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Old 07-13-2016, 05:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Alternate tire sizes and MPG

So I went by Discount Tire yesterday to get new tires for my 2004 Gen 1 Insight. I had a flat and the tires were at 2/32, so it was time to replace them. The store didn't have the factory tires available, so they recommended an alternate size. The new tires were rated for 55k miles and were $97 apiece installed, compared to nearly $140 for the factory tires, all said and done. That said, I went with the alternate size.

After driving my Insight last night and this morning (25 mile commute to work), my MPG seems lower than usual. I usually average 48-52 MPG, depending on how aggressively I drive (mine has the automatic transmission). After the tire change, I've been getting ~40-45mpg. I'm curious if it's the tires.

I have noticed previously that, for whatever reason, my car tended to get lower MPG whenever I rotated and re-inflated my tires to the correct pressure in the past. It seemed to me that the tires needed to lose a bit of pressure (after about a week of driving) before I got optimal MPG. Of course, this was with a completely different set of tires. However, my MPG was never this low.

How much of a difference is there in MPG performance between the correct tires and alternate sizes? I've dealt with Discount Tire exclusively for the last 10-12 years for all of my cars, and they told me these tires would be an increase in performance, so I don't think there would be an issue getting them replaced if the MPG hit is due to them. I'm just looking for objective data before returning to them and claiming the performance is due to the tires.

Any insight? (pun intended)

Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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New tires are generally softer than older tires, which increases their rolling resistence. You also have tall blocks of rubber, deforming, which also increases their resistance. I'm not a tire efficiency expert but I would think they would get better the older you drive them, and when the become more worn/broken in.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tire Tech Information - Tire Rolling Resistance Part 3: Changes to Expect When Switching from Worn-Out to New Tires
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just ordered a set of 4 Bridgestone RE92 tires from Costco. Total out the door price is $397.55. From everything I've read on this site, you do not want to use anything but the RE92 on the first generation Insight for maximum mpg.


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Old 07-13-2016, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm anxious to see what difference it will make in mpg. Should be significant as my Insight came with the wrong size tires (175/65R 14) and not RE92s.


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Old 07-13-2016, 07:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kast View Post
So I went by Discount Tire yesterday to get new tires for my 2004 Gen 1 Insight. I had a flat and the tires were at 2/32, so it was time to replace them. The store didn't have the factory tires available, so they recommended an alternate size. The new tires were rated for 55k miles and were $97 apiece installed, compared to nearly $140 for the factory tires, all said and done. That said, I went with the alternate size.

After driving my Insight last night and this morning (25 mile commute to work), my MPG seems lower than usual. I usually average 48-52 MPG, depending on how aggressively I drive (mine has the automatic transmission). After the tire change, I've been getting ~40-45mpg. I'm curious if it's the tires.

I have noticed previously that, for whatever reason, my car tended to get lower MPG whenever I rotated and re-inflated my tires to the correct pressure in the past. It seemed to me that the tires needed to lose a bit of pressure (after about a week of driving) before I got optimal MPG. Of course, this was with a completely different set of tires. However, my MPG was never this low.

How much of a difference is there in MPG performance between the correct tires and alternate sizes? I've dealt with Discount Tire exclusively for the last 10-12 years for all of my cars, and they told me these tires would be an increase in performance, so I don't think there would be an issue getting them replaced if the MPG hit is due to them. I'm just looking for objective data before returning to them and claiming the performance is due to the tires.

Any insight? (pun intended)

Thanks!
You made a bad mistake. Take them back and get your money back. Then get RE-92s from Costco or Tire Rack. Discount will probably price match. Do your research and be prepared with the numbers. They are $80 at Tire Rack.

Quoting a high price for what you want is a typical tactic to get you to buy what they want to sell you.

The RE-92 is the ONLY tire for an Insight. I can't imagine the prospect of driving a CVT 55,000 miles on the wrong tires. Calculate what that 10 MPG hit is going to cost you, not to mention the performance hit caused by the big, heavy, non-LRR tires. Ugh.

Sam
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Remember, even with new RE92's you can lose a few mpg. Till they get broken in.
When I get new tires, I inflate to 50 psi, and drive like "I stole it", especially when cornering. It seems to lessen the loss in mpg.
Sunday I got new tires at Scott's, drove my usual pace home app. 220 miles. Around 2 mpg. difference in mpg from broken in tires.

HTH
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kast View Post
....How much of a difference is there in MPG performance between the correct tires and alternate sizes?
You didn't mention the size or type, but typically people get one size larger and end up with a speedo error that under-reports mileage - so if you normally see 50 mpg you might see 47, 48 mpg simply due to the error. But you also take a big hit not running RE92s - 10%? 15% I think I saw something like an 8 mpg difference with over-sized tires, non-RE92s before going to RE92s... That was a long time ago. And, incidentally, I had bought the first set at Discount Tire (Pirelli P4s, 175/65-14) - and took them back. They were good about it. I think I had used them for a few weeks and Discount Tire gave me pretty much the full payment price toward a new set of RE92s... I just told them the tires sucked because they gave me bad fuel economy... (those Pirelli's - they're actually really nice econo-box touring tires, really quiet, great wet and snow traction, which was originally why I had bought them. Bad mileage though, on the Insight...)
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE92s are best choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainsux View Post
You made a bad mistake. Take them back and get your money back. Then get RE-92s from Costco or Tire Rack. Discount will probably price match. Do your research and be prepared with the numbers. They are $80 at Tire Rack.

Quoting a high price for what you want is a typical tactic to get you to buy what they want to sell you.

The RE-92 is the ONLY tire for an Insight. I can't imagine the prospect of driving a CVT 55,000 miles on the wrong tires. Calculate what that 10 MPG hit is going to cost you, not to mention the performance hit caused by the big, heavy, non-LRR tires. Ugh.

Sam
I second this. The formerly available Michelin Energy Savers were the next best tires, with about a 2-3 mpg hit to average mileage. There is simply nothing that delivers great gas mileage for the Insight like the RE92s.

When we bought my daughter's CVT it had the wrong tires, and within a couple of weeks of installing the RE92s (break in period for tires) she went from 50mpg avg to 60mpg average.

My 0.02 worth,
Tim
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcwhite57 View Post
I just ordered a set of 4 Bridgestone RE92 tires from Costco. Total out the door price is $397.55. From everything I've read on this site, you do not want to use anything but the RE92 on the first generation Insight for maximum mpg.


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Their web site shows them as 70 bucks off for 4, I better order some. Mine are getting thin.
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