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Old 11-29-2010, 11:25 AM   #1
krautklimb
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Default Effect of Wheel Weight on Mileage?

Does anyone know if the weight of the wheel has a significant effect on mileage? I'm assuming steelies weigh more than alloy rims. I've seen alloys down in the 17-20 lb range.

Just wondering if it's even worth consideration.

Thanks!

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Old 11-29-2010, 11:38 AM   #2
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No gas mileage difference at all.

<---- has 16 lb and 24 lb wheels
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #3
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My winter set-up is 16" alloys instead of my stock 17". Probably lost 6-7lbs per corner, no mileage difference to speak of.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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Weight generally has little effect on highway mileage. It only increases rolling resistance, which is peanuts compared to drag.

The effect on city mileage will be slightly more, but not any more than putting some luggage in the trunk.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper1rfa View Post
Weight generally has little effect on highway mileage. It only increases rolling resistance, which is peanuts compared to drag.

The effect on city mileage will be slightly more, but not any more than putting some luggage in the trunk.
Agreed.

The more stop and go driving you do the more the rotational mass of the wheel and tire will effect your gas mileage, and brake wear.

By how much? Not enough to justify buying a full set of new wheels and tires. $1500 buys a lot of fuel. Especially considering that $1500 is on top of the fuel you would normally purchase.

Last edited by 68Cadillac; 11-29-2010 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Egnlish be hard, yo.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:46 PM   #7
sniper1rfa
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OK, great example of correlation not equating to causation in that article.


It's extremely unlikely that the change in wheel weight was what caused the big change in mileage in the Car and Driver test. Much more likely is that it was caused by the increase in drag resulting from a shorter sidewall, along with the progressively wider tires and, in the 18" and 19" sizes, the softer compound increasing rolling resistance.

Take a look at bicycle wheels for an example: the more aerodynamic wheels have larger "sidewalls" which reduce drag at the expense usability (crosswinds become a bigger issue).






Last edited by sniper1rfa; 11-29-2010 at 01:56 PM.
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