How Your Tire Pressure Can Affect Gas Mileage

Close-Up Of Hand holding pressure gauge for car tire
When you assessing the pros and cons of purchasing a new vehicle, one of the things many car-buyers look at is the vehicle’s fuel economy. You can check the vehicles specs to find the EPA rating on how many miles per gallon a vehicle can achieve in the city and highway. Once you’ve chosen a vehicle however there are many factors that go into making sure it maintains it’s optimal fuel economy. Keep reading to learn more about how your tire pressure contributes to your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and what you can do to improve it.

Why Tire Pressure Matters

One way to increase fuel efficiency is to lower any resistance to your car’s movement. Improperly inflated tires are one of the things that can create more resistance. For instance, if your tires aren’t fully inflated, they will be soft and sagging which creates rolling resistance. That means your engine will have to work harder to move your vehicle forward, causing it to use more fuel.

How Does Tire Pressure Affect Your Fuel Cost?

If you’re wondering just how much that can affect how much you spend at the pump, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that improperly inflated tires can decrease your fuel economy by three percent. That means, if fuel costs are $4.00 it will cost you $2.40 extra to fuel up a  20 gallon tank.

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How To Maintain Your Tire Pressure

  1. Start by checking your owner’s manual to find out the manufacturer recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. Once you know the right pressure, use a tire gauge to properly inflate your tires. The tire gauge will tell you your tire’s PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). If the number is above the manufacturer recommendation, release air until you have reached the right number. If the number is too low, inflate your tires to reach the right PSI.
  2. Another thing you can do to maintain your tires is rotate them regularly. Having your tires rotated at least twice a year will help spread tread wear evenly throughout your tires. If you need your tire rotated, book an appointment with Bob Brady CDJR.
  3. You can also schedule an appointment to have your wheels aligned. Properly aligned wheels is another factor that affects tread wear.

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