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The importance of proper tire pressure PDF Print E-mail

According to recent study by the National Transportation and Safety Administration, available at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/, more than 25% of all passenger cars and more than 33% of all light trucks have under inflated tires.  What does this mean to you?

  • Lower gas mileage - Lower tire pressure means lower gas mileage.  For each pound of under inflation, your gas mileage can drop up to 1 percent!
  • Tire failure - Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure.
  • Faster tread wear - Lower tire pressure also causes the tread to wear out faster and forces premature replacement.  
  • Poorer handling - The point where the tire meets the road is a crucial element in determining the ride control of your vehicle.  Under inflation prevents your ride control system from functioning properly.

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So what is the proper tire pressure for your vehicle?

While there is a lot of information available in the market, the best way to determine this is refer to your owner's manual.  Each vehicle is designed by the manufacturer with a specific tire and tire pressure in mind.  Some things to keep in mind.

  • The proper tire pressure is available to you in a number of locations in the owner's manual or on the door jam or doorpost.  Many vehicles now also have sticker on the interior of the gas cap.
  • The pressure listed on the exterior of the tire is the maximum pressure that the tire should be inflated to, not necessarily the ideal pressure.
  • Always take the tire's pressure when the tires are cold driven less than one mile.
  • Tires will lose about one pound per square inch (PSI) for every 10-degree drop in the temperature.
  • Tires will also lose pressure over time about 1 PSI per month.
  • To improve the life of your tires, rotate them on a regular basis - every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.  Every other oil change is a good rule of thumb.
 
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