Categorized | Dealer Service Academy

Can Your Tires Affect Fuel Mileage

Your tires can have a greater affect on your fuel mileage than you would think. So, can your tires affect your fuel mileage, you bet they can!

It takes horsepower to move any mass, and in the case of your car or truck, it takes fuel to make horsepower. So how much of your available horsepower is consumed by the rolling friction of your tires? Is it one percent? Is it two percent? Guess again, some experts estimate that as much as 15 percent of your engines horsepower is consumed by the rolling friction of your tires. For fully loaded trucks it is even higher than that.

So what can you do as a car owner to improve your fuel mileage as it relates to your tires? The most obvious of course is proper inflation. Did you know that a, somewhat minor, ten percent change, in the rolling friction of your car or truck tires can change your fuel mileage by 1 or 2 percent?

Most drivers rarely check their tire pressure. It is a good thing that car and truck owners change their oil on a regular basis; this may be the only time their tire pressures are checked, and adjusted. Our thanks to the speedy oil & lube joints in the country! The next time you visit the quick lube center, consider a tire rotation. Rotating your tires twice a year can keep your tires running true and hence efficiently.

Tread pattern and side-wall construction can also affect your tires performance and have an adverse affect on your fuel economy. These topics are too deep for this story but should be considered. The major automakers have done most of this research for you in their effort to improve the overall fuel rating of their fleets. A safe bet for tire replacements, is to go back with the original OEM tire manufacturer, size, and model that originally came with the vehicle.

One final tip on fuel economy and your tires:  Check your tire alignment. Bumpy roads, pot holes, and the occasional conflict with a curb can affect your tire alignment.  If the toe, camber, or caster settings are off; the rolling resistance of your tires will increase.

These are some important tips when talking to your customers as they pull into YOUR service department – so let’s provide some of this to our advisors everyday!


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