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Save Gas And Money: How To Keep Tires At The Recommended Psi
By Scott Siegel
To maintain the proper air pressure in your tires takes very little effort. By doing that simple chore, you can save 4% on your annual gas costs. It is estimated that a 4% savings equates to between $100 and $200 per year. Just follow the advice listed here and start saving.

Correct tire pressure varies from vehicle to vehicle and wheel to wheel. In fact, the recommended pressure for personal vehicles ranges from 20 to over 50 psi.

The correct tire pressure for your vehicle is listed on the information placard. This placard is normally located on the edge of one of the doors, the inside post of one of vehicle's doors or inside the glove compartment, trunk, or fuel door. Your owner's manual should include the correct tire pressure or direct you to the placard's location on your vehicle.

A common misconception is that the pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure. It is not. It is actually the maximum tire pressure that the tire can safely be inflated to. This is also usually the pressure that is required to carry the maximum load the tire is rated for.

Once you find the recommended tire pressure then you have to be able to measure the tire pressure on all of your tires to make sure they are at the correct pressure. Here is the correct way to measure tire pressure.

To measure and maintain proper tire pressure:

Step 1:

Make sure you have a tire pressure gauge. There are many kinds. You do not need an expensive one. A gauge with a dial is easier to read than the pop up kind.

Step 2:

Determine the proper pressure for your tires by checking the pressure label or the owner's manual. Now you are ready to measure.

Step 3:

Tire air pressure should only gauged when the tires are cold. A tire that has been at rest at least 3 hours or a tire that has not been driven for more than 1 mile is considered a cold tire.

Step 4:

Press the pressure gauge onto the valve after removing the valve cap. Be sure the gauge is lined up with the valve properly and press hard


so that the pressure gauge seals tightly on the valve. If you hear the whoosh of air escaping disengage the pressure meter from the valve and reseat it.You should not hear any air movement if you have the gauge properly seated. When it is seated correctly you can take the reading on the gauge.

Step 5:

If needed, inflate the tire to achieve recommended air pressure. If you put too much air in you can release air by pushing on the stem at the inside center of the valve. Re- measure the pressure to make sure it is correct and adjust the air again if needed. Keep repeating this cycle of adding or subtracting air and remeasuring until the desired pressure is reached.

Step 6:

Follow this same procedure for the other three tires.

Check your tire pressure at least once per month is the standard recommendation you should follow. A tire's pressure will change as air will leach from a tire over time. Use and heat can help to accelerate the rate that air is lost. If you check once per month you can be certain that your tires will remain at the correct pressure all year.

Follow this advice and you will have more money in your pocket every time you fill up. At the end of the year you will have saved $100 to $200 dollars. It's that easy!


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This page was updated on May 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.