Motorists under pressure: Reduce emissions, cut costs
Emissions from Britain’s cars and light vans could be reduced if drivers paid more attention to correct tyre pressures.
Delticom – Europe’s largest internet tyre retailer with 81 online shops in 30 countries, including America and Japan – says that a drop of just 0.2bar in air pressure in the average car with a petrol engine will use one per cent extra fuel. If a tyre is driven with 0.6 bar pressure below the recommended level for normal driving, fuel consumption will increase by four per cent, assuming engine efficiency is at optimal level. In each case, the life of the tyre is reduced by 10 per cent and a staggering 45 per cent, respectively.
“Think of riding a bicycle with a flat tyre,” said Rainer Binder, Director of mytyres.co.uk, Delticom’s British car and van online tyre shop. “The drag makes you use more energy. When a vehicle is working harder, it creates additional CO2 emissions. Engineers agree the additional drag of one or more tyres at lower than recommended pressure translates to unnecessary environmental harm. Multiplied many times over, it is surely a carbon footprint that each of us must address – and can be largely avoided.”
For marginally less suspension comfort, it is safe to run at up to 0.2bar above the appropriate level, in return for increased economy, lower emissions and less impact on your wallet or purse.
Mann says checking tyre pressures once a week, using a manual gauge that can be bought from any good accessory shop, even if you drive a luxury or sports model with electronic tyre pressure monitoring sensors; these generally offer warning of larger pressure drops for safety purposes.
Those who need to tow trailers – for pleasure or profit – should ensure pressures are set at the level recommended for the imposed weight.
It’s worth remembering that tyres play a key role in maintaining road safety – we should al know that a tyre that runs under-inflated could become dangerously hot. It also has an impact on handling and braking performance. Similarly, over-inflation causes it’s own tyre wear problems.