With thousands of motorists getting set to hit the highways at this time of year, drivers are reminded they can save big at the pumps - and protect the environment - by measuring their tire pressures monthly.
Natural Resources Canada estimates that drivers waste 533 million litres annually simply because they drive on one or more under-inflated tire. That's enough fuel to power 275,000 vehicles for a full year. All that wasted fuel costs about $703 million in unnecessary fuel bills and releases an additional 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Based on today's prices, the average motorist who drives 20,000 kilometres a year on under-inflated tires can save more than $100 per year in fuel costs. For drivers who spend considerably more time behind the wheel, the savings can add up to hundreds of dollars.
Despite the benefits, however, tire under-inflation is widespread. Research by The Rubber Association of Canada, which represents tire makers, has found that only 30 per cent of drivers measure their tire pressures monthly or more frequently and that one third of Canada's 20 million automobiles have at least one under-inflated tire.
Motorists should also know tire makers have introduced new tire lines specifically designed and constructed for fuel economy. These advanced low rolling resistance tires can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 4.5 per cent compared to ordinary tires.