Sacramento, California – The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has adopted a regulation that will require auto maintenance facilities in the state to check the tire pressure of every vehicle they service. The ruling will become effective July 1, 2010.

The ARB said that the measure will eliminate 700,000 metric tonnes 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 (7,563 km).

“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 ruling will affect 40,000 service providers, including smog check stations, engine repair facilities, and oil service providers. Exemptions include car washes, body and paint facilities, and glass repair businesses.

The ARB estimates that the cost of implementing the regulation, balanced with the benefits of the measures, will save the average Californian US$12 per year. About 38 per cent of vehicles on the road in the state have severely under-inflated tires, running six pounds under the manufacturer’s recommendations. Underinflation seriously reduces the vehicle’s handling capabilities, reduces tire tread life, and forces the engine to work harder, requiring more fuel.

All new vehicles in the U.S. require a mandatory tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) as of September 1, 2007. The measure is intended to help owners of older vehicles without TPMS; the mandatory system also does not warn until the tire is 25 per cent below the manufacturer’s recommendation.

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