Bigger rims are more popular among car owners. They add to the visual aesthetics of your car. However, are they the best bet for maintaining a fuel-efficient car? The current article analyzes why bigger rims increase the fuel consumption of a car:
Increased Rolling Resistance
Bigger rims will also need bigger tyres. You will have to use bigger-sized tyres to fit with bigger wheels. The bigger the tyres the more rolling resistance they will have. The car’s engine will have to work harder to overcome this rolling resistance. This will cause the engine to burn more fuel to keep moving the car forward at cruising speed. Bigger tyres will also be wider which means they will have more surface area in contact with the road. This will further increase the resistance and drag that the engine will have to overcome.For a given speed, wider tyres will have more momentum. Hence, more torque will be needed that will lead to more fuel consumption. You should not use upsized wheels when they are not needed.
Increased Unsprung Weight
Another drawback of using bigger than necessary rims is that they are heavier. In addition to this, they also need to be fitted with bigger tyres that will be heavier than smaller tyres. This combination of heavy rims and bulky tyres can increase the unsprung weight of your car considerably. In simple terms, the car’s engine will have to move a heavier than needed vehicle. This will lead the engine to burn more fuel to keep the car in motion. To achieve the best fuel efficiency, you should always use the wheel size recommended by the manufacturer.
How to Maintain Tyres for Better Fuel Efficiency?
You should not buy tyres with deeper treads if you do not need them. the deeper the treads, the more friction the tyres will have. The engine will burn more fuel to offset this increased friction. If you do not do regular off-road driving, then there is little merit in buying tyres with deeper treads. You will not need such a high degree of traction for regular city driving. it will also compromise on fuel efficiency.
Check the tyre pressure regularly and ensure they are inflated as recommended by the manufacturer. Under-inflated tyres do not provide enough traction and control on the road. They also have higher resistance which makes the engine burn more fuel to keep the car moving.