Do you know how to check your tire pressure??
It's estimated that keeping tires properly inflated can increase fuel efficiency by as much
as 6%. That's an extra 1.5 miles per gallon for a car getting 25 MPG.
Under-inflated tires are also a safety hazard, as they can overheat and be at risk of
blowout. Finally, properly inflated tires will last longer.
The proper tire pressure is NOT the pressure embossed on the tire sidewall. The
correct pressure can usually be found in one or more of the following locations: owners
manual, glove compartment, driver's door post, or inside of fuel door.
Purchase a good-quality tire gauge, as gas station air hose gauges may be unreliable.
Tires should be checked for recommended pressure when COLD, which means the car
has been parked for at least three hours, or driven less than one mile. Pressure in a
warm tire can be 4-6 psi (pounds per square inch) above the recommended (cold)
So, if you stop to check your tires when they are warm, DO NOT let air out to match the
recommended pressure, because the tires will then be under-inflated! If your tires are
considerably above the recommended pressure (more than 4-6 psi above) you may
want to let pressure out until they are about 4 psi or so above. If your warm tires are
exactly the recommended cold pressure, you probably need at least a couple more
pounds of air. Use your judgment and re-check your tires when they are cold, when you
can then release excess air or tell how much extra air is needed.
Please note that the above recommendations are based on passenger car belted
radials rated at 35 max (cold) psi.
Finally, read your vehicle's owners manual for information on checking tire pressure and
for other vehicle operation tips. Some manuals are very informative!
Prepared by Air Awareness Program of the NC Division of Air Quality, 2005.