I’m sure at one point or another you have heard that keeping your tires properly inflated can help your car get better gas mileage, but what is “properly inflated”. This is not a myth, if you don’t believe it then please ride a bike with 10 psi in the tires and tell me honestly it is not more work than with 50 psi in the tires. The same concept applies to your car, only working harder means burning more gas. However, properly inflated may not mean what you think it does.
Most people know to look at the sticker on the inside of the driver side door for the proper inflation pressure. This is the factory recommendation and is usually in the ballpark of 30 psi. This is where you should keep your tire pressure in the winter because it will offer the ideal ratio of traction to economy.
The rest of the year, look at the sidewall of the tire itself. Somewhere near the rim there will be some text that says something like Max load xxxx pounds at xx psi/xxx kPa. This is the maximum amount of weight your tires can safely accommodate and their maximum pressure. For passenger cars this should be around 40-50 psi. Inflate your tires to a few psi shy of the max psi on the sidewall to maximize your economy. Be aware though that, especially as your tire tread wears out, increasing the psi in your tires will also decrease your traction. Keep that in mind and take responsibility for your own actions.
While you are checking your tire pressure be sure to check across all four tires. It is essential that they all be inflated evenly across axles. In other words, when you look at the inside door sticker either the front or rear set of tires will have a higher recommended pressure. To help keep your car’s handling character keep this ratio when you increase your pressure. For example, if your factory recommended pressure was 30 psi front/ 27 psi rear and your max tire pressure on the sidewall is 50 psi, try inflating your tires to 47 psi front/ 44 psi rear.
NEVER exceed the max pressure on the sidewall because your tires WILL explode. That is why that rating is there, so you don’t do it!
Tagged better gas mileage, better mpg, car tire pressure, fuel saving tips, gas mileage, improve gas mileage, improve mpg, more miles per gallon, more mpg, proper tire pressure, save fuel, tire pressure, tires properly inflated