How to Keep Your Tires Optimized to Save Gas and Money

By: Scott Siegel

You can save 4% on your annual gas costs if you keep your tires at the recommended Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). That could save your family from $100 to $200 dollars annually. To determine and maintain the proper tire pressure requires very little effort. The steps are listed below.

The correct tire pressure is different from car to car and from tire to tire. The correct or manufacturer recommended pressure for the tires on personal vehicles can be from 20 psi to over 50 psi.

The proper tire inflation amount is usually found on a tire information sticker mounted somewhere on your car. This informational sticker is found in standard places on your car. The informational sticker can be found on the inside of the trunk, gas tank door or glove compartment. Sometimes it can be located on a car visor or on a post inside a car door or on the side of the door itself. The owner's manual will also list the tire pressure information or possibly indicate where the informational sticker is located.

The pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the maximum tire pressure - or the tire pressure that is required to carry the maximum load of the tire. It is not the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure, which is a common misconception.

When you find the information listing the correct tire pressure, you need to physically measure air pressure in all four tires to guarantee they are inflated properly. There are a few steps involved in doing this correctly.

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:

A tire that is hot, or has just been driven on will have a higher air pressure than that same tire when it is cold. A cold tire is one that has not been driven for at least 3 hours or has been driven 1 mile or less. Air pressure should only be measured when tires are cold. If you measure warm tires your results will be faulty.

Step 4:

Remove the top or cap from the valve on the tire and insert the gauge onto the valve. Make sure you press the gauge snugly on the valve. You should not hear air coming from the tire if you have the pressure gauge properly affixed onto the valve. If you hear air escaping pull the gauge off of the valve and reseat it. Once it is seated properly you can note the reading on the gauge.

Step 5:

Add air to achieve recommended air pressure. If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve, then re-measure the pressure.

Step 6:

Follow this same procedure for the other three tires.

The standard recommendation that tire experts suggest is to check your tire pressure at least once per month. The tire pressure will change from day to day as air permeates from the tire over time. Heat and driving conditions can accelerate the rate that air pressure is lost. If you are able to check the pressure once each month you can be sure that the tires on your car will remain at the proper pressure all the time.

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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Scott Siegel is the author of a 143 page manual of industry insider secrets on saving gas and dollars at the pump. Visit us to discover how you can get better gas mileage. Find out how to increase gas mileage.
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