The current national average for gas prices is $3.83 per gallon. That’s three cents up from last week, and 30 cents higher than a month ago. It may be time to make a gas buddy by taking a few moments only to find the cheapest gas in your area. Or simply drive less and ride your bike, or walk more. There are plenty of ways to save money on gas, so if you haven’t started thinking of ways to save yet, now would be the time to start.

Now, one way to save gas money is to make our vehicles more efficient. I don’t mean turning them into hybrids. I mean simply maintaining your vehicle, or doing a few small things just a little bit differently. So, what can be done to make your car more of a penny saver instead of a penny pincher?

An informal study from Carnegie Mellon University found that the average person who drives 12,000 miles yearly on under-inflated tires uses about 144 extra gallons of gas, at a cost of $300-$500 a year. Keeping those tires properly inflated would save a few hundred dollars, which the average consumer could easily use in today’s economy. A better way to keep tires properly inflated longer is with nitrogen tire inflation. Keep in mind that regularly inflating your tire with nitrogen doesn’t replace the importance of checking your tire pressure regularly.

Inflating your tire with nitrogen also increases the life of your tire and your car. Nitrogen is a dry, non-corrosive gas and will reduce oxidation and rust due to the absence of oxygen and moisture. This will help minimize wheel corrosion to promote better bead sealing. Nitrogen tire inflation has routinely been used by airlines and racing vehicles, but the practice could prove beneficial for drivers who drive infrequently (car collectors, track drivers, snow tire users, motor home owners, etc).

The best thing about nitrogen tire inflation is that you don’t need to remove the air from you tires to make the switch. Why wait for your tires to lose pressure and risk something happening, when you can start saving money today?

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