Learn How Your Tire Pressure Effects Your Gas Mileage?

A auto mechanic inflates a tire with an air tire inflating gun in the auto repair garage

Incorrect tire pressure is hard to overlook with the incessant beeping most modern vehicles make to notify drivers, yet it’s something that many people don’t understand fully. For instance, did you know improper tire pressure could negatively affect your gas mileage? Nobody wants to spend more money at the pump than necessary.  So keep reading for an in-depth look at how tire pressure impacts your fuel economy,  and a few tire care tips from the team at DriversEd.

Why is Tire Pressure Such a Big Deal?

So, how exactly does tire pressure affect the gas mileage of your vehicle? Underinflated tires create more friction with the road, which reduces your car’s gas mileage. When your tires are underinflated your car has to work harder to move forward. The extra energy used to keep your vehicle moving forward results in lower fuel efficiency and more money spent on gas over time. Additionally, underinflated tires can negatively impact your car’s handling, braking, and overall performance, making it more difficult to control your vehicle.

How To Check Your Tire Pressure

Before you can check your tire pressure you’re going to need the right tools. Luckily you just need two items. Grab a tire pressure gauge and an air compressor to inflate your tires if they’re low. You’ll also need to know what the manufacturer recommended tire pressure is.  Check your owner’s manual or the tire information placard. The tire information placard is usually located on the driver’s side door jamb. Now that you have everything you need, follow the steps below.

  1. Unscrew the valve cap from the valve stem of the tire.
  2. Press the gauge onto the valve stem and hold it there until the hissing sound stops. This means the gauge has captured an accurate reading.
  3. The gauge will indicate the tire pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). Compare this reading to the recommended tire pressure. If the tire pressure is too low or too high, you’ll need to inflate or deflate the tire accordingly.
  4. If the tire pressure is too low, use an air compressor to inflate the tire to the recommended pressure. If the tire pressure is too high, release some air by pressing down on the valve stem with a small object like a screwdriver. Be sure to recheck the tire pressure after adjusting it to ensure it’s at the correct level.
  5. Once the tire pressure has been checked and adjusted, replace the valve cap on the valve stem.

Tip: Check the tire pressure when your car is cold, meaning it hasn’t been driven for at least an hour. Tire pressure can increase as the tires heat up, so it’s important to get an accurate reading when they’re at their coolest.

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How To Maintain Your Tires?

Maintaining proper tire pressure is easy and can help improve your car’s fuel efficiency.  It’s also essential to make sure your tires are properly balanced and aligned. Misaligned or unbalanced tires can cause uneven wear and reduce fuel efficiency. Getting your tires rotated regularly and having a professional inspect them for damage can also help maintain proper tire pressure levels and extend the life of your tires. When you need a tire rotation or tire replacement, visit us at the Jim Taylor Chevrolet service center.

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