Fuel Prices Rise; So Should Attention to Tire Inflation, Says Goodyear

Nov 08, 2007, 00:00 ET from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

    AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As American drivers begin
 to think about increased holiday travel in coming weeks, the cost of
 fueling the family car is higher than it has ever been in November. With
 this in mind, officials at the country's largest tire manufacturer, The
 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:   GT), are reminding motorists to seek
 an often overlooked cost advantage at the pump - the air pump.
     (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050204/GTLOGO )
     Tires' importance at the gas pump is growing as gas prices climb. As of
 November 7, average U.S. retail gasoline prices had jumped by more than 84
 cents versus year-earlier prices, according to the AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge
 Report. The pump price had risen to a nationwide average of $3.043 per
 gallon (regular grade), and as high as a $3.312 per gallon average on the
 west coast.
     When ignorance of tire care is factored in, the rising fuel prices
 become even scarier.
     "Running a tire 20 percent underinflated - only 5 to 7 pounds per
 square inch (psi) - can increase fuel consumption by 10 percent. That can
 easily cost motorists two or three miles per gallon. Not only that, but
 running underinflated also reduces the tire's tread life," said Bob Toth,
 Goodyear's general manager, auto tires.
     If that's not enough, the Society of Automotive Engineers reports that
 87 percent of all flat tires have a history of underinflation.
     The U.S. Energy Department has reported that every pound per square
 inch of tire underinflation wastes 4 million gallons of gas daily in the
 U.S. At today's prices and with more vehicles on the road, that's a huge
 expense. An underinflated tire deflects more energy, increasing rolling
 resistance, which robs the vehicle of fuel efficiency.
     Still, many motorists seem to simply ignore their tires. Survey
 information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
 shows that about one in every three cars has a significantly under inflated
 tire. According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), 85 percent
 of drivers do not know how to properly check their tire pressure.
     Additionally, a 2007 RMA survey found:
     -- Nearly seven in ten drivers say they wash their vehicles every month,
        but barely more than half check tire pressure monthly.
     -- 45 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the correct inflation
        pressure is printed on the tire sidewall. (The "maximum" inflation
        pressure is found on the tire sidewall. Instead, Goodyear reminds
        motorists to check for a sticker on the driver's door or the fuel door,
        or look in the vehicle owner's manual for the "recommended" inflation
     -- 26 percent of drivers wrongly believe the best time to check tire
        inflation is when the tires are warm, after being driven for at least a
        few miles. (Check before driving, when tires are cold.)
     -- 71 percent of drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare
     On http://www.goodyeartires.com, visitors will find extensive
 information on tire care, product selection and more. Site visitors can
 learn how a tire is made and obtain useful tire maintenance tips. Through a
 link, they can request a copy of the "A Guide to Tire Safety" or the
 "Goodyear Tire Buying Guide."
     At Goodyear-owned tire and service outlets, consumers can have their
 tires checked for free, including an inspection of tread condition and tire
 inflation. Store associates will even add air, when needed, as a free
 consumer service.
     "With fall here and winter around the corner, checking tire pressure is
 important because tire pressure drops 1-2 psi for every 10 degree drop in
 temperature," Toth said. "Keeping tires properly inflated promotes safety,
 helps tires wear evenly, enhances ride comfort, and maximizes fuel

SOURCE The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company