A lot has been made recently about fuel saving methods, one method of which is to make sure that your tyres are always fully pumped up to ensure that the car isn’t generating unnecessary friction. However, despite such advice being dished out a Kwik Fit survey has recently discovered that on average 69% of British cars are being driven with under inflated tyres and only a meagre 4% of drivers are driving with all four of their tyres pumped up to the correct recommended pressure. The Kwik Fit survey estimates that by having incorrectly inflated tyres the British public are wasting roughly £1 Billion a year just on wasted fuel.
Of course, if it were just an issue of saving money this wouldn’t be such a cause for concern (except for the individual drivers concerned of course) but in fact having incorrectly inflated tyres can pose serious health and safety risks to drivers. By having under inflated tyres a car’s handling and braking can be seriously affected and by having tyres on the same axle which are inflated to different sizes (the survey found that 10% of cars had tyres on the same axis with a difference of 10psi or more) the car will suffer from severe instability whilst driving.
Another common problem according to Kwik Fit’s survey is that many drivers do not properly maintain the air pressure in their spare tyre, so when it comes to using it in case of a puncture the spare tyre isn’t properly inflated only causing problems for the driver. The space saving design of most spare tyres, designed to fit away out of sight, means that the spare tyres can need inflating to much higher pressures than a cars regular tyres – a fact that is often neglected by most drivers with potentially disastrous consequences.
Another discover of the Kwik Fit survey, carried out on over 2,700 tyres in the UK, is that often drivers over compensate when filling up tyres and instead of under filling they over inflate their tyres, leading to irregular wear and bulges in the tyre wall. So next time you fill up your tyres make sure that they are all at the correct pressure, the correct figure should be displayed in the car’s handbook if you are unsure.