If you’re concerned about the environment and want to save on gas, don’t overlook the option of buying tires designed to improve fuel efficiency. Many tire manufacturers are now making “greener” tires for car owners looking for ways to reduce fuel emissions and save on fuel costs. Even spending a little more upfront could mean big savings later — and also support your eco-friendly lifestyle. Below is what you need to know about choosing tires for better fuel efficiency.

Low-Rolling Resistance Tires

As you shop around for better tires, you might come across tires described as low-rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is the term used to describe the force required to keep your tires rolling. Tires with less tread have less traction, but are also more fuel-efficient. If you don’t plan on driving on bumpy terrain or off-roading with your vehicle any time soon, you may fare well with low-rolling resistance tires. The tread life of these tires is comparable to conventional tires, but you can expect to replace low-rolling resistance tires sooner, according to Edmunds.com. The savings kick in when you calculate the cost of gas.

All-season tires have low-rolling resistance, and they’re ideal for those who live in warmer climates since they’re designed with plenty of tread for performance year round. While these still provide some traction and grip in snowy conditions, they have less tread than winter tires so they can be more fuel-efficient.

All-Season vs. Performance Tires

If you want an enhanced driving experience, performance tires will be your best bet. If you spend a lot of time driving through storms or inclement weather conditions, want better handling of your vehicle, or want a sportier look for your car, performance tires are the way to go. According to Goodyear, these tires are designed with larger tread blocks and usually have a lower profile to cover wider patches of the road. The result is a better steering response and more traction on both wet and dry pavement.

However, these tires don’t necessarily guarantee better fuel efficiency. All-season tires are made to handle wet and snowy conditions, but you’ll need winter tires or performance tires to safely handle inclement weather conditions.

Tire Care Tips to Improve Fuel Efficiency

In addition to choosing the right types of tires, there are some things you can do to improve fuel efficiency. First and foremost, keep your tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires make your vehicle work harder — especially at higher speeds — which means you’ll be burning more gas while driving. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, keeping tires properly inflated provides a 0.6% fuel economy benefit.

You’ll also want to have your tires rotated on schedule. Have a mechanic rotate your tires regularly so you don’t have uneven tread on the front and rear axles. Evening out the wear and tear of your tires can improve overall performance. Tire rotation can also extend the life of your tires, according to Michelin.

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