Tyres for cars, vans and utes

A lot of the energy vehicles use, goes into overcome rolling resistance between the tyres and the road. Even small improvements in tyre rolling resistance can lead to worthwhile fuel savings.

Tyres and fuel efficiency

At 50 km/hr, over half of the fuel you consume is used to overcome rolling resistance. At 80 km/hr this reduces to a third of fuel used, because aerodynamic forces increase.

By tackling tyre and wheel efficiency you can achieve:

  • significant fuel savings
  • improved road safety
  • lower maintenance costs
  • less tyre wear
  • increased profitability.

Tyre pressure

If a tyre is under inflated by 10%, you’ll use 1% more fuel to overcome rolling resistance. Having the wrong tyre pressure increases tyre wear, can create uneven tread wear and reduces the lifespan of the tyre. Having the wrong pressure in trailer tyres has a greater effect on fuel economy than steer or drive axle tyres. Trailer tyres are also most likely to be ignored, poorly maintained or under-inflated.

Make sure that:

  • you have the correct tyre pressures for your vehicle
  • you check your tyre pressures regularly
  • your checking method is accurate - use an accurate pressure gauge.

Tyre pressure - ENERGYWISE website

Wheel alignment

Wheel misalignment can increase the wear on your tyres and increase your fuel consumption. Visible signs that your tyres aren’t aligned correctly include wear on the tyre shoulder, or uneven wear over the tyre tread.

Reasons your wheels may become misaligned include:

  • faulty, or wear in steering joints
  • a knock to the wheel, such as hitting a kerb
  • regular off-road driving over uneven ground.

A 1 degree misalignment of one axle can increase fuel consumption by as much as 5%. This is because a tyre that is 1 degree out of alignment will be dragged sideways by 8 to 12 metres for every km of travel. Scrubbing tyres by even a small amount, will make tyres wear faster and unnecessarily consumes energy.

Tread depth

Tyres wear in use. As the tread lessens, and if the wear is even, they take less energy to roll. Hence it’s worth monitoring the tyres so you neither replace them too early as they become more efficient, nor too late when they begin to lose performance due to lack of tread.