Read these 9 Tires and Fuel Efficiency Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Tires tips and hundreds of other topics.
Rolling Resistance is a factor in fuel efficiency as it relates to your tires. The phrase means the amount of force needed to keep tires moving at a constant speed. The greater the force needed, the higher your gasoline consumption. Some kinds of fuel efficient tires are engineered to utilize lower rolling resistance and reduce the strain on the engine. In some states, there are studies underway to rate tires for their rolling resistance to assist consumers in finding the most fuel efficient tires they can afford.
Proper tire inflation is an important part of optimizing your vehicle for good gas mileage. Under inflated tires can cut your mileage by as much as 6 percent, according to some studies. Add to that 6 percent the one mile per gallon you lose when you operate your air conditioner and it's clear that you really want to check your tire pressure to increase gas mileage. Other ways to use your tires to increase mileage include driving steadily, with no jackrabbit starts or sudden braking. Fuel efficient tires are also an excellent way to improve gas mileage even more.
Fuel efficient tires are made with innovative combinations of materials that generate less heat during the drive. These tires also have a reduced tread depth to further decrease the resistance factor. Of course, many people overlook another way they can help even fuel efficient tires save even more precious fuel; reducing the weight of your vehicle. Are you lugging around tools, equipment, and other heavy objects you might not need right at that moment? Removing them and lightening your load means less work for your engine, plus a cleaner vehicle.
Fuel efficient tires are designed to roll with less resistance, which in turn puts less strain on the engine. Original equipment tires are generally more efficient than about 60 percent of the replacement tires on the market today. When you switch from the original tires to the replacements, chances are you are losing gas mileage unless you take care to purchase tires with better rolling resistance. Some states are pushing for legislation that could better inform tire buyers as to the nature of their potential new tire purchases. Are those tires in the "60 percent less" crowd, or are they actual, bona fide fuel efficient tires? New labeling requirements for tires could change just how informed the public is when it comes time to replace those original tires.
Your car's original equipment tires may not have been manufactured during the advent of fuel efficient tires, but they do feature better rolling resistance, and hence, better gas mileage. Why? Automobile makers know that first impressions are very important, right down to the performance of the tires. Those original tires will most likely do what they are designed to do--help to impress you with the vehicle's gas mileage or at least hold their own in that department. Unfortunately, when it comes time to replace those tires, many replacements are not fuel efficient models, and hence a reduced performance in terms of fuel economy. When you approach your dealer for replacement tires, be sure to ask for fuel efficient tires. It's better to ask up front and know you are getting the best gas mileage for the money rather than take chances with what is in stock if fuel efficiency is one of your main concerns.
Informed drivers know that you can improve gas mileage by about 3.3 percent with properly inflated tires. Those in the know understand that in the summer, tire pressure goes up when a tire gets hot, and you should never trust a tire gauge reading after you have been driving around. Let the tires cool for a few hours before getting a reading. In the winter, of course, the inverse goes into effect. Cold weather will lower your pressure. Just letting your tires sit unused you will see a reduction in pressure month to month. This will affect your gas mileage in the end, unless you check your tire pressure regularly and keep tires inflated to their proper psi. Fuel efficient tires are not exempt from any of this-the same conditions can reduce your air pressure and gas mileage even with improved rolling resistance from fuel efficient tires.
When it comes to under inflation, you will lose 0.4 percent for every single pound per square inch of air in all four tires. This may not sound like much at first, but running your tires low will add up. On top of this, don't forget the gas mileage reduction factor for air conditioning or heating, plus any losses for running tires with bad rolling resistance. If your vehicle is in need of a tune up and an oil change, you will see potential gas mileage reduction here as well. All of these numbers add up to a lot of miles per gallon lost. The little things really do mean a lot! Consult your owner's manual to determine your optimal gas mileage, check your tire pressure, get a tune up, and consider investing in fuel efficient tires for additional savings at the gas pump.
Studies conducted on fuel efficient tires with better rolling resistance have shown that the fuel efficient tires are just as safe and effective as any other kind of tire. The California Energy Commission's study concludes that safety factors on the more efficient tires equal any other tire on the road rated in the same categories. There aren't enough of these tires in use at present; only about 12 percent of the tires on the road in some areas are considered fuel efficient. If these tires were used nationwide, it is estimated that up to seven billion dollars a year could be saved if all replacement tires were fuel-efficient.
Some believe that gas mileage and tire size seem to be related in terms of how you measure the mileage factor. Your odometer may reflect better mileage with bigger tires. Some experts refute this by pointing out that larger tires will make the odometer read a greater distance traveled-unless the odometer is recalibrated for the larger tires. Your actual gas mileage and tire size issues may have more to do with the fact that your odometer isn't calibrated for the bigger size than an actual savings. Your best bet to increase gas mileage is to use fuel efficient tires with better rolling resistance, and keep those tires properly balanced and inflated.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|