Summer Driving Tip:Checking Tire Pressure Can Save $640 in Gas!

By: Scott Siegel

One of the quickest ways to rob a car of efficient gas consumption is to neglect the tires. There are a number of different ways tires can affect your car's fuel saving performance. Making sure you are riding on properly inflated tires is probably the easiest way to save money on gas.

According to statistics provided by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Information Administration, the Possible savings of avoiding under inflated tires is between $160.00 to $640.00 per year depending upon how much you drive, how under inflated your tires may be and how many cars you have.

According to the Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency twenty-three per cent (23%) of vehicles have at least one tire under-inflated by more than 20%. Not only do under inflated tires on your vehicle hurt your fuel consumption it can also lead to poor or delayed braking, steering and acceleration. In other words, under inflated wheels can be dangerous. Under-inflated tires may squeal when stopping or cornering even at moderate speeds, particularly on warm pavement.

Operating a vehicle with just one tire under-inflated by 20% (8 psi) can reduce the life of the tire by over 9000 miles and can increase the vehicle's fuel consumption by 4%. Tires are permeable and can lose up to 2 psi (pounds of pressure) per month. More air is lost in hot weather as the pores in the tire material expand.

When a tire is under inflated, the sides bend and flex too much. This builds up heat. As stated earlier heat can accelerate air loss. So an under inflated tire will continue to lose air at an increasing rate.

Under inflation also causes the tire to increase rolling resistance which also increases fuel consumption. In addition under inflation can cause serious damage to the tire walls and can lead to sudden failure.

To maintain proper inflation levels, measure the air pressure in your vehicle's tires at least once a month. Measure your pressure when your tires are cold. "Cold" means that a vehicle has been stationary for at least three hours or has not been driven more than 1 mile.

If you drive your car 20,000 miles per year and your average fuel economy is 20 miles per gallon, you will use approximately 1000 gallons of gas per year. If you have only one tire under inflated by 20 percent, you will loose 4 percent of your fuel economy. Loosing 4 percent means you will buy 4 percent more fuel over the course of a year.

If you are averaging 1000 gallons of gas consumption per year, then a 4 percent increase in gas consumption will cause you to buy an extra 40 gallons of gas. At 4 dollars per gallon, 40 gallons will cost you $160.00. If you have two tires that are under inflated then you would double that and your out of pocket extra expense would be $320.00.

If you are part of a two car family you could easily be looking at an increase in your yearly fuel cost of over $600.00! When you think in terms of yearly cost, those small differences in fuel economy sure add up quickly.

Keeping your tires at the proper inflation can save you between $160.00 and $640.00 per year in gas savings. In addition maintaining the correct tire pressure can prevent conditions that could cause serious accidents Keep a pressure gauge in your car and check the tires often.

Top Searches on
Mileage and Fuel
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Mileage and Fuel
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles