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The Ins and Outs of Low Rolling Resistance Tires

Low rolling resistance tires are both an effective and affordable way to improve the fuel efficiency of your car. They don’t usually cost any more, but you do need to be aware of this option and remember to look into or inquire about the rolling resistance of any tires that you’re buying. Most people don’t do this simply because they’re not aware of the existence of these tires, or don’t quite comprehend how they work and why they’re worth considering. So with that in mind, let’s look into the basics of low rolling resistance tires.

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that as much as 15% of fuel is used by the car to overcome a tire’s resistance to the road? That’s why, depending on the study, results show that using low rolling resistance tires can reduce your fuel consumption from 1.5% all the way to 4.5%. This amounts to significant savings in the long term and, when you combine it with the fact that low rolling resistance tires are often either the same price or even cheaper than regular tires, it’s obvious that they are at the very least worth considering.

So what makes them so effective? The short explanation (well, the shortest we can manage, so hang on) is that as you drive your car, the tires change shape while rotating. At any given time, the part of the tire that is touching the road is “deformed” while the contact with the road lasts, and the tire returns to the “relaxed” state when it’s no longer touching the road. Deforming the tire requires more energy than returning it to the original shape, which means the less deformation that happens, the less energy is required. This is why you can technically achieve very good fuel economy by overinflating your tires, but that has the significant negative of making the driving more uncomfortable and, most importantly, decreasing the safety as the tires’ ability to break is also affected by overinflating because it causes the tire to have less traction.

Low rolling resistance tires, on the other hand, use a whole host of engineering innovations to reduce fuel consumption without endangering safety. For example, depending on the tire brand, they are usually made out of a material like a compound of natural and synthetic rubber that has lower rolling resistance. They can also have smaller tire tread block depths or stiffer sidewall designs, both of which can play a significant part in fuel economy without decreasing traction.

If you’re interested in more information or want to buy low rolling resistance tires in Delaware, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


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