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Archive for March, 2014

Tires and Fuel Economy

When it comes to performance and fuel economy, many people talk about things such as filters, fuel injector cleaners and regular oil changes as the key. While maintaining your car well will always result in better mileage and longer car life; people tend to overlook the fact that selecting and maintaining the proper tires will help your gas mileage as well, and keep you safe along the way.

Tire rubber is literally the only material connecting your ride to the road. This means that the tires’ performance affects everything from speed, handling, braking, acceleration and fuel economy. Worn out tires, for example, are not only dangerous as they impair handling, but they tend to slip more on the road requiring the engine to work harder to move the car forward.

Keeping your tires properly inflated is crucial. For example, tires with low air pressure cause the car’s weight to be magnified and creates more friction between rubber and road. Again the engine must work harder to move this vehicle whose weight is not being properly supported by correctly inflated tires. It’s always important to check the manufacturer’s manual, or visit a Mazda dealer in Phoenix, for the recommended amount of pressure needed. Some drivers also check for a reminder sticker on the door jamb, but it’s important to remember not to use any numbers printed on the tire. These numbers are the maximum pressure for the tire and not necessarily for the make and model of your vehicle. Seasonal weather can also affect pressure, especially in the summer months, so check the psi on a routine schedule.

Believe it or not, rims also have a part in fuel economy. Again, lightweight rims come into play along with tires because of the energy, and thus the gas, required to get the wheels rolling. Smaller wheels may increase gas mileage in the long run, but remember proper tire inflation is a major ingredient in this formula.

With all this said,  it is a good idea to have your tires rotated every couple thousands of miles and replaced as needed based on wear and tear, ability to hold air pressure, and handling. If you have questions or concerns on the specifications on your car, visit Chapman Mazda.