The $7.6 Billion dollar tire inflation gauge: Inflate your tires to save money and the environment

Imagine you found a way to fairly effortlessly save $7.6 Billion every year, and reduce 52 billion lbs of CO2. You would be pretty happy right?

Well this is what I stumbled upon this morning.

I’ll admit to not being so religious about car maintenance, but this morning I was motivated enough to try out a handy little Brookstone Digital tire gauge that I received as a stocking stuffer last year. (MSRP $20). I tested the tires on the ’99 Subaru Outback I share with my girlfriend, and was fairly shocked.

Our tires, despite looking perfectly normal, are over 8 PSI under-inflated! Using some data from the EPA, I did some calculations showing that if we were better about keeping our tires properly inflated, we could save 266 lbs of CO2, 14 gallons of gasoline, and about $35 each year. All this for about 2 minutes once a month.

As if this wasn’t enough, I extrapolated to the number of US cars (220 Million), and came up with the $7B, 52 billion lbs of CO2 number. The impact is tremendous, both in terms of climate change and money saved.

I’ve posted the excel sheet I used to do my calculations. You can download it here. Feel free to share it with friends.

You may be surprised that a little tire maintenance will easily pay back your investment in a nice tire gauge in one year, and save you money going forward.

Of course awareness and motivation is part of the problem. In 2008, passenger cars will be mandated to have low tire pressure warning lights. In the meantime, dust off that gauge and get to checking!

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tom