after three months use in the shop, and no more squinting to read a depth gauge or trying to read the difference between 32psi and 33psi on a needle gauge. This digital inflator ($70) takes care of inflation and bleed duties. There are lower cost options, but I had never heard of most brands in that area, and many comparable tools including Matco and Snap-On don’t have 0.1psi resolution – they read in gradients of 0.5psi. That may be good enough for government work, but for me, I want my tools as accurate as possible, especially with modern cars specifying tire pressure different front and rear for best mileage, treadwear and handling. The new Scion iQ city car is just 1psi difference front to rear in spec, but can your tools reliably and repeatedly produce proper pressure to get the customer all 37mpg out of her car? That’s why I use the Astro inflator and Accutire gauge.
I really like the Accu-Gage, Model# S60X. I picked it up when I was sponsoring a stock car years ago and it has always worked well. It’s all brass and uses a bourdon tube instead of a bellows so you get an accurate reading that’s not affected by changes in temperature, humidity or altitude. I just looked it up and it’s only $6.99.
Stuart, this product looks great and I like the fact this product is made in USA. However, I almost missed the Made in USA tag. Is there a way to make that tag slightly larger and or maybe brighter or so? Great article Stuart, although where is the information on where product is made, as if this item is 100% made in USA, I might just buy this to be honest.
Don’t really see USA made tire pressure gauges and that is really a shame. But I have to wonder, is the gauge made in USA as well though?
I checked with Joes Racing, and they said that the gauge is made from USA and imported components, with the product being assembled in the USA.
Assuming you have found it by now (or when you do) how accurate is this one compared to your digital one? I have a Crafty digital and a dial (not sure what brand, it’s built into my inflator) and they are pretty close to each other unless it’s very very hot or cold. I don’t know how accurate they both are, just that they’re consistent.
Let me guess, by imported do they mean PRC or is it just a generalized term?
Thanks for checking though Stuart, that was really awesome of you.
Well, they said domestic and abroad.
Even so, partial domestic sourcing and USA assembly and testing is better than 100% imported.
I’m not really as awesome as you think I am right now, as I tried to find an answer to your question before you even asked it. =)
Actually sir, you are exceptionally awesome. You really have been kind to provide me with a answer in such a polite fashion and have done such in such a detailed fashion. So yeah, I think it’s fair to say you ARE awesome.
You do bring up excellent points though Stuart, I have a “Slime” gauge that seems to break if you drop it even on carpet.
So again sir, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to find this information out. It’s a really pleasure to read this blog and know that if I have a question, that I’ll receive such a polite response.
my favorite is a gauge used back in the 70’s for adj dirt bike air forks.
you screw on the gauge, turn in the screw that opens up the schrader valve,
adjust air pressure by adding or bleeding off air, then unscrewing the shrader screw and then unscrewing the gauge. takes a few minutes more, maybe, and yer accurate and done.
So how do you know that it is accurate? That is the biggest concern and problem that I have. Between my brother, dad, and I we have about 5 different PSI gauges because we race. We need very accurate PSI ratings, and most of the time they all give different readings.
So how does one clearly calibrate, or know, whether the PSI gauge is accurate or not?
The one I ordered agreed with my car’s tire pressure monitoring system and with the digital gauge on a portable inflator. That provided enough confidence in accuracy for my needs.
If you have 5 different gauges that give 5 different readings, some of them are probably off. Fractions of a PSI are probably without reasonable error limits, several PSIs indicate an accuracy or calibration issue.
Just like measuring tools can be calibrated, so can pressure gauges. There might be a calibration service in the area near you, and if not you would have to mail your gauge(s) in.
Some gauges, like this one by Moroso are factory calibrated to 2% accuracy or better.
You might be able to calibrate your gauges yourself, but usually a professional calibration lab will have the equipment to do this quicker and with greater reliability.
OK, thanks for the tips.
Do you have a general inflator hose that you recommend for use with an air compressor?