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  1. #1

    Tires for best MPG

    Some info you might be able to use: My car came standard with Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tires. I just changed tires (after 63,000 mi., good tread remaining). I bought a competing brand, got bad mileage and returned them. I called Michelin, talked to an engineer. He recommended the following for best mileage: MXV4 S8. (These are new.) These tires are D### expensive. I see that they are supplied standard on the new Accord hybrid.

    Well, I got a set. I think my mileage has increased about 2 mpg above the previous Michelin Energy tires.

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  3. #2

    Tires for best MPG

    Thanks for the information. I was thinking about a tire change when I got mine. I didn't know there could be that much difference between designs. Every mpg helps.

  4. #3

    Tires for best MPG

    i'm a mechanical engineer, and know that tire issues like too heavy, too large a diameter take more energy to accelerate. i'm sure conscious design from people like Michelin has a positive affect on cars in general & hybrids in particular.

    this points out for all of us to take this as a concern when we do get around to replacing our tires.

    the tire salesman at the store very likely has no clew of what the moment of inertia is of any of his tires. the smallest moment of inertia would be what we want ~ i'm suspecting.

    see ya


  5. #4

    Tires for best MPG

    First of all, keep your stock wheels. The aftermarket trend of huge rims almost always adds wheel weight, which as the previous poster said, is a very bad thing.

    Secondly, you want the narrowest tires which will fit on the rim. I'm guessing the size which comes with the car is the narrowest, but check your manual.

    Thirdly, make sure you always have the tires at the maximum pressure. Get a quality tire gauge to do this, the Accu-Gage brand is excellent.

    Lastly, don't go too far. You already have a hybrid, so personally I would look for SAFETY, not economy, when it comes to the tires. This means go for wider, stickier rubber than OEM. You never know when you might need to swerve out of the way of one of those SUV monsters.

  6. #5

    Tires for best MPG

    Has anybody else spoken to tire engineers about this? I have sent e-mails to Firestone, Goodyear, Cooper and others regarding tire choices and air pressure.

    They basically recommend: 1) using the original tires that the manufacturer installed and 2) using the same tire pressure as in the owner's manual.

    This choice is based on the vehicle manufacturer's balancing of safety, driving comfort and tire drag (rolling resistance).

    If the tire has a maximum pressure of e.g., 44 psi, then theoretically you can put that high of a pressure in them. Unfortunately, I haven't yet found information about how well a tire would perform on wet and snow-covered road conditions at higher pressures. Since I drive in Ohio, these are important points.

    By the way: Most of the tire resistance comes from "pushing" the tire down the road. E.g., the weight of the car causes the tires to flatten out on the bottom. As the tire rolls, this flat spot becomes round as a new part of the tire becomes flat. This constant flattening of the tire is the bulk of the resistance (try flattening a tire by hand), and also what causes the tire to heat up. Think of bending a paperclip back an forth until is breaks--that's what is happening to your tires every revolution. This resistance depends on tire pressure and vehicle speed. Higher pressure = lower resistance; higher speed = higher resistance.

    There is a coefficient of rolling resistance (CRF) that you can find on some tire manufacturer's websites. The lower the CRF, the better gas mileage you will get--all other things being equal. Unfortunately, the tires with the least rolling resistance may, or may not, be the best tires for wet pavement or snow.

  7. #6

    Tires for best MPG

    Good points Vince. The Ford Escape Hybrid will have pretty wide tires designed for on/off road capability and mud and snow. In Georgia, I won't need that capability and I feel like there could be something better for MPG. If you see ratings that might let us compare rolling resistance, please share. I'll keep looking also. I'd like to optomize - not compromise.

  8. #7

    Tires for best MPG

    Out of curiousity, just how much are those michelin's ??

  9. #8

    Tires for best MPG

    Cost of my new-type energy tires: Michelin Energy MXV4 S8, in 205/60 R16s cost $172 each, from Sears. Got my best-ever winter mileage on a trip yesterday (793 miles/ 13.4 gal = 59 mpg -- at 65 mph) I had just upped pressure to 40 psi. (Max is 44 psi.) I also increased tire diameter when I bought the new tires, which I think has helped mileage.

    Size choices for these tires are very limited at this point. A 15-inch size you can get is 205/65 R15.

  10. #9

    Tires for best MPG

    Keep in mind that if you change tire diameter, by using different wheels and tires, or by just changing tire profile (i.e., the 2nd number in the 205/60 R15 size designation: 65 has a larger diameter than 60), your speedometer and odometer will not read accurately.

    A bigger tire/wheel combination will make your speedometer read lower than your actual speed--so you can get a ticket when your speed readout is only 65 mph.

  11. #10

    Whats all the hype about? In

    Whats all the hype about? In 1993 I owned a 1992 Suzuki Swift, five speed, four cylinder. In hot summer I was able to get 51 mpg, in which how I drove resembled an old man. Winter was a different story, about 30 to 35 at best in snow. Now mfgers are raving about 35 to 37 with regular vehicles. I've been looking for a diesel bug or vetta for my next commuter car, I can deal with 50 mpg and $4.50 fuel.

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