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Keep your tires in tip-top shape for bonus benefits

January 15, 2015

Fuel efficiency is the most important factor for most Americans when purchasing a vehicle, according to a new study from the American Chemistry Council and Plastics Make it Possible. In fact, 79 percent of people surveyed said fuel efficiency was more important than safety, body type and price.

Focusing on tire care can not only help cars burn less gas, it can improve overall performance and safety, as well.
The study, Driving Toward Change, found nearly four out of 10 Americans admitted to driving further to get gas for a lower price. Steve Russell, vice president of the ACC, stated in a press release lighter construction materials can help improve vehicles' gas mileage.

“What many car buyers don't realize is that lighter materials place less of a strain on a car's engine and improve gas mileage,” Russell said. “For many of today's cars, plastics make up 50 percent by volume—but only 10 percent by weight, which is great news for Americans concerned about paying too much at the pump.”

However, plastic materials are not the only change that can help improve fuel efficiency. In fact, focusing on tire care can not only help cars burn less gas, but it can also improve overall performance and safety, as well.

The importance of well-maintained tires No matter how the rest of a vehicle is performing, if it has tires in poor condition, fuel efficiency will be negatively impacted, not to mention put drivers in danger on the road. Well-maintained tires can ensure vehicle owners aren't paying at the pump more often while also keeping them protected behind the wheel, something auto insurance professionals will thank them for.

Putting your tires through their paces

The first step for drivers is to make sure their tires are inflated properly. Different vehicles and tires will call for specific tire pressures. If pressure is too low, it will cause tires to lose their grip—a dangerous development on wet roads. Check a car's vehicle manual to find out the proper pressure.

Tire treads are another factor to keep in mind. Treads are essential for traction on the road, so it's vital for drivers to regularly check their treads. If they're worn out, it's time to start shopping for new tires. To help keep tires from wearing out too quickly or wearing out at different times, be sure to rotate tires regularly. Drivers are recommended to rotate their tires every 5,000 miles or so.