How tire pressure affects fuel mileage

How tire pressure affects fuel mileage

As a driver, you're likely aware of the importance of tire pressure for maintaining optimal performance and safety on the road. However, did you know that proper tire pressure can also have a significant impact on your fuel mileage? In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at how tire pressure affects fuel mileage, with quotes from industry experts.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, "under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer." This may not sound like a lot, but over time, it can add up to a significant decrease in fuel economy.

J.D. Power notes that "when tire pressure is too low, rolling resistance increases, which means your vehicle has to work harder to move forward. This translates into more fuel consumption." Conversely, when tire pressure is at the recommended level, "the contact patch of the tire on the road is maximized, which means rolling resistance is minimized. This results in better fuel economy."

In addition, over-inflated tires can also lead to decreased fuel economy, as they result in a smaller contact patch and increased rolling resistance. As Dave Cappert, Technical Director at the Tire Industry Association, explains: "If tires are overinflated, then they can lose some of their traction, which can make the vehicle less fuel efficient."

So, what's the sweet spot for tire pressure and fuel mileage? The answer, according to Edmunds, is to follow the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure, which is usually found in the owner's manual or on a sticker inside the driver's side door jamb. As Jason Fenske, host of Engineering Explained, notes: "The easiest thing to do is to follow the recommended tire pressure, which is designed to provide the best balance between fuel efficiency, handling, and ride comfort."

In conclusion, proper tire pressure is essential for maintaining optimal fuel mileage. By following the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure, you can maximize your vehicle's efficiency and save money at the gas pump. As J.D. Power reminds us, "proper tire pressure is an easy way to save money on gas and reduce your carbon footprint.

Back to blog