Proper Pressure: Back to Basics
Make all tires environmentally friendly by checking the tire pressure.
In today’s tire market, consumers have a myriad of eco options when purchasing tires. However, the best eco action for all starts with the air in the tires. Simple but true.
Tires should be inflated to the correct air pressure as indicated by the vehicle manufacturer. This information is shown on the sticker on the driver’s door frame or, on some vehicles, the sticker on the inside of the gas flap. If the stickers are missing, the information is in the owner’s manual.
Selling fuel economy
Every car manufacturer today speaks about the fuel economy of their cars. It is a very important selling feature. Well, here is an important fact: The fuel economy stated by the vehicle manufacturer was achieved on the original equipment tires inflated to the correct air pressure. If just one tire is under-inflated then the fuel economy cannot be achieved.
A leading tire safety website gives an interesting statistic: 75% of drivers wash their car once per month while only 15% of drivers check their tire air pressure once per month. Under normal conditions, a tire can lose 1 psi every month. With many vehicles having recommended air pressures in the 30 to 40 psi range, it is easy to see that in a few months the tires could be 10% under-inflated or more. This level of under-inflation is dangerous and will significantly affect the fuel economy of the vehicle.
As stated on the Transport Canada website, “Operating a vehicle with just one tire under-inflated by 56 kPa (8 psi) can reduce the life of the tire by 15,000 km and can increase the vehicle’s fuel consumption by 4%”. Based on many vehicles having recommended air pressures in the 30 to 40 psi range, under-inflation by 8 psi is on average under-inflation of more than 20%.
Now, here is another important statistic from a survey as quoted on the Transport Canada website: “23% of all vehicles surveyed had at least one tire under-inflated by 20%.” This means that 23% of the vehicles entering your service bays could have one tire under-inflated by 20% and are experiencing 4% higher fuel consumption!
Confused about TPMS
Many consumers have purchased vehicles with some form of tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). However, a recent study conducted on behalf of a leading manufacturer of tire pressure monitoring systems showed that 42% of drivers cannot identify the TPMS dashboard warning light symbol. Yes, despite the warning light coming on, they do not know that they have an underinflated tire, and that tire could be underinflated by 20%!
The simple chain of facts: under-inflation = higher fuel consumption = more fuel burned by the engine = more tailpipe emissions = more pollution.
We can all make a positive impact on the environment by taking some simple steps to make all tires and the vehicles that drive on them more environmentally friendly. These steps are all about tire pressure. Talk to your consumers and illuminate the importance of correct tire pressure. Tell them how to check the tire pressure correctly (tire must be cold). Stock tire pressure gauges in your store and offer them to your consumers at great prices. If they have TPMS, explain the warning light and its importance. Send them reminders to check their tire pressures.
Take eco action. Correct tire pressure helps our environment.