Tire inflation survey a wake-up call to drivers

Measuring tire pressures monthly can result in cost savings, tire organization says

June 18, 2018
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From the June 2018 print edition

Canadian drivers have gaps in their knowledge of how to maintain proper tire inflation, according to a new tire maintenance attitudinal survey by Leger on behalf of the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada. While nine-in-ten drivers surveyed believe motorists have a responsibility to make their vehicles as fuel efficient as possible and 96 percent say proper tire inflation is important, the survey also finds that:

  • 30 percent measure tire inflation pressures monthly;
  • 65 percent are unaware inflation pressures should only be measured when tires are cold;
  • 37 percent refer to the air pressure stamped on the tire’s sidewall when identifying the correct pressure for their tires—not the recommended inflation level; and
  • 22 percent rely on visual inspections to determine if their tires are inflated properly.

Among motorists who say proper tire inflation is important to them, top reasons cited include: vehicle safety (84 percent); longer tire life (74 percent); fuel economy (73 percent) and improved vehicle handling (71 percent).

Other positive news emerging from the study is that 61 per cent of drivers use a personal air pressure gauge when measuring tire pressures. As well, 86 percent report they rotated their tires in the past year and 66 percent had their vehicle’s tire alignment checked in the past 12 months.

Measuring tire pressures monthly can result in cost savings. Motorists can improve their gas mileage by 0.6 percent on average—sometimes up to three percent—by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure. The environmental benefits of proper tire inflation are also significant. Drivers operating their vehicles on underinflated tires are expected to waste over 500 million litres of fuel in 2018.