If you like your fuel economy, choose your tires carefully
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Thread: If you like your fuel economy, choose your tires carefully

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    johnmo is offline [OP]
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    If you like your fuel economy, choose your tires carefully

    I was surprised and happy that I got over 60k miles out of the OEM Goodyear tires, but tire time came and I wanted some black wheels, so I went up to 17" wheels and put on some 205/55R16 Continental PureContact LS tires.

    I'm not sure which piece of this setup is the biggest culprit, but my fuel economy dropped dramatically. In the middle leg of my commute where I used to routinely top 70 MPG on my last 25-mile average and where I've hit 80 MPG a few times, I struggle to top 60 MPG now. Hand-calculated tank averages are running 50-52 MPG, which, while still pretty respectable, is a big shift from the easy 55+ MPG I used to get. I doubt I'll see a 60 MPG tank with these wheels and tires.

    The PureContact LS is listed an "Eco Foucs" tire and I have them aired up well above what's specified on the door sill. I guess there's something in the tread or tread compound or just that little bit of extra width that makes all the difference. It feels kind of like it did with the Goodyears when I was driving in the rain, which always ate into fuel economy a little.

    Now, it handles great. The tires are slightly wider and the sidewall is stiffer and understeer isn't a thing any more. And it looks pretty sharp with the new wheels. But I really miss going 700 miles before the fuel light came on. I'm fueling up between 600 and 650 miles now.

    So... choose carefully if you want to keep your fuel economy.
    obermd, CruzzieQ and Rivergoer like this.
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    It's probably the wheels.
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    Whats the difference in total wheel weight versus what you replaced. Wouldn't take much additional weight to affect the mpg

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    You indicate the new rims are wider. Wider tires have more rolling resistance.
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    Go with the 17" ECO rims for the best weight savings - stock anyways
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    johnmo is offline [OP]
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    I went with RTX Black Widow wheels. I can't find any information about what they weigh, but it has to be a little more than stock. I was kind of surprised that neither the stock nor the custom wheels felt very heavy, but I'm not used to handling wheels without tires either.

    Maybe I'll have the OEM wheels powder coated black and switch back in another 60k miles.
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    My initial impressions are that I seem to have lost about ~3 MPG switching from my worn out MXM4 to PureContact LS.

    But I went up a size on sidewall (40 to 45), so the speedo is off by 2-3 MPH too.

    Hopefully it will increase as they wear in a bit; this was my first highway trip with them. I am EXTREMELY happy with the tires otherwise.
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    Yes tires have a big effect on mileage however my OEM Goodyears had more road damage than any tire Ive ever seen. By the time I replaced them I had at LEAST 12 patches in them leaving me limping to a tire shop and costing $30 each time. Before these tires, I've only had to patch 3 tires in my life (I've been driving for 15 years).

    After that experience, I dont care how much tires save on fuel, that fuel savings doesn't cover all those patches and lost time at work having to deal with flats all the time. If I could I would run 10-ply, Load Range-E, Light Truck tires on my ECO just to never have a flat again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblackburn View Post
    Hopefully it will increase as they wear in a bit; this was my first highway trip with them. I am EXTREMELY happy with the tires otherwise.
    Good point, new tires always have high rolling resistance.
    But if they're still doing it 5000 miles later...
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichLo1 View Post
    ...my OEM Goodyears had more road damage than any tire Ive ever seen. By the time I replaced them I had at LEAST 12 patches in them leaving me limping to a tire shop and costing $30 each time.
    You might be a good candidate for a road hazard warranty

    Seriously, I pay 15-25 $ per tire to add the warranty, and I'm pretty sure I'm getting my money's worth. It seems like, besides occasional 0-cost patches, I average one tire replaced per set due to some sort of hazard, whether it's one of my kids hitting a curb, or a nail in the shoulder (where it's unsafe to patch). I've had several tires replaced with the only cost being another 15-25 $ for the new warranty.

    Doug

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