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Why Does Gas Mileage Drop With New Tires? [ Reasons Explained ]

Why Does Gas Mileage Drop With New Tires? [ Reasons Explained ]

As a car enthusiast, chances are high that you must have heard the controversy about new tires leading to a drop in gas mileage. Well, you might not know, but your car’s fuel economy takes a blow when you get a new set of tires.

Apparently, you might find it tough to convince yourself of the fact. This is why we have come up with an explanation for the same in this article.

Keep reading to understand why your gas mileage might drop if you recently changed the tires. We have also bailed out some remedies to this issue for car owners.

Do new tires affect gas mileage?

Yes, new tires have an adverse impact on the fuel economy of your car. This happens for two reasons. Firstly, when you get a new tire, the materials and layers on the wheel would be stiffer. Gradually, they tend to soften when the tires start wearing. This generates a greater degree of resistance as the tires drag against the surface of the road.

When you change your car’s tires, you can expect fuel consumption to rise between 3% to 8%. Besides, you need to factor in the weight of the air, not considering how much it can be.

When the tire loses its pressure, it would also compromise some of its mass. This would also lead to a spike in the rolling resistance, affecting your car’s gas mileage.

Large commercial vehicles such as trucks are heavier and come with larger tires. The weight of trucks remains spread across a larger surface. This leads to a spike in fuel consumption in these vehicles more frequently.


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Why does gas mileage drop with new tires?

The tread remains fresh when you get new tires for your car or truck. This creates more rolling resistance, as compared to worn-out tires or the well-used ones.

When you exert pressure on your car’s gas pedal, there is a transfer of energy. This largely depends on the model or make of your car. The engine of your car transfers this energy to other systems. This enables your tires to turn, and there is adequate momentum to operate the car.

However, your car needs to overcome a number of aspects to make this happen. The reason is, that you need to make your car resistant so that it can move forward. Tire rolling resistance happens to be one of these aspects.

The rolling resistance of your tire refers to the quantity of energy that the vehicle requires to infuse its tires with so that it moves forward at a uniform speed.

Therefore, this resistance refers to the effort you need to roll the tires. Hysteresis largely contributes to the rolling resistance.

The process involves the loss of energy when the tire finishes rolling. The engine of your car needs to overcome this loss. This explains why you notice a drop in your car’s gas mileage.

Can you prevent rolling resistance of tires?

No, it is not possible to do away with the rolling resistance of your tires. Whenever you drive your vehicle, the tires would touch the road. Therefore, you cannot prevent rolling resistance altogether. However, you have certain means to minimize the rolling resistance.

As you know, hysteresis leads to the rolling resistance in your car. The manufacturers use specially formulated compounds to make the treads.

This leads to more resistance when you consider heat generation. As the manufacturers design these tires to minimize deflection, the loss of energy would be limited. Thus, you have tires with low rolling resistance in the market.

In case you want to enhance the fuel economy of your car, it makes sense to get tires with low rolling resistance. The next time you go for tire replacement, make sure to get these tires to improve your fuel economy.

With these tires, you would be having the difference to maintain proper fuel economy. These tires would cost you more than the normal ones. However, considering the savings you would make on fuel, you can vouch for these tires.

Therefore, low-rolling resistance tires happen to be a smart investment when you try to optimize the fuel economy of your car. Compared to conventional tires that you use in your truck or car, these tires are more fuel-efficient.

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How much do tires affect gas mileage?

As per the U.S. Department of Energy, these tires can help you save as much as 10% on your fuel. Well, this might seem to be negligible on paper. However, when you calculate the savings over the years, it does come to a significant amount.

The tires you have been using in your car directly impact the vehicle’s fuel economy. So, it’s imperative to choose the right type of tires for your car.

While most drivers think of maintaining the tire, which involves wheel alignment and wheel balancing, you also need to consider the condition of the tread.

As we already discussed, you need to think of the rolling resistance as well. In this regard, you need to know the way the wheels of your vehicle overcome inertia.

Rolling resistance and fuel economy

You can consider rolling resistance to be the energy that resists motion between the surface of the road and the wheel. Several related factors come in when you think of fuel economy and rolling resistance. These include air drag, road quality, and fuel economy. Therefore, simply replacing the tires won’t help you overcome all these aspects.

Moreover, rolling resistance keeps varying, and it never remains constant. When you manage to eliminate other aspects messing up your fuel economy, the role of this resistance becomes even more important.

When driving in the city, you must stop and start your car multiple times. Again, you can drive steadily on highways. The fuel economy would be different in both these situations.

These days, car manufacturers are integrating aerodynamic designs in their vehicles. This implies that rolling resistance has even a more crucial function when considering fuel economy.

With low rolling resistance tires, the sidewalls are relatively thinner. The tires weigh less than the traditional ones. Besides, the tread depths are shallower.

Now, you must notice that around 35% to 50% of the rolling resistance of the tires comes from the tire treads. So, when you use tires with shallow treads, the rolling resistance naturally comes down.

Tire size and fuel economy

 The fuel economy of your car also depends on the size of the tire. When you have a smaller tire, it takes less effort to move it, when you compare it to larger ones.

Therefore, when you drive in cities, it would be wise to get smaller tires. Since you would be wasting less energy while letting the car move, you would benefit from better fuel economy.

Now, when the car starts moving, the engine has to toil harder so that the smaller wheel travels the same distance as the larger ones. Therefore, when you drive on highways, it would be wise to get larger tires to boost your fuel economy.

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Whenever you switch to a new set of tires, be prepared to experience low fuel economy for a few months. This issue would subside as the tread grows soft or wears away.

To prevent the rolling resistance of your tires, it would be wise to invest in low rolling resistance wheels. Besides, you might consider reducing the inflation pressure in these tires. This ensures that you can get slightly better fuel economy.