Tire Pressure Chalk Test- We Have Explained Two Methods+Video!

What is a tire pressure chalk test? It is a process of checking tire pressure without meter. We found out that this process demonstrates whether your vehicle tires are filled to the correct air pressure or not. It is generally used by those people who run bigger all-terrain tires to set pounds of force per square inch of area for high-speed driving on the highways.

If you want to extend the lifespan of your tires, one of the most important stuff to do is to check your tire pressure all the time. There are various methods of doing it, and the chalk test is one of the most popular methods among them.

Here, we will elaborately discuss what the chalk test means and how to do the chalk test.

What Does The Tire Pressure Chalk Test Mean?

Chalk and tires are not two stuff that usually goes together. However, if you think about the tire chalk parking of that very alert female traffic warden who just marked your vehicle to be ticketed in the next thirty minutes, these two things can go together. There is a cause behind chalking your car’s tires to test your tire pressure.

So, what is a tire chalk test? The chalk test simply shows if the tire’s tread has too much of an arc from lots of pressure or if it’s a little concave from a deficiency of pressure. The test can be performed by recurrent rounds of filling or removing pressure in your car’s tires and drawing chalk on them. Car owners drive their cars in a line and observe the chalk left on their tires.

How To Do The Tire Pressure Chalk Test

A car’s Tire pressure test using chalk is an easy test that car owners can do on their cars to find the ideal air pressure for their cars’ tires. There are 2 methods of doing this chalk test.

We are going to show both step by step in the below guide. The first method is also known as the tundra chalk test.

Things You Will Need:

  • Air (to fill up your car’s tires)
  • Chalk
  • A dry, flat, big surface for testing (for example, an empty parking lot)

You will need these things in both the methods described below.

Method 1: Tundra Chalk Test

Let’s start the steps-

Step 1: Inflate The Tires

Firstly, you have to inflate the tires to the max level of secure inflation. It is the starting point of this method. If you are unsure what pressure to begin with, then deduct 10% from the maker’s max inflation pressure on the side of your car’s tire.

For instance, if the max inflation pressure is 40 psi, after subtracting the 10 percent value from the max inflation pressure, you will need to use 36 psi in your tires.

Step 2: Drive To A Flat Place

Now, you have to drive to a flat place. The place has to be sufficiently big to drive in a straight line around 10 to 20 feet back and forth. Choose any empty parking lot or the road in front of your home. Just ensure that the place you are testing on has fewer stones, no big bumps, and no holes.

Remember, if you are doing this on the road in front of your home, ensure that no vehicles are coming. Drive back and forth several times, and you will not want to hit any vehicle or any other thing.

Step 3: Draw A Thick, Straight Line

Next, using chalk, you have to draw a line that is thick and straight around the breadth of the tire. We found that it is needed to chalk the tread blocks all over in a straight line and the external lugs. You might be required to chalk 2 rows to obtain a nice covering.

Step 4: Drive Your Car Forward

In this step, you have to drive your car forward at a minimum of a one-complete car length. Also, make sure that you drive forward in a straight line.

Step 5: Examine The Chalk On The Ground

Finally, you need to examine the chalk on the ground and your car’s tire. Keep in mind that a tire with the correct air pressure would press the chalk line evenly all over the ground. It means that you will view the whole chalk line drawn on the ground.

In case the tire is overinflated, you will just view a little part of the line in the center.

Contrarily, if the tire is under-inflated, you will view just the sides of the lines as the middle of the tire isn’t touching the ground.

Finally, you need to adjust the tire’s air pressure as per the chalk test outcomes. If you do not find the desired result of the chalk line pressing evenly over the ground, you need to try again until you get it.

Method 2: Chalk Test By Coloring Chalk Over The Breadth Of The Tire

Let’s check the steps below-

Step 1:  Fill Your Tires Full Of Air

Firstly, fill your tires full of air and make sure that they reach the max inflation. You will find out that the max inflation is marked on the side of the car’s tires.

Step 2: Draw A Thick Line With Chalk

Now, you have to completely color a thick, straight line all over the breadth of the tire by using chalk. You need to completely color in a section and ensure that the line is a minimum of 1 to 2 inches thick so that you can correctly diagnose the accurate pressure. The chalk marking must fill the whole breadth of your car’s tire.

Step 3: Drive The Car In A Straight Line

Next, you need to drive the car in a straight line forward for around 50-100 feet. After that, stop and go back in the same straight line to the beginning point.

Step 4: Examine The Chalk On The Tire

In this step, examine the chalk on the tire. As tire is at maximum inflation, just the middle part would be erased. If the tire is overinflated, then just the midpoint of the line would touch the ground, thereby removing the chalk mark. Now, you have to let out around 3 pounds of air and repeat this procedure.

When you test your tire in this method, you will begin to find more chalk marks being erased across the line where you draw the chalk on the car’s tire. You have to keep adjusting the car’s tire air pressure by letting out 3 pounds of air as per the chalk test outcomes until you get the pressure you desire.

Tire Pressure Chalk Test- Any Good?

Yes, we think that the tire pressure chalk test is good to ensure that your vehicle tires are filled to the proper air pressure. Keeping your tire pressure correct will reduce the problem of some segments of the tire getting worn down rapidly.

You can also handle your vehicle better if the tire pressure is correct. The tire pressure chalk test easily shows if the vehicle’s tire’s tread has quite a lot of arc from lots of pressure. This test also shows if it’s a little bit concave from a deficiency of pressure.

This Video Will Help You Too!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to remove tire chalk?

Generally, hot water is all the things you need to remove chalk markings on the tire. You can use hot water and a brush to clean it. Also, you can use a Brillo Pad and some hot water to remove tire chalk. The combination of hot water and soap will also work. If all these steps don’t work, you can spray WD-40 cleaner on the tire and do a little scrubbing using a soft cloth to remove tire chalk.

Is chalking tires illegal in California?

No, it is not illegal. Although, a lawsuit had been filed against the city of San Diego, California, previously, which claims that the process of chalking tires for parking enforcement isn’t legal. But the result was positive for chalking tires, and parking control officers in California can continue to mark tires with chalk to enforce parking regulations.

Why do parking officers chalk tires?

Tire chalking is generally a manual method to enforce parking where a parking officer would use chalk to mark the tires of every car inside a particular parking space. Vehicles marked in this method, which are still standing in the parking space after some time, will obtain parking tickets.

Why is there chalk on my tire?

When you see that there is chalk on your car tires, that means the parking officer marks it. It does not mean that you have done anything wrong. The parking officer marks your tire with chalk to detect your car and keep track of where and when it was parked.

How do you judge tire pressure?

You can judge the tire pressure by using a tire-pressure gauge. In addition, you may do the chalk test on your tire to judge the tire pressure. Furthermore, you would see the suggested tire pressure in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the sticker placed in your vehicle’s driver’s side doorjamb.

Can you check tire pressure on a hill?

No, you cannot check the tire pressure on a hill. When you do an Off-road tire air pressure test, you will not obtain a correct reading. You have to park your vehicle on a level surface to get the correct reading.


Tire pressure can vastly influence the life expectancy of your tires. Inappropriate tire pressure can cause specific tires and portions of tires to wear out quicker than others. It will signify you need to buy new tires sooner than required. The tire pressure chalk test can save you the money and time from the necessity to buy new tires.

It needs to be done when you buy bigger tires for your car. Also, if you want to know how to check tire pressure without gauge, this test is what you need to do. Here, we have discussed the things you need to know about the chalk test, and we are hopeful that now you can do this test easily.

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James Noah

Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.

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