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With one petrol price increase after another, it’s turning out to be a bleak winter. The knock-on effect of these increases means the price of just about everything goes up, so it’s not surprising that the fuel price is the subject of dinner conversation, social media discussion and a source of general misery for South Africans. However, Tiger Wheel & Tyre reminds us that while we’re powerless to affect the fuel price, we do have some control when it comes to lowering our fuel consumption.

According to Tiger Wheel & Tyre something as simple as ensuring your car’s tyres are pumped to the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure, for the loads you routinely carry, can impact your fuel consumption. How so? It’s all about the rolling resistance of the tyres. Underinflated tyres don’t roll as easily as properly inflated tyres do, and the more your tyres have to ‘fight’ the road surface, the more fuel your vehicle consumes.

According to the US Department of Energy, for every half a bar drop in tyre pressure, your fuel consumption increases by 2.8 percent. That may not sound like a great deal, but for every R1000 spent on petrol, that’s a R28 saving, and it adds up over time! So, give yourself a salary increase and inflate your tyres.

Another pro tip from Tiger Wheel & Tyre is to check tyre pressure when tyres are cold. Warm tyres will give an inaccurate reading, so check them first thing in the morning and preferably before you’ve driven more than two kilometres. Also, remember to inflate according to your vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines, which you’ll find in the owner’s manual or on the inside of the driver’s door, and not according to the pressure printed on the sidewall. The latter indicates the maximum pressure under maximum load for that tyre, whereas the manufacturer’s guidelines are fine-tuned to your particular vehicle.

Finally, your vehicle’s wheel alignment also affects the rolling resistance of tyres, and therefore fuel consumption. Be sure to have your alignment checked every 10 000 km and after every bone-jarring hit on a pavement or pothole.

Remember that proper tyre care and maintenance will do more than just increase fuel consumption, it will improve your safety on the road and increase the life of your tyres, saving you even more money in the long run.

Get more expert advice from the tyre professionals at your local Tiger Wheel & Tyre and visit www.twt.to for top tips, tyre news, and to shop online. Online shoppers also have the exclusive option to “Book A Bay” online, to have their newly purchased products fitted and services performed at the time and store of their choosing.

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