A study conducted by Michelin has found Irish motorists could be needlessly wasting more than €18 million a year on fuel, and putting lives at risk, by driving on dangerously underinflated tyres, if figures from a UK-wide study were applied here.
After inspecting tens of thousands of cars over an eight-year period, the free Fill-Up-With-Air tyre check programme - extended to include events held in Galway, Naas, Dungarvan and Ballymena (where the company manufactures truck and bus tyres for the European and US markets ) - Michelin found that 62 per cent of cars checked had under inflated tyres, of which 37 per cent were ‘dangerously underinflated’ or ‘very dangerously’ underinflated. Some five per cent had a punctured tyre and one per cent had tread depths below the legal minimum.
Running on tyres underinflated by as little as seven psi can increase fuel consumption by about one litre every 833kms. Michelin estimates that at an average petrol/diesel fuel price of €1.37 per litre, this means that almost one third of all cars in Ireland could be consuming an additional €18 million a year on fuel needlessly.