Published Tuesday, October 12, 2010 6:14PM PDT
Some tire manufacturers say they can help you save money at the gas pump. Chris Olsen checks to see if the claims are just so much hot air.
Michelin's television ad for its Energy Saver A/S low-rolling-resistance tire is a cartoon fairy tale. But in real life, can a tire really change everything? Consumer Reports wanted to find out.
"Rolling resistance is the force that a tire needs to keep it moving down the road. Low-rolling-resistance tires can, in theory, save you gas, but there are other factors to consider when purchasing a tire," Consumer Reports' Jon Linkov said.
The consumer watchdog group tested two all-season tires with low-rolling resistance: the Michelin Energy Saver A/S and the Cooper GFE.
"Both of these tires are more fuel efficient. But the Michelin was the best. It could potentially save you up to three miles per gallon on the highway. And that can save you about $100 per year,"
But in the past, tires with low-rolling resistance haven't performed well in some of Consumer Reports' routine tests on both dry and wet pavement.
This time, the Michelin did exceptionally well.
"[It rated] ‘very good' in both dry braking as well as wet. So you no longer have to compromise braking performance to get good fuel economy," Linkov said.
But be aware, the Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires, as with any tire, have to be properly inflated in order to get maximum fuel efficiency.
The Michelin Primacy MXV4 is the top-rated performance all-season tire with ‘excellent' low- rolling resistance, ‘very good' tread life and ‘very good' handling in all conditions, except snow where they rated only ‘good' not ‘very good'.
The Hankook Optimo H727 gets Consumer Reports top recommendation where you can expect the occasional snowfall.
Consumer Reports says if you're considering getting a low-rolling-resistance tire, first find a top-performing tire that's good for your personal driving style and road conditions. Then use the tire's rolling resistance as a tiebreaker. And remember in most places in BC, you'll need winter tires to handle our snowy road conditions.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Chris Olsen