Get Ready to Burn Rubber with These Fast Facts About How Tires Affect Gas Mileage
You might not like to think about it, but the truth is that the health of your tires can actually directly affect your gas mileage. In fact, your tires affect many different aspects of your vehicle, including handling, braking, and acceleration.
But despite all of that, it’s fairly standard for a driver not to know exactly what all of that means in terms of fuel efficiency. Neglecting vehicles costs the U.S. upwards of $2 billion annually, but not knowing how your tires affect your vehicle could end up costing you a pretty penny, too. Here’s everything you need to know about how your tires affect your gas mileage.
The biggest way in which tires affect fuel efficiency is through rolling resistance. According to a report released by the National Research Council, this phenomenon is defined as the measure of “force at the axle in the direction of travel required to make a loaded tire roll.” During this process, fuel is expended and converted simply into heat. As a result, more fuel must be used to replace the energy that was lost.
What does that mean for my gas tank?
With less air or traction in your tires, there’s more rolling resistance. As a result, your vehicle must expend more energy, and therefore more fuel, to keep the tires rolling. So if you notice your gas tank draining a little faster than normal, it’s a safe bet to check your tires for the source of the problem.
The good news? Most tires now have a fuel efficiency rating.
As more information about the effects of tires on fuel efficiency surfaced, tire companies realized that it was important information for their customers. So now when you go to buy new or used tires from a tire company, you’ll notice a fuel efficiency rating on many of the name-brands. Even retread tires will have a fuel efficiency rating included on them to ensure the customer is fully knowledgeable about the product.
Whether it’s new tires or retread tires, these pieces of equipment are your vehicle’s only form of contact with the road. They’re important to properly maintain, because if you don’t the consequences could cost you in more ways than one.