Getting to Know Your Tires
Many of us drive cars each day, giving little thought to tires unless one goes flat. Tires are the points of contact between our vehicles and the road. With too little contact a vehicle becomes unstable; with too much it becomes inefficient. Two simple ways to maintain tires are periodically rotating tires and keeping tires properly inflated.
Rotating tires is the practice of moving tires from one wheel to another to ensure even tire wear. Your car dealer, mechanic or tire dealer will usually be able to tell the suggested tire rotation intervals and tire location for your type of tire and vehicle.
Proper inflation means that each tire has the recommended amount of air in it to assure appropriate contact with the road. If your tires have too much pressure, they will wear toward the center of the tread. If tires do not have enough pressure, they will wear toward the outer edges of the tread. Improperly inflated tires will wear out more quickly. Underinflated tires create friction so your tires will rob your car of fuel economy. Each automobile now has an information sticker located in the frame of the driver’s door. This sticker lists the manufacturer’s recommended tire sizes with appropriate inflation. Your owner’s manual will also list this information.
If you have never checked your tire pressure, your car dealer, mechanic or tire dealer should be able to show you how to do this procedure. Checking for proper inflation is easy to do anytime. All you need is a tire gauge that measures pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). A suitable gauge is inexpensive and it is a good idea to keep one in each vehicle you use.
Keeping tires rotated and inflated will assure they last and that your vehicle gets the best mileage possible.
United States Environmental Protection Agency website: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.shtml
The DENR Sustainability Team is composed of representatives from 27 DENR divisions, offices and programs. Its mission is "to inspire a culture of sustainability within DENR by promoting environmentally responsible actions." More information on DENR Sustainability is available at portal.ncdenr.org/web/sustainability/home
Information on sustainability in buildings and lands in North Carolina is available on the state sustainability team NC Project Green website, www.ncprojectgreen.org.