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Free Air Saves Fuel

Media Release

Monday 26th September 2005

Free Air Saves Fuel

Under-inflated tyres are costing New Zealand motorists thousands of dollars every week in wasted fuel. A survey of tyres taken a few years ago showed that about 57 percent of New Zealand passenger cars were running on under-inflated tyres.

“Under inflated tyres provide significant extra drag on the car,” says Andrew Wellgreen, Beaurepaires marketing manager.

Every 10 percent under the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure costs about 2.5 percent in extra fuel consumption.

“We know from surveys that very few people regularly check that their tyres are at the correct pressure. A few minutes once a month spent checking the tyre pressures can save significant dollars at the pump.

“And the air is free!”

“A study undertaken in New Zealand a few years ago showed that 57 percent of vehicles surveyed had under inflated tyres. That is almost twice the figure for the United States where a 1995 study by the United States Energy Department indicated that under inflated tyres WASTED 40 million litres of fuel a day,” he said.

“Motorists have several ways to reduce fuel consumption – reducing speed and correctly inflated tyres are two steps that cost nothing and can make a tank of fuel stretch much further.

“All our Beaurepaires store have properly calibrated pressure gauges and can check the correct pressures for your car for free.”

An added bonus of correct tyre pressures is extending the life of the tyre. “As a rule of thumb tyre tread life is cut by 15 percent for every 10 percent under inflation. The air is free, the service is free, it makes no sense not to use it.”

Wheel alignment presents another savings opportunity.

“Poor wheel alignment significantly increases drag and can affect fuel consumption by up to 10 percent depending on the extent of the problem.

“This usually shows up in uneven wear on the tyres because one side gets scuffed off but drivers will feel the vehicle pulling to one side.

“A car wheel alignment only costs $69 but motorists quickly recover that through extending the life of their tyres and reducing their fuel consumption,” he said.

“A few minutes every couple of weeks can provide big benefits to car owners.”


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