Fill Those Tires!

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.

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