While buying a more fuel-efficient car is an excellent long-run purchase for some people, this will not suit every lifestyle. Fortunately for all of us, proper auto maintenance can bring about the best possible fuel efficiency for your vehicle.
Keeping your car’s tire pressure at the recommended level for your car is a low-effort but rewarding habit. Here is a look into how your car’s current tire pressure can either be losing or saving you money at the gas station.
The Relationship Between Tire Pressure and Gas Mileage
While reading your car’s manual, notice that it has its own recommended tire pressure level. When the tire pressure matches the needs of your car, it allows the tires to work with your vehicle. This lessens the amount of energy it needs to expend in order to function properly. Since your car’s energy is used up in the form of gas, its fuel efficiency increases when its tires are in their best condition.
Not only are properly-inflated tires safer and longer-lasting, they can improve fuel efficiency by 3.3% in comparison to ones that are under-inflated (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.jsp).
How Do I Check my Car’s Tire Pressure?
Similar to how it is important to check your bank account and your mail with regularity, it is necessary to keep an eye on the pressure of all four tires as well. If you have not already, read your car’s owner’s manual and familiarizing yourself with the recommended pressure.
Next, figure out how you will be checking the tire pressure. One option is to check it at the gas station and add air as needed. You can also invest in your own tire pressure gauge to keep at home or in your car. This can be purchased either at an auto parts or even hardware store.
In order to check your car’s tire pressure, remove the valve caps on each of the four tires, and put an air gauge in the valve system. Compare the current tire pressure with the recommended tire pressure, and adjust the air pressure if it does not match.
How Do I Make Sure I am Getting the Best Fuel Efficiency from my Tires?
It is important to check the pressure of each of your tires at least once a month (http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/maintenance/1272461?click=main_sr). If you have a long commute, it may even be necessary to check once a week.
Make sure to avoid checking tire pressure after a long drive, when the tires are heated up. When the tires are hot, tire pressure will go up. This has the potential to disguise under-inflated tires.
In order to maximize fuel efficiency and your safety while driving, it is never a good idea to depend on your car’s tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to refill. This will usually only let you know when a tire is 20+ percent below its ideal level.
You can also consider replacing the air in your tires with nitrogen, as it will seep out of your tires more slowly than oxygen does. Many car service shops and tire stores will provide this service.