Perspectives: California — Where CSI and PSI Meet
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Emissions / Exhaust

Perspectives: California — Where CSI and PSI Meet

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved the “Regulation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Vehicles Operating with Underinflated Tires” — a move that will affect your shop service.


Do you check the tire pressure on every tire of every vehicle that comes into your shop for service, any service?


If life goes the way the state of California wants it to, repair shops in all 50 states will be doing just that — and it could be
considered a crime if they don’t.

According to our friends at ASA (Automotive Service Association), the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the “Regulation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Vehicles Operating with Underinflated Tires.”

These new rules have been put in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because, according to CARB, “Properly inflated tires reduce the rolling resistance of a vehicle, resulting in the vehicle’s engine having to do less work to move the vehicle at roadway speeds.


The end result is a fuel savings that staff estimates will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 1.4 million metric tons in 2020. Since the vehicle’s engine has to do less work, Californians can also expect minor reductions in exhaust emissions for both particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen, as well as prolonged tire life, and the associated health and environmental benefits.”

So, with the approval of the Office of Administrative Law in California, as of Sept. 1, 2010, all automotive service providers in the state must meet the following requirements:

• Check and inflate each vehicle’s tires to the recommended tire pressure rating with air or nitrogen, as appropriate, at the time of performing any “paid for” automotive maintenance or repair service;


• Indicate on the vehicle service invoice that a tire inflation service was completed and the tire pressure measurements after the services were performed;

• Perform the tire pressure service using a tire pressure gauge with a total permissible error no greater than ±2 pounds per square inch (psi);

• Have access to a Tire Inflation Reference that is current within three years of publication; and

• Keep a copy of the vehicle service invoice for a minimum of three years, and make the vehicle service invoice available to the ARB or its authorized representative upon request.

If you’d like to read all the nitty-gritty details of the regulation, visit ASA’s legislative website at

There are further details about inflating with nitrogen, customers declining the service, etc.

The state estimates that the new program will cost consumers about $100 million, but will save them $500 million at the gas pump.

I think one comment on the CARB website summarizes quite well the whole situation, “I am outraged that MY government is considering criminalizing something like TIRE PRESSURE.” 

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