Tires Improve Fuel Economy

Fuel economy has been discussed heavily on the Internet, but I need to throw in my two cents. We all hear car mechanics and automotive experts say make sure your tires are properly inflated.

Yet how often do people actually check it. In fact most motorists will not even look at their tires until someone else points out a problem.

So what’s the big deal and why does tire pressure effect miles per gallon anyway?

The main reason for the reduced efficiency is that under inflated tires will have more rolling resistance.

This will force the engine to work harder to move the car the same distance. Left unchecked this condition can really raise your annual fuel costs much higher.

How to check tire pressure

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One common mistake is people will pull into a gas station and check tire pressures after driving for awhile.

You should always let the tires cool down before checking pressure. Hot air expands and may cause false readings. Also the manufacturer specification is provided as a cold setting.

Car makers are required to place a tire information label in the car providing the correct tire pressures both front and rear.

This label may be found on the edge of the door or doorjamb. Sometimes they are in the glove box. Or I have even seen them on the inside of the gas door or cover.


The actual location of your tire spec label will ultimately be determined by year make and model but should be easy to find.

If the label lists a pressure range, use the higher number in order to maximize fuel economy.

Fuel economy tires

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So how much will tire pressure effect fuel economy? Under inflated radial tires will cause fuel consumption to increase by as much as 6%.

This also causes the tires to wear much quicker. If they remain deflated total tire miles can be cut in half.

It’s important to note that radial tires can be under inflated yet still look normal. This is affected by the strength of the sidewall.

Also low profile tires can be impossible to visually inspect. So check the tires with a quality pressure gauge. “Digital tire pressure gauges” are the most accurate.

The average car tire loses about one psi of air per month and one psi for every 10 degrees drop in temperature.

With these kinds of numbers you can see if you skip checking inflation you to will eventually join the ranks of the under inflated.  Changes in the ambient air temperature cause the tire pressure to fluctuate.

This is again why tire pressure should always be checked when the tires or cool. Shoot for the morning in the drive way before driving the car at all. It is recommended that you check tires about once per month and before a long trip.

Is it possible to receive fuel economy results beyond your vehicles, advertised numbers? This is absolutely possible. Hyper miling is one way that has become popular.

There are also groups of people that are thinking completely outside the box and taking action to increase fuel economy.


4 comments

  1. hi your site is wonderful and has a lot of useful information for novices, thanks for the up building content. Keep it up !

  2. Many modern engine oils are labeled “energy conserving,” meaning they have a demonstrated ability to improve fuel economy.

  3. I agree that improper usage of car tires will cause more damage and it is even big risk in repairing the tires. So we need to check it often to get out of the problem.

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