There are a lot of things that can affect the gas mileage of your car. At first glance, the wheels and tires of your vehicle may not seem like they would have an impact at all on your fuel economy. However, they do play a role in how efficiently your car performs, depending on how well they are maintained and the size of your wheel.
For example, larger tires decrease your fuel economy because they are heavier, while smaller tires increase fuel efficiency. Bigger tires also have a higher rolling resistance than smaller tires which means they require more resistance and effort to get them rolling. However, if you do a lot of freeway driving at high speeds, having larger tires can help increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Another thing that can affect the fuel economy of your car is the air pressure in your tires. If the air pressure in your tires is low, it provides more resistance, causing your car to expend more effort to get going. Luckily, this problem is well within your control to fix. If you check the air pressure in your tires regularly, you can ensure that you maintain the recommended psi for optimum performance.
Don’t rely solely on your tire pressure monitoring system to do the work, as it will usually only let you know when the air in your tire reaches 25 percent below where it’s supposed to be. If you want your car to get the best gas mileage it can, make a habit of checking your tire pressure once a month.
Tire treads can also impact your fuel economy. There’s a reason that race car drivers use tires with no tread. They provide less resistance and allow their vehicles to more easily ascend to higher speeds. Unlike race car drivers, however, we need tread on our vehicles to help our cars easily brake when the weather is bad. If you are using chunky tires that are suited for off-roading, but you don’t regularly drive off-road, you may be significantly decreasing your fuel efficiency. The solution is to purchase street tires for your vehicle so that your car doesn’t do as much work.
If your tires are small, have good tread, and you check your air pressure regularly, but you still think your vehicle could be more fuel efficient, you can customize your wheels. Most wheels are made of steel, but depending on the weight of your vehicle, you may be able to opt for a lighter alloy wheel. This could decrease the weight of your vehicle and, thus, minimize your car’s resistance. However, be aware that this may affect the types of tires you can buy for your car. If it forces you to get wider tires, you will be trading off some fuel efficiency.
While the type of tires and wheels can impact your car’s gas mileage, your alignment can also affect your vehicle’s performance. If your alignment is off, it makes your car work harder when you are steering your vehicle, which means it uses more gas. So, make sure you are taking your car in on time to make sure your alignment is correct.
With a combination of making good tire choices and performing the proper maintenance on your vehicle, you can make your car more fuel-efficient. Not only will this help you save money on gas, but it can also help lower your carbon footprint, which is a win-win for you and the environment.