Many motorists know that the inflation pressure in your tires affects the vehicle’s performance, but what might not be such common knowledge is that tire inflation could also affect your wallet. With gas prices reaching the highest point in recent history Bridgestone/Firestone wants to share some simple tips to maximize the mileage you are receiving on each gallon of gas.
Statistics compiled by the American Automobile Association (AAA), show that fuel economy is compromised by 10 percent when tires are under inflated by only 2 psi (pounds per square inch.) An under-inflated tire increases rolling resistance, requiring your engine to work harder. Proper tire inflation could save you several hundred dollars annually at the gas pumps.
Additional AAA data reveals that 80 percent of the cars being driven today have improperly inflated tires. Dave Van Sickle, of AAA, said that the organization has been conducting inspections and monitoring vehicles and maintenance habits for the last 20 years.
“Our research shows that this improper inflation issue has been prevalent for years. Tires are something that people continually overlook,” said Van Sickle.
In vehicle inspections held across the country, AAA checks tires, fluid levels and overall vehicle maintenance as a service to the public. This information is logged into a database that provides data for future travel and automotive research.
It is also important for the consumer to remember that tire pressure does not remain constant. As outdoor temperatures change, so does the pressure in your tires. In fact, tires may lose one to two psi (pounds per square inch) each month, and even more as outdoor temperatures change. Unfortunately, it is not possible to just look at a tire to determine if the pressure is appropriate. You have to use an air pressure gauge.
Proper tire inflation is not just the number printed on the tire sidewall. Consumers should always refer to the information from the automobile manufacturer, which is commonly listed on the door jamb or in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Because inflation pressure is something that is often overlooked, Bridgestone/Firestone recently initiated an educational campaign on tires and tire care. The corporation has also launched a consumer website, www.tiresafety.com. Special features of the site include monthly e-mail reminders to check tire air pressure as well as reminders for periodic rotations.