Countdown to Earth Day: Keeping tires properly inflated improves gas mileage by 3.3%

Keep your tires properly inflated. That's what the Environmental Protection Agency keeps telling us. Did you know that under-inflated tires require more energy to roll? This not only wastes fuel, but wears tires out more quickly, eventually requiring costly replacements. Furthermore, under-inflated tires can heat up excessively, leading to a possible blowout.

tpms logoAccording to the EPA, a tire that is under-inflated by only two pounds per square inch (psi) can increase fuel consumption by one percent. That might not sound like much, but in this day and age, every drop of fuel saved matters. By keeping you tires properly inflated, you can improve your vehicle's gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent, which works out to an equivalent gasoline savings of approximately $0.11 per gallon.

Obviously, it's easy to see when a tire is flat, but did you know that it's near impossible to spot a tire that's under-inflated by 10 psi? That's why it's important to check your vehicle's tire pressure at least once a month, when the tires are cold. Also, keep an eye out for the warning light pictured at right, which too many people don't understand. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall. So, keep them tires inflated properly and you'll save gas. It's as simple as that.

Note: To mark the 41st anniversary of Earth Day* this year on April 22nd, we're running a series called Countdown to Earth Day that we want to be very welcoming to new readers, both in topic and tone. We'll be returning to our Greenlings series for inspiration here, and if you have friends who you'd like to introduce to AutoblogGreen, perhaps these introductory posts and the coming "holiday" will be the spark to get their green car fire burning.

[Source: U.S. Department of Energy | Image: david.nikonvscanon – C.C. License 2.0]

*Ironically, the apparent traditional gift for a 41st anniversary is land. Since land – earth – is something we can't easily create, perhaps this Earth Day we can give ourselves the gift of stewardship of the land.

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