Be Tire Smart – do your part!

Pump it up
Some great tips from our neighbors up north, on how to keep your tires from draining your fuel tank. Properly inflated and aligned tires can reduce your fuel consumption by 4% - that's two weeks of driving a year!

Watch our 1-minute video clip -
Do your part: pump it up!

UPDATE: The National Academies' Transportation Research Board just issued a study titled "Tires and Passenger Vehicle Fuel Economy", conducted at the request of Congress with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Bottom line finding: better replacement tires, that reduce rolling resistance by 10%, would improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent and save about 1 billion to 2 billion gallons of fuel per year - that's equivalent to the fuel that would be saved by taking 2 million to 4 million cars and light trucks off the road. The study's bottom line recommendation: Label tires for fuel efficiency so consumers can make smart decisions.

Glad to report that critical oil savings legislation now in front of both the House and Senate includes a provision to label replacement tires so consumers can tell how they would affect gas mileage.

To read key excerpts of the report, click More.

"Each year Americans spend about $20 billion replacing the tires on their passenger cars and light trucks. Although passenger tires last far longer today than they did 30 years ago, most are replaced every 3 to 5 years because of wear. A total of about 200 million replacement passenger tires are purchased in the United States annually. Each time they replace their tires, motorists spend several hundred dollars and must choose among tires varying in price, style, and many aspects of performance. The tires they do buy will affect not only the handling, traction, ride comfort, and appearance of their vehicles but also fuel economy.

"Tires affect vehicle fuel economy mainly through rolling resistance. As a tire rolls under the vehicle?s weight, its shape changes repeatedly as it experiences recurring cycles of deformation and recovery. In the process, mechanical energy otherwise available to turn the wheels is converted into heat and dissipated from the tire. More fuel must be expended to replace this lost energy. Combinations of differences in tire dimensions, design, materials, and construction features will cause tires to differ in rolling resistance as well as in many other attributes such as traction, handling, noise, wear resistance, and appearance. Once they are placed in service, tires must be properly maintained to perform as intended with respect to all attributes. The maintenance of proper inflation pressure is especially important [...]

"Rolling resistance varies widely among replacement tires already on the market, even among tires that are comparable in price, size, traction, speed rating, and wear resistance. Consumers, if sufficiently informed and interested, could bring about a reduction in average rolling resistance by adjusting their tire purchases and by taking proper care of their tires once in service, especially by maintaining recommended inflation pressure [...] consumers now have little, if any, practical way of assessing how tire choices can affect vehicle economy.

"Tires and their rolling resistance characteristics can have a meaningful effect on vehicle fuel economy and consumption. A 10 percent reduction in average rolling resistance, if achieved for the population of passenger vehicles using replacement tires, promises a 1 to 2 percent increase in the fuel economy of these vehicles. About 80 percent of passenger cars and light trucks are equipped with replacement tires. Assuming that the number of miles traveled does not change, a 1 to 2 percent increase in the fuel economy of these vehicles would save about 1 billion to 2 billion gallons of fuel per year of the 130 billion gallons consumed by the entire passenger vehicle fleet. This fuel savings is equivalent to the fuel saved by taking 2 million to 4 million cars and light trucks off the road."

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