March 1, 2017

Check Your Tire Pressure Day 2017

When was the last time you checked your tire pressure?

March 11th is Check Your Tire Pressure Day! When was the last time you checked your tire pressure? If you’re like most drivers, it wasn’t recent. Did you know that driving on under-inflated tires is not only dangerous, but can cost you in gas mileage too? An economist from the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that driving cars with under-inflated tires wastes approximately 1.2 billion gallons of fuel annually. It also wears your tires down faster too.

Seasons and temperature

When checking your tire pressure, it is recommended to check it before you drive when it has cold inflation pressure for a more accurate reading.  Air contracts or expands depending on the temperature, so when your tires are warm or during the summer months your tires will have more air pressure. During the winter months or when your tires are cold your tires will lose air pressure. A good metric to keep in mind is that for every difference of 10 degrees Fahrenheit, your tires will lose or gain 1 PSI. If you think about the difference between summer and winter temperatures, that fluctuation is enough to lower your air pressure by 5 PSI when the cold weather sets in.

Most modern cars have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) indicator light. This light is helpful, but will only tell you that your tires need air when the air pressure falls below 25% of the recommended inflation for your vehicle.

How to check your tire pressure and inflate your tires

Most gas stations have an air pump which only costs a few quarters, or you can purchase a portable air pump. Most gas stations also have a tire pressure gauge. It is not recommended to use these gauges for reliability. The TIA’s Safety Council suggests having your own. You can purchase a reliable digital gauge for around $10 at any auto retailer.

Every car has a recommended cold inflation pressure, usually displayed in the owner’s manual, on the sticker inside the driver’s side doorjamb, on the glove box door, or on the fuel filler flap. The number on the sidewall of your tire is the maximum PSI which indicates the maximum PSI for which the tire will support, but not what the recommended PSI for your car.

Once you have determined your car’s PSI, unscrew the valve cap and put it in a safe place. Press your tire gauge to the valve stem, letting a little air out to get a reading. To ensure an accurate reading, press the tire gauge several times and make note. If the pressure is too low, attach the hose fitting of the air compressor to the valve stem and press down on the lever to allow the flow of air. Check the pressure again and repeat if necessary until all 4 tires are at the recommended PSI. Screw the valve caps back on and you are ready to go!

Many individuals and local authorities have already jumped on the opportunity to remind users to drive safely. There are even signs popping up on highways to encourage safer driving.

Luckily, there are tools out there to help the tech-obsessed (or the poke-obsessed) improve their driving. One of our favorites is an app called TrueMotion Family! The app analyzes your driving in order to provide you with a score - and insights as to how you drive. It's perfect for parents who want to monitor their teen drivers. The app gives parents the power to see where their kids drive, and produces a 'report card' on their driving in addition to an assessment of whether they were driving distracted (using their cell phone). Plus, families have access to roadside assistance on-demand from right within the TrueMotion app.

I don’t remember Ash, Misty, or Brock driving cars in their quest to be the very best, like no one ever was. And there aren’t vehicles any in PokemonGO. At Urgent.ly, we love the game and just like you, we’re prepared to travel across the land searching far and wide to catch 'em all, but we encourage you to put safety first in your travels! Remember that the power of Pokemon is awesome in augmented reality but automobiles are a powerful tool meant for use in the real world and require optimum focus to operate safely. In a world we must defend, you can start by driving safely, and catch and train ‘em all when you’re not operating a vehicle.

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