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Pump It Up!

about | benefits | tire maintenance | other savings

About Us

Pump It Up! is a student-run campaign started at Brown University in 2009. We work with gas stations across Providence to educate drivers on proper tire and car maintenance. Our surveys show that most cars in Providence drive on under-inflated tires that decrease the car's gas mileage and waste fuel. Pump it Up! aims to call attention to this problem and teach drivers how to maintain their tires, which reduces unnecessary carbon emissions (the less gas we use, the less harmful carbon dioxide gas is released into the environment), saves money for Providence residents, and provides local green jobs.

Pump It Up! is funded by Community Carbon Use Reduction at Brown. The goal of this project is to catalyze local carbon emissions reductions through a financial investment and development of collaborations of community and civic groups with Brown students, faculty and staff.

The Benefits

There are plenty of good reasons to keep your tires inflated.

1. Saving Money on Gasoline

Gas mileage falls by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. By keeping tires properly inflated, a car’s fuel economy can increase up to 3.3%, which translates to about 7ยข per gallon saved!

2. Safety

With improperly inflated tired, you might experience problems accelerating, braking, and steering, as well as with your Antilock Braking System, and Traction Control Systems.

3. Car Maintenance

Properly inflated tires have a longer life than those that are either under or over-inflated. Having to replace your tires less frequently will save you time, effort, and money.

4. Environment

By increasing a car’s fuel economy, you will be reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the air. CO2 (the gas released from your vehicle after fuel consumption) is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Additionally, increasing the life of your tires through proper inflation will mean changing your tires less often, which will ensure fewer emissions in the process used to transport old tires to landfills to dispose of, or recycle them.


Proper Tire Maintenance

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration recommends that drivers check their tires once a month and before every long trip. Tire pressure can be checked with a simple tire gage or with a tire pump. Your car manufacturer's recommended pressure for your tires can be found on the inside of the driver's door. You can pump your tires with a hand pump, an electric pump at a gas station, or your own hand-held DC powered pump.

Hand Pump

A common hand pump used for a bicycle can be used for car tires as well. Simply unscrew the cap from your tire's air valve, attach the pump, and begin pumping to your car manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.

Gas Station Pump

Most gas stations in Providence have tire pumping stations where you can pump all four tires for a dollar or less.

DC-powered pumps

In addition to gas station pumps, you can also purchase your own electric pump at any hardware store. These pumps can be powered by the DC outlet in your car.


Other Ways to Save

1. Choose public transportation when possible.

Visit RIPTA for information on local RI bus schedules.

2. Turn your engine off when your car is parked.

Idling can waste a lot of gas. In fact, idling for more than five minutes is illegal in many districts.

3. Remove unneeded weight from your car.

If the items in your trunk are unnecessary, we highly recommend you remove them. Added weight requires more fuel to be burned and puts more pressure on your tires.

4. Adhere to the speed limit.

The average car has its highest gas mileage at or below 60 mph. In fact, according to, drivers could save between $0.17 and $0.56 dollars per gallon reducing their speeds.