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I stumbled across this at CNN

It appears McCain's camp is passing these out to mock the Obama campaign.
[Warning: Some of the comments on the CNN blog are just mindbogglingly stupid.]

As someone who recently has proof of what proper tire inflation can do, I can throw this right back in the face of the McCain campaign.

My Honda Civic had recently been taken in to the mechanic, in April for yearly inspection and tune up. The tires were inflated to 30 pounds front and back, as per the manual. [actually 30 front and 29 back in the manual, but that's what the mechanic inflated the tires to].

I have Michelins on the car, and they are rated for 44 PSI max.

Also in the manual is a section about 'high speed driving', where Honda indicates that if anticipating speeds over 100MPH, the tires should be inflated to 36 in the front and 35 in the back, but deflated to normal when you are 'done driving at high speed'.

I asked the mechanic back then, 'what happens if I inflate to 36PSI? Does it hurt the tires?' - his reply was 'no, it won't but your ride will be a bit rougher, not as comfortable'. He said that inflating it to the 44PSI max on the tire would be dangerous.

He went on to tell me that the ratings in the owner's manual and on the doorpost of the vehicle for tire pressure are there for the most comfortable ride under normal driving conditions, but that some tires that have higher ratings and are of very good quality [like the Michelins] can be inflated to 'high speed' pressure and left there.

He was right, when I inflated the tires to 36PSI, I noticed immediately that bumps in the road, railroad tracks and even the effect of different textures of the pavement became more noticeable. Steering became more sensitive.

Not quite as comfortable a ride, but yet more 'sporty' for the 53 year old driver.

Oh .. and here's the good news for everyone.

I also went from roughly 38MPG to just over 40MPG. On a tank of gas [10.5 gallons], that saves me roughly a [correction] whole half a gallon per tankful, roughly 5%.

Isn't it fascinating that the truth, that simply checking one's tire pressure and asking a few questions of the mechanic can make such a difference? Now .. let's see. That tax break that McCain wanted to push through, having a 'Gas Tax Holiday', that was .17/gal?

I just saved more than that, by simply inflating my tires a bit.

That tire gauge that McCain's campaign mocked is worth it's weight in a half a gallon of gas per tankful to me.

How about you?
Have you made the change and if you did, did you keep track of the difference?

If you aren't sure about just how high you can inflate the tires to, ask your mechanic. Overinflating can cause early tire wear in the middle. Seriously overinfalting the tires is very dangerous, of course. Do not inflate the tires to the maximum rating on the sidewall of the tire.  

And, if you last checked your tire pressure in cold weather, be aware that you are most likely driving on seriously underinflated tires, which is also dangerous. The difference between tires inflated at 40 degrees and 70 degrees can be substantial, between 20 degrees and 70 degress can be as much as 10 PSI.

Originally posted to Shpilkis M Katz on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:45 AM PDT.


Tire pressure?

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