How much will a lift and wider tires affect my MPG?

I drive a 2006 Mazda Tribute that is supposed to get 19 city / 24 highway MPG. a big reason I bought this smaller SUV over others was it's MPG. However, I am a truck girl at heart and want to lift it- Probably a 2"-3" lift (havent decided on body or suspension, need more info) and would like to add some slightly wider/bigger tires.

However, i am concerned about my MPG. I am willing to take a cut to it, but not much- The truck I had before the SUV had very poor milage and I don't want to have that again. I know that bigger tires means less MPG. Does the lift affect this too?

Is there a way to "predict" how much i'll be out? My current tires are "235/70-16" on 16" stock rims.

Thanks in advance. I am just trying to answer all of my questions about it.

4 Answers

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  • Jimbob
    Lv 5
    10 years ago
    Best Answer

    A lift and wider tires will have no noticeable difference. These things may create more wind drag and rolling resistance but not enough to ever notice. The tire height may affect mpg greatly or it may not depending on if the gearing forces the engine to work much harder which I can not predict. Tire height will affect speedometer and odometer which can be corrected by figuring the final gear ratio and tire size compared to original then compensating by replacing the gear on the cable that connects to the transmission. (this is not hard to do and the part is not expensive but you need to know how to figure out what gear to purchase) A taller tire will make the speedometer/odometer work slower meaning you are traveling faster and farther than it shows which sometimes leads people to believe their mileage has dropped a lot when the truth is they have traveled farther than it shows, also since speedometer is off it can lead to speeding tickets unless you properly calibrate the speedometer/odometer by installing the proper gear to compensate for the larger tire. Rim size has nothing to do with mpg. Total tire height does and that is determined by width, ratio (series) and rim size. As an example I could put 17 inch rims with a shorter profile on your vehicle and they could be shorter than the originals. If I did not compensate for them being shorter you would believe that fuel mileage has increased because odometer would register more miles than you actually travel and speedometer would show that you are going faster than you actually are possibly keeping you under the speed limit and preventing tickets. If I were you don't worry about lifting the vehicle causing loss of fuel economy cause you couldn't notice it even if it did cause a small amount of loss so go ahead and lift it. If you know someone who has the same size tires you wish to purchase swap them with yours for a couple weeks and figure out how much your speedometer/odometer would be off so that you can compensate and not get a speeding ticket plus so you could figure out how far you actually traveled that way you can figure the correct fuel mileage. If you are comfortable with the fuel economy after figuring correctly with the larger tires then you can swap back to your originals from your mate and purchase a set for yourself. This way you can find out exactly what effect it will have on your fuel economy prior to spending a lot of cash. If you need someone to figure out speedometer/ odometer for your trial and correct fuel economy after trial is finished send me an email and I will figure it out for you.

  • 10 years ago

    Changing the wind flow of the vehicle by lifting it will usually cost you mileage. THere are such things as fuel efficient tires, with LOW rolling resistance. Ask at your local tire store, or use the "tire rack" web-site. These people will have tested all significant tire makers on YOUR particular truck and they will post their differences and blessings. Good luck!! Wider tires are better Summer tires, Narrow tires are better in slick, cold weather.

  • less
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Wider tires would cut your mpg but bigger tires would cut your rpm's so there wouldn't be a big difference.Lift would add a little weight but i doubt you could ever tell the difference.

  • Guida
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    the width will only have a marginal effect, the diameter can have a larger effect if you make it to big and it puts you out of the torque zone when cruising...but you won't know how much unless you re-calibrate your speedometer... you can use a gps to find out how much it's off and figure your correction so you can see if there is any gains or losses..

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