Thursday, January 20

Driver’s Guide to Helping your Car’s Tyres Save You Money on Fuel


The tyres on your vehicle, the way you maintain them, and your driving behaviour all play a significant role in the amount of fuel your vehicle consumes. This impacts the amount of money you need to spend to fill up at the petrol station.

It’s been that way since John Dunlop invented the pneumatic tyre, or rubber tubes filled with air, in the late 1880s. And while petrol prices in his day may seem ridiculously low by our standards, the principle remains that the more fuel your engine uses to keep your vehicle’s tyres moving, the more money you’re obliged to spend. And one thing where we and Mr Dunlop agree is that every cent, or in his case, every penny, counts. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the things you can do to help the performance of your tyres keep fuel costs down.

man driving car

Here’s how your tyres can help you save money on fuel:

Keep your rolling resistance as low as possible

A key tip is to keep your rolling resistance as low as possible. You want the minimum amount of rubber in contact with the tar, because the more contact you have, the more fuel it takes to keep your tyres rolling. So, keep your tyres inflated to your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. You’ll find that info on the driver’s side doorjamb, or in your vehicle’s manual.

Don’t go by the tyre pressure printed on the tyre itself. This is a maximum tyre pressure, and not optimised for your particular vehicle. Over-inflation can cause uneven tyre wear. And inflate them when they are cool, as this is a more accurate measure of tyre pressure.

Ford Ranger Stormtrak

Also read: Servicing your Car 101

Keep your tyres standard size

Vehicle makers are obliged, by law and customer demand, to keep emissions and fuel consumption as low as they can. So stay with the optimised OEM tyre size. Remember, a bigger tyre, more aggressive tyre pattern, or lower sidewall profile means extra weight and more engine effort to keep them turning.

There are several other things you can do to keep your tyres running optimally. Rotate your wheels and check their balance every 10,000 kilometres to even your vehicle’s load.

Inflate with nitrogen.

Filling tyres with nitrogen, rather than air, maintains optimum tyre pressure.

Ford Figo Freestyle

Also read: Buyer’s Guide: How to Find a Vehicle to Suit Your Budget

Invest in premium brand tyres

Next time you go to buy new tyres insist on premium brand tyres. Yes, they may cost more initially, but their superior quality will keep fuel costs down, as well as lessen the need to replace them often.

Drive smart

The way you drive affects your tyre’s ability to save you money on fuel. Hard acceleration or deceleration, or cornering too fast, gives tyres less traction, which means engine power, fuel, and your money is wasted.

Find the best prices on care tyres online with PriceCheck now:

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