Are you running the correct tyre pressure in your car? Irish motorists could be wasting over €18 million a year on fuel and putting lives at risk by driving on dangerously under-inflated tyres, if figures drawn from a UK-wide study conducted by Michelin were applied here. After inspecting tens of thousands of cars over an eight-year period, the free Fill-Up-With-Air tyre check programme – extended to include events held in Galway, Naas, Dungarvan and Ballymena (where the company manufactures truck and bus tyres for the European and US markets) – Michelin found that 62% of cars checked had under-inflated tyres of which 37% were ‘dangerously under-inflated’ or ‘very dangerously’ under-inflated.
Some 5% had a punctured tyre and one per cent had tread depths below the legal minimum. Running on tyres under-inflated by as little as 7psi can increase fuel consumption by about 1 litre every 833kms. At an average petrol/diesel fuel price of €1.37 per litre, this means that almost one third of all cars in Ireland could be consuming an additional €18 million a year on fuel needlessly, Michelin estimates.