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Check your tyre pressure to reduce your fuel costs

15 December 2011

Did you know that you can save up to 16 cents a litre on your fuel bill just by keeping your tyres inflated to the correct tyre pressure? Although it is easy to do, recent research shows that many people don't bother to do it, or don't know how to do it.

A 2011 Automobile Association (AA) Research Foundation survey supported by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) found that nearly half of drivers had not checked their tyre pressure in the last month. 

EECA Transport Partnerships Manager Liz Yeaman says: "The research showed that women in particular were much less likely to have checked their tyre pressure than men, with many of them preferring to leave it to their partners to do - however the research indicated that partners often can't be bothered doing it!"

EECA wants motorists to regularly check their tyre pressure, in order to save fuel and be safer on the road. A test by the AA found that a car with all four tyres under-inflated by 7psi (48.3 kilopascals) used 8% more fuel. At current prices, that's the same as spending an extra 16 cents per litre of petrol.

To raise awareness about maintaining tyre pressure Jared Turner, the front person for the Energy Spot ads, will join EECA staff at a special breakfast event at a service station in Auckland tomorrow.  Free cupcakes and coffee will be on offer to those who check their tyres during the promotion, which aims to encourage women in particular to get into the habit of checking tyre pressure.

"We want to overcome lack of knowledge and any other barriers that might stop people keeping their tyres properly inflated," Liz Yeaman said.

"Under-inflated tyres increase fuel consumption, increase tyre wear and reduce safety by affecting cornering, braking and water dispersion.  Over-inflated tyres should also be avoided as they wear unevenly, have less grip on the road and can affect braking ability."

Ms Yeaman says with the Christmas holidays just around the corner and the road toll about to become a national focus it is a good time to remind people about fuel efficient and safe driving.

"We are encouraging all drivers to change some of their basic driving habits to cut fuel consumption, improve safety and save money."

 Five facts about tyre pressure

  • Experts recommend checking your tyre pressure at least once a month. Remember to check the spare as well.


  • The proper tyre pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a label affixed to your car.


  • Most vehicles, especially Japanese vehicles, place tyre pressure labels on the driver's door or door pillar.  Other places to look include under the bonnet or the back of the fuel filler door.


  • Tyres heat up when driving, so check your tyre pressure when tyres are cold - ideally before driving to get accurate readings.


  • If you buy a quality pressure gauge, you can accurately test your own tyres anytime.                                        


>> Visit our Energy Spot pages for more tips on fuel efficient driving

>> View Liz Yeaman talking about fuel efficient driving on TVNZ Breakfast


Media enquiries: 

Jane O'Loughlin

Team Leader Communications

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

M: 027 445 5975


Graham McKerracher

EECA Senior Communications Advisor 

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

DDI: 04 470 2220 or M: 027 499 6703