By Stephen Markley on April 3, 2009
Remember when presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama got into a tiff about tire pressure during the campaign?
Unsurprisingly, it looks like California was on Obama’s side. Effective July 1, 2010, the state will require most auto-servicing businesses to check tire pressure and add air, if necessary, on all the cars they service. For every 3 psi a tire is low, it loses 1% efficiency.
The law will affect 40,000 businesses, and California’s Air Resources Board estimates the law will save 75 million gallons of fuel per year, eliminate 700,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, save drivers about $12 per year in gas, and make tires safer and last longer.
Of course, that’s the glass half-full scenario. On the flipside, if CARB’s numbers are right this will amount to less than 0.5% of California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals due by 2020, which might not be big enough to count as a “drop” in the bucket.
Body shops, car washes, glass-repair shops and parts stores will be unaffected by the law. The state will let service stations, oil-change joints and all the rest decide for themselves how much they want to charge, but they are required to make the checks with a high-accuracy pressure gauge.