How Much Do Tires Affect Fuel Consumption?

As fuel prices continue to rise, drivers are trying to find any way possible to save money at the pump. To do so, we can avoid letting the car run when stopped and try not to use the air conditioning too much. However, there are more efficient ways to save on fuel! Did you know that your tires are responsible for over 20% of your fuel consumption?

To save money on fuel, don’t minimize the impact your tires can have. After all, they are in direct contact with the road and impact resistance when driving. Roll resistance is the friction generated with the road when the tire is rolling. When the friction is high, the motor must use even more energy to make the car advance, consuming larger amounts of fuel. On average, 35% of your fuel is used to counter roll resistance. Choosing tires with less roll resistance will help you to be more fuel efficient and save money.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR TIRES TO BE MORE FUEL EFFICIENT

As we have just seen, a low roll resistance contributes to lowering fuel consumption. If we want to save money, we should prioritize radial rather than diagonal tires, and look for lightweight materials. You can find “energy saver” tires at your local Centre Auto Point S, such as Michelin’s “Energy Saver A/S”.

Narrower tires also reduce the surface that is in contact with the road, making your vehicle even more fuel efficient. Make sure you respect the tire size advised by your vehicle’s manufacturer! Often the suspensions, axles, etc. are calibrated according to the size of the tires. It is also important to remember that narrower tires adhere less to dry roadways, reducing their adherence in sharper curves.

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR TIRES TO BE MORE FUEL EFFICIENT

If you cannot, or do not wish to invest in new fuel efficient tires, it is certainly still possible to save on your fuel consumption.

The most efficient way is to check your tire pressure regularly. Your tire pressure has an important impact on your fuel consumption, regardless of the brand of tires. When a tire is under-inflated, it presses down and creates a larger point of contact with the road. This in turn increases the roll resistance, which makes the car consume more fuel. This increase can be up to 2% per under-inflated tire, which cannot be overlooked seeing as fuel prices are so high.

Check your tire pressure regularly, especially during the winter. Cold temperatures tend to reduce tire pressure. It is recommended to check your tire pressure once a month in the summer, and more often during the winter.

HOW TO BE FUEL EFFICIENT DURING WINTER?

Because of the cold temperatures, we consume more fuel during the winter. According to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a drop in temperature between 24 and 7 degrees C can increase our fuel consumption anywhere between 12 and 28% when driving in the city. If we add on to that the fact that the motor consumes more energy to run in the cold, and that we most likely have the heating on in the car, we can end up with a pretty hefty bill.

How can we save fuel during the winter? Invest in adapted winter tires! Prioritize lightweight materials with a good grip in the snow. Make sure there are strips to evacuate the snow, mud, and rain.

ARE GREEN TIRES A GOOD OPTION TO SAVE ON FUEL?

In a bid to be more eco-friendly, many people are choosing to drive hybrid cars. However, even without going out and purchasing a hybrid car, you can still be kind to your planet while still saving on fuel. How? By opting for green tires!

Purchasing green tires is a good way to reduce your environmental impact. Green tire manufacturers strive to limit toxic materials and prioritize cleaner, more lightweight materials. The roll resistance is also reduced, which will allow you to save fuel.

Now you know how to save money on fuel this winter! The impact our tires can have on our fuel consumption needs to be taken seriously. Avoid wide, under-inflated tires, and don’t keep your summer tires on during the winter. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice at your local Centre Auto Point S to help you find adapted or “energy saver” tires such as Goodyear “Assurance Fuel Max”.

Carlos G. Hill

Carlos G. Hill

Carlos joined TireReview in 2019 after seven years of living and working in Dubai. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time Out, iQ and Loaded. After starting out on the automotive team as deputy editor of Engine Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Transmissions Technology International, he has been an editor since 2015, and began editing Tire Technology International in 2018. In 2020, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Tire, Professional Motorsport World, Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International and Crash test Technology International

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