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Fill Those Tires!

2012 January 12

By Lina Younes

At home, we try to do our best to give the proper maintenance to our cars. Not only does it improve vehicle performance, increases fuel efficiency, and saves money, but it protects the environment as well. So, in spite of our efforts to maintain our cars properly, I noticed that our newest vehicle started to “act up”. Some dashboard indicator lights went on when I started the car in the morning. However, later in the day, the lights went off. After a couple of days, I saw a pattern. If the temperature went below 40 degrees, the lights lit up. When I consulted the vehicle manual I realized that the indicator lights were part of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System. The system is designed to alert the driver when tire air pressure is low and tires have to be inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Although the tires looked fine to me from the outside, the system indicated that they needed some air. With cooler temperatures, it was obvious that the tires were not functioning to optimum levels.

Proper tire pressure is important for your own safety. Driving with under-inflated tires can cause them to overheat or even blowout. Furthermore, under-inflated tires will also lower your fuel efficiency and ultimately cost you more money at the pump.

So, visit our website for additional tips on what you can do to improve your vehicle’s performance and reduce pollution. It’s easier than you think. Do you have any suggestions? Please send us your comments. We will love to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as EPA’s Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison in the Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. T.L. Adams permalink
    January 12, 2012

    There is a very interesting point in this, and a little outside of my field (I’m the state’s PSD expert). Obviously U.S. EPA has the authority to set fuel standards for new cars, but wouldn’t we get a huge benefit if tire pressure sensors were required on all new cars? And as the blog indicated, make it more consumer friendly than just a little generic problem light on the dash, require a “Low tire pressure” warning to flash.

    Consumer education is great, but checking tires is not the easiest task in the world (some of us are old and have bad backs), finding air to refill the tires has gotten to be a problem. A built in sensor, now that’s the ticket.

  2. Lina-EPA permalink*
    January 12, 2012

    Mr. Adams,
    I believe that newer cars (2007 models and beyond) have this tire pressure system. It’s definitely helpful. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Kitchen Benchtops permalink
    January 13, 2012

    I think I have read something like this somewhere. Powerful!

  4. Jason permalink
    April 9, 2012

    Hi Lina –

    First of all, great post.

    But second, I’d like to add another measure your readers could take to “green” their car.
    I’ll run everyone through this, just so you can grasp what I’m saying:

    When window tint is applied to a vehicle, it reduces the internal heat. When that happens, the driver’s propensity for A/C need decreases.

    As we all know, A/C utilizes fuel to run. So when that happens, the vehicle is operating at lower fuel efficiency, right?

    When tinting is applied, we can lower A/C and thus fuel usage. Greater fuel efficiency leads to lower emissions.

    Yes, it’s not going to single-handedly save our planet. BUT, isn’t any green activity (especially one that bears financial benefits as well) worth undertaking?

  5. reos permalink
    April 29, 2013

    I really like the blog.I have shared your site with many friends and family. It is always a pleasure to read.

  6. Funny Pictures permalink
    May 22, 2013

    I enjoy you because of every one of your effort on this site.

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