Inflate your tires

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Description

Ensure your vehicle tires are properly inflated to increase your fuel efficiency, save money, and reduce pollution.

Under inflated tires will cause your fuel economy to drop by an average of 0.4 percent for every PSI (pounds per square inch) drop from the recommended manufacturer tire pressure. This might not seem like much, however, globally light duty passenger vehicles account for 50 quadrillion BTUs (British Thermal Units) of energy consumption annually. Sorry I just like that number! Ha!

What does that mean? Well, by losing 0.4 percent for an average of 1 PSI drop in tire pressure, that means that globally we burn 655 million liters just because our tires are not inflated properly.

(The math logic if you want to go there: Light duty passenger vehicles use 50 quadrillion BTUs of gasoline every year and 1 liter of gasoline = 30,489 BTU. then 50 quadrillion BTUs/year divided by 30,489 BTU/liter = 1,639,935,714,519‬ liters/year. 1,639,935,714,519 Liters/year x 0.0004 = 655 million liters)

Further, it is more dangerous to drive with under-inflated tires due to the higher potential for blowouts. Plus tires are made from plastic nowadays. Under-inflated tires wear out quicker, resulting in more plastic entering the environment. Tire dust on the roads washes down to the oceans, and may hamper the ability of phytoplankton to photosynthesize carbon dioxide. Not good. Second, the tire gets thrown in a dump sooner. Tires are rarely recycled.

Tips

• When it comes to having the right tire pressure in your vehicle, this can slightly vary. A quick search online for your make and model should give the right target.

• There are a few different ways to tell if your tire pressure is low. You can use a tire pressure gauge by removing the cap on your tire valve and inserting the gauge. Alternatively, some newer vehicles have their own tire pressure monitoring systems. In the worst case scenario, if you notice decreased responsiveness and ride quality it could be due to low tire pressure.

• Changes in outside temperature can affect the pressure inside your tires. Check them regularly around changes of the seasons.

• Over inflating does not help. Tires are designed to be at a specific pressure. If your over inflate your tires it may deform your tires and change the contact surface with the road, leading to wear in the surface of the tire. So again, your tires wear out sooner.

• Keep an eye out for the future of tires that are more sustainable options. How about an eco-friendly wood-based tire? Or perhaps turning food scraps to biodegradable, airless wheels?

Level of action

    Household

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