Today, everyone is looking for the answer to improve gas mileage. Vehicle owners and drivers are in a constant search for secrets, miracle cures, boosts in the economy, and blatant luck to cut mileage, prices, and fuel consumption. There are several reasons why vehicles can get good or bad “miles per gallon”. There are so many factors that affect this area of concern, however there is one variable that is hardly discussed, but has a lot of influence when it comes to fuel consumption. This variable is the width of the tire. Tires have a great influence on the operation of a car or truck on the road. Read on to learn how tire size can affect fuel economy and gas mileage on the highway.
Taking into account wind and rolling resistance
There are two things to consider when thinking about tires and their effect on your total miles per gallon; one is wind resistance and the other is rolling resistance. When a car drives at higher speeds, it experiences greater wind resistance, which means a lower fuel economy result.
Rolling resistance is the impact the road has on the tires and how it affects their performance. Changing the characteristics (size and width) of your tires will influence their interaction with the road; thus affecting gasoline mileage. This is where tire width can start to influence gas mileage.
Many people believe that by changing the height of a car’s tires, they can increase its fuel economy. This is not a reliable idea. You see, the speedometers are specifically calibrated for the number of revolutions a set of tires makes per mile while driving. If the original set of tires is replaced, the calibration will be disabled and the fuel economy changes will be blurred.
Shorter tires will calculate higher miles per gallon because they will make many more revolutions per mile. This negatively affects fuel consumption because it causes the car’s engine to run at higher rpm to achieve the same speeds. Taller tires will do the opposite and at the same time give an inaccurate reading.
Rim width vs. Miles per gallon
Tire width is one of the only tire size factors that can positively influence gas mileage. For example, a narrow tire will have less wind resistance, rolling resistance, and weight, which will increase gas mileage. If you choose a narrower tire, be aware that they can make the car’s handling characteristics more difficult to control.
It is best to always install tires of the correct size for your particular vehicle. A professional tire technician or mechanic will have no problem helping you figure this out. Also, keeping your tires fully inflated can improve your overall miles per gallon.