Do New Tires Improve Gas Mileage?

Discovering the science behind fuel consumption

You must be familiar with a number of techniques used to maximize your fuel economy, but did you ever consider how new tires affect the gas mileage?

So do new tires improve gas mileage? The short answer is, Yes.​ The long answer: let’s find out…

Rolling resistance is what it’s all about when you look at your tires for optimum fuel consumption. A certain type of opposing force offered by objects towards any change causing stimulus is called rolling resistance. Simply put, the more resistance your vehicle offers, the more energy is dissipated and the more fuel is burnt.

This article attempts to change your perception of fuel economy which means your next experience of putting on new tires is going to be much better and thought-provoking than previous ones. We’ll let you get a broader perspective of gas mileage

How Do New Tires Affect Your gas Mileage?

New tires almost always improve fuel economy and that too noticeably. Multiple reasons are responsible for that. Firstly new tires have a good and preserved tread pattern which means that the contact (the portion of the tire touching the road) is actually a lot smaller than what might seem. Smaller contact patch equates to lower rolling resistance thus lower fuel consumption. The second reason involves hysteresis which basically means generation of heat due to the motion of tires in this case. Newer tires have a softer rubber compound that generates less heat while rolling which means less energy losses and a better fuel economy for us. A third reason, although indirectly related, is the fact that new tires leak much less air over time which allows for a consistently pumped up side wall which maintains the smaller contact patches under loads and therefore reduces fuel consumption. You can expect an improvement in gas mileage by 0.7% to 3% by replacing the tires.

Other parameters of tires affecting gas mileage:

1. Gripping Ability

The gripping ability of new tires is always lesser than used ones under dry conditions. These new tires offer reduced rolling resistance which ultimately minimizes the fuel consumption.

Different tires are now ranked by the companies according to their fuel efficiency keeping in view their gripping abilities and rolling resistances.

2. Air Pressure

Air pressure is a significant factor when we talk about the rolling resistances offered by different tires. In most tires, deflation up to a certain level can give rise to increased rolling friction. Four tires that are deflated by 10 psi can reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy by a considerable 10%.

The drivers should keep a check and balance on tire’s pressure to get sufficient gas mileage. Specifications are usually given by the companies on the outer surfaces. Speaking on the topic of air pressure, Should all tires have the same pressure?

3. Tire Size

Smaller tires on a smaller wheel are easier to move along similar distances. This is because the whole package weighs less and causes less friction or rolling resistance than a bulkier, larger wheel.

Upto a certain point, larger wheels are suitable for highway driving since smaller wheels put more work on your engine, generating higher RPMs to keep the same speed.

Some drivers may want to alter the size of tires they put on their vehicles. Usually, the best fitting tires for optimal fuel consumption are recommended by the car’s manufacturer. Choose the size of a tire as per your vehicle. Be careful that if your newly purchased wheel requires the tires to have a shorter side wall, this will result in a reduced load capacity. Also, beware that this may affect the varieties of tires you can buy for your car. If your wheel forces you to get wider tires, you will be losing some of the fuel efficiency.

4. Tire Tread

Tire treads can also influence your fuel economy. Reduced tread patterns translates to a greater contact patch and better grip which is precisely why it is a common practice in racing. Unlike race car drivers, however, we need to tread on our vehicles to assist in easy and safe braking when the roads are wet or other tricky situations.

5. Wheel Alignment

A perfect wheel alignment makes it much easier to maintain the car’s gas mileage just like the type of tires and wheels can impact it. According to a research, improper alignment causes an elevated consumption of fuel of up to 31%.

Your alignment can also affect your vehicle’s performance. If the wheel’s alignment is not up to the mark, it causes uneven tire wear, which results in more gas usage. So, make sure your alignment is appropriate.

Conclusion: Do new tires help with gas mileage?

After all this discussion,  we safely come to the conclusion that changing your tires can certainly support in improving the gas mileage. If you’re still not convinced, think of it this way: It’s much better to spend your money on purchasing new tires rather than wasting it on getting extra fuel. Moreover, less fuel consumption is better for the environment too. If you’re looking for fuel efficient tires for your trucks, here’s a selection if the finest ones: Best truck tires for fuel economy.

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  1. Pingback: Should all tires have the same pressure? - The Car Factor %

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