Many people talk about things such as filters, fuel injector cleaners and regular oil changes as being crucial ways to boost one’s gas mileage and they all are. However; many overlook one of the most crucial aspects of their vehicle that also affect gas mileage in a great way… Your tires!
While maintaining your car will always result in better gas mileage and a longer, healthier life for your car. Selecting and maintaining the proper tires will not only keep you safe on the road, but it will also improve your fuel economy as well and here’s how…
Tire rubber is literally the only material connecting your ride to the road. That means the tires’ performance affects everything from speed, handling, braking, acceleration and of course gas mileage. Worn out tires are not only dangerous because they impair your cars handling, but they tend to slip more on the road requiring the engine to work harder to move the car. Likewise, a tire with low air pressure can cause the car’s weight to be magnified creating more friction between rubber and road. Again, this causes the engine to work harder to move the vehicle because the weight is not properly supported by correctly inflated tires.
A harder working engine not only affects the overall performance and life of a car, but it will drink more gas per mile then a car that has properly maintained tires. Keeping in mind that the only contact your car (which weighs thousands of pounds) has with the road below are a few inches of rubber, suddenly maintaining your tires of paramount importance. A little TLC for your tires will not only help your wallet, your safety, your car’s life, it will also help you squeeze every last drop out of your tank greatly increasing your gas mileage.
With all this said you should have your tires rotated every couple thousand miles and replaced as needed based on wear, and their ability to hold air pressure. Tires with leaks and holes in the side-wall can not be repaired and need to be replaced. Tires with plugs on the treads should be checked regularly and may require more frequent air pressure checks due to slow leaks. You should never exceed the maximum pressure listed on each tire, it is best to try to keep it 5 psi or so below the maximum, especially in hot weather because air can expand quicker on hot days. Hope this helps, here is to getting more out of every gallon through proper tire care.