There are actually a lot of things that you can do to save money and improve the longevity your tires. Unfortunately, not all drivers know about these simple tips for vehicle maintenance. When tires are not inflated to the pounds per square inch (PSI) rating recommended by manufacturers, they are less round and require more energy to begin moving and to maintain speed. As such, under-inflated tires do consume a little more energy and fuel. Keeping the right tire pressure in all four tires provides better safety and efficiency on the road. Here are a few reasons to keep your tires properly inflated.
Get Better Mileage with Properly Inflated Tires
An informal study by students at Carnegie Mellon University found that the majority of cars on U.S. roads are operating on tires inflated to only 80 percent of capacity. According to the website, fueleconomy.gov, inflating tires to their proper pressure can improve mileage by about 3.3 percent, whereas leaving them under-inflated can lower mileage by 0.4 percent for every one PSI drop in pressure of all four tires.
Fully Inflated Tires are Safer
Besides saving fuel and money and minimizing emissions, properly inflated tires are safer and less likely to fail at high speeds. Under-inflated tires make for longer stopping distances and will skid longer on wet surfaces. Properly inflated tires will last longer as they wear more evenly.
Less Wear on Tires
It’s also true that good tire pressure means tires won’t wear out as quickly. Along with other tire tips like tire rotation, alignment and balancing, keeping tire pressure accurate will decrease the issue of “bad wear patterns,” where some parts of the tire can get worn down quickly. Good tire pressure also provides better handling in a vehicle. When tire pressure is low, on the other hand, the risk of some kinds of accidents can increase. When the vehicle is not as able to maintain traction on the road, driving gets generally more dangerous.
How to Extend Your Tire Life
In order to ensure maximum tire life, you have to perform regular tire maintenance. There are a few very quick things that you can do to extend your tire life and there are things you should do when the car is stopped or has been sitting for any length of time.
1. Daily Inspections
Every time you walk out to your car, you should be looking around it to make sure nothing that can damage them has been placed or blown near your tires. This includes nails, glass and other sharp objects.
2. Monthly Inspections
Mechanics advise drivers to check their tire pressure monthly, if not more frequently. The correct air pressure for tires that come with new vehicles can be found either in the owner’s manual or inside the driver-side door. Remember, that replacement tires may carry a different PSI rating than the originals that came with the car. Almost all tires however, state the correct PSI on the outer sidewall. Also, tire pressure should be checked before heading out on the road for the day, to avoid inaccurate readings.
3. Driving Precautions
Tires are designed to live through some rough treatment. This doesn’t mean that you can drive over those two-foot-wide potholes at top speed. If you can safely avoid them, do so. Next to manufacturing defects and accidents, hitting potholes at speed is the most common cause of premature tire failure.
Improper setting of your vehicle’s suspension alignment can lead to increased fuel usage, uneven tire tread wear and difficulty maintaining a straight course. Your alignment should be checked every 1-2 years depending on the condition of the roads and your driving habits. Wheels that are improperly aligned won’t always be pointing in the desired direction, causing a condition known as ‘scrubbing,’ where the tires are scrubbed across the surface of the road like a piece of wood across sandpaper, causing increased and uneven wear. If you change your tires for the season, it’s not a bad idea to get it checked then!
5. Regular Rotation
In order to correct for uneven wear patterns induced by road and driving conditions, your tires should be rotated every 10,000 to 15,000km. Regular and consistent tire rotation will distribute any uneven tire wear equally, which will allow you more time to correct any issues.
Hopefully these tips can save you some wear and tear on your tires. Don’t forget, our service department is always more than happy to assist with any service or wear related questions, so don’t hesitate to call or stop in!