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Old 03-04-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
clayton89
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Fuel Efficiency

My friend has found a pretty good deal on a set of OZ ultraleggeras 16 x 7 and he currently has 15 inch steelies. He was curious if the increase in contact patch of the tire going from 185 - 205 will offset the increase mpg factor of having lightweight wheels of approx 5lbs lighter?

Thanks for your comments

Edit: He has a 05 4 door focus


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Old 03-04-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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It may but most likely it would be negligible.

as an example I went from 16" wheels with 205/55/r16 tires to 17" wheels with 225/45/r17 on my Subaru and actually got better fuel economy because the wheel and tire combo was lighter than the original size.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:54 PM   #3
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That was my thought, but I am guessing that the stock steel wheels weigh like 20 lbs plus the weight of the tires. So my guess would be that the 16 inch tires would weigh about the same maybe less, But I do believe that saving 5lbs per wheel will be very beneficial for mpgs.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:13 AM   #4
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It depends on the tires really. My 16" tires around 25lbs each and my 17" tires are about 20lbs each. The wheel weights I do not know off hand but i had looked the weight of my tires on tirerack.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:48 PM   #5
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just looking on tire rack at a few tires it looks that the 16 inch tires are around 20lbs versus 15 inch tires are around 18lbs
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:56 PM   #6
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OK looking at a post on the forum from Julian at Tire Rack stated that theirs are like 19lbs a piece shown here and over on this discussion it looks like the factory may weigh 20.5 lbs (figuring a 18lb tire 38.5 - 18 = 20.5) do you guys think that a total weight loss of wheel weight 5lbs plus the 2lb gain in tire and greater contact patch width would hurt gas mileage or hardly be noticeable?
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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don't forget the aero impact :D
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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I know lol. I just know I have seen a few people here complain about their mileage based on increasing wheel sizes, but usually they all increase the width of the tire. I have seen a few people say that with the increase in contact patch will increase friction with road surface leading to less MPGs
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by clayton89 View Post
I know lol. I just know I have seen a few people here complain about their mileage based on increasing wheel sizes, but usually they all increase the width of the tire. I have seen a few people say that with the increase in contact patch will increase friction with road surface leading to less MPGs
Thats where friction comes in= more friction= more stick. Get mpg eco type tires & you'll loose friction but have better mpg.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:25 PM   #10
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If you do some deep research, you will find that wider tires will typically have less rolling resistance. And going to a wider tire doesnt increase the contact patch but only changes the shape of the contact patch (if tire pressures remain the same as before).

It gets complicated but simple answer is a wider tire alone wont hurt fuel mileage. Wheel weight and tire compound/tread design have a bigger impact.

Go to autospeed.com and lookup an article called "tyres, grip, and all that..." <- explains everything. Haha.

Last edited by Levi05; 03-05-2013 at 06:33 PM. Reason: better word choice
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