Toyota Tundra Getting Poor Fuel Economy? Blame the Tires

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If you have a new or used Toyota Tundra and you are trying to find ways to improve the fuel economy, check the tires. And no, we aren’t talking about air pressure.

Toyota Tundra Getting Poor Fuel Economy? Blame the Tires

These tires sure look great, but you won’t like them so much at the pump.

One of the key pieces of fuel economy are the tires. Quite simply, tires build up resistance as you drive and this causes the truck to supply more energy (fuel) to get them to move. While, most everyone knows adding monster truck tires will seriously reduce fuel economy, did you know brand new tires can have a similar affect?

Brand new tires, either for a new or used truck, will cause a drop in fuel economy. The reason has to do with the resistance idea from above. Newer tires have more tread, this more tread adds additional resistance.

On the flip side, worn-down tires provide the best fuel economy. They simply have less rubber on them and have less resistance.

This is part of the adage which says newer trucks need to be “broken in” to get better fuel economy. While part of this applies to the engine, a big part of it has to do with the tires as well.

Lower-Resistance Tires

You may be thinking that’s all fine and dandy, but I’ll just buy those new low-resistance tires. They will negate the above scenario of new tires robbing fuel economy. It doesn’t quite work that way.

The fact is the older, worn-down tires still provide better fuel economy than the low-resistance tires in the beginning. Long-term the lower-resistance tires will eclipse the worn-out tires in fuel economy, yet it may take a while.

Another point on low-resistance tires – the grip. There are many factors to consider when buying new tires and grip is a big part of this. It is becoming more and more apparent that low-resistance tires offer less grip than other tires. This is due to their construction and the reduction in rubber.

Tire Air Pressure

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention tire air pressure’s impact on fuel economy. Without a doubt, running tires at low tire pressure not only causes a drop in fuel economy, it can damage the tire. When you do this, you are essentially adding more rubber to the road which creates more resistance.

There is a simply solution to this issue. Check your tires regularly and keep an eye on the tire pressure monitoring system.

The ironic part of all of this is to get better fuel economy, you simply need to drive more and wear down your tires! Although, don’t wear them down so much you lose grip.

Filed Under: Maintenance Tips


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