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Saving Money ​On Tires​: How to Do It

On May 22, 2014, in Hybrid Tires, Saving Money, by allisonmreilly
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how to save money on tiresFor many managed fleets, tires represent about 20 percent of total expenses, putting them in the top three costs for operations and maintenance. For sanitation fleets, tires are the number one cost in operations and maintenance, costing the fleet more money than fuel. However, tracking the total cost of the tire from the beginning to the end of its life isn’t something that all managed fleets do, even though tracking the total cost will help many fleets save money on tires. Since saving money on tires can immensely help the bottom line of many managed fleets, here’s how to do it so that the fleet cuts its costs without sacrificing safety.

Invest in a Tire Management System

A tire management system can provide real time data about your fleet’s tires and alert drivers of any potential problems, such as a pending flat. Since the software measures tire pressure and tread depth, fleets can improve safety and fuel economy by catching these problems early. The system can also reduce maintenance costs by reducing the downtime of a particular vehicle. Topping off a vehicle costs less than replacing a blown out tire or assessing the tread depth of each tire manually. By taking the time to do smaller, preventative maintenance, fleets can also reduce their labor and tire replacement costs.

Although a tire management system can be done on paper, a manual system does not offer the same benefits as an online or computerized system. Not all commercial vehicles have tire pressure monitoring systems installed, so the driver has to remember to check the vehicle’s tire pressure and must remember to do so after the tires have cooled. Drivers should still continue to do this, but the information isn’t in real time. If a driver forgets, for whatever reason, then he/she may miss under-inflated tires that can lead to reduced fuel economy or to a safety hazard.

Make Tire Pressure the Number One Rule

Whether your tire management system is manual or on a computer, proper tire pressure should be the first thing in place for any management system. Proper tire pressure is much more than checking it routine, but a good tire management system should also include targeted pressures for the tires, designated periodic checks for proper tire pressure, and calibrated air gauges. Proper tire pressure cannot be assessed by sight or touch alone. A calibrated gauge needs to be used every time. A solid tire management system that emphasizes proper tire pressure can save a managed fleet thousands of dollars per month. It may take up to six months before the fleet sees the return on the investment, but it also takes only 30 to 60 days for a fleet to lose money on under-inflated tires because of the reduced fuel efficiency and the reduced tire life.

Consider Nitrogen Tire Inflation for Your Managed Fleet

While making tire pressure a top priority in your tire maintenance and management, consider the practice of nitrogen tire inflation. Nitrogen-inflated tires maintain proper tire pressure up to three times longer than an air-inflated tires. Tires inflated with regular air lose about 1.5 PSI per month, while nitrogen tires take about three months to lose the same amount of tire pressure. Managed fleets still need to check their tire pressure regularly with nitrogen tire inflation, but the practice will reduce the number of blowouts, flats and top offs while keeping fuel efficiency and tire life at their maximum. Much like tire management software, there is an initial investment needed when starting a nitrogen tire inflation program, but after a few months managed fleets will see a noticeable difference in the money saved on tires.

Overall, managed fleets need to view tires as an asset, not a commodity. If they are viewed as an asset, then the perspective shifts on how to get the most of the fleet’s tires and how to get the most out of that investment. The three strategies shared above will help your managed fleet save money on tires.

photo credit: psyberartist via photopin cc

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mixing air and nitrogenThis is the most common question we get in the nitrogen tire industry, and what we’ve seen in many online forums and websites is that many people answer this question by saying  you cannot put regular air into tires that have nitrogen.

This is not true.

It is FALSE that air cannot be used to top off a tire filled with nitrogen. It is simply not true that air and nitrogen cannot coexist inside a tire. There is no harm in topping off a nitrogen-filled tire with regular air.

Air Doesn’t Take Away All the Benefits of Nitrogen Tire Inflation

The main reason why people say air and nitrogen can’t be mixed is that air negates all of the benefits of the nitrogen inflation. This isn’t entirely true because a tire that’s 100 percent inflated with regular air isn’t the same thing as a tire that’s 80 percent inflated with nitrogen, 20 percent with regular air. Although neither tire has all the benefits of a 100 percent nitrogen tire, the 80/20 tires still retains some of the benefits and has fewer of the consequences of the 100 percent air tire. The 80/20 tire has less water vapor, so it is still less susceptible to the temperature changes that happen throughout the day (this doesn’t include the temperature changes that happen between driving and parking the car for a few hours). The 80/20 tire will also retain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, giving you an improved fuel efficiency and better traction with the road.

It’s Tough to Find Nitrogen Tire Inflation Services

We understand that topping off nitrogen tires with more nitrogen gas is difficult because nitrogen isn’t as accessible as regular air. Many auto repair shops sell nitrogen inflation as an add-on, and won’t offer it or advertise it as a stand-alone service. Also, some places that sell nitrogen tires do not sell nitrogen tire inflation services. For example, Costco inflates all new tires with nitrogen. It’s not an add-on, but a service that anyone who purchases a set of new tires receives. However, Costco doesn’t offer new or existing tire customers to option to convert or to top off their ties with nitrogen. But, don’t worry about topping off your nitrogen tires with air from time to time. With the nitrogen, you shouldn’t have to top them off as often as you would with a tire that 100 percent inflated with air.

No, Your Tires Won’t Explode

One of the most common myths about mixing air and nitrogen in your tires is that it’s dangerous and may lead to an explosion. Part of this crazy misconception is the myth that tires filled with regular air are an additional hazard in a fiery crash because the oxygen is fuel for the fire. We don’t know where this myth came from, but it’s not a “benefit” that’s touted by the nitrogen tire industry, and it’s certainly not a “benefit” we support here at Nitronomics.

NO ONE IN THE NITROGEN TIRE INFLATION INDUSTRY SUPPORTS THE IDEA THAT NITROGEN TIRES WILL HELP YOU IN A FIERY CRASH

Anyway, mixing air and nitrogen in  your tires isn’t dangerous. It doesn’t increase your chances for an explosion or a fiery crash.

You also don’t need to replace the green cap on your tires. The green cap comes with tires that are inflated with nitrogen when you purchase them, such as the tires you may get from Costco like we previously mentioned. It’s been suggested that the green cap needs to be replaced with a black cap because the tire is no longer 100 percent nitrogen, but it doesn’t have to be replace if you don’t want to change it or if you don’t have a black cap. The green cap is more for the seller than the consumer, so there’s nothing wrong with keeping the green cap.

photo credit: gever tulley via photopin cc

nitrogen tire inflation myths paper

 

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tire care tipsTires are a crucial part of vehicle maintenance, but often get the least attention. Everyone focuses on the engine while simply ensuring that the tires are inflated, or checking to see if they need to be rotated or changed entirely because the tread wear it too low. However, tires need much more attention than that. They can’t be treated like other parts of the car where you can simply replace them when they wear out. How should you treat your tires? Our article roundup regarding tire care and maintenance has everything you ought to know about giving your tires the care they need.

How Maximum Tire Pressure and Saving Gas are Related – Your tire pressure affects your gas mileage, and an over-inflated tire hurts your fuel efficiency (and your tire’s tread wear) as much as an under-inflated tire. Some have recommended that maximum tire pressure is what you need to have the best fuel efficiency and the safest ride, but this isn’t exactly the case. Proper tire pressure is not the same as maximum tire pressure.

3 Things You Need to Know About Buying New Tires – When purchasing a set a new tires for your car or managed fleet vehicles, there are three factors you need to consider: size, performance, and weight. Size is of particular importance, as a tire’s fit can be off by a few millimeters, and those few millimeters can mean that yours will lose its pressure much more quickly. Obviously, the tires needed for a tractor trailer aren’t the same as those needed for a two-door, but determining the right size for your car is much more complicated than that.

How Water Harms Your Tires – Water isn’t good for your tires. You don’t want to be driving with it sloshing around inside, which can happen if the air you use to inflate your tires has water vapor (which happens more often than not). Water can deteriorate the rubber of your tire, rust the axel, and cause your tire pressure to fluctuate more often as the water heats and cools as you drive. Removing the water vapor from the air when you inflate your tire, even if you do it yourself, is much harder than it sounds.

The Cost of Under-inflated Tires – Under-inflated tires hurt your fuel economy, your tires, and even your safety. Under-inflated tires also hurt because it can be hard to tell when your tires are under-inflated. You can’t always tell by looking at them, and if you’re using regular air, then your tire pressure is likely to go up or down, depending on when you measure it because the heat from driving will increase the pressure.

Guess What? Air Isn’t Free Anymore. Nitrogen Tires are a Better Deal – One of the arguments against nitrogen tire inflation is that air is free, so why pay the money? But, not everyone offers the service for free anymore, where it can cost up to $2 to use an air compressor. With this in mind, comparing nitrogen tire inflation and air tire inflation becomes a product/service comparison instead of a straight price comparison. Does a $2 charge mean you’re only getting $2 worth of tire inflation?

Prep Your Tires for Summer Travel Season – Winter may not be over yet for a few more weeks, but summer travel season (especially Memorial Day Weekend) is the weekend with the highest incidences of tire troubles. This includes blowouts, flat tires, and other scenarios that require the help of AAA. Stay safe as you use your long weekend for a quick vacation by prepping your tires for the road trip ahead.

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Car Repair: When to DIY and When to Go to a Mechanic

On October 24, 2013, in Guest Posts, Tire Care, by allisonmreilly
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DIY car repairA recent study by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) found that the trend of DIY car repair is shifting. Perhaps as people recover from the 2008 recession, they are going back to the old means of car repair: hiring a mechanic to do it for them. While DIY can save money, it isn’t always worth it and may be more expensive in the long run—especially if you don’t fix the right part (or don’t fix the part correctly) and then need to take your car to a professional anyway. Learn when to DIY and when to have someone DIFY when it comes to car repair.

DIY: From Beginner to Expert

As The Humble Mechanic notes, there are five variables to consider when deciding whether or not to make that car repair yourself:

  • Price – How much will the job cost to outsource, and how much will you save by doing it yourself? If you can purchase a part for $25 and save $50 on labor, that seems like a good deal. However, if a job takes you three times as long, you lose out in the end.
  • Passion – If you can take or leave car repair, leave it to the pros and spend that time doing something you love. But if you love tinkering, you might opt to challenge yourself with long repairs just because you love it, and that’s fine.
  • Time – It may make sense to pay for the repair if it will take you a long time to complete the job. For simple tasks with a low time frame, DIY makes sense.
  • Knowledge – There are many ways to get knowledge, so if all that’s holding you back is lack of knowledge, get to work. You can use print and online resources to boost your skills.
  • Tools – If you need special tools to complete the job, it’s generally worth it to pay the mechanic rather than invest in tools you may not use again.

With these tips in mind, evaluate the difficulty of your project and decide whether to DIY or call your go-to guy. AASA recommends that auto repair newbies begin with easy jobs like changing the antifreeze or replacing the car battery, and folks with some experience try mid-level tasks like installing brake pads and brake shoes. High skill-level projects like changing water pumps require expertise and special tools and aren’t usually good candidates for the average DIYer.

Tips for Dealing With Your Mechanic

Even if you decide to leave the job to your Savannah mechanic, you don’t have to trust every word he says. The AutoParts Warehouse app lets you check the price of car parts to ensure you’re not being overcharged for make/model replacements.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence enables you to search for qualified mechanics by zip code, and you can check the value of your old car with Kelley Blue Book. When your car’s maintenance costs outweigh its value, you can find used cars in Savannah by Drivetime dealer or zip code, for example. When you need a mechanic’s aid, these tools help ensure that you’re getting quality service for the price point and that the vehicle you’re driving is safe.

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nitrogen-filled tires safetyWhen we talk about safe driving, we often discuss things like distracted driving, wearing a seat belt, drinking and driving, and other aspects of driver behavior. However, an aspect of driver behavior that impacts safety, but is hardly ever talked about in this way, is tire maintenance. Flat tires and tire blowouts are unsafe situations for both you, and everyone else on the road, but it’s often not considered a part of ‘safe driving.’ We’re here to say that it is, and that the best thing to do about is it to have nitrogen-filled tires. Here is how nitrogen-filled tires improve safety:

Proper Tire Pressure for Longer Periods of Time

A recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that vehicles with tires underinflated by 25% or more were three times as likely to be involved in the crash linked to tire problems. The study also found that 66% of tire-related crashes involved passenger cars. This means that proper tire pressure is critical for safety, and nitrogen-filled tires have been found to maintain proper tire pressure for longer periods of time. On top of that, over half of all the vehicles on the road have at least one underinflated tire, so even if your tires are okay, many others on the road probably aren’t and could be putting you in jeopardy. So, with nitrogen tire inflation, you are not only doing your best to drive safely, but you are also doing something about the safety of others on.

Less Susceptibility to Temperature Changes

This is a point that nitrogen naysayers will argue that doesn’t apply to normal drivers. Just because you aren’t driving 300 miles an hour doesn’t mean that temperature changes don’t happen when you are driving. The temperatures do change, simply because driving around moves the tires and that movement heats them up. It happens with a lot of things that move, or when they move, as that’s how things work. However, air-filled tires are mores susceptible to that because of the moisture in the air.

This is especially crucial for long road trips in the summertime, when the tire will not only be hot for a long period of time, but everything outside of the tire will be hot as well. When tires are hot, say 120 degrees, and are that hot for a couple of hours (which they could be during a road trip or even a 3-hour drive), there is increased risk for a blowout. The moisture, and the oxygen, are much more reactive to temperature changes, therefore increasing the chances of hitting 120 degrees and being there for a longer period of time. Nitrogen-filled tires do not have this problem because they do not have moisture or oxygen.

Improved Road Handling

nitrogen-filled tires

Nitrogen-filled tires keep tires at correct inflation, which improves road handling.

When tires are at their proper tire pressure, when the tire pressure isn’t fluctuating with the temperature changes, then those tires handle the road better. This is because proper tire pressure keeps the tire wear even and maintains full tread contact with the road, as seen in the picture to the left. Obviously, the tire with the correct inflation is the safest, and looks most likely to handle a sudden swerve or slick  road conditions. The previously-mentioned study did find that underinflated tires were more likely to experience problems in bad weather.

If you want to be a safe driver, whether for yourself or for your family, then nitrogen-filled tires are the way to go. Behavior doesn’t mean as much if the vehicle you’re driving is not in the best and safest condition possible for the roadways and those with whom you share the road.

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nitrogen tire inflationEven with mass communication as powerful as the Internet, it’s still possible (and perhaps much easier than ever) to disseminate misinformation and untruths. The topic of nitrogen tire inflation is no exception to this, and we’re committed to busting myths and eliminating the untruths that circulate online, even if we have to bust certain myths more than once and really drive home a few key concepts. Here are some old, and new, untruths about nitrogen-filled tires, and what the truth really is.

If you have a nitrogen-filled tire that needs air and you top off with regular air, you’ve negated any of the benefits you had gained. (Because so few places have nitrogen equipment, you’ll often find yourself seeking out a regular air pump at a gas station.)

Absolutely not true. It’s not as if topping off an air-filled tire with nitrogen benefits your tire like a tire filled 100 percent with nitrogen. Granted, topping off a nitrogen-filled tire with air isn’t the best, but you don’t negate all the benefits. Just because it’s harder to top off with nitrogen doesn’t mean that nitrogen tire inflation isn’t worthwhile.

A while ago, I replaced the air in my tires with nitrogen at a cost of $20. Now I’ve noticed that I’m getting about 40 miles less per tank of gas. Can nitrogen cause a drop in gas mileage?

Anyone who says that with nitrogen tire inflation, you don’t have to worry about tire pressure ever again, is lying. Nitrogen tire inflation maintains proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, but it doesn’t keep your tires properly inflated forever. It’s not the nitrogen that ruins your gas mileage, its the underinflated tires. You still have to check them regularly, even if it’s just to make sure you don’t have a leak. As the myth says, tires that are underinflated will diminish your fuel efficiency.

The other argument for nitrogen over air is that oxygen within normal air causes ‘oxidation’ within the tire. However, I haven’t seen any concrete evidence as to what oxidation really is or why its such a bad thing.

Oxidation is the interaction between oxygen molecules and other elements. It’s what causes an apple to turn brown, unopened food to spoil after a long period of time on the shelf, metal to rust, and rubber (such as the rubber in tires) to deteriorate. If any of those examples don’t count as concrete evidence, than I don’t know what does. Just because we typically call it rust or rotting doesn’t mean that oxidation doesn’t exist or is some fancy scientific principle that’s too difficult for normal people to understand.

The advantage of nitrogen being more stable and less prone to changes in pressure due to heat in the tires seems of little benefit to average drivers.

Not true. Sure, normal drivers aren’t driving under the extreme conditions that NASCAR drivers and airplane pilots do. Both use nitrogen-filled tires on a regular basis, and are right to do so because there are much more extreme temperature changes than in daily life. However, just because the temperature changes aren’t extreme doesn’t mean that they don’t happen in daily life, and it doesn’t mean that those less extreme changes don’t make a difference in handling and tire pressure. Since nitrogen better handles these changes, it means that a driver will get more accurate readings of his/her tire pressure, and will less likely overinflate/underinflate their tires unnecessarily. More stability also means a safer tire, one that is less likely to suffer a blowout.

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The Cost of Underinflated Tires

On September 6, 2012, in Fuel Efficiency, Tire Care, by allisonmreilly
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underinflated tiresAccording to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, only one in six vehicles have four properly inflated tires. This means that over 80 percent of vehicles have at least one under-inflated tire, which can incur huge costs to gas and safety if left unattended.

What’s the Big Deal with Under-inflated Tires?

AAA estimates that 1.2 billion gallons of gas are wasted every year because of under-inflated tires. Those same under-inflated tires can cost the typical driver $600 a year in excess gas. It’s easy to argue that if you just watch your tire pressure and top them off every week, you shouldn’t have that problem. However, how many people are actually going to do that, especially when only 15% of drivers know how to check their tire pressure properly? Even if they were to adhere to that schedule, would they be able to do it in a way that actually eliminates that extra cost?

If people aren’t using a tire pressure gauge to check their tire pressure, then how are they doing it (if they are doing it at all)? Well, they could be going by appearance or by the warning light system on their dashboard. However, a tire can be up to 12 pounds low, or 40% low, before it shows any visible signs of being under-inflated. Also, the warning system doesn’t light up until your tires are 25% too low. That kind of under-inflation can cost a lot of money, as well as increase your risk for a car accident. Keep in mind that if your tire needs to be at 35 PSI, even 34 PSI is considered under-inflation and is already wasting gas and putting you at increased risk for a car accident.

Under-inflated Tires are a Huge Safety Problem

So, it’ll cost you in money and gas. Not a big deal if you have a lot of money. However, under-inflated tires are also a safety risk. The biggest safety risk is that driving on those under-inflated tires makes them bend more, increasing their internal heat. The hotter your tires are, the more flexible they become, putting them at increased risk for a blowout if you were to drive over a pothole or take a sharp turn. This increased flexibility also reduces traction, diminishing your vehicle’s handling, making it harder to keep in control in case you need to react quickly or in the case of an accident.

Every month, your tires will lose one to two pounds of pressure, so simply doing the regular maintenance every 3000 miles isn’t enough for tire maintenance and safety. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent this from happening.

How Do You Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated?

The best way to keep your tires at their proper tire pressure is with nitrogen tire inflation. Nitrogen tire inflation has been found to maintain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, which boosts fuel efficiency, tire safety, and tire life. Yes, tire life. The increased wear and tear and increased use of fuel is also hard on your tires, causing them to wear out 50% faster than properly inflated tires (and costing you an extra $150 a year). If interested implementing nitrogen tire inflation into your tire maintenance or managed fleet program, then contact us today.

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Can You Mix Air and Nitrogen in Tires?

On August 23, 2012, in Nitrogen Tire Inflation, Tire Care, by allisonmreilly
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nitrogen-filled tiresThis is a question that comes up a lot in the forums and on other blogs, and we’ve decided finally to answer it. Since nitrogen tires are the alternative to tires filled with air, is it okay to mix them? Would mixing them diminish the benefit of nitrogen, or not make any difference since air is still in the tires?

It IS okay to mix air and nitrogen, such as when you’re topping off your air-filled tires with nitrogen, or want to fill them with nitrogen without purging them of the air. The benefit isn’t as great as nitrogen-filled tires, but there is still benefit with a mix. The reason is that a mix still has less water vapor and oxygen than tires that are entirely filled with air, so the some of the downside of that type of tire is removed. The benefit of the mix would apply to all types of tires: motorcycle, bicycle, managed fleets etc.

The only way to retain that benefit, however, is to fill your tires with nitrogen from that point forward. You can’t have a mixture every now and then, but primarily use regular air. The retain that benefit, you must top off your tires with nitrogen every single time you do so, or eventually purge your tires of the air. Nitrogen tire inflation needs to be become a habit in order to see the benefit of them. Doing it one or two times, or topping them off that way every once in a while just won’t cut it.

So, the answer is, yes! You can mix air and nitrogen in tires. It’s fine to start out that way if you’re just getting into nitrogen tire inflation, but you’re really wasting the benefit behind nitrogen tires if you always have a mix and don’t eventually have nitrogen-filled tires.

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3 Things You Need to Know About Buying New Tires

On July 12, 2012, in Tire Care, by allisonmreilly
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buying new tiresIt’s inevitable that your tires will wear out after a few years of usage. Sooner or later, they will have to be replaced. The good news is that you have many options to choose from when it comes to buying new tires. You’ll have the opportunity to pick a set that’s best suited for your car. Of course, having many options can be confusing to the uninformed buyer. Better arm yourself with the following tips so that you’ll know exactly what to look for:

1) Size

Bigger vehicles need bigger tires. For example, compact cars have smaller tires than SUVs. This consideration is obvious and straightforward, but surprisingly, many people don’t get it right. They don’t give size much thought because they think it’s easy to determine. After all, just one look will tell you that a truck’s tire can’t fit on a two-seater sports car. However, a problem can arise when tires seem to fit, but actually don’t. A few millimeters off is not obvious to the naked eye, but it sure makes a difference in the car’s long-term performance. Precision is the key here.

Before buying a new set tires, check the specs of your car if you’re unsure about the exact size. You can usually find the information you need in the manual that came from the manufacturer. You can also look for the decal that has a listing of the tire specs on the glove box lid or on the door jamb.

If you don’t have the manual or the decal, you can refer to the sidewall of one of your current tires. You’ll see an alphanumeric code that begins with “P” running along its circumference. The three numbers following “P” indicate the tire’s width in millimeters. Next, you’ll see a slash, after which, you’ll see two more numbers that tell you the percentage of the tire’s height compared to its width. The next letter, “R,” identifies the radial construction. The two numbers after it represent the diameter of the rim in inches.

These numbers should be enough to tell you what size to get for your new set of tires. As a general rule, get tires with the same specs if your current tires have worked well for your car.

2) Weight

Two tires can look the same, but they may have different load-carrying capacities. Again, check your car’s specs to determine the maximum weight your tires should carry. The manual and the decal have that information.

The alphanumeric code on your tires has that, too. After the two numbers indicating the wheel diameter, you’ll see another pair of numbers. This corresponds to the load index of the tire. You can search for complete load index charts online to check the exact maximum weight that corresponds to your tire’s numbers, or you can go here. As a general rule, a high index means a high maximum load.

Take note that tires should not just support the car, but the passengers and cargo inside it. Thus, it’s not advisable to go for a new set of tires with a lower index than what your car is used to. It’s best to stick to the load index of your current tires.

You can also go higher if you know that your car will regularly carry a lot of people and/or stuff. Just make sure that the size and the other measurements match your car’s when you buy tires with a different load index.

3) Performance

Ultimately, your tires affect your car’s performance. It’s best to think about how you use your car when buying a new set of tires.

If you know you’ll be driving down some snowy streets, equip your car with all-season tires, or better yet, with specialized snow tires. Summer tires won’t be up for the job; don’t even try driving in winter with these on.

If you drive fast, choose tires with a high-speed rating. You can determine the rating by looking at the letter beside the load index in the alphanumeric code. The range is A to Z, with A being the lowest and Z the highest, but you’ll usually find a range that falls between Q to Z for most cars. Again, refer to charts that are searchable online, but for a quick reference, you can check this out.

Remember that these are just guidelines to help you get started on your search for a new set of tires. When in doubt, the best thing you can do is find a store that you trust. The salespeople will be more than happy to entertain any specific questions you may have about buying new tires.

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managed fleets nitrogen tire inflation

Managed fleets can really benefit from nitrogen tire inflation.

Managed fleets come in all sizes, and are found in a variety of industries, but do have at least one thing in common: they use a lot of fuel.  With gas prices on the rise, keeping control of those costs can be difficult. However, increasing a vehicle’s fuel economy by just 1 mile per gallon can save a 300-vehicle fleet over $50,000 in one year. Fleet managers can easily reign in fuel costs for their fleets and their companies by improving fuel efficiency.

One of the best ways to improve fuel efficiency is with nitrogen tire inflation because nitrogen in tires makes it easier to achieve the most important factor to improving fuel efficiency and increasing tire life: proper tire pressure. By itself, proper tire pressure increases fuel efficiency between three and six percent. If the vehicle already gets 34 miles to the gallon, then a three percent increase in fuel efficiency will achieve that 1 mile per gallon increase that needed to see savings. If the vehicle gets 25 miles to the gallon, then a four percent increase is what needed to achieve that one mile per gallon. Since nitrogen tire inflation maintains proper tire pressure for a longer period of time, those savings are more easily achieved and kept.

According to the Tire Retread Bureau, the biggest issues affecting the bottom line of fleet managers, after fuel costs, are tire maintenance/safety and replacement/tire wear. Nitrogen tire inflation targets those issues as well as the fuel economy because proper tire pressure increases tire life as well as the fuel economy. This leads to even more savings for managed fleets, as they can not only cut fuels costs but cut tire maintenance and replacement costs as well. According to the Technology & Maintenance Council, 10 percent under inflation will shorten tread life anywhere between nine and 16 percent. Under inflation shortens tread life because driving on these tires causes sidewall flexing, which creates irregular tire wear and extra heat build-up within the tire, reducing retreadability and safety while using more energy and fuel. With an average tire press of $250, under inflation will cost a managed fleet an extra $25 per tire. Proper tire pressure with nitrogen tire inflation will reduce those maintenance costs while making the vehicles safer for your drivers.

Nitrogen tire inflation is a win-win for managed fleets both large and small, and in all sorts of industries. It’s been used by the airline industry, NASCAR, and the military for years, so nitrogen must be doing something right for them. If improving fuel economy or cutting operational costs are what you’re after as a fleet manager, then why not see if nitrogen tire inflation can do something right for your managed fleet?

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