Drivers told they can easily save money on fuel with quick tyre check

Drivers across the UK could be saving fuel by checking their tyres
Drivers across the UK could be saving fuel by checking their tyres
Andrea Piacquadio
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 27/01/2023

- 13:00

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:20

Millions of Brits could be wasting fuel by not doing a simple car check

Around 34 million drivers are using excessive fuel and taking road safety risks this winter because they haven’t checked their tyre pressure.

Tyres lose pressure over time as air fills throughout at a rate of usually one to three psi (pounds per square inch) per month.

Cold weather also affects tyres as air inside causes the tyre to contract and lose one to two psi for every 10C drop in outside temperature.

Between August last year and the last week of January 2023, average temperatures decreased by around 26.7C.

More than 80 per cent of drivers haven't checked their tyres in the last month
More than 80 per cent of drivers haven't checked their tyres in the last month
Andrea Piacquadio

A recent poll revealed that 83 per cent of drivers haven’t checked their tyre pressure in the last month, according to Continental Tyres.

And almost a third of motorists who responded to the poll said they hadn’t checked their tyres in three months or more.

If a car’s tyres are under-inflated, its footprint is extended, and more of the tyre is in contact with the road which means more energy is lost.

As a result, the engine must use more fuel to keep the car moving forward.

According to the research, a 4.3psi pressure loss means the vehicle will use 1.5 per cent more fuel.

Pete Robb, Marketing Director at Continental Tyres, said: “The correct tyre pressure is based on a vehicle’s weight and size, and it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s exact recommendations, to get the best out of your vehicle and ensure the safety of everyone on board.

“We always advise drivers to do a tyre pressure check every two to four weeks, and always before setting off on longer journeys or if you’re carrying additional loads.

“It takes no time once you’ve got the hang of it, and it’s more important than ever at this time of year – especially as the worst of the weather is still to come.”

Stock photo of a flat car tyre.
Underinflated tyres can cause serious safety risks
Niall Carson

Under-inflated tyres also increase safety risks if the tyre isn’t stiff enough which can make the vehicle more difficult to control.

It can also cause less grip which can increase a car's braking distance and even reduce the tyres’ endurance, causing faster degeneration and increasing the possibility of a sudden puncture.

Drivers can get a more accurate tyre pressure reading when they are cold so should be done at home before setting off.

The manufacturer’s recommended pressure for the front and rear tyres of the vehicle can be found in the handbook, inside the fuel filler cap or on the driver’s door post.

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