that maintaining properly inflated tires is one of the easiest ways to improve your gas mileage, no matter what you're driving, but this
Rubber Manufacturers Association
suggests that maybe some instruction is in order. If you're not sure exactly how to work the tire pressure gague that you picked up from the
, here are some tips:
- Check your tire pressure before you drive your car. Driving makes your tires inflate, so if you've driven even a mile, you'll get an inaccurate reading. If you have to drive to get air, record your tire pressure before you drive to the station and add the appropriate amount. To make sure that you added the correct amount of air, check again the next morning.
- The correct tire pressure is not the one that's on the tire's sidewall! Use your car's manufacturer's recommended tire inflation. You can usually find the proper inflation pressure on a sticker on one of your car's windows. If it's not there, check your owner's manual.
- Don't neglect your spare. If your spare tire is not properly inflated, then it won't do you any good if you need it.
- Make sure to check your tire pressure at least once per month. Once every oil change isn't enough. Make it a habit that you connect with something, whether you check your pressure every time you wash your car, make a car payment, or fill the tank.
- Visually inspect your tires when you inflate them to check for signs of wear.
- Have your tires rotated every 6,000 miles. If you don't they'll wear unevenly and require replacement sooner.
This week is the fifth annual Tire Safety Week, so celebrate by steering yourself down the path toward safe, properly inflated tires. [Source: Rubber Manufacturers Association]