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Canadian drivers lack knowledge about tire inflation

Dealers may need to educate customers about the importance of proper tire inflation this Spring as Canadian drivers are expected to waste approximately 500 million litres of fuel in 2018 due to under inflated tires.

The data, based on a tire maintenance attitudinal survey conducted by Leger on behalf of the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, serves as a wake-up call for drivers and a potential marketing opportunity for dealers to connect with their customers about the issue.

According to Glenn Maidment, president of the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC), even though Canadian drivers understand the benefits of proper tire inflation, the survey reveals an "urgent requirement for broader driver knowledge and education on tire inflation facts and procedures."

"The need is particularly acute among younger drivers who are significantly less likely to know inflation pressures should be measured monthly and when tires are cold," said Maidment. "Learning a few simple facts and procedures advances safety, maximizes fuel efficiency and protects the environment."

According to the research, a mere 30 per cent of Canadian drivers measure their tires' inflation pressures on a monthly basis, which is considered to be a practice that is essential to fuel economy, road safety and protecting the environment. The survey also reveals that:

  • 65 per cent of drivers are unaware that inflation pressures should only be measured when tires are cold.
  • 37 per cent refer to the air pressure stamped on the tire's sidewall when identifying the correct pressure for their tires.
  • 22 per cent of drivers rely on visual inspections to help determine if their tires are inflated properly.
  • 61 per cent use a personal air pressure gauge when measuring tire pressures.
  • 86 per cent of drivers have reportedly rotated their tires in the past year, and 66 per cent had their vehicle's tire alignment checked in the past 12 months.
  • 81 per cent are unfamiliar with low rolling resistance (LRR) tires.

Proper tire inflation and pressure can help drivers improve their gas mileage by 0.6 per cent on average or up to three per cent, depending on the situation. But "under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2 per cent for every one psi drop in the average pressure of all tires," according to a news release.