Under-inflated tires are more prevalent than you think – one out of four drivers drive vehicles with under-inflated tires. In a survey of 250 vehicle randomly selected in a parking lot, Goodyear found that 28 percent had under-inflated tires.
Similarly, many vehicles are loaded with unnecessary weight. Every 200 lbs of unnecessary weight reduces fuel efficiency by one mpg. Take at look at what you are carrying in your trunk and remove all unnecessary items, including unneeded tools and materials.
What is the Correct Tire Inflation Pressure for Your Vehicle?
You can locate the recommended tire pressure on your vehicle’s tire information placard, certification label, or in the owner’s manual.
It’s important to check your vehicle’s tire pressure monthly. Most tires naturally lose air over time or suddenly when driving over a pothole or striking a curb. With radial tires, visual inspection will not determine under inflation.
All that’s required to check tire pressure is a simple pencil-type pressure gauge available for less than $10 at any auto parts store. Don’t rely on inaccurate service station air hose gauges. Buy a gauge that measures up to 50 psi in 1-psi increments.
Always check cold inflation pressures. When the tire is completely cold or has not been driven more than a mile. Tire pressure rises as the vehicle is driven. Also, be sure to check the tire pressure of the spare tire.
It is also important 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 1-2 psi 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.
Because inflation pressure is often overlooked, Bridgestone/Firestone recently initiated an educational campaign on tires and tire care. Included in this campaign are brochures available at more than 10,000 participating Firestone retailers across the country. The
corporation has also launched a consumer Web site, www. tiresafety.com/. Special features of the site include monthly e-mail reminders to check the air pressure in your tires as well as well as alerts for periodic rotations.
Idling Gets You Nowhere and Costs You Money
One closing thought. The worst fuel mileage you can get is 0 miles per gallon, which occurs when your vehicle is idling. Idling for long periods, whether at a railroad crossing, keeping the AC running while making a delivery, or pulling off the road to make a cell phone call, consumes gas that could be saved by turning off the engine. Restarting an engine uses about the same amount of gas as idling for 30 seconds. When idling for longer than 30 seconds, shut off the
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