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Let it roll: Low-resistance tires save drivers money

Thursday, January 16, 2014

ANN ARBOR—Drivers who switch to tires with low rolling resistance can save an average of nearly $150 a year, says a University of Michigan researcher.

"One parameter on which tires differ is their rolling resistance—the force resisting the motion when an object rolls," said Michael Sivak, research professor at the U-M Transportation Research Institute. "Tires with low rolling resistance roll easier and, therefore, get better mileage than tires with high rolling resistance."

The U.S. Transportation Research Board estimates that a 10 percent increase in tire rolling resistance will result in about a 1.5 percent decrease in vehicle fuel economy.

Sivak examined the rolling-resistance measurements for 63 new same-sized tire models obtained by Consumer Reports at the same load and inflation pressure to calculate the fuel consumed annually by an average driver. He then calculated differences in fuel used (and money spent) between tires at the extremes of rolling resistance.

The tires represented a cross-section of the currently available T-, H- and V-speed-rated tires for light-duty vehicles on the U.S. market (maximum speeds for each of these types of speed-rated tires are 118 mph, 130 mph and 149 mph, respectively).....

Full story found here.