Fall into a Tire Maintenance Routine

If you are buying a new car this fall, newly mandated devices that are required on every vehicle will help monitor your vehicle's tire pressure. That's great, and it should save both fuel and lives, but a national tire industry group cautions that new tire pressure monitoring systems are not a replacement for an old-fashioned tire gauge. If you rely too much on the automated systems, it could cost you money or -- worst case -- your life.

Federal law requires every new 2008 model year vehicle to come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that will warn a driver when tire pressure drops 25 percent. But the Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire manufacturers, says that is no reason to throw away your tire gauge.

"Motorists risk tire damage if they wait to check tires until they see a dashboard warning light after a 25 percent loss of tire pressure," said Dan Zielinski, RMA vice president, communications. "For many vehicles, a pressure loss of less than 25 percent increases risk. That's why motorists must check tire pressure every month with a tire gauge."

The industry group has expressed its concern that the newly required tire pressure monitoring systems might prompt consumers to become even more blas