Underinflated tires might cause an accident that could kill you. Need another reason for inflating your tires?
Underinflated tires increase tire wear, which could burn through a set of $400 tires a year early. Need another reason?
Underinflated tires waste gas. How much gas? The Department of Transportation estimates that 5 million gallons of fuel per day are wasted due to low tire pressure. That’s more than 2 billion gallons per year, just because people don’t take the time to inflate their tires properly.
OK, OK, you get the point. Inflating your tires to the specified pressure is important. So make it a habit to check and refill your tires once a month. And remember, you can’t tell if a tire is underinflated just by looking at it. If it actually looks underinflated, it is way underinflated.
Checking Your Tire Pressure
Here’s how to check the pressure in your tires with the least amount of muss and fuss.
Now you can compare the tire pressure readings you got with the specified amount called for by the manufacturer (on the doorjamb or in the manual). If the level of pressure in your tires is below the specified amount, you need to fill the tires with air.
For example, the sticker on the doorjamb may say that the recommended level is 32 psi (pounds per square inch). When you check your tire you find it is 29 psi. You need to bring your tire pressure up to spec. It’s estimated that for every 3 psi below spec, you burn 1 percent more fuel (and add 10 percent more tire wear). It’s not uncommon to be 10 psi below spec, which would waste 3 percent more fuel and increase tire wear by 45 percent.
Filling Your Tires
There are at least two ways to refill your tires to bring them up to specification. You can go to an auto parts store and get a portable air compressor. If you do this you can refill your tires at your house or in your garage. Some of these compressors are cheap and not really up to the task of quickly inflating your tires. Spend a few extra dollars to upgrade to a higher level compressor that connects to your battery terminals rather than running off the cigarette lighter.
Most people, however, will just refill their tires at the gas station. Even though many air compressors charge 50 cents, you can usually get the attendant to turn on the machine for free.
Adjusting Your Tire Pressure
Here are the steps needed to adjust the pressure in your tires:
If you get in the habit of checking your tire pressure once a month, you will eventually find a good gas station that has a conveniently located air compressor.
Now it’s time to enjoy improved fuel economy, reduced tire wear and — above all else — safe driving.
Original Article – Edmunds