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Cold Weather Costs Brits $4.3 Million In Fuel Every Day


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LONDON - January 10, 2008: Winter weather and rising fuel costs mean that British motorists are wasting £2.2 million* ($4.3 million) on fuel each day, simply because they haven’t checked their tyre pressures as temperatures drop.

The problem is made worse in winter because of cold weather, as the average tyre loses roughly 1psi of pressure for every 10 degree drop in temperature**.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Recent studies by Cooper Tire Europe revealed that fewer than five percent of vehicles are running on correct tyre pressures. Alarmingly, incorrect tyre inflation will increase stopping distances in an emergency, and raise fuel consumption by at least 2.5 percent. And, with UK motorists spending £34 billion on fuel in the last 12 months***, that adds up to a whopping £807 million of wasted cash.

The news comes as the Government’s revenue from fuel duty continues to rise, as the price of crude oil soars through the $100-a-barrel mark and the £5 gallon of petrol hovers into view.

Cooper Tire recommends motorists check their tyre pressures at least once a month, or every time they fill up at the garage. To increase safety in the colder months, drivers should also consider fitting winter tyres, such as the Cooper Weathermaster Snow to passenger cars or the Discoverer M+S Sport to 4x4s until the temperature rises again in the spring.

Checks carried out by trained technicians at Cooper Tire fitment centres across the UK found that the average car tyre was already underinflated by 10 percent of the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

With the research also showing that a worrying two in five drivers couldn’t remember when they last took time to check their tyre pressures, many motorists could be driving around on rubber that has become severely underinflated, affecting tyre performance, tread life and fuel efficiency.

Winter weather and rising fuel costs mean that British motorists are wasting £2.2 million* on fuel each day, simply because they haven’t checked their tyre pressures as temperatures drop.

The problem is made worse in winter because of cold weather, as the average tyre loses roughly 1psi of pressure for every 10 degree drop in temperature**.

Recent studies by Cooper Tire Europe revealed that fewer than five percent of vehicles are running on correct tyre pressures. Alarmingly, incorrect tyre inflation will increase stopping distances in an emergency, and raise fuel consumption by at least 2.5 percent. And, with UK motorists spending £34 billion on fuel in the last 12 months***, that adds up to a whopping £807 million of wasted cash.

The news comes as the Government’s revenue from fuel duty continues to rise, as the price of crude oil soars through the $100-a-barrel mark and the £5 gallon of petrol hovers into view.

Cooper Tire recommends motorists check their tyre pressures at least once a month, or every time they fill up at the garage. To increase safety in the colder months, drivers should also consider fitting winter tyres, such as the Cooper Weathermaster Snow to passenger cars or the Discoverer M+S Sport to 4x4s until the temperature rises again in the spring.

Checks carried out by trained technicians at Cooper Tire fitment centres across the UK found that the average car tyre was already underinflated by 10 percent of the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

With the research also showing that a worrying two in five drivers couldn’t remember when they last took time to check their tyre pressures, many motorists could be driving around on rubber that has become severely underinflated, affecting tyre performance, tread life and fuel efficiency.

* - £2.2 million is based on the fact that £34 billion is spent on vehicle fuel (excluding haulage) fuel per year and 95% of cars on the road are on underinflated tyres

** - Gay Lussacís law of gases states that the pressure of a fixed amount of gas at fixed volume is directly proportional to its temperature. In other words, if the temperature drops then the pressure drops as well. Figure of 1psi per 10 degrees taken from: http://www.cars.com/go/about/us.jsp?section=P&content=rel&date=20041118

*** - Figure from the UKís leading source of petrol forecourt information Catalist, an Experian company