Believe or not, you can contribute to the environment by maintaining the condition of your tires. When you neglect to keep your tires inflated to the proper pounds per square inch (PSI) rating, their function is affected and they require more energy to maintain the same use and speed you speed you require. This overuse and abuse contributes to pollution and fuel use.
The best way you can guarantee the best function and lowest impact of your tires is by keeping them properly inflated. It has been reported that most cars in the United States are operating on those that are only inflated to merely eighty percent of their capacity. If you keep them properly inflated, you can improve your mileage by about three percent. For every PSI drop in pressure, you lose an average of .5 percent in your mileage.
While this may not seem like a significant difference, it really does add up. The average person drives about 12,000 miles a year, and when that driving is done on under-inflated tires, an extra 144 gallons of gas are burned. This means an extra $300-$500 dollars spent a year on a gas alone. Even worse, each gallon of that gas contributes an extra 20 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which means that each vehicle running on under-inflated tires is contributing 1.5 extra tons of toxic gas to the environment each year.
If the environmental reasons are not enough, simply remember that better maintained tires are less likely to fail you at high speeds. You will have a harder time breaking and driving on wet surfaces with under-inflated tires, which causes more accidents and simply adds more time to reaching your destination. It is recommended that you check your pressure monthly.
Each car has a different correct air pressure, and that number can be found in your owner's manual as well as on the insider of the driver's door. Weather can take a significant toll on tires, so it is better to check pressure more often when it is especially cold or hot out for extended periods of time. Keep in mind that replacements will often have a different PSI rating than the originals, so make sure to keep track of the new number and which tire it should be assigned to. All cars that are manufactured after 2008 have pressure monitoring systems installed, so it will be easier than ever to keep track of each. These systems will alert the driver if the pressure falls below the recommended level. While this may be more expensive, doing so will save many lives on the road each year.