(NC) Many of us have experienced the effect of rolling resistance (RR) when riding a bicycle with underinflated knobby tires, in contrast to smooth-tread tires inflated to a higher pressure. A cyclist expends less effort when using smooth road tires.
The effect of RR is similar in our vehicles, except that we never really notice it as much since the engine is doing the work.
Did you know that rolling resistance from tires accounts for about 4 to 7 per cent of your vehicle's fuel consumption? In fact, auto manufacturers commonly install low rolling resistance tires as original equipment on new vehicles to help improve efficiency.
Most tire manufacturers are also offering low rolling resistance (LRR) replacement tires, which can reduce the overall fuel consumption of your vehicle by about 1 to 4 per cent, compared to conventional replacement tires.
LRR tires are designed to improve vehicle fuel efficiency without compromising safety – and tire designers use innovative materials, construction methods and tread patterns to reduce the amount of RR and in turn, the amount of fuel consumed.
Ask your local tire retailer about LRR tires and look for cost estimation tools online. Several tire manufacturers and retailers provide online calculators to help drivers make informed tire choices. Look for calculators that provide comparisons of tread life durability, wet traction safety, rolling resistance and total cost of ownership.
There is more information about fuel efficiency on the Natural Resources Canada website at www.vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca.