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Categorized | Auto Life

Green your car from top to tires

(ARA) – “Green” is in, and everyone’s jumping on the environmental bandwagon. But if you don’t drive a hybrid, how can you make your car more environmentally friendly? Try looking at where the rubber meets the road: your tires.

Admittedly, tires aren’t the sexiest things, but recent technological advances have made them easier on the planet.

The dB Super E-spec tires from Yokohama Tire Corporation are made with orange oil, which replaces much of the normally-used petroleum. This new tire represents one of the biggest breakthroughs in tire making since the more than century-old discovery of vulcanized rubber. It certainly gives new meaning to the common auto phrase, “peel out.”

“We’re trying to help save the planet, one orange oil tire at time,” says Yokohama’s Mark Chung. “Essentially, the Super E-spec blends renewable natural rubber with the orange oil extracted from peels at juicing plants. This combo makes the tire 80 percent petroleum free, which is great for the environment.

“Folks can also save cash at the gas pump because the orange oil tires are lighter and more fuel efficient. Every gallon of gas saved by the Super E-spec means 20 fewer pounds of CO2 released into the atmosphere,” says Chung.

Another way fuel efficiency is achieved is through proper tire inflation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 37 million cars and 29 million trucks have underinflated tires. A motorist, according to AAA, who drives an average of 12,000 miles annually on tires that are underinflated by five to eight psi (pounds per square inch) is wasting up to 50 gallons of gasoline, equating to $141.50 (at $2.83 a gallon) a year. That’s more than half the cost of a week’s worth of groceries ($226) for a family of four, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If there are two drivers in the family, that total comes to $283, well over a week’s worth of food for the family.

Chung offers additional earth-friendly tips:

  • Once a month, check tire inflation when the tires are cold (at least three to four hours after the vehicle has been driven) check tire pressure with a reliable tire gauge. Be sure that the valve stems have a plastic or metal cap to keep dirt out and seal against leakage.
  • Tires should be rotated at least every 6,000 to 8,000 miles and the alignment should be checked once a year. Misaligned tires can cause the car to scrub, which lowers mileage and causes unnecessary tire wear.
  • An overinflated tire changes and increases wear on the center of the tread. A tire is designed to run with the vehicle’s weight spread correctly in the road contact zone.
  • Replace your air filter. A clogged air filter blocks the air needed to burn fuel efficiently which wastes gas.
  • Keep your car tuned up according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and you’ll keep all systems in good working order, which can optimize your mileage.
  • Slow down. For every five miles per hour you go above 60 mph, you’re lowering your gas mileage and, ultimately, paying even more for each gallon of gas.

For additional tire care and safety tips, visit www.yokohamatire.com or www.rma.org.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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