I just want to thank John McCain for bringing to my attention Barack Obama’s excellent suggestion that if all Americans were to simply inflate our tires properly, the country would save a huge amount of gas.
I am writing to report that on the micro level, my experience is that this is very true. My husband and I routinely track our mileage and all maintenance in a little log book we keep in the glove box. It’s something we’ve done for decades now, a practice which takes less than a minute per fill and helps us get a better deal on a trade-in — a little tip my husband learned from his auto mechanic dad, Joe Shinners, rest his soul.
Anyway, last week I drove to and from the Detroit area in our 2006 Honda CRV, a round trip of about 1,000 miles. The night before departure I checked my tires; they were at 30-31 psi, so I filled them to 35 psi. Since we got the car last fall, our best highway mileage was 26 mpg. That simple tire inflation boosted the mileage to 31 mpg! And that was driving through Indiana at and slightly above posted speeds of 70 mph. I imagine the results would be even higher at the most fuel-efficient speeds of 50-55 mph.
No matter who you’re voting for in the fall, the guy who promoted it or the guy who ridiculed it — do listen to AAA, NASCAR and all the experts, and inflate your tires! If lots of us do it, it’ll add up to a huge gas savings, lowering demand, thereby helping bring down the price at the pump. If you want to get the best mileage of all, practice hypermiling
to reduce traffic jams (it really works!), and drive at 50-55 mph whenever possible. A little discipline across the board will yield results a lot quicker than new drilling for oil, without the inevitable environmental degradation to our fragile and priceless coastlines.
Yes, we can make a difference!