How Tyres Affect Fuel Economy?

Published On 19-Dec-2019By Anand Priyadarshi

Primary reason for tyres affecting the fuel economy is because of the rolling resistance

How Tyres Affect Fuel Economy

Can Tyres Really Affect Fuel Economy?

The short answer to this question is yes – tyres do affect the fuel economy and make a big difference in the number of kilometres a driver gets to go on a full tank. It’s not just about the tyre maintenance; even the kind of tyres on the car can affect the fuel economy. The primary reason for tyres affecting the fuel economy is because of the rolling resistance.

What is rolling resistance?

Rolling resistance can be defined as the measure of the force at the axle in the direction of travel to make a loaded tyre roll. As vehicle design became more aerodynamic, rolling resistance has a greater role to play in fuel economy. Manufacturer these days develop low resistance tyres as stock in order to reduce weight. These tyres have thinner sidewall and narrow tread depths with low rolling resistance.

Tyre Size

Smaller wheels and tyres are good to go with in start-stop traffic as less power is needed. But if you are someone who loves long drive then you will have to make more stops at the petrol station as the engine works harder to make the smaller wheel cover the same distance as a larger one. So, for better fuel economy when cruising, larger wheel would be a better option to go with.

Recommended Read: Tyre Pressure and its importance on vehicle safety


Rolling resistance of a tyre also depends upon tyre tread. Tyres made from compounds such as silica and natural rubber helps reduce rolling resistance. The shallower the tread, the more fuel-efficient the tyre will be.

Tyre Pressure

The easiest way to enhance fuel economy is to make sure that your tyres are properly inflated. An underinflated tyre can increase a vehicle’s fuel consumption by 10 per cent. It also accelerates the rate of tyre wear, so you will soon be needing a new set.

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