The Importance Of Checking Tire Pressure
Even though the 4 pieces of rubber attached to your car don’t have any mechanical moving parts they are still extremely important. It’s easy to just assume everything is ok with your tires as long as your car is still running good. When tires decline it’s subtle unless of course you run over road spikes or get a nail stuck in them. A tire that doesn’t appear to be low on air can result in reduced vehicle handling and excessive tread wear.
Tire pressure needs to be at the proper air pressure to maximize handling in emergency maneuver situations. It’s much easier to get into an accident when your tires are worn down or under inflated. The handling just isn’t there, especially in the cold under icy conditions. Under inflated tires also have increased rolling resistance and require more energy to move the vehicle. This hurts your overall fuel economy.
Keeping your tires inflated results, on average, a 3.3% increase on fuel efficiency. While this isn’t huge savings it still adds up when combined with other gas saving techniques. For every PSI drop in pressure under 80% inflated you lose 0.4% fuel efficiency. The average person also uses 144 extra gallons of gas a year because of under inflated tires! This costs you about $500, which is a rather large amount for not checking tire pressure.
Don’t forget to check out your tread. Rotate your tires every 5,000-7,000 miles so tires wear out at the same rate. Check for uneven wear and tear. If your tires are worn unevenly then it’s probably time for an alignment. If your steering wheel starts to shimmy and/or shake its also a great time to get balanced. This can also cost you a significant amount of fuel.
If you need guidance on how to check your tire pressure here’s a video. Its a very simple process you can do every few times you stop to fill up with gas, or a couple times total a month. Tires lose pressure gradually and you won’t immediately notice a change in vehicle handling. It only takes a few minutes and the savings are $500 a year or more!