Be Tire Smart - Regularly Check Your Tire Pressure

Are your tires full of it? Full of air, that is. If not, you are wasting gas, causing premature tire wear and increasing your safety risk on the road.

Fewer than 8 percent of vehicles have four properly inflated tires, according to a Rubber Manufacturers Association sponsored national tire pressure survey. Worse, at least 20 percent of vehicles were found to have at least one tire under inflated by at least 8 pounds per square inch, also referred to as PSI.

Driving on under-inflated tires can significantly affect fuel economy and safety. The U.S. Department of Energy says that properly-inflated tires can improve fuel economy by 3.3 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimates that under-inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries a year.

The RMA offers tips that will not only help motorists stay safe, but will also help them save money. Drivers can save 6 cents per gallon at the pump and keep tires rolling longer with simple, monthly maintenance. Regular care helps tires get the most potential wear so they don't need to be replaced as often. Practicing good driving habits also keeps tires in good condition (avoid fast starts, stops, potholes and curbs). To help keep tires roadworthy, RMA recommends that motorists take five minutes a month to check their tires.

Be Tire Smart -- Play Your PART
-- Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread. These are all key things to check during monthly tire maintenance.

* Pressure:
Check tire pressure monthly with a tire gauge and inflate to vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure.

* Alignment: Misalignment of wheels can cause uneven and rapid tread-wear.

* Rotation: Rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to help you achieve more uniform wear.

* Tread: Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions.

Regular tire maintenance of your vehicle can save you money at the pump and keeps you and your family safe on the road. For more information visit RMA’s Web site at www.betiresmart.org .

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