Have you noticed that your car’s fuel efficiency is dwindling despite adhering to best driving practices and thorough car maintenance? You may want to relook at the tyres to get a solution. Most car drivers tend to prefer bigger and bulkier tyres for better grip and control. However, bigger tyres can affect your car’s MPG (miles per gallon). In some conditions, the difference in mileage by using bigger tyres can be as high as 25%. This can increase further in congested traffic. The impact of wheel size on fuel efficiency is discussed below:
Tyre size can impact your car’s fuel efficiency. A bigger tyre has more surface area in contact with the road. This increases the rolling resistance significantly when compared to smaller tyres. The increased rolling resistance means that the car’s engine needs to work harder. It must consume more fuel to overcome the higher rolling resistance and maintain cruising speed.
Bigger tyres are heavier. This causes the unsprung weight of the car to increase. The more weight the car’s engine has to pull, the greater is the stress on it. The engine needs to work harder to move a car with heavier tyres. This will compromise your car’s fuel efficiency and increase your cost of running it.
The type of wheels used for tyres can also impact fuel efficiency. If you use a combination of traditional steel wheels and bigger tyres, the unsprung weight of your car increases drastically. Both steel wheels and bigger tyres are heavy that can increase the unsprung weight. You can consider using better wheels for compensating the impact of using large tyres. Alloy wheels are made from lightweight aluminum alloys. They are much lighter than steel wheels and reduces the unsprung weight of the car. This helps to improve fuel efficiency.
Alloy wheels are also aerodynamically superior to steel wheels. They reduce the drag along the car and thus improves fuel efficiency.
You must maintain the right pressure in your car’s tyres. Under-inflated tyres have higher rolling friction that can make your drive sluggish. It can reduce traction and ride quality considerably. Under-inflated tyres do not provide enough control while driving. This can be dangerous for you and others on the road. It is recommended to check the tyre pressure fortnightly to ensure they are properly inflated. You should follow the recommended tyre pressure prescribed by the manufacturer.