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Do Tires Affect MPG?

These are commercial truck tires

Many car enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike often wonder about the relationship between tire size, tire weight, and fuel efficiency. The questions commonly asked include: “Do bigger wheels affect MPG?” and “How much does tire weight affect MPG?” Below we’ll explore these common queries and provide Indianola and Pella drivers with insights into how tire size and weight can indeed influence your vehicle’s fuel economy.



Do Bigger Tires Affect MPG?

Do bigger tires affect MPG? Yes, the size of your tires can have a noticeable impact on your car’s miles per gallon (MPG). So if you’re wondering do bigger wheels affect MPG, take a look below for more information. Here’s the impact:

  1. Rolling Resistance: Larger tires often come with a wider tread, which increases the contact area between the tire and the road. This greater contact area can result in higher rolling resistance, making your engine work harder to move the vehicle forward. As a result, more fuel is consumed to maintain speed and acceleration.
  2. Aerodynamics: Bigger tires can disrupt the aerodynamics of your vehicle, especially if they protrude significantly beyond the wheel wells. This increased drag force can reduce fuel efficiency, particularly at higher speeds.
  3. Weight: Larger tires are generally heavier than smaller ones. Extra weight means your engine has to work harder to carry it, resulting in decreased MPG. This weight not only includes the tire itself but also larger wheels, which can be made from heavier materials.

How Much Does Tire Weight Affect MPG?

How much does tire weight affect MPG? Tire weight plays a role in influencing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Here’s why:

  1. Unsprung Weight: The weight of your tires is considered unsprung weight, meaning it’s not supported by your car’s suspension. Heavier tires require more energy to accelerate, decelerate, and maintain speed. This added energy consumption contributes to lower MPG.
  2. Inertia: Heavier tires have more rotational inertia. When you accelerate, this inertia can lead to slower speed gains and increased fuel consumption. Conversely, it takes more energy to slow down heavier tires when braking.
  3. Suspension Wear: The added stress from heavier tires can accelerate suspension wear and negatively affect the alignment of your vehicle. Misaligned tires can cause uneven tire wear, leading to even more frequent tire replacements and reduced fuel efficiency.

Do Tires Affect MPG?

Tires, in general, have a significant impact on MPG. So how do tires affect MPG? Several factors beyond size and weight can influence fuel efficiency on Knoxville drives:

  • Tire Pressure: Under-inflated tires can increase rolling resistance and reduce MPG. Regularly check and maintain proper tire pressure according to your vehicle’s specifications.
  • Tire Tread: Worn-out or irregularly worn tire treads can negatively affect MPG. Ensure your tires have even tread wear and replace them when necessary.
  • Tire Type: Different tire types, such as all-season, summer, or winter tires, can have varying rolling resistance characteristics. Selecting the appropriate tire type for your driving conditions can help maintain optimal MPG.

Do Tires Affect MPG? Explore How Your Tires Can Help You Save in Knoxville!

Tire size, weight, and overall tire condition can indeed affect your car’s MPG. Larger tires and heavier wheels typically result in reduced fuel efficiency due to increased rolling resistance, altered aerodynamics, and the added burden of unsprung weight. Regular tire maintenance, proper tire selection, and maintaining ideal tire pressure can help mitigate these effects, ensuring that your vehicle operates at its best fuel efficiency. If you need new tires, a rotation, or other tire maintenance, schedule your appointment at DeYarman Automotive Group today!


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