(LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2007) — Motorists can maximize their fuel economy by making sure their tires are properly inflated, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. National Tire Safety Week, April 23-27, was launched to help drivers understand the economic and safety benefits of basic tire care. Research shows that about 85% of drivers don’t properly check tire pressure.
“Keeping tires inflated, moving components lubricated and ignition and emission systems operating properly will help ensure maximum fuel efficiency and the life of your vehicle,” said Dave Skaien, the Auto Club’s Approved Auto Repair Program Development Manager. “Under-inflated tires also reduce gas mileage. Correct tire inflation also is important for safe driving. A penny in your pocket can help check the health of your tires by allowing you to do a simple tread depth inspection. ”
Motorists can use a tread depth gauge or a coin to determine if tires are worn out. Place a U.S. penny, Lincoln’s head first, into several tread grooves. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, then more than 2/32” tread depth remains. (Don’t place the coin on top of the wear bar, a thick elevated strip of rubber running across the base of tire grooves.) California and many other states have minimum tread depth laws. Passenger cars shouldn’t operate on tires below 2/32” tread depth. If you need to purchase new tires, be sure replacements meet manufacturers speed/load specifications for your vehicle.
“Worn out tires are unsafe,” said Skaien. “ Every other fill-up, motorists should walk around their vehicle and visually check tires for uneven or excessive tread wear and proper inflation. They can refer to the vehicle’s doorjamb or glove box for original specifications or the manufacturer of the replacement tire for tire pressure inflation,” he added.
ny Auto Club member whose vehicle is being serviced this week at any AAA-Approved Auto Repair facility may request a free 38 pt. maintenance inspection that includes a tire inspection and tire pressure check with their paid service. Repair locations can be found at www.AAA.com and in Auto Club offices or by calling (800) 713-0003.