Save Fuel and Drive Safely by Checking Your Car Tyre Pressures
Car tyres inflated to their correct tyre pressure can save the motorists up to 10% on their fuel bill. But a survey by TyreSafe reveals many are ignoring this advice.
The survey coincides with the start of Tyre Safety Month; a campaign to highlight the dangers of driving without the correct tyre pressures.
Maintaining the car manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure can:
1) Increase safety by improving the vehicle’s braking, steering and accelerating performance.
2) Prolongs the life of a car tyre.
3) Save money by reducing fuel consumption. Under inflated tyres have a larger contact patch with the road surface, which increases drag and causes the car engine to work harder.
4) Have a positive environmental impact by reducing the number of tyres that need to be disposed of and reduce harmful gas emissions from the car engine.
TyreSafe’s advice is to check air pressures at least once a month and always before a long journey. Motorists should use the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure. This can be found in the vehicle’s handbook or on a plate inside the fuel filler flap.
While checking air pressure conduct a visual inspection of the car tyre to ensure it is in good condition. Look for cracks or unusual bulges. Stones lodged in the tyre tread should be removed. If in any doubt about the tyre’s condition consult a specialist such as Merityre for a free car tyre check.
It’s a legal requirement to maintain a tread depth of a minimum 1.6mm in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the tread width and over the whole circumference of the tyre. Most tyres have a tread wear indicator. Look for a horizontal bar of rubber located between the tread patterns, at a depth of 2mm. When the height of the tread wears down to the height of this bar it is time to replace the car tyres.
Other tips suggested by TyreSafe include:
1) Check the pressures when the car tyres are cold.
2) Adjust the car tyres pressure when travelling with increased weight from passengers or a heavy load. Towing a trailer or caravan will also require the pressures to be increased. The vehicle’s handbook will advise on the correct tyre pressure required.
3) Don’t forget to check the pressure of the spare tyre.
4) Ensure the pressure gauge used is reliable and accurate.
5) Always replace the dirt free valve cap.
Rob Beddis, TyreSafe chairman, says; ‘By taking just a few minutes every month to check the pressure of each tyre and adjust it to the recommended level, significant improvements to road safety will be made and motorists could also save money through reducing fuel consumption.’
For more information about the TyreSafe campaign visit their website at www.tyresafe.org.