Low Rolling Resistance Tires  | How Do They Work?

Last updated on September 27th, 2023 at 09:40 am

Low Rolling Resistance Tires

Every driver looks for an affordable ride at this high inflation and expensive energy age and low rolling resistance tires are the solution to that. Whenever someone wants to save some money on fuel consumption and wants to improve their vehicle’s gas mileage they choose low rolling resistance tires to save some money. 

Low rolling resistance is one of the features that come with passenger car tires. The tire that resists low rolling requires less energy to push the vehicle, so when a car has to give less energy to the tires, the car requires less energy as well as fuel. 

In this article, we will explain all about low-rolling-resistance tires, their advantages, and disadvantages, how they work, and whether you should buy them or not. There are not many tires that come in both low rolling and high rolling, even if you have no options you can choose a different tire that has low rolling resistance if you want to improve mileage and save some money. 

How they work

Tread design and compound play an important role in making a tire resistant to low rolling. Low-rolling resistance tires usually combine tread blocks, instead of individual tread and shoulder blocks, that require more energy to move, making them not an ideal low-rolling resistance tire. 

Most of the directional and symmetrical tread pattern tires are resistant to low rolling and asymmetrical tires can not resist low rolling due to different tread designs on each block and sidewalls as well. 

Factors of Low rolling resistance tires

The tire size, weight, contact area, and tread blocks all make the tire less fuel-consuming tire. The size and weight of the tire make it a lightweight tire that requires less force than heavy-weight tires. And the contact area is the main factor that improves low rolling resistance, when the contact area of the tire is shorter, meaning a narrower tire, the tire requires less force to move forward. 

What performance do they deliver?

The performance of low-rolling resistance tires especially if you are an off-terrain driver is not as good as all-terrain or off-road tires. Even though they will move your car and save you some money, however, the contact, and stability of your vehicle wont be intact. Also, low rolling resistance tires have a softer compound which makes them less resistant to harsh conditions, which means you will have to carry more punctures on your tire tread. 

Benefits Low Rolling Resistance Tires

Environmental friendly

The low rolling resistance tire is made to reduce the emission release which is good for the environment and for the ozone layer on the earth. There are not many people who care about this however the rolling resistance tires creates around 4% of carbon-dioxide emission in the total, without including the release from the car engine when the car move. With a smaller contact area and less energy required to move tires, these tires are p[erfect for your vehicle and for the environment. 

Improves Fuel economy

One of the most common reasons why people buy these types of tires is to improve the gas mileage and save some money on gas. As these tires required less energy to move, in reaction to this, the engine requires less fuel to run the car. Unlike rolling resistance tires that require more energy due to the wider contact area, which in exchange increases the fuel economy. 

Quick Acceleration

Low weight, narrower contact patch, and less emission all make these tires too quick to accelerate. This is the reason why some sports cars have low rolling resistance tires. Even though the speed and acceleration improve with low rolling resistance tires, there are some setbacks in performance that are sometimes more annoying than these advantages. 

Disadvantages Low Rolling Resistance Tires

Lower traction and grip

In exchange for quick acceleration, you will have to compromise with low traction and grip. The reason for low rolling resistance tires’ bad grip is that it has a narrower contact area, which contacts the ground in small phases. So when the tires move with a smaller contact area of tread, the tire loses traction and grip because of that. 

Less durable tread

The low rolling resistance tires are made of a softer compound and low weight, this is the reason they have less durable treadwear compared to rolling resistance tires. The difference might not be as big as the money these tires save on fuel. They approximately save the sum over the lifetime of tires that you can replace tires with the amount you save by using low rolling resistance tires instead of high rolling resistance tires. 

Handling and brakes

The reasons are the same for this drawback as well. The smaller contact area makes the tire harder to stop quickly due to low grip and traction. For faster rides, these tires some time dangerous to take on a track. Also, the handling response is not as good as other tires. So choose based on these advantages and drawbacks whether you can accept these cons in exchange for an environmentally friendly tire that also saves money on gas. 

Low rolling vs low rolling resistance tires

Rolling resistance tires perform far better than low rolling resistance tires, this is the reason why new tires come with rolling resistance which has more durability, better performance and delivers confident rides. On the other hand, low rolling resistance tires in exchange for performance save some money and are excellent for driving in this climate change conditions due to their low emission release. 

Tire Air pressure and Gas mileage

If you drive with low rolling resistance tires and still you have not seen much difference in gas mileage then check the air pressure of your tires. Even though the difference these tires create can not be seen in a shorter period of time, however in the long run, just by saving on fuel consumption, you can buy a new set of tires. 

When you should buy these tires

These tires are great with hybrid vehicles, because hybrid cars are already perfect for economical rides, with these tires the gas mileage will improve furthermore. Also if you are not a fan of sporty track rides, and want tires for everyday use that saves fuel and deliver smoother rides, then this tire is also good for these type of drivers. 


Low-rolling resistance tires are perfect for saving some money on gas while also helping the environment fight this climate change situation. These tires are great for achieving quick acceleration, improving fuel mileage, and releasing less emission. On the other side, low rolling resistance tires are not so great with traction, grip, handling, and brakes. This is the reason why most tire manufacturers don’t produce that much low rolling resistance tires. So choose your tires based on these factors so you don’t have to regret your decision in the future. 

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