Thursday, February 7, 2008

Check Those Tires

I changed the oil in the Mighty Corolla over the weekend, and also
checked the tire pressure as I was waiting for the oil to drain. Good
thing I did, because all four tires needed a little more air.

Although it was probably related to the cold temperatures outside, wach
tire registered below 30 PSI, so I pumped them up to closer to 40.

It was near the beginning of a new tank, so Iwas interested to see how
this would affect fuel economy for this tank. I've had pretty good
mileage recently, so I was clearly surprised that my tires were a bit
underinflated.

I am pushing 375 miles on this tank so far, and the needle is still
comfortable above the area where the low fuel light turns on. Indeed, I
noticed that I was at 260 miles as the needle passed the halfway mark of
the tank.

This was a great reminder that fuel economy really is affected by low
tire pressure. Particularly in the winter cold, as the air compacts a
bit, be sure to check that tire pressure and make adjustments as
necessary, and you'll see benefits in your fuel economy.

I did this with our minivan a short while ago, and my wife reported
better mileage on her trip computer, as well as better handling and
acceleration.

It only takes a few minutes, and many gas stations still offer free air
(Exxon and Wawa come to mind).

Now, if Costco offered free air, that'd really help me out!

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