Tires Effect Fuel Economy

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Tires Effect Fuel Economy


For many years tire companies focused on extremely safe tires, but at the cost of fuel economy. Since then gas prices have gone up, and truckers are looking for ways to improve their fuel economy. The tire industry has responded with tires that improve fuel economy with the same level of safety.

Radial tires are one of the most significant improvements in tire technology – and in tire fuel economy. In early tests, Bridgestone found that converting from bias-ply tires to radials improved fuel economy more than 10 percent. This represents about a 30-40 percent decrease in rolling resistance.

Air Pressure

Tires are designed to work at a peak specific air pressure, you can reduce your fuel economy and shorten the life of the tire if you have them under inflated or over inflated. An under inflated tire can cost you as much as 25% fuel economy.

Amount of Tread

There’s a reason winter tires get worse gas mileage—the increased amount of tread adds more rolling resistance, which lowers the fuel economy.

Much of the rolling resistance of a tire, about 35-50 percent, comes from the tire tread. (Belts are not considered part of the tread.) For that reason, many manufacturers have focused on fuel-efficient tread compounding.

With improvements in design and engineering, however, tire companies have been able to improve their tires’ rolling resistance, without lowering the tread to an undesirable level.

As long as you keep air pressure at the recommended level, you can rest assured that you’ll have improved gas mileage without any reduction in tire traction.

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