When you’re shopping for a car, fuel economy is probably a hot topic of discussion. It directly affects your bottom line, whether you’re looking for a personal or business vehicle, and that makes it worth your time to consider. What you might not realize is that the focus on fuel economy shouldn’t stop when you’ve made your purchase decision; maintenance ensures you continue to achieve great fuel economy. Tire pressure plays a big part.
Did you know that you can improve your gas mileage simply by keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure? Tires naturally lose 1 pound per square inch (PSI) of pressure per month. For every 1 PSI drop in your average tire pressure, you’re losing about half of a percentage point of efficiency in your fuel economy.
Luckily, low tire pressure is a simple problem to avoid. Regularly checking the air pressure in your tires is easy to do, and you’ll typically find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle on a sticker in the driver’s side door or the glove box, as well as in your owner’s manual. The PSI that is stamped on the wall of the tire itself is the maximum air pressure for the tire, and not the optimum pressure you should shoot for.
Temperature also has a major impact on tires. Within any given day, temperatures can swing 20°F or more, affecting tire pressure and consequently fuel economy. Potentially, your vehicle’s tire pressure will decrease as much as two pounds for every ten-degree temperature drop. Imagine then, as you transition from summer to winter, a drop of 50°F daily average translates to about 5-10 PSI under-inflation. Each season change is a great time to check your tire pressure and make adjustments.
While low tire pressure can negatively impact fuel economy, the inverse is not true. Over-inflating your tires does not increase gas mileage; in fact, it can potentially do some damage to your tires if they are inflated to the maximum pressure. Your best bet is to stay with the PSI recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer.
Get the maximum return on investment for everything related to your automobile. Maintaining the proper tire pressure will allow you to get the best performance, longest durability, and optimum fuel economy from your purchase. And a very simple routine of inspecting your tires and keeping the proper PSI could save you hundreds of dollars over the life of the tires.
The DCH Toyota of Oxnard Service Department is always happy to help you check your tires to ensure they are in tip-top shape. Contact us online to schedule any service or give us a call to ask any questions!