Published on May 12, 2014

Canadians lagging on tire maintenance — RAC survey

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (May 12, 2014) — Nearly 70 percent of Canadian motorists do not check their tire pressures regularly, according to a survey commissioned by the Rubber Association of Canada.

This revelation and others prompted RAC President Glenn Maidment to say, “These findings should be a wake-up call to Canadian motorists.”

The RAC released the survey results May 12 to kick off its annual “Be Tire Smart Week,” which focuses on educating the public about the necessity of proper tire care.

Ninety-six percent of the 1,002 Canadian motorists surveyed said that proper tire inflation was important, but 69 percent said they did not check their tire pressures monthly, the survey demonstrated.

Of that 69 percent, 31 percent believed they needed to check tire pressures only when the tire appears underinflated, and 23 percent said they believed the tire pressure monitoring systems on their cars made tire pressure checks unnecessary, the RAC said, noting that many TPM systems do not alert the driver until the tire pressure is significantly outside the optimal range.

Forty-five percent did not know they would find the proper tire pressures for their cars on the vehicle placards, and 65 percent said they were unaware that they should only check tire pressures when their tires are cold. Thirty-one percent thought the tire pressure molded on the sidewall was the recommended pressure, rather than the maximum pressure.

On the positive side, 69 percent of those surveyed had personal tire pressure gauges,the RAC said, while 78 percent had their tires rotated in the past year, and 56 percent had their wheels aligned in the past year.

“These findings should be a wake-up call to Canadian motorists,” RAC President Glenn Maidment said. “Drivers can guarantee optimal tire performance, lower their fuel bills and protect the environment simply by learning a few tire inflation facts.”

The poll also found that, despite today's high fuel prices, 81 per cent of Canadian drivers are unfamiliar with low rolling-resistance tires. These advanced technology tires, which are designed and constructed for fuel efficiency, can offer savings at the pumps because they roll more smoothly and thereby require less energy to push them down the road, the RAC said.

Tire makers report that low rolling-resistance tires can cut fuel costs by as much as 4.5 percent, potentially saving the average motorist hundreds of dollars over the life of the tires.

Six out of 10 of those polled expressed interest in acquiring low rolling-resistance tires. Of these, 92 percent said they were motivated by improved fuel economy and 44 percent wanted to protect the environment through lower vehicle emissions.

Canada's “Be Tire Smart Week” is an offshoot of the Rubber Manufacturers Association's “National Tire Safety Week,” which is scheduled for June 1-7 this year.

The RAC commissioned Leger Marketing to conduct the study. Representatives of Leger are scheduled to present the findings of the study at the RAC’s annual general meeting on June 19.


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