According to surveys, around two thirds of tyres on UK roads are under inflated, sometimes by as much as 20%. Not only can this pose a serious danger whilst driving due to the risk of the tyres overheating, it also increases the carbon emissions generated each journey, while raising your car’s fuel costs. Ensuring you drive with correctly inflated tyres is one of the first steps to becoming a more economical and environmentally friendly driver.
Driving with under inflated tyres is a sure-fire way to lose fuel efficiency. With less air in the tyre, surface area with the road is increased, which generates more rolling resistance. This means that more fuel is needed for the car to achieve the same speeds on correctly inflated tyres, generating greater emissions. By not keeping your tyres at the correct pressure, it’s not just the environment that loses out, so does your wallet.
Ensuring your tyres are at the correct pressure is also important for prolonging their lifespan. Greater friction on the tyre increases heat generated, which can mean increased tyre wear or even a blowout. Tyres aren’t cheap to replace, so it pays to help make them last as long as possible. Correctly inflated tyres also help to reduce the risk of wear to other parts of the vehicle.
Checking tyre pressure
Tyre pressure is most commonly measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) or BAR pressure. Information on the correct tyre pressure can be found in your car’s manual, online, or sometimes printed on the driver’s door. Check tyre pressure using a reliable gauge while the tyres are cold. If the pressure is below the recommended level, it will need topping up. Most petrol stations offer free or very cheap air from machines which you can set to inflate to a certain pressure. It’s also becoming more common for stations to offer a service where someone will help you fill your tyres up using the machine.
Filling your tyres to the correct pressure can help to improve your milage by 3.3%, while keeping the carbon emissions generated by your journey lower. Just by remembering to check your tyre pressure every few weeks, you can save money, reduce your environmental impact and crucially, stay safe whilst on the road.
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