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Don't Inflate The Cost Of Your Tires

Feb 8, 2008
The tires of your vehicle are obviously important- and if you've ever experienced blowing out a tire while driving you know it can be frightening! It can actually throw your car around a bit, which can be disastrous if you are not able to get it back under control.

Everyone understands the importance of having tires on their vehicle, but what's really odd about it is most people don't take the time to check their tires- or are not checking them frequently enough. In fact, studies show that tires are the most neglected part of a vehicle!

When your tires are not properly inflated, the result is not only a safety hazard, but you end up costing yourself more money since under or over-inflated tires will reduce the amount of gas mileage your vehicle gets. With the ever-increasing price of fuel this can result in a large amount of wasted money. The actual life of your tire is also reduced with under-inflated tires, by about 15,000 miles- which means you will need to change your tires much more frequently and spend more money.

If you are driving around in a vehicle with over-inflated tires, you are probably driving on the center tread only, causing your tire to wear unevenly. Uneven tire treads will cause difficult handling of the car as the tires do not grip the road properly.

How do you check the inflation level of your tires? There are many people who are actually unsure how to do this, or people who think they can just look at a tire to determine if it is under or over-inflated. Estimating the air pressure level in your tire by looking at them will never give you accurate results. There is a small tool that can be purchased at any auto supply store, as well as many home improvement centers and perhaps your local Wal-Mart. It's called a tire pressure gauge and you can simply place it on the nozzle of your tire and get a reading of the air pressure within your tires. Trying to gauge it by eye will typically result in 20% over-inflated or under-inflated air pressure.

The most accurate time to test the air pressure in your tires is before driving the car. If you wait until after you've finished driving the car, the air in the tires has become warm from the movement of the tires and you will not get a very accurate pressure reading. Check your car's manual to find out how much air pressure your tires should use as opposed to the recommended amount you'll see printed on the actual tire itself.

The cost of gas to make your vehicle run is getting more expensive by the day, with no end in site. You can reduce your maintenance and upkeep costs to keep your vehicle running smooth and safely by keeping an eye (and a tire pressure gauge!) on your tires. If you get in the habit of checking them at least once a week before getting in and driving off, you'll have your tires performing at their optimum level, giving you a safer ride and keeping some of your hard earned money in your pocket.
About the Author
Lynn Stewart is an writer for http://www.hoppyshopper.com, where she writes about Automotive content.
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