When I was a kid, this question would have been a silly question. Not anymore. Thanks to U.S. Federal Government regulations on fuel efficiency, spare tires may soon be considered archaic.
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, was first enacted by Congress in 1975. Its focus is to increase the fuel economy of cars and trucks with the ultimate goal of reducing our overall energy consumption. This isn’t the first time we’ve written about this here at RightTurn, and it probably won’t be the last because tires can affect fuel economy in two basic ways.
First, the type of tire and its construction affect fuel consumption thanks to something called rolling resistance, or the energy a tire uses while rolling under the vehicle’s weight. Low rolling resistance tires improve fuel economy by reducing the amount of fuel needed to move the vehicle forward. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that “5%–15% of light-duty fuel consumption is used to overcome rolling resistance for passenger cars. For heavy trucks, this quantity can be as high as 15%–30%.”
The second way concerns your spare tire. The heavier a vehicle, the more
energy — fuel — it will use. Removing the weight of the spare tire helps reduce the energy — fuel — needed to when driving. According to Consumer Reports, nearly all car companies are removing spare tires.
So what does this mean for you? To start with, it means a flat tire may also be a thing of the past. Run-flat tires are making their appearance on many vehicles, and automakers like Mercedes-Benz and BMW are expanding their respective MO and AO tire lines to feature run-flat technology. For example, a 2015 BMW 740Li comes with Goodyear run-flats.
Hopefully you can see that its important to know if your car, truck, or van even has have a spare tire. If it doesn’t, are you driving on run-flats? If not, it’s just another reason to make sure you’re driving on tires with good, healthy tread. And if you’re not? You guessed it. Check out RightTurn.com today.