August 8, 2008 / 8:30 PM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX: Government backs Obama call to inflate tires

(Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain has criticized his Democratic challenger, Barack Obama, for advising people to make sure their car tires are properly inflated to help reduce gasoline use.

The Alliance to Save Energy, a non-profit group that promotes energy efficiency, estimates that keeping tires inflated correctly improves gasoline mileage by about 3 percent and saves 20 gallons of fuel a year with the average car.

Several agencies have posted their recommendations on their Web sites.

Energy Department’s Clean Cities Program:

“Under-inflated tires require more energy to roll and, consequently, more fuel is consumed. If you keep your tires inflated properly, you can improve your fuel economy by as much as 2.5%.The recommended tire pressure can be found in your owner’s manual or on a sticker on the doorjamb of your car, not on the tire itself. Buy a tire-pressure gauge and check your tires monthly.”

Energy Department Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center:

“Proper tire inflation also plays a large role in keeping vehicles fuel efficient. For example, a vehicle with a recommended pressure of 35 psi whose tires are at 28 psi will have increased its rolling resistance by 12.5%.”

Transportation Department’s Federal Highway Administration:

“Keeping your car in top running condition saves money and means less traffic congestion due to breakdowns. Plus, keeping tires properly inflated can increase gas mileage.”

Environmental Protection Agency:

“To save gasoline and money during those long vacation trips, keep your car tuned, your tires properly inflated, and drive carefully.”

Environmental Protection Agency:

“You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires.

Reporting by Tom Doggett

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