Hypermiling techniques and the impact of fuel efficient tires
By: Discount Tire
What is “hypermiling”?
The short answer is that it's a newer trend started by a very specific breed of automotive enthusiasts. Instead of focusing on one specific vehicle type or performance category, drivers take sometimes painstaking measures to maximize fuel efficiency and mpg results.
You guessed it: they’re known as “hypermilers.”
Using some simple techniques that were pioneered by hypermilers, under the right conditions you can substantially increase your vehicle’s fuel economy to well beyond its manufacturer's specifications. Here are just a couple of the more popular hypermiling techniques:
Overinflating your tires by a couple PSI can improve fuel economy – but at potentially dangerous cost.
Some in the hypermiling community overinflate their tires, but Discount Tire never recommends you inflate your tires past the manufacturer's recommended PSI due to the safety risks of lost traction and braking performance.
Reduce the load on your tires.
Not all tires are built for a family of five plus groceries in the back! Certain tires are built for heavier loads, and having the right tire equipped on your vehicle can make a world of difference in your measured fuel economy.
Racing is for the track, but using a racing line when turning can help you save on the streets.
Most tires that are made for fuel efficiency are not designed for high speed driving. However, keeping momentum around wide turns will assist your fuel efficiency by allowing you to rely on your brakes less while maximizing your vehicle’s momentum.
How can Discount Tire help you get the most out of your tank of gas (or battery range)?
The answer lies in minimizing rolling resistance on your tires.
WHAT IS ROLLING RESISTANCE?
Rolling resistance is the energy consumed by the tire while driving.
Some of this energy is lost as heat when the tire makes contact with the road surface on its contact patch. The ability to release more energy after being stretched and un-stretched (compressed) when contacting the road surface determines the fuel efficiency properties of a tire.
Throwing on a new set of tires will have an effect on the rolling resistance of your vehicle in a generally positive way. The newer the tire, the easier it is for the rubber to compress and decompress while still maintaining its original shape and energy properties.
On tires that are advertised for their fuel economy attributes, they are created specifically to reduce their rolling resistance.
Technically speaking, the rolling resistance of most new tires has already been dramatically reduced with the increased use of silica in the tire-making process. (Not all tires made with silica are the most affordable, but the tires we recommend here generally won’t break the bank as it is.)While having an already fuel efficient car improves your fuel economy and carbon footprint, equipping your vehicle with the optimal tires for your driving style can provide substantial savings at the pump/plug – the ultimate goal of every “hypermiler.”
According to Matt Palmaymesa, Discount Tire’s store process manager with 17 years of in-store experience there’s more to it than going with any tire for your high-mpg vehicle.
“Priuses come in and they get a new set of tires without checking the specifications. It makes their fuel-efficiency actually go down.”
Your best move? Give your local Discount Tire location a call to figure out what the most fuel efficient tire for your vehicle is, whether or not you’re a hypermiler.
BEST HYPERMILING TIRES – OUR PICKS
With their narrow contact patch and lower-profile tread, these tires provide comparatively low rolling resistance and can improve your vehicle’s fuel economy.
So if you’re out to set a new personal best for fuel efficiency or are looking to seriously get into hypermiling, consider the following:
- Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
- Continental CrossContact LX20
- Continental Pro Contact
- Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max
- Michelin Energy Saver
- Michelin Energy Saver A/S
- Michelin X-Ice Xi3 (dedicated snow tire)
- Pirelli P4 FourSeasons Plus
Anyone can utilize hypermiling techniques to achieve better fuel efficiency, but if you want to maximize that mpg or battery range you'll need the right tires. That’s where we come in.
Make an appointment or stop by any of our locations – we'll get you taken care of!