Tire for mileage

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350
Location
Indianapolis, IN
At that size, you might get some mileage savings buy going to aluminum wheels, if not already equipped, to lessen the unsprung weight & rotating mass. For mileage, look for a tire with as little horizontal voids as possible, and 'closed shoulders'...like a 'rib' tire seen on trucks. Traction will suck, but rolling resistance is minimized. You see this feature in many high tread-wear tires and premium touring tires, Like BS's Turanzas. Not recommended, but if you can find a 155/80/13 tire that meets the load requirement for your car, this is another option to reduce rotating mass. On the down side, smaller tires will brake poorly, you will loose handeling, and might not fit the rim. Honestly, you may only gain 1/2 MPG it all your effort on tires/wheels. Just git a good quality tire that meets your needs.
 

LarryL

Thread starter
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1,910
Location
Vista, CA
I'm currently runnint 38 psi with some Michelin all weather tires. But I'm going to start looking around the internet and see what's out there. And looking at the ratings as well as the tread design looks like the thing to do.
 
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3,931
Location
Somewhere in the US
Rubber compound plays a much larger role in rolling resistance than tread design, so don't use the "design" as a good indicator of fuel economy. And seriously - we're only talking a few percentage points improvement. And you'll get more difference between new tires and old tires - Mass = drag. That means new tires consume more fuel than worn tires. You'd be further ahead to work on the engine and get it running to perfection.
 
Messages
350
Location
Indianapolis, IN
quote:
You'd be further ahead to work on the engine and get it running to perfection.
And keep your load light, keep the trunk empty and brakes in adjustment and working freely.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
quote:
Originally posted by Willy_G: At that size, you might get some mileage savings buy going to aluminum wheels, if not already equipped, to lessen the unsprung weight & rotating mass....
Going from steel to aluminum will only save $30 in gas for the life of the average vehicle - not enough to pay for the premium of aluminum wheels. This info is from the Aluminum Association who recognize that the only advantage to aluminum wheels are good looks and unsprung weight.
 

LarryL

Thread starter
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1,910
Location
Vista, CA
Willy is right. Alum wheels would cost far more than a 21 year old Civic wagon is worth. Gas mileage is a game, especially with the price heading for three bucks a gallon. Here's a question. It the higher gear ration from larger tires worth the increase in mass to spin?
 
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36,407
Location
ME
Just stay with the stock tire size and corner faster through intersections. [Smile] Less energy lost = less gas getting back to speed. Don't get some undersized tire that won't hold the road as well. [Frown] Loop wide when traffic permits. If you gently coast up to stop signs and accellerate gently away, that's taking it easier on the tires, which will counteract the slight additional wear from cornering harder. (tongue in cheek, but based on truth) Michelin makes a low rolling resistance tire, it's on the honda insight, but i've heard bad things about how they handle and also a wierd static electricity buildup. Not to mention in your size they're probably at least twice as expensive as a standard all-season radial. A higher gear ratio from a taller tire will help you if you keep the car lightly loaded and drive through flat lands. Don't neglect to factor in the aerodynamic changes from being higher off the ground (this month's hot rod magazine has an article FWIW) and odometer error, maybe use a GPS to calibrate.
 
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12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by LarryL: Willy is right. Alum wheels would cost far more than a 21 year old Civic wagon is worth. Gas mileage is a game, especially with the price heading for three bucks a gallon. Here's a question. It the higher gear ration from larger tires worth the increase in mass to spin?
Generally not. It will also make your odometer read low and make you think you lost even more than you did [Big Grin]
 

LarryL

Thread starter
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1,910
Location
Vista, CA
Today's tank of regular is proof that driving carefully and staying off the brake pedal and doing all the stuff you should paid off. 8.55 gallons for 363.1 miles was good for 42.4 mpg (mostly highway and rush hour traffic) in a 21 year old Honda Civic wagon. The tires are set at 38 psi (max listed is 40) and the mileage is actually going up during an ARX treatment. I'm going to keep looking for a good mileage tire that does not give up everyting in handling.
 
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2,698
Location
Silicon Valley
That brings up another area in which to save gas: avoiding rush hour traffic. Can you move closer to work? The point isn't really to save gas, is it? It's to save money. So wear those tires down to the belts. Kids today are always looking to get fat tires for their new little cars. Maybe someone will sell you their slightly used tires.
 
Messages
226
Location
Long Island NY
quote:
Originally posted by LarryL: I have 175 70R 13's on my Civic and wonder if there are any ideas for a good gas mileage tire.
Larry, in a small efficient car like you have the parasitic losses of the tires can make a difference of a couple MPG. Use the engineering prowess of the big guys. Buy the same tires used on Toyota Prius, Honda Insight etc. The Goodyer Integrity and Bridgestone RE92 seem by implication to be some of the lowest rolling resistance tires available. Remember tires are 100% engineering compromises. The tires that excel at low rolling resistance are also the poorest performing tires in the catagories that tire enthusiasts generally look at. I saw 2 MPG difference between Integrity and BFG Traction TA but elected to go with the substantial inprovment in handling etc. of the TA. If you are going to experiment for improved MPG I would try fabricating a front air dam and from my experience see a 1-2 MPG improvement on the highway in your car. Note this is not like the useless cosmetic spoilers being sold but a vertical slab from the front bumper straight down to 4" above ground level. Use hard plastic for the lower part of the spoiler and the occassional scraping on the ground is not so bad. Of course put in some good 'ole 0-20 !
 
Messages
350
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Although this horse is dead, I would not recommend the RE92 to anyone. I had them OE on 2 cars. It usually has poor treadlife and the shoulders close-up at about 30% wear, increasing hyroplaning. Other Bridgstones are great, especially the Potenza line, and even the re-labled ones sold by Sears. The Potenza is a mix of their adapted racing technology, and the evolution of the RCOT of the late 80's. Our old trusty '86 Golf had Mich. MXLs as OE tires. They sucked! I slapped on a set of Bridgstone RCOTs on in '88. I forget the name of the tire, but it was the predessor to the HP41. Only got about 40k out of the tires, but w/o any other changes, mileage went up about 2MPG, over the MXLs, for the life of the BS tires!
 
Messages
540
Location
Fla
That is a good tip. When I drove on I 95 to work (provided it wasn't rush hour) my mileage was better on the longer trip than the shorted city stop & go drive to work. Not to mention it is much better on your car. I am not one who does it but if you can set your cruise control on 70 for say a 200 mile drive you will get much better mileage than jackrabbit style we are all almost forced to do today. [Big Grin] PS keep the tires filled with air or Nitro Too.
 

LarryL

Thread starter
Messages
1,910
Location
Vista, CA
Since gas is almost three bucks a gallon I've been experimenting with trying to get better mileage. Everyone knows the basics, no hard starts, no speeding, tires as hard as rock, don't get stuck in traffic etc. There is one more really important one. Stay off the brake pedal. Drive around using it. I've decided to stick with a regular replacement tire and just work at the driving and trying to avoid rush hour. Driving can get boring in the city and I've been avoiding that by working at not using the brake pedal. It appears that the brake pedal is a very expensive control and one to avoid, when possible.
 
Messages
446
Location
USA
quote:
Bridgestone RE92 seem by implication to be some of the lowest rolling resistance tires available.
My Honda Odyssey was miserably noisy with RE92, but that was most likely the fault of the vehicle and not the tires.
 
Messages
971
Location
Boston
Carefull with over-inflation as you will increase fuel economy but it could be at the expense of a broken steel belt and the resulting OUT OF ROUND tire!
 
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