Pima County Launches Tire Inflation Education Program
Did you know that keeping your vehicle’s tires at the right pressure will improve your gas mileage, save you money in fuel and tires, increase your safety, and reduce air pollution? It’s true! And by tracking your gas mileage and checking your tire pressure monthly, you can prove it to yourself and save up to $400 a year on fuel costs alone.
The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s (PDEQ) Clean Air Program wants to reward those who check their tires regularly with a chance to win $500 towards a new set of tires, an auto service package worth $125, or a $100 Visa gift card. The “Pump Up Your MPG” Challenge runs through June 15, 2014.
“Properly inflated tires have so many safety, economic, and environmental benefits that we want people to get into the habit of monthly air pressure checks,” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager with PDEQ. “Even newer cars that have tire pressure monitoring systems need monthly tire checks because the warning often comes after tires are as much as 25 percent under-inflated.” Visual checks are not enough. A tire can be under-inflated by 30 percent before it looks low to the eye.
To take the challenge, simply complete the “Pump Up Your MPG” entry form after tracking gas mileage and tire pressure checks for at least one month. With each additional month an entry form is submitted to the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program, the participant has an additional chance to win one of the prizes. All entry forms must be submitted by June 15, 2014. Special thanks to Jack Furrier’s Tire and Auto Care, Pima Association of Government’s Clean Cities Program, and the City of Tucson Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development for program support.
Visit Pump Up Your MPG! for more information or call (520) 724-7446.
Listen to Beth Gorman's interview about the program on Mrs. Green's World.
Important Facts & Tips about Tire Inflation
Ever ride a bicycle on a flat or low tire? It's a lot of work! It's like that with cars and trucks too. Low tires increase the amount of tire surface on the road and rolling resistance, or drag. Because it takes more energy to keep the vehicle moving, more fuel is burned, causing more air pollution and greenhouse gases to be emitted from the tailpipe.
- To find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, do not use the maximum pressure noted on the sidewall of the tire. Instead, use the recommended pressure indicated in the door jamb, glove compartment, fuel door, or owner’s manual.
- Check inflation pressure when tires are cool.
- Never reduce tire pressure when tires are hot.
- If a tire needs air every time you check, ask a tire shop to inspect it for a slow leak.
- Tires should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch or when you see the “wear bars.”
- Tires can be over 30 percent underinflated before appearing flat.
- Tire pressure monitoring systems may not warn drivers until tires are up to 25 percent underinflated which can be too late to prevent internal damage.
- Tire pressure can vary up or down one to two pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.
- U.S. drivers waste two million gallons of gas per day due to under-inflated tires.
- Remember to check the spare and add air as necessary.
- Tire pressure should be checked every month, before out-of-town trips, and when weather changes significantly.
- Soft tires may contribute as much as 1.5 extra tons of greenhouse gases into the environment annually.
- Tires can lose air by bumping a curb or hitting a pothole.
- A National Tire Usage Survey indicates that 80 percent of tire problems in the U.S. are caused by improper tire inflation. Under-inflated tires contribute to more than 600 highway deaths and 33,000 injuries a year.
- Proper tire pressure will conserve approximately 144 gallons of gasoline annually, saving you hundreds of dollars.
- Driving on properly inflated tires will improve your vehicle's ability to handle well and stop quickly.
For more information about Pima County’s Tire Inflation Education Program visit Pump Up Your MPG!