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Turn air into gasoline! Tire pressure and better fuel efficiency.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Turn air into gasoline! Tire pressure and better fuel efficiency.

Jason Miller
September 13, 2005

One of the easiest ways to improve the gas mileage for your car is checking the tire pressure in all four tires. Simply doing this routine tire maintenance can save fuel and increase the life of your tires. A government study concluded that by correctly maintaining your tires is like getting 2 “free” tanks of gas a year. With today’s fuel prices that could easily be $140! You will also increase the life of your tires and could save at least one new set of tires during the life of your car. Now that I have you convinced of the value of good tire pressure, let’s discuss the basics. First you will need to purchase an inexpensive tire pressure gauge. These are easy to find and easy to use. Buy a good one (They don’t cost that much) and put it in your glove box. The next big question is “How much air do my tires need?” You will need to find out what the manufacturer’s recommended pressure is for your vehicle. You can find this information in a couple of places. First you can look in your owner’s manual or check the information placard glued on the inside edge of the doors. Remember, the tire pressure on the side of the tire is the maximum pressure for that particular tire. This is different from the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Now you are ready to check the pressure in your tires. The best time to check your pressure is when your tires are cold. The car should have been sitting for at least three hours or have been driven for less than 2 miles. If your tires are hot, then the air is hot and the pressure will read higher than normal. This is why using the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure is so important. If you use the maximum tire pressure printed on the tire and then drive out on the road, the pressure will increase because of the heat. This can be potentially unsafe. If they are low, take a quick trip to the neighborhood gas station. There you can add a few pounds of air and recheck the pressure. One tip, don’t trust the gauge on the air compressor at the gas station. These are generally in bad shape and have been treated poorly. Use your new one you just purchased instead. Repeat this process every month. You will save gas and extend the life of your expensive tires.

Jason is the webmaster for Red Hill Supply - Online Air Tools

Impact Wrenches,Air Tools, and More - Red Hill Supply

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