What Is Bourdon Tube Pressure Gauge (How It Work – Best Tips Explained!)


What Is Bourdon Tube Pressure Gauge

Do you know what the bourdon tube pressure gauge is? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

If you own a vehicle, then there are a few important pieces of equipment that you need in your toolkit. One of the most important is the bourdon tube pressure gauge.

So, what is the bourbon tube pressure gauge? A bourdon tube pressure gauge is a gadget that you can use to measure the pressure of your tires. It is a completely manual piece of equipment. This means that you do not need any batteries. While most modern vehicles will have a tire pressure gauge built into them, it is still worth having a manual backup like a Bourdon pressure gauge. 

Throughout the rest of this page, we want to talk a little bit about a bourdon tube pressure gauge is and how it works.

We also want to give you a bit of advice on when you should be using one.

What is a bourdon tube pressure gauge?

As we mentioned previously, a bourdon tube pressure gauge allows you to measure air pressure. While it can be used to measure air pressure in a multitude of different situations, it is most commonly used to measure tire pressure on a vehicle.

We aren’t going to get into the scientific specifics behind a Bourdon tube pressure gauge. This is because you don’t really need to know them in order to use one. We will give you a general overview, though. 

Inside of the bourdon pressure gauge is a c-shape tube. This c-shape tube will be attached to the inlet. It is the inlet where the air flows in.

As the air flows in, the c-shape tube will move ever so slightly. As the tube moves, it will trigger the movement of a gear.

Attached to this gear will be the indicator needle. The more the c-shape tube moves, the more that needle will move. 

This means that a lot of air pressure heading into the pressure gauge will send that needle up higher than a small amount of air pressure. The read-out will be given in PSI (pounds per square inch)

As we said previously, there are no batteries required for a bourdon tube pressure gauge. Despite it being a rather simple piece of tech, it is surprisingly accurate.

Obviously, you should try and pick up one of the more expensive bourdon tube pressure gauges, if you can.

This isn’t to say that a cheaper gauge is inaccurate, it just tends not to be as accurate, mostly due to a smaller number of numbers of the gauge. 

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How do you use a bourdon tire pressure gauge?

It is actually rather simple.

You will need to remove the air inlet cap on your tire.

The bourdon tire pressure gauge should then screw directly onto this cap. As the air escapes, the gauge read-out will change.

It is important that you take care not to allow too much air to escape. This can cause the gauge to give an incorrect reading. Just take a quick reading, and you are done. 

How does a pressure gauge work? | Bourdon tube vs. diaphragm element >> Check out the video below:

How often should you check the pressure of your tires?

For the most part, you are probably not going to need to use a bourdon tube pressure gauge. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be checking your tires.

It is recommended that you check the air pressure inside of your tires at least once per month. This is because a small amount of air will escape from even the most well-sealed of tires.

The reason why you are unlikely to need to use a pressure gauge of your own here is that the vast majority of air stations will have a pressure gauge built into them.

You will likely find that if you have a modern vehicle, there will also be a pressure gauge built into that. This means that you are going to be able to get tire pressure read-outs on your dashboard.

When should you use a bourdon tube pressure gauge?

As we just said, it is unlikely that you are going to need to be using one all that often. This is because there will be plenty of other methods to measure tire pressure in your vehicle.

However, you should still have one handy.

For example, if you are at the side of the road and need to fit a new tire, it can be useful to have a bourdon tube pressure gauge to hand in order to get your tires up to the required pressure.

It is also useful to have your bourdon tube pressure gauge to hand if you do not have a digital readout in your vehicle, but your tires feel a little bit odd to drive on.

It may even help you to identify a tire breakage if you notice that the air pressure in your tires appears to be falling rapidly.

Even if you never end up using a bourdon tube pressure gauge, still keep one to hand. They are such an affordable piece of kit that you have absolutely no excuses! 

What PSI should your vehicle’s tires be set to?

This is going to be dependent on the vehicle that you own.

Generally speaking, the tire pressure should be between 30 and 35PSI.

If you look inside of your vehicle on the driver’s side, there will be a small sticker that will tell you what your tire pressure should be set to.

If you cannot find that sticker, then you should look in the vehicle’s manual.

It is important that you set the tires to the right pressure. If you do not, then you will find it incredibly difficult to drive your vehicle.

It may also lead to increased tire wear.

Conclusion 

A bourdon tube pressure gauge is a small mechanical tool that will check air pressure.

While it is commonly used with vehicles, it can be used in a multitude of different situations.

Because this type of gauge does not require a battery, it is incredibly reliable.

It is worth keeping one inside of your vehicle, even if you never end up using it.


Here are some of my favorite tools & equipment´s

Thank you for reading this article. I hope it helps you find the most recent and accurate technical and repair information for your car. Here are some tools that I use as an automotive technician and hope you´ll also find helpful.

There are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I´ll earn a small commission. But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family. (NO CRAP)

To see all my of most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource that I made for you!

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/bourdon-tube

Jeff

Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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