Under pressure: How a car's tire pressure can affect gas mileage and carbon emissions

Tips for your tires:

  • Use nitrogen in your tires- this will help your tires remain at the proper pressure longer. For more information on nitrogen visit ‘Why Nitrogen?’.

  • The proper PSI is displayed on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual.

  • For an accurate reading, check tires when they are cool.

  • Always check before a long road trip.

  • Don’t forget the valve cap!

  • You could always leave these duties in the hands of a neighborhood repair shop. I have nitrogen in my tires, and when I feel unsure about the pressure I just stop by and they fill them up for free!

This information, if used properly, can help save your wallet and the environment. So when you head out on that yearly trip to see your families for the holidays, check the pressure of your tires to have safe and fuel efficient travels!

When you hop into your car every day, is your first thought about the rubber underneath you? This thought should be high up on your list of concerns when you get in your car every day. Not just for the factor of safety (which is very important) but also because the incorrect tire pressure can lower your gas mileage and increase your carbon dioxide emissions. Both of these things can be negative pressures on the environment.

Those PSI (pounds per square inch of air) numbers on your car door jamb are put there by the manufacturer for a reason. If your tire is not round like it should be, then your car has to work harder and exert more energy to get in motion and stay in motion. According to fueleconomy.gov, when your tires are off by 1 PSI, your gas mileage is lowered by .3 percent. You can improve your gas mileage by 3.3 percent when you keep the tires inflated at the proper pressure. These numbers might not sound like much, but if you do the math then you see that average person who drives 12,000 miles yearly on under-inflated tires uses about 144 extra gallons of gas!

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the typical car in the United States releases more than five tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. By keeping tires properly inflated, you can reduce your vehicle's carbon footprint by an average of 327 pounds per year. This is just proof that every little bit we do, even if it just includes checking tire pressure, can snowball to either harm us or help us.

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