Car Coach Lauren Fix answers your questions about car buying and maintenance. This week, Lauren talks about tire pressure and keeping your self safe and your car achieving the best fuel economy it can.
Remember the Ford Explorer/Firestone tire debacle from a decade ago? Thousands of the 'utes rolled-over and much of the blame fell on insufficiently inflated tires, costing the Blue Oval billions of dollars to replace the tires on just about every Explorer still left on the road. The other fallout from Explorer-gate (or Firestone-gate) was institution of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System that's now a legal standard on every car and truck built since 2008.
Whether or not you believe properly inflated tires save fuel, more and more vehicles are coming equipped with tire pressure monitoring sensors (TPMS). Sensors mounted in either the valve or on the wheel itself measure tire pressure and alert drivers when their tires drop below a pre-set level of inflation. An Irish company (who's website is mysteriously malfunctioning as of this writing) coincidentally called Shrader Electronics has now taken TPMS to the next level.
Last week, the California Air Resources Board - fresh from not banning black cars - adopted a regulation to force the 40,000 businesses in "California's automotive maintenance industry to check the tire pressure of every vehicle they service." This means that, starting in July of 2010, when you bring your car in for service in California, the shop will have to make sure that your tires filled to the manufacturer's recommended air pressure level. CARB estimates that this will save the average Ca
Shortly after the crew at Britain's AutoExpress magazine squeezed 50 mpg out a MINI John Cooper Works special, they decided to evaluate the real impact of various factors on fuel consumption. In order to make the test results as accurate as possible, the AutoExpress team headed to the Millbrook Proving Ground, an independent test facility originally built by General Motors. The engineers ran a series of tests over a 7.75 mile loop with varied driving conditions in a Vauxhall Astra. The engineers
Of the ridiculous number of vehicles currently on the road worldwide, the vast majority of them are not brand new models. Considering the fact that the biggest increases in fuel efficiency, safety and emissions have taken place in the last few years, the legacy vehicles still on the road are a big concern. While it is easy to suggest that we remove these vehicles and replace them with newer models, this is not always practical, so some are suggesting that these vehicles be equipped with retrofit
In September, all new cars sold in the U.S. will be required to have tire pressure monitoring systems. But for all those cars built without them, owners must rely either on their trusty gauge, or one of the new valve-stem monitors. If you've been wondering how well these things work, Consumer Reports has an answer for you.
I'm not sure the statistics in the latest MAXAIR ATMI release aren't a little inflated (pun intended), however, keeping your tire pressure where it's supposed to be is still very important. It can save you gas mileage, and I suppose in turn, save emissions, as well as prevent some circumstances that cause car accidents (We've put the release after the jump so you can judge for yourself).
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