Effects of Tire Pressure on Tire Inflation

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Jasmine Saunders, Ian McKenzie & Alicia Smith

Despite concerns that global warming is a result of green house gasses emitted through burning fossil fuels, it is still prominently used for energy (Bent, Orr, & Baker, 2002). The energy harnessed from burning fossil fuels is used to do such things as produce electricity, power vehicles, heat homes and cook food. Oil is the most widely used fossil fuel and also the most widely consumed fuel (over nuclear and renewable) globally with a usage of 38% (Enzler, 2010). As oil resources depletes the prices rise and become more of a financial strain on every economy. The price of gasoline/ petrol, a product of crude oil used to power many vehicles is gradually rising. Gasoline prices in the Bahamas have risen to an average of $5.20 per gallon from $4.2 in 2005 (Turnquest, 2005). While the price of fuel (gasoline/diesel) is not in the average man’s jurisdiction to change, the use and wastage of it is.

Although fuel plays a mojor rolle in powering vehicles to move a vehicle’s tires play an even more integral role in the overall performance of the vehicle, as it dictates its handling, traction, ride, comfort and fuel consumption; as it is the main component that interacts with the surface being driven on (Rezna, 2008). Thus if the condition of the tires is improper the performance of the vehicle will be affected. One negative tire condition that can occur is low tire pressure/ under inflation. According to the Webster’s dictionary, under inflation is the insufficient presence of air pressure in a tire for the amount of load carried and vice versa for over inflation. This paper will examine the causes of reduced tire pressure, the tire pressure in places abroad, effects of under and over inflated tires, and tire pressure as it relates to furl consumption. To begin with, tire pressure is a measure of the amount of air in a vehicle's tires, in pounds per square inch (psi) (Car Talk Service Advice: Tire Pressure, 2005). There is no standard psi for all tires however tires are marked with a recommended psi that should be adhered to for optimum performance in vehicles. Under inflation of tires can be cause by various factors such as natural causes and the negligence of drivers. Due to temperature and natural cause variation about 1 pound per square inch of pressure to 1° degree Fahrenheit is lost every month (NHTSA, Tire Pressure Monitoring Final Part 3). This loss of pressure is known as natural leakage. Therefore, as the temperature of the climate or air changes, the pressure in the tire will change. Hence, under inflation of the tire will be increased. According to data from the tire industry, 85 percent of all tire air pressure losses are the result of slow leaks that occur over a period of hours, days, or months. Only 15 percent are rapid air losses caused by contact with a road hazard (Source???). An example of the natural hazards that can be present that contribute to under inflation may be a nail present in the road that may puncture the tire (source if any). Additionally, due to the negligence of passengers to frequently check their tires under inflation can be an effect. As passengers frequently check their tire’s pressure they can decrease the rate at which the natural leakage of their tire’s air occurs. Moreover, A survey done by NASS-CDS crash investigators, in February 2001 identified that 39% of passenger cars and 46% of passenger trucks had at least one tire pressure that was 6psi or more below placard (recommended/labeled) pressure. In other words a considerable amount of passenger cars and almost half the passenger trucks tested were underinflated. The amount of cars surveyed and tested at this time was 5,967 passenger cars and 3,950 light trucks for a total of 9,917 vehicles across a total of 336 gas stations in the United States of America (National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System, 2001). The below chart is a data collected from the NASS-CDS...
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