Posted by: safedriver | February 6, 2012

Inflation costs us more than we think

Inflation; it’s everywhere. As we continue to trudge through our lives we continue to notice the high price of fuel, increases in food prices and the cost of living increases each year. We can’t seem to avoid the high cost of inflation no matter what we do. This was also true when I went to the service centre to add air to my tires. The cost of putting air into the tires has also gone up in price. Cost? Do you remember when air was free? We breathe it, but have to pay for it for our vehicles? Really?

I remember as a kid going to the gas station and using the air pump to put air in the tires of my bike. It felt much better with proper inflated bicycle tires. It was easier to ride my bike faster and smoother with solid tires. Guess what? Your vehicle has the same benefits. You’ll have better fuel economy with properly inflated tires and more even tire wear. A soft tire can lead to quicker tire wear on the outsides of the tire, thus leaving the needed tread only in the centre of your tire. This will cause you to need tires sooner than you should. A properly inflated tire will have a balanced wear pattern across the entire face of the tire.

Now the tough part; paying for air. Doesn’t it seem odd that we have to pay for something that’s free within our atmosphere? Luckily, my neighbour has an air compressor and we can now top off the tire pressure easily from our homes. Trying to put air in all four tires with the amount of time the air compressor from the gas station gives you means you’re going to have to hustle. I’ll take the valve stem covers off each wheel before I start. This makes it quicker to fill up each tire quickly.

In the cold weather, the tires will tend to lose air pressure more easily compared to warmer weather. For that reason, use a tire pressure gauge weekly to measure the pressure. Check the tire pressure on a cold tire, not after you’ve driven the vehicle all day. That will give you more of a true reading. Check the inside of the door jam or the owner’s manual for the actual rating your tires. The sidewall rating is only the maximum the tires could have. It’s not necessarily good for your tires.

If you look after your tires on a regular basis, it can actually save you money in the long run. Your tires will have more of an even wear pattern; thus meaning your tires can last longer. With better inflated tires, you’ll have better fuel economy. Since we now have to pay for air, let’s learn to save money with our tires in other ways.

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Responses

  1. Because garages and gas stations charge for air, I decided when I bought my new winter tires, to put nitrogen in. The benefit of nitrogen is the molecules are bigger. This makes it harder to escape compared to air. My dilemma now is, when i need to inflate a tire, I have no choice but to go to my friendly, neighbourhood “stealership”… instead of using the air compressor I have in my garage…

    • why would you put nitro in your tires? might as well bought the air

      • Nitrogen is believed by some to last longer in the tires than air. That would reduce the chances of your tires losing inflation quicker than tires filled with air. The downside is cost. The cost of re-filling the tires with nitrogen is far higher than filling with air. You would still have the same problem as an air filled tire if you ran over an object and had a tire puncture.

  2. Along with the larger molecular structure, N2 filled tires also run cooler than atmospheric air, thus reducing the breakdown of the rubber under heat. An added bonus is oxidization of the interior of your rim is reduced as nitrogen is inert.


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