Did you know that if your tires aren't kept at the recommended pressure you could be losing 3 to 4 percent fuel economy every time you turn the ignition?
Your dashboard tire pressure gauge may not indicate any problems, but it's worth taking a look on a weekly basis to ensure that your vehicle is as safe - and fuel efficient - as possible. After all, escalating summer temperatures can change tire pressure by an average of 1 psi for every 10 degrees it heats up!
Wondering how to take care of your tires and reap the rewards? Rely on these simple tips:
- Check tire pressure when the tires are cold; in other words, before they have been driven on. Do not bleed air pressure from hot tires. Follow the recommendation in your owner's guide for proper bleeding procedures.
- The proper air pressure for the front, rear and spare tires is listed on a sticker on the vehicle, usually on the driver's door jamb. The pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the maximum for the tire and not the recommended inflation pressure.
- Check tire pressure at least once a month and always before trips. Even if the tire pressure warning light is not on, the tires could be under-inflated.
- Always remember to check the air pressure in the spare tire when you check the road tires.
- Check tire inflation pressures with an accurate (+/- 0.5 pounds per square inch, or psi) digital tire inflation pressure gauge.
But don't stop with a tire-pressure check. Be sure to also monitor the alignment of your wheels to avoid rapid tread-wear, the rotation of your tires to ensure uniform wear and the tread grip, which will keep yoou safer in rough road conditions.
With your tires are in tip-top shape, prices at the pump may just become a little more bearable.
(Sources: Ford Motor Co., AAA)