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To get the best bargains at the best places, Krazy Couponers must drive. Why waste money when you are headed out to save? Keeping your tires properly inflated will save you money and fuel, reduce carbon emissions, and keep you safe. Look at you going green! The U.S. Department of Energy reports more than 3.5 million gallons of gasoline are wasted nationwide every year due to under-inflated tires. Remedy this problem in a few minutes each month and perform a tire pressure check.
- Federal experts say drivers can improve gas mileage by more than three percent per gallon simply by properly inflating tires. The equivalent gas savings is $0.11 per gallon. Here’s a realistic scenario: If your car gets 20 miles per gallon, gas rings in at $3.60 (the national average in early June 2012), and you drive 15,000 miles a year, you will save $82.50 per year with correct air pressure in your tires.
- For every three pounds per square inch (psi) your tires are below the recommend level, tires get 10 percent more wear. If your tires are under-inflated by 10 psi, that’s a whopping 45 percent more wear. On average, under-inflated tires will wear out about a year faster. A new tire costs around $80.00 (and you’ll need to buy four). Maximize the life of your tires by ensuring they are properly inflated.
- The Environmental Protection Agency reports the average car releases about five tons of carbon dioxide into the environment each year. Keep your tires properly inflated and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 327 pounds per year.
- Vehicles with under-inflated tiles have handling problems that can cause car crashes, including longer stopping distances and skids. Analysts have even pinpointed under-inflated tires as a likely culprit for many SUV rollover accidents. Inflate your tires and save your life!
Experts recommend you check your tire pressure at least once a month because even under optimal driving conditions, air-filled tires can lose up to 1.5 psi per month. You can't tell by just by looking whether your tires are properly inflated. Follow these easy steps:
- Purchase an inexpensive, simple tire pressure gauge from an auto parts store or a hardware store. You don’t need a pricey, digital pressure gauge, though they are easier to read.
- To get the most accurate tire pressure reading, check your tires when they are cold (no driving in at least three hours.)
- Locate the tire's valve stem and unscrew the cap.
- Hold your tire pressure gauge down on the valve to get the tire's pressure reading. Check all four tires.
- The proper tire pressure for your car is typically listed in the driver's side door frame, glove box door, fuel door, or in your owner's manual. Warning: do not use the information printed on the tire's sidewall!
- If you need air, there are many gas stations or tire repair shops that offer the service free. Check the maintenance department of your car dealership, the retailer where you buy tires, or where you have your oil changed.
- Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure levels.
- Screw the cap back on the tire's valve stem.
- Take your car for a test drive to ensure that your car does not pull to either side.
Watch an instructional video from Edmunds.com, available for free on YouTube. Click here.