Most folks can’t afford to buy a new car right now so they are taking better care of the one they have. The good news is you can get better mileage when you replace worn out tires with new design high mileage tires. The bad news is that they might not be worth the extra cost.
Goodyear just introduced its Assurance Fuel Max line of tires. These tires will be original equipment on the Chevy Volt.
These new design tires reduce rolling resistance by 27%. That means you need less energy to keep your car rolling down the road.
When you use less energy to keep your car rolling, you pay less at the gas pump. Folks can expect a 4% improvement in fuel economy using these tires.
That savings doesn’t justify new buying tires if you don’t need them. But, if you need new tires and expect to drive your existing car for at least another 3 years, upgrading to fuel saving tires might be worth it.
Do not be confused with terminology when you shop for new tires. “High-mileage” tires mean that they will last for more driving miles before they wear out. High-mileage does not necessarily mean that they save fuel.
The key words are “Low Rolling Resistance.” Do not expect your tire dealer to know much about them. These tires are so new that useful data is hard to find.
You will have to do your homework to be sure that you are getting what you want.
Steps I recommend for buying new tires
1. First, decide how long you are going to keep your car.
2. Then price the least expensive tires that will safely last that long.
3. Then get a price for a set of low rolling resistance tires.
4. Guess that the low rolling resistance tires will save you $50 a year in fuel. (estimated at 15,000 miles a year, 30 mpg, 4% improved mpg, gas at $2.50 a gallon)
Multiply the number of years in step one by $50 and add it to the cost for the set of cheap tires. Now how do they compare with the cost for the low rolling resistance tires?
I think the low price tires will save you a little more money for a year or two. The longer you plan to keep your car the better the low rolling resistance tires will be on your wallet.
Who really benefits from Low Rolling Resistance tires?
Folks who have fleets of vehicles that are driven a lot of miles will benefit the most. I am thinking of taxicabs and delivery services here.
The auto manufacturers like them because they boost their mpg ratings a couple of points. That gives the carmakers better numbers as a selling point and helps meet government regulations.
Low rolling resistance tires make it easier to push your car to the filling station when you run out of gas.
© Birney Summers – 2009 All Rights Reserved