Gas is Creeping Up Again: Tire Pressure

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If you haven’t noticed, gas has been on the rise again and it’s time to go over some ways to keep your car from unnecessarily using too much gas. I filled up my car the other day and it was almost $60! I can’t afford to do that more often than I need to. This is the first in a series of posts about getting the maximum miles per gallon in your vehicle. Up first is tire pressure!

Keeping your tire pressure at the manufacturer’s recommended setting is important to maintaining a higher MPG and prolonging your tire’s life. When you let your tires ride around with too little pressure, your engine is working harder to turn those wheels, therefore, you’re burning gas when you don’t need to. Most reports that I’ve read have shown anywhere from a 2% to 3% increase in miles per gallon. That may not sound like a lot, but when you stretch it out over the life of your vehicle, it adds up.

SAE International has conducted many test and studies on the effectiveness of tire pressure and one of the most telling findings are as follows:

Subsequently, tire inflation data from 2000 vehicles in six cites were analyzed to determine the extent of passenger car tire underinflation. These data sources were then combined to estimate the nationwide excess fuel consumption, about 600 million gallons per year, due to tire underinflation.

600 million gallons per year! If that’s not reason enough to check and maintain your tire’s air pressure, I don’t know what is.

Check your owner’s manual for the optimal tire pressure for your car and purchase a dependable tire pressure gauge so you can save some money at the pump.