With the cost of living rising at an unnerving rate, we’re all looking for ways to cut back. Here’s our take on how your tyres and driving habits might be a good place to start.
Tyres account for up to 20-30% of your car’s fuel consumption (S.E.A.I.) so choosing the right ones can significantly reduce your spend at the pumps.
All new tyres sold in Ireland come with an EU tyre label to help you make an informed choice. Tyres are rated in three categories, Fuel Efficiency, Wet Grip and Noise. Fuel efficiency is rated on a scale from A to F, with an A-rating being the best result. These tyres require less energy to roll, and therefore burn less fuel. We’re always happy to go over the options with you and find something to suit your needs (and your budget).
Tyre pressure and fuel economy
Tyres naturally lose air at a rate of up to 2PSI every month, so it’s essential to check them regularly. The lower the air pressure inside the tyre, the larger its ‘footprint’ or contact area with the road. With that, the friction between the rubber and the road- known as the rolling resistance- rises. As rolling resistance increases, more power is needed to keep the vehicle moving. More force is needed to overcome this friction at slower speeds or if you are driving in conditions that mean you stop and start at regular frequencies.
Low tyre pressure also impacts your vehicle’s handling and increases the risk of tyre blowouts. Estimates vary and various factors affect your miles per gallon, but underinflated tyres could be increasing your fuel consumption from anywhere between 3% and 10%. Of course this extra fuel being used has a big impact on our environment too. Just under 20 lbs of carbon dioxide is released into the air for every gallon of fuel burned.
Your driving habits and fuel economy
Your car isn’t the only factor in improving fuel economy; you have a big part to play as well. Adopting bad driving habits, such as speeding and excessive acceleration at high revs, will almost certainly affect your fuel consumption. If your vehicle comes with cruise control, using it will help to maintain a constant speed and make the best use of your fuel. Sudden braking will also have a detrimental effect on your MPG, make sure you leave adequate space between yourself and the vehicle in front so you’re not hitting the brake pedal too often.
Many newer cars automatically turn off when stationary in neutral. If yours doesn’t, turn off your engine when you’ve stopped for a minute or so to save fuel.
Weight is another major factor in how much petrol your car uses. The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel will be needed to keep it moving. This is especially true when driving in stop-start traffic, something that can be quite common when driving in busy city areas or on motorways.
It’s easy to get into the habit of using your car as a storage space, with golf clubs or the stroller sitting in the boot of your car. However, on average, an extra 50kg of weight in the car will increase fuel consumption by 1-2%. Therefore, it’s best to only carry the essential things you need. So, it might be time to start decluttering your car, and leave those extra items at home if you don’t intend on using them.
Correct wheel alignment has several benefits, the most important being safety. Having an alignment check annually helps your tyres to wear evenly and last longer, adding up to 12,000 miles to the life of your tyre. Even the smallest weight imbalance can lead to uneven tyre wear (not to mention a nasty vibration through the steering wheel), tyre balancing is essential as it ensures the tyre spins evenly around the axle.
Having even tyre wear around the circumference of the tyre reduces rolling resistance with the road, ensuring your car is only burning the fuel it absolutely needs to.
Call in to TyreAware in Ballinderreen for a free tyre safety check.
You can book in for wheel alignment by calling 087 3522920 or using our handy online booking system.
Have you seen the rest of our online blog section? We have loads of top tips and informative articles. Check it out here: https://tyreaware.ie/blog/