Low Rolling Resistance Tires, Improved Gas Mileage by Intent

Tires-Easy Tire Buying Guide, Tire Technology

Have you heard? There’s a new breed of tire in town. The Low Rolling Resistance tires (LRR) are designed to provide better gas mileage. For the driver, that means lower fuel costs. For the environment, that means decreased pollution from automobile emissions. For the automobile manufacturers, that means a step toward meeting government standards for reduced vehicle fuel consumption.

What is rolling resistance?

It takes energy to roll a tire. It takes even more energy when your 3 or 4 thousand pound car is sitting on top of that tire. Rolling resistance is a measure of just how much energy it takes to push your tires down the road.

What makes Low Rolling Resistance Tires (LRR) different?

The idea was to create tires that can move forward with less energy but still be safe to drive. Engineers already knew that worn out bald tires take less energy to roll because they don’t have all that tread hanging on to the road. Of course, those worn out tires are dangerous for exactly the same reason, not enough tread. The trick was to create a tire with reduced rolling resistance that would still handle well and be safe on the road.

Today’s low rolling resistance tires do just that. They are made with new tire compounds and modern tread patterns that provide good response, handle well on the road, and meet all NHTSA safety standards.

How much gasoline will I save with LRR tires?

It depends on how you drive, where you drive, what kind of vehicle you have, and how you maintain your tires.

Experts estimate that on average, low rolling resistance tires improve mileage by about 3%. That doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up over time.

Remember, that 3% is just an average.

By the way, you might not see an immediate increase in gas mileage if you replace your worn out bald tires with new LRR tires because the LRR tires will have a better grip on the road. You will, however, be a lot safer.

Three ways to increase your mileage:

  1. Check your air pressure on a monthly basis and refill your tire as instructed in your vehicle’s owner manual.
  2. Watch your speed on the highway.  Steady and moderate speed burns less fuel.
  3. Avoid stop and go traffic when possible. Traffic jams are not only unpleasant, but it takes a lot more gasoline to push your tires forward from a dead stop than if they are already moving.