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Save money with properly inflated tires

Published On: Feb 03 2012 10:09:34 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 11 2013 10:03:44 AM CST
car tires in auto showroom

iStock/webphotographeer

(NewsUSA) - Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are now a standard safety feature on all new cars in the United States. TPMS automatically monitors tire pressure and alerts the driver when the pressure in one or more tires becomes significantly low -- and potentially dangerous.

Still, conducting monthly tire pressure checks is one of the smartest driving moves you can make. Not only are properly inflated tires critical for vehicle safety, they also increase fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Increase Fuel Efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 3.56 million gallons of gasoline are wasted every day due to incorrectly inflated tires. The good news is you can improve gas mileage just by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure. In fact, one study showed that if gas costs $3 per gallon, proper tire pressure can save you up to $432 at the pump each year.

Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the typical car in the United States releases more than five tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. By keeping tires properly inflated, you can reduce your vehicle's "carbon footprint" by an average of 327 pounds per year. Because a tire can lose up to half its air pressure without appearing to be under-inflated, you cannot rely on a tire's appearance to determine whether it's properly inflated or not.

Tire Pressure Tips
To help ensure your tires are properly inflated year-round, here are some tips from Schrader, a manufacturer of TPMS:

* Check the pressure in all four tires -- and the spare tire -- monthly with an accurate tire gauge, and always check tire pressure before a long road trip.

* The "right" pressure for your vehicle's tires can be found in the vehicle's manual or on the driver door edge, glove box or fuel door. Do not follow the information listed on the tire sidewall.

* For the most accurate reading, tires should be checked when they are cool.

* Always remember to replace the valve cap.

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