Get road ready before christmas

In the flurry of last minute present shopping, cooking and holiday planning the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is encouraging motorists to take a few minutes to check their car is ready for the road.

EECA General Manager Transport Liz Yeaman says a car’s four tyres are the only things between the car and the road. “When tyre tread is low, a car’s ability to stop quickly when braking is severely compromised. And if the tyre pressure hasn’t been checked in a while, it will be lower than it should be – increasing the fuel consumption and making steering and braking less effective. The same goes for trailers and caravans.”

Ms Yeaman says that motorists can save as much as 15 cents per litre by keeping tyres pumped to the correct pressure and having ENERGYWISE-approved tyres fitted to the car. “Not only will you be safer on the road, you will save money on fuel too.”

“Checking tyre pressure is a really easy thing to do yourself when you’re filling up with petrol for the summer road trip. If your car is loaded up with people, presents, luggage, or camping gear, it needs help to carry it all safely. That extra energy will come from the fuel tank, but you can reduce the additional fuel required by putting extra air into the tyres.”

“As a rule of thumb, setting the pressure to 4 psi more than usual will be sufficient for the extra load,” Ms Yeaman said. If motorists don’t know the correct tyre pressure for their car, they can find it at

“Motorists can easily check their tyre tread using a 20 cent coin - insert the coin into one of the tyre grooves that’s near the middle of the tyre. The base of the number 20 is approximately 2mm from the edge of the coin, so if the whole number is visible, the tread is too low and it’s time to replace your tyres.  Or take a few minutes out and get your local garage or tyre shop to check your tyres for you.”

“If you need new tyres, get them before you go on the road this summer.  ENERGYWISE-approved tyres meet standards for both fuel efficiency and safety (braking in the wet).”

Motorists can find the ENERGYWISE-approved tyres available for their car at

Media enquiries:

Rachel Dahlberg, Senior Communications Advisor, EECA

Phone: 04 470 2218 or 027 836 5765