What you should know about tire dimensions

215/70R16 all-season tires

You should consider tire dimensions when buying tires. This is important and the reason that manufacturers actually recommend a certain tire size for your make and model car or SUV. The reason the correct tire size is important is because wrong size tires can lead to decreased fuel economy and can even harm the transmission. In fact, if you put larger than the recommended size tires on your car you would increase the vehicle’s gas mileage by increasing the rolling resistance. It can also alter the performance of the car and can even be bad for the transmission. This is because a larger tire can actually reduce the cars effective gear ratio. With larger tires causing the tires to rotate slower to cover the same amount of ground which in turn can cause strain on the transmission. Wrong size tires can also affect the braking (ABS), handling and your odometer. Wider tires will also hydroplane easier. It is because of this that tire size does matter so always buy the correct size tires when buying new car tires for your car or SUV.

When looking into buying new tires you need to consult your car’s owner manual to see what the recommended size is for your car or SUV. Whether you are looking for winter, all-season or all-weather tires the recommended tire dimensions need to be respected. The tire dimensions can be found on the sidewall. If the dimensions are 215/70R16 then you would need to buy either 215/70R16 all-season tires, 215/70R16 all-weather tires or 215/70R16 winter tires.  With 215 signifying the tire width in millimeters, 70 being the aspect ratio, R the construction type (in this case Radial), and 16 the wheel diameter. In addition to these tire markings the sidewall is marked with tire type, load index, DOT symbol, tire identification number and the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG).

As mentioned above the wrong size tires effect the rolling resistance which is the resistance your car has to overcome in order to move forward. With larger tires they have a higher rolling resistance which will thereby decrease fuel efficiency. Deeper tread blocks like that found on winter tires and all-weather tires are great for grip and traction but bad for rolling resistance. With a low rolling resistance tire you can save as much as 6 percent on fuel costs. If you want to reduce fuel costs and thereby do something good for the environment, then you should invest in low rolling resistance tires with the correct size tires for your make and model of car.

Using the correct size tire dimension for your car or SUV is important as it assures the best handling, performance and functioning while assuring the best fuel efficiency, thereby saving on fuel and making the tires more environmentally friendly. Other things that you can do to save on fuel are things like keeping tires properly inflated and cutting down on drag by not attaching bike racks and overhead luggage containers when not needed.

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