With the price of oil products steadily increasing week by week, it’s understandable for us motorists to find ways to save on fuel costs. While it's true that the size of our vehicle's engine greatly affects the amount of fuel it consumes, there are many other factors to consider too, such as the manner of driving, car accessories/kits, and fuel type.
However, did you know that your tires should be among the first things to check if you want to save up on fuel?
In order to understand how tires can affect your fuel consumption, it’s important to know what tire rolling resistance means.
Rolling resistance is the force that the road or the ground exerts against your tires to stop them from rolling. In a nutshell, when the rolling resistance against your tires is high, your engine needs to work harder so your vehicle can move forward, which in turn will consume more fuel.
There are many things that can affect the amount of rolling resistance, among them are the road types, proper tire inflation, and tire design.
According to a study by the Department of Transportation in Minnesota, asphalt has 24% greater tire rolling resistance than concrete. What that means is that it’s easier to drive through concrete streets than in asphalt-covered roads. However, the presence of sand in both road types can increase the rolling resistance too, which explains why it’s hard to move your car when stuck on a pile of sand.
Moreover, if the road is wet, the rolling resistance is lower and so as traction. Therefore, it’s important that your tires can perform in both dry and wet surfaces without sacrificing safety.
Proper tire inflation
Your tire’s air pressure can depend on numerous things such as weather, altitude, and punctures. Aside from safety issues, under-inflated tires have higher rolling resistance. Also, when tires are underinflated, the side walls are more flexible which in turn reduces the energy conversion from the engine to the ground. On the other hand, over-inflating your tires can reduce its traction, so don't even think of doing so to lessen its rolling resistance.
Every vehicle has its specific tire pressure. You can check the chart located near the door latch at the driver’s side.
Tire design, size, and condition
The tire’s tread design, shape, wear and tear, and size dictate the amount of rubber that’s in contact with the ground, and more contact means more friction and rolling resistance. To put it simply, a wider set of tires will have a relatively higher rolling resistance than narrower ones, and so as worn out tires versus a fresh set.
Some tires are specifically designed to give better fuel consumption, such as the Bridgestone Ecopia tires. According to Bridgestone, its 3D block shape and rubber compound allow lower rolling resistance and energy loss, without compromising safety in both dry and wet roads. These in turn make the car consume less fuel, making you save up to 3.9% of costs as compared to other tires of the same type.
Bridgestone Ecopia tires are available in EP150, EP200, and EP850, which are designed for various vehicle types – may it be sedan, hatchback, crossover, or SUV.
So check your tires today, and make sure that you’re all set for a smarter, safer, and less costly time on the road.