Tires' importance at the gas pump is growing as gas prices climb, with U.S. drivers' currently paying among the highest fuel prices on record, and tire inflation is playing a big role in the price.
When tire care is factored in, the rising fuel prices become even scarier. An underinflated tire deflects more energy and increases rolling resistance, which robs the vehicle of fuel efficiency. 'Running a tire 20 percent underinflated, only 5 to 7 pounds per square inch, can increase fuel consumption by 10 percent'.
The Energy Department has reported that every pound per square inch of tire underinflation wastes 4 million gallons of gas daily in the U.S. This can easily cost motorists two or three miles per gallon. Not only that, but the tire's tread life is reduced by 15 percent,' reports John Peer, director of retail operations for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
The Society of Automotive Engineers reports that 87 percent of all flat tires have a history of underinflation. In the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claimed that half the nation's cars had underinflated tires. Other studies stated that 25 to 28-percent had at least one tire 'seriously underinflated' [4 psi or more below the manufacturer's recommendation.
According to 2002 research by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, nearly 90 percent of drivers surveyed do not check their tire pressure properly and many do not know enough about how to care for their tires correctly. The survey also found that 66 percent of drivers don't even know where to find the recommended proper tire inflation pressure for their vehicles' tires.
Goodyear recommends that motorists should check tire inflation monthly or before a long trip. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in the owner's manual, not the maximum limit stamped on a tire sidewall.
On www.goodyeartires.com, visitors can find extensive information on tire care, product selection and more. A section called "Know Your Tires" details how a tire is made and provides tire maintenance tips.
Through a link, website visitors can request a copy of "The Complete Tire Safety Guide." At Goodyear-owned tire and service outlets, Peer said consumers can have their tires checked for free, including an inspection of tread condition and tire inflation.
Source: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Jim Davis of Goodyear, +1-330-796-4114,