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What is a fuel-efficient tire?

ster, provide more safety, comfort and luxury, use various types of fuel and even have tires which last longer and help saving on fuel. Every new model year features are better than the ones made years ago. The tires that have been used 15 years ago are nothing comparing to modern tires: the improved compounds in the materials provide better handling and rolling resistance.

Usually high-mileage tires are made of silica and rubber. Sometimes it may be just harder rubber or a compound with some other materials which improve the performance characteristics of the tires.

These tires do not only last for 50,000 to 90,000 miles. Their structure allows generating less heat and using less energy. They reduce rolling resistance while having low level of tread wear and minimize weight while having the same strength as other types of tires.

A drawback of the fuel-efficient tires is that they are more expensive than regular ones, but this difference will be greatly covered because first of all they last longer and secondly, they save about 2-4% on fuel. It might be even higher than this, but the tests that proved the fact of fuel efficiency were run on Toyota Prius which by itself is already a highly fuel-efficient car.

Pat Goss, master technician of “MotorWeek” on the PBS network, says, “You really have to do that research on a tire-to-tire basis because some tires on the market will still have issues with wet-traction, braking, handling, and hard ride”.

While a salesperson can show the tires and introduce their characteristics to a customer, there are actually no special markings which would distinguish fuel-saving tires from other types. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to pass the new standards on the rolling resistance of tires very soon and then it will take a couple of years for all manufacturers to start labeling all high-performance tires.

It is important to remember that any kind of tires will do well on gas if they are properly inflated: over inflation and especially under inflation makes the vehicle use more fuel than it should. However, the improved rolling resistance on high performance tires helps to save even more.

Many drivers underestimate the fact that tire inflation influences fuel usage. The vice president of Tire Rack, Matt Edmonds, says, “Alignment and tire inflation are two things that greatly impact on fuel-economy. Vehicles whose tires are underinflated by 20 percent use 10 percent more gas”.

Owners should pay close attention to the tires, because even the high performance tires will not do any good and their performance will not be full if they are neglected, aligned or inflated improperly.

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