Inflate Your Tires to Save on Gas
If you’re a frugal driver, you try to compare prices at the pump. A few among you go out of your way to save a few pennies per gallon. But one of the easiest ways to save is right beneath your feet: check and maintain your tire pressure. Use a coupon to save on automotive services, new tires and air gauges.
Keeping your tires at the proper pressure can boost your mileage by more than 3 percent. That may not seem like much, but consider that underinflated tires can lower it by .3% for every pound-per-square-inch (PSI) of lost pressure on all four tires.
Checking Tire Inflation is Easy
Whether you have new tires or yours need to last a while longer, it’s important to make sure they are properly inflated to the correct PSI (pounds per square inch). Your set will last longer, your vehicle will handle better, and you’ll save money on gas. Checking tire pressure should be performed as routinely as cleaning the windshield or checking the oil. A full-service gas station or auto service center can check it out for you, or you can learn to do it yourself with an inexpensive tire gauge that you buy at the store.
Checking the Pressure
Tire pressure should be kept at the recommended level indicated by the manufacturer. This information is located in the owner’s manual, or on the tire placard located in the door jamb, the glove box or the fuel filler door. Don’t go by the maximum pressure listed on the sidewall.
The pressure should always be checked when the tire is cold. A cold tire is one that has been at rest for an extended period – overnight is perfect – and driven less than a mile. Just grab your gauge and pull up to the air pump at the gas station.
Tip: If the nearest place to get air is greater than one mile away, check the pressure before you leave and then once more when you arrive. Inflate any low tires to the recommended pressure plus the difference after driving.
Don’t forget about keeping the spare tire filled up. Space-saving spares require much greater pressure than the others. Nothing is as frustrating as a flat spare when you need it!
Develop Good Tire Habits
Tire pressure should be checked as frequently as possible. Checking every other time you fill the tank is a good habit to develop. You should remember that in hot weather the tires’ pressure will increase, and in cold weather it will decrease slightly. Hitting a pothole or other road debris can also cause a sudden drop in pressure. Give it a check!
Address Slow Tire Leaks Right Away
If you see a nail or screw embedded in the tread, and the pressure is slightly low, it’s tempting to overinflate the tire. Not a great idea. An overinflated tire can lose road contact, unbalance the vehicle and create the possibility of a spinout on a wet surface. This can lead to a serious crash. Just pull over when you can and get tire replacement.
Think about checking your tires for a safer ride and better mileage. Remember the old adage that a safe driver maintains a safe vehicle.