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  • Multiple brands
  • Available at: all auto stores
  • Price: $3.99-$24.99
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The pen style gauge, Motomaster gauge and Slime dial gauge.Joanne Elves/The Globe and Mail

In Canada, it’s important to check tire pressure at least once monthly because the air in the tires will contract in the winter and expand in the summer.

Having a handy tire pressure gauge makes the task simple.

If a tire is underinflated it can wear out prematurely, cause poor handling and reduce the fuel economy. An overinflated tire also causes unusual wear patterns and poor handling but also makes for a rougher ride and becomes more susceptible to road hazards.

Check your owner’s manual or the sticker on the door jam or trunk for the recommended cold tire pressure for your auto. “Cold” in this case means the car has been sitting for at least three hours.

We tested three different tire gauges from the simple pen style to the digital readout.

The pen style left a lot of room for interpretation, popping up to a different marker every time, but it was good for a “ballpark” reading.

The pricey Motomaster gauge read precisely to one decimal point but is bulky to keep in the glove box and will need replacement batteries.

The winner is still the Slime dial gauge that stayed consistent with every test.

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