We can't control gas prices, but we can control how efficiently our vehicle uses fuel. One of the best ways to do that is to keep your tires properly inflated.
Keeping the correct air pressure in your tires is just as important as giving your engine a tune up. Keeping your tires properly inflated may result in up to 10% better fuel efficiency. Your tires will also last longer and have improved handling.
Did you know that tires lose a little bit of air pressure every day? Generally, a tire will lose one or two pounds of air per month in cool weather, and even more in warm weather. A good rule of thumb is to check your tires every other time you fill up at the gas station.
Be sure to check your vehicle's owner's manual for proper inflation amounts. An over-inflated tire can also wear out more quickly, will cause a rougher ride, poor handling, and may lead to premature failure.
The load index refers to the load-carrying capacity of a tire, or how much weight a tire can safely support. For example, if a tire has a load index of 89, it can support 1,279 pounds at maximum air pressure. Multiply that by four (4 x 1,279 = 5,116 pounds) to get your maximum load-carrying capacity. Installing tires with a lower load-carrying capacity than what came from the factory is not recommended.
A tire receives its speed rating by the U.S. Government by meeting minimum standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed. In general, a higher speed rating will result in better car handling.
There are two important factors to consider regarding speed ratings:
Here is a list of speed ratings along with the corresponding speeds they represent. Please note these are test speeds, not recommended speeds
Consider the following tire size: P205/65R15 89H. Here's what each part of this size designation mean: