Check and fill your own tires. It's a personal responsibility. The places we buy fuel, a.k.a. "Service Stations," are nothing of the kind any more. Full service with a smile is a faded marketing myth. So, get an air pump or compressor and use it. You'll save money and live longer.
Why "Do It Yourself" Is The Best Solution
Ever notice how the air pump at a modern filling station is is located on the edge of the parking lot, instead of next to a building or service bay? As far from help as possible. If there even is a pump that works, odds are it's pole-mounted box on a greasy bit of pavement that no well-dressed person would want to kneel by.
No quarters in your pocket? Dressed up? Air pump doesn't seem to work today? Don't want to dirty your hands?These are common conditions for drivers.
Note to guilty self: 'my mechanic will probably check them...next time.'Your mechanic or car dealer check them once or twice a year. The punch list says they will. Is that enough? And, do they really check the tires? Answers: No and maybe.
Who Benefits From Under-Inflated Tires?
It could be a coincidence that running your tire at 80% of the recommended pressure (which is what you likely do) causes you to spend hundreds of dollars more for gas purchases every year, as Sustainable Design Update points out in Yes We Can - Inflate Our Tires Or not.
Don't, however, blame tire companies for benefiting from increased tire wear caused by under- or over-inflation. Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire has a tire safety website which clearly explains, in a manner comprehensible even to talk show hosts, how important optimum tire inflation is for personal safety and fuel efficiency.
Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure. Using the interactive tire pressure demo you can easily see how a tire can be as much as 50% under inflated before it is visibly noticeable. Not only are under inflated tires more prone to damage and failure, but they can lead to higher fuel costs by as much as 3 to 5¢ per gallon.Once you own or lease the tires: all the makers can do is offer you information. It's not their job to keep the tires properly filled.
Attention Voters: ask not what politicians and government can do for your tires! It's your job.
Tools For Pumping
In the manual equipment department - TreeHugger's first choice for new gadgets, always - there are several inexpensive models (under US$10.00) of foot-powered pumps that are easily stored in the trunk, or under the hatch. For a nice example, see the Campbell Hausfield model pictured above on Amazon here. This one could pay for itself in a year or two with the quarters saved; and, it would work for bicycles or air mattresses as well as your car. You don't need a separate pencil gage for it (that is sure to get lost in the glove box) and the work process is simplified: measure and pump in one step.
If you've got a sore back, sprained ankle, or wear high heels, get a battery powered, portable air compressor for general purpose inflation. The rechargeable ones with lead-acid gel batteries keep power longer. Many months instead of a few weeks.
Some battery models, like this one , also come with emergency lights. Another reason to keep a pump in the trunk.
Personal responsibility. We pump it up. Nothing wrong with that, eh Rush?
Inspiration credit::Rush Limbaugh, Obama Doubles Down on Tires, Sycophantic Drive-Bys Fall in Line
Image credit::Amazon, Campbell-Hausfeld Foot Pump
Lots More Pressure Points From TreeHugger
Proper Tire Pressure For Better Mileage
New Cars to Check Tire Pressure Automatically
McCain Blows Hot Air on Tire Inflation
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