New Calif. Rule to Require Tire Pressure Checks

On March 26, the Air Resources Board adopted a regulation that will require California's automotive maintenance shops to check the tire pressure of every vehicle they service.

Effective July 1, 2010, this rule, one of 44 early action measures required by AB 32 (The Global Warming Solutions Act), will annually:

  • Eliminate 700,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Reduce the state's fuel consumption by 75 million gallons; and,
  • Extend the average tire's useful life by 4,700 miles.

"Checking tire pressure is one of the many simple things that we can all do to reduce our impact on the environment," said ARB board member Barbara Riordan. "While we should do this monthly, this measure makes it convenient and regular."

The 40,000 service providers subject to the regulation include smog check stations, engine repair facilities, and oil service providers. Those not included are car wash, body and paint, and glass repair businesses.

"Under-inflated tires waste fuel, cause tires to wear out prematurely, and increase drivers' safety risk," said Dan Zielinski, senior vice president with the Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire manufacturers. "This regulation will help protect California's environment, help consumers save money in fuel and tire costs, and help Californians optimize vehicle safety."

The cost of implementing the regulation balanced with the benefits from the measures will save the average Californian $12 per year. About 38 percent of vehicles on the road in California today have severely under-inflated tires, six pounds under manufacturer's recommendations.

The board also recently proposed a Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a regulation curbing greenhouse gas emissions from all of the state's transportation fuels.

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