If you’ve ever heard that having your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage and save you serious cash, you’ve probably been at least slightly dubious of these claims. How much could an under-inflated tire really cost you? The answer may be more than you think…
According to the US Department of Energy, “Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 PSI drop in pressure of all four tires.”
So how much money does this work out to be?
I’ve plotted the cost savings below for 3 different PSI intervals. All that you need to do is find your car’s MPG on the horizontal axis and match it up with your annual mileage on the vertical axis.
If your tires are underinflated by 9 PSI:
Note that these plots assume a fuel price of $3.50/gallon.
You can see that even at a modest 6psi, the under-inflation could easily cost you $50 a year. At the extreme, you could be wasting be well over $100 a year.
Note that this doesn’t take into account the reduced life seen by underinflated tires. Manufacturers typically claim that just 5 PSI below the recommended pressure can reduce a tire’s life by up to 25%.
Of course, with the money you’ll save using AutoGlance, you mite not even have to worry about any of this…
Money saving aside, there’s one reason to check your tire pressure that trumps all: properly inflated tires are inherently safer. Underinflated tires lead to longer stopping distances in emergency situations. Additionally, underinflated tires are frequently cited as the cause for a majority of SUV rollover accidents.
So, what are you waiting for? Go check your tire pressure!
Reddit comments on this article here.