Originally posted on Metropia.com
With the increasing price on gas every year, every driver wants to know how to improve fuel economy.
You are probably familiar with a few techniques to maximize your fuel economy, but did you ever consider how the tires you’re rolling on take a part in it?
Rolling resistance is what it’s all about when you look to your tires for fuel economy. The laws of physics dictate that stationary objects want to remain that way, so moving those objects demands energy. The more resistance your vehicle has to get moving, the more fuel it will burn.
Here are ways you can reduce the amount of rolling resistance your tires produce and get around more efficiently:
1. Air pressure
Tires that are deflated by 8 psi can increase rolling resistance by as much as 20%! Check your tires for the appropriate air pressure on a monthly basis. Manufacturer’s specifications will be visible on the outer wall of your tires, so follow that guideline when you fill your tires.
The deeper the treads, the worse your gas mileage will be. Tread helps your tires grab the asphalt in inclement weather and when you have to brake suddenly, but the average urban motorist only needs so much grab. Race car drivers use bald tires called, “slicks” since the lack of tread improves fuel economy and increases speed, but adequate tread is necessary for everyday driving. At the other end of the tread spectrum are the chunky, knobby, off-road treads. Wicked looking and capable of clawing through the fudgiest mud, but they will degrade your fuel economy significantly. Unless you must spend most of your time off paved surfaces, it will be in your best interest to exchange the off-road treads for conventional tires.
3. Tire size
Smaller tires on a smaller wheel are easier to get moving from those many stops we make driving in the city. This is because the package as a whole weighs less and causes less friction or rolling resistance than a heavier, larger wheel. That being said, larger wheels are better for highway driving since smaller wheels put more work on your engine, producing higher R.P.M.’s to keep a cruising speed. Some drivers want to change the size of the tires they put on their vehicle, but the best tires for optimal fuel mileage are the stock tires recommended by the car manufacturer in your owner’s manual.
4. Wheel type
If you’re looking to customize your wheels or are considering changing the size of your tires, opt for a lighter alloy wheel over steel wheels. You will need to consider the weight of your vehicle and whether or not you carry loads since wheels have a designated load capacity. Think about the size of the tire that needs to fit the wheel as well! You won’t be any better off if your lighter wheel calls for a wider tire that causes more rolling resistance anyway. Be aware that if your new wheel requires the tires to have a shorter side wall, this will lower your load capacity.
Gorm Dagoe and