At first glance, your vehicle’s wheels and tires may not seem to have much of an influence on your overall fuel efficiency.
However, depending on how well they are maintained and the size of your wheel, they do have a part in how effectively your car operates, and we’ve made this guide on the whole topic.
Do Tires Affect Gas Mileage?
Your tires have a direct impact on gas mileage because they are a major determining factor in how much force is needed to move the vehicle forward, especially due to their rolling resistance. Apart from acceleration and traction, they also affect braking and handling, meaning that the tires you choose do make a huge difference in how many miles can be covered in a single gas tank.
To learn more about the relationship between tires and gas mileage, including an in-depth look into how they factor into your fuel economy, keep reading!
Can New Tires Improve Gas Mileage?
You may experience a reduction in gas mileage if you get new tires. New, full-tread tires have higher rolling resistance than worn, shallow-tread tires.
As the tread moves from its initial molded depth to a more worn out state, tire rolling resistance reduces by roughly 20% throughout its life.
This is due to a decrease in tread mass and rubber wiggle, as well as a modest hardening of the tread compound with time and exposure to the environment.
A slight increase in fuel economy and a slow decline in rolling resistance may be too nuanced to notice on a tank-by-tank basis.
However, switching from worn tires to new tires (even if they are the same brand, type, and size) will typically result in a 20 percent increase in rolling resistance.
Because a 10% increase in tire rolling resistance is expected to result in a 1% to 2% reduction in vehicle fuel efficiency, drivers should expect a 2% to 4% drop in miles per gallon.
How Much Do Heavier Tires Affect Gas Mileage?
Because larger tires are heavier, they reduce fuel efficiency, whereas smaller tires improve fuel efficiency.
Larger tires have a higher rolling resistance than smaller tires, which means it takes more work and resistance to get them rolling.
However, larger tires can actually improve a vehicle’s gas mileage if it is continuously driven at speeds of more than 60 miles per hour (about 97 km/h).
Larger tires may be the way to go if you do a lot of highway driving. Take the time to thoroughly consider your tire options if you want the best of both worlds – big tires and fuel economy.
Although tire weight is an important component in calculating fuel efficiency, everything from the tread pattern to the size of the tire may have an impact on a car’s gas mileage.
Large tires with low rolling resistance are more efficient than smaller tires with high rolling resistance.
Off-road tires may also be more fuel-efficient than all-season tires, depending on your driving patterns.
So, are larger tires better for gas mileage? Larger tires do not always result in bad fuel economy, and smaller tires do not always result in better fuel economy; in the end, it all boils down to selecting the ideal tire for your vehicle, whether small or large.
Do Mud Tires Affect Gas Mileage?
Larger and heavier mud tires create more rolling resistance, meaning the vehicle has to use more force to move.
This negatively impacts fuel economy in the long run, with a 3% drop when compared to all-terrain tires.
Do All-Terrain Tires Reduce Gas Mileage?
Although all-terrain tires may not have the same fuel economy as passenger vehicle tires, they do not consume as much gasoline as their mud counterparts.
Aggressive all-terrain tires have a different tread pattern than highway tires, allowing them to grip the road (and off-road) more effectively.
They have a higher rolling resistance compared to pavement-bound tires. They also have a greater impact on fuel efficiency.
According to most estimates, all-terrain tires reduce fuel efficiency by around 3% when compared to highway tires.
Do Snow Tires Affect Gas Mileage?
This depends on when they’re being used. If it’s during the winter, then they have a positive impact on fuel economy as they’re made to grip the snow to improve traction and control.
Outside of these conditions, they have a negative impact on fuel economy as they make the vehicle more difficult to accelerate and control.
What Causes Bad Gas Mileage?
Bad gas mileage means you’re spending more money at the pump since you’re filling up more frequently.
Bad gas mileage can be caused by several factors such as overinflated or underinflated tire pressure, old and dirty air filters, faulty oxygen sensors, and faulty spark plugs.
You will lose fuel economy if your tires are not properly inflated. This is bound to occur if your tires are underinflated, overinflated, or each tire has a different pressure.
Optimal air pressure is displayed on a panel inside your driver’s side door. Do not rely on the tire’s “max pressure” as indicated on the tire’s sidewall.
Your engine won’t get the proper amount of clean air to burn the fuel if you have an aging and dirty air filter. Air filters are cheap and easily replaceable.
Several oxygen sensors are installed in most cars to monitor air intake and emissions. If the sensor fails or is triggering the check engine light, you should get it examined.
The combustion in your engine is provided by your spark plugs. Your fuel efficiency will undoubtedly be impacted if they are misfiring or not functioning correctly.
Do Fuel-Efficient Tires Work?
Fuel-efficient tires are designed to lower the amount of energy necessary to keep your wheels rolling.
Low-rolling-resistance tires help you save money at the pump by lowering your total fuel consumption.
Are Fuel Efficient Tires Worth It?
As established above, fuel-efficient tires have low rolling resistance and need less effort to move them in the direction of travel compared to standard tires.
When less energy is put into rolling tires, less heat is created and less fuel is required to move the vehicle.
When tires heat up, the tread wears down faster. Increasing the mileage of a tire reduces the frequency with which it has to be replaced. It’s a great thing to have to discard only a few tires.
Fuel-efficient tires, also known as low-rolling-resistance tires, are referred to as “green tires” or “eco-tires” since they help conserve a nonrenewable resource while also lowering harmful emissions.
When compared to a standard all-season tire without low rolling resistance characteristics, a typical low-rolling-resistance tire should save between 1.0% and 4.0% per gallon (about 5 liters).
Using the current (as of Oct 2021) national average of $3.62 per gallon, a typical driver of a domestic sedan would save around $40 a year by opting for these tires over regular tires.
This may quickly build-up to the equivalent value of receiving one tire free over a four or five-year tire life span.
Which Tire Is Better For Fuel Efficiency? Wide Or Narrow?
Less friction means less steering effort is required, which will save you money on gas, and that’s what it comes down to in this question.
Wide tires produce more friction, causing your vehicle to use more fuel, whereas narrow tires produce less friction, causing your vehicle to consume less gas.
They have greater surface area and, as a result, more contact with the asphalt, resulting in more rolling resistance than the tire size recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Your car’s engine would have to work more to maintain the cruising speed, resulting in higher fuel consumption.
Narrow tires would therefore be better for fuel efficiency in most cases.
Which Tire Is Best For Fuel Efficiency?
Most top tire brands offer at least one type of fuel-efficient tire.
One of the most popular and well-publicized “green” tires is the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max.
They are available in a variety of sizes to fit a variety of vehicles, including pickup trucks, SUVs, minivans, and sedans.
You receive assured traction in varying weather conditions with the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max, but you also save money on gas.
Internal Goodyear Tire testing shows that throughout the life of four tires, you may save up to 2,600 miles (about 4,000 km) in fuel.
Another popular type of fuel-efficient tire is the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus.
According to the manufacturer, when compared to a standard Bridgestone tire, it can save you up to 20 miles (about 32 km) per tank of gas.
Bridgestone Ecopia tires are lightweight and use materials that are specifically intended to decrease friction and heat created when the tire rolls.
To find out more about tires, you can also see our posts on how much do tractor tires weigh, underinflated tires, and how long do Goodyear tires last.
A car with a harder functioning engine is inefficient. Your tires have a direct influence on the vehicle’s overall performance and lifespan.
Snow tires have a positive impact on fuel economy when used during the winter and a negative one when used during the summer.
You can improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle by combining appropriate fuel-efficient tire selections with adequate vehicle maintenance.