How tire dimensions can affect gas mileage

205/55R16 all-season tires

Tire dimensions can affect gas mileage. Tires other than in the recommended tire dimensions for your car can increase rolling resistance and thereby decrease gas mileage. In addition, wrong size car tires can also alter the performance of the car and can even be bad for the transmission. This is because a larger tire can actually reduce the cars effective gear ratio. With larger tires causing the tires to rotate slower to cover the same amount of ground which in turn can cause strain on the transmission. Wrong size tires can also affect the braking (ABS), handling and your odometer. Wider tires will also hydroplane easier.

This is why it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended tire dimensions for your make and model car or SUV. No matter if you are looking for winter tires, all-season or all-weather tires the recommended tire dimensions need to be respected. The tire dimensions can be found on the sidewall. If the dimensions are 205/55R16 then you would need to buy either 205/55R16 all-season tires205/55R16 all-weather tires or 205/55R16 winter tires.  With 205 signifying the tire width in millimeters, 55 being the aspect ratio, R the construction type (in this case Radial), and 16 the wheel diameter. In addition to these tire markings the sidewall is marked with tire type, load index, DOT symbol, tire identification number and the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG).

In addition to using the correct dimension tires there are other things that can be done to save on fuel costs. Always use properly inflated tires. Slowing down from 80 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour can help save 25% in fuel. Driving sensibly by avoiding lots of braking and accelerating, changing gears before 2,500 RPMs, avoid loading down the car as a lighter car helps save on gas as well as keeping the car aerodynamic by avoiding attaching roof rack and bike racks are some of the things that can be done to help reduce fuel costs.

As mentioned above the wrong size tires effect the rolling resistance which is the resistance your car has to overcome in order to move forward and therefore ultimately affect the gas mileage of your car or SUV.  It should be noted though that there does exist some advantages of larger tires which is that they have improved handling due to the wider tread faces and stiffer sidewalls allowing for decreased braking distance and improved acceleration, especially in very powerful vehicles and muscle cars. Also, muscle cars offer better grip due to their wider tires, this however is due to the composition of the tire compound being softer, with this softer compound the tires need to be wider to support the weight of the car.

With correct size tire dimension can help you safe on gas as well as increase the performance of your car or SUV. This along with the above-mentioned things to do to save on fuel can help reduce emissions making the car more environmentally friendly.

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