Low Roll Resistance Tires

LRR (Low Roll Resistance) Tires – Are they worth it???

So I have owned my Toyota Prius for about 8 months now.  When it was purchased I knew I would be needing tires by the end of the summer and of course, being the gas-freak I am I wanted LRR tires!  I have read many articles and reviews about these tires.  The first item that needs to be addressed:

If you do NOT need new tires it is NOT worth getting LRR tires!

I have read this everywhere, and I agree.  The additional cost of the tires will not save you enough in gas to make it worth your while.  Saying this, gas has hovered around $4.00 per gallon, and I still agree with this statement.

So here is the story, I went to the Toyota dealer for my scheduled oil change, something I never did in the Honda Civic, and asked to the service guy if he could look at the rear passenger tire, as it has made a ton of noise.  About 15 minutes later I am sitting waiting, he pops in and asks me to the “garage.”  He said the tires are in very poor shape and should be replaced immediately, he pointed out the wear that would be causing the abnormal ride and said the most likely the tire belt either broke or separated and was causing the issue.

So I said OK, once done there I headed over to the Just Tires, that I shop at more than I should, told him what I needed, and got a quote for the back two, as the other side was dry-rotted as well :(.  $220 later I had a fresh pair of shoes on the Prius.  Again 🙁  but on a positive note he was able to give me a discount to price match a similar set I found at tirerack.com.  Also even though the guy at Just Tires didn’t mention it, I found a $40 mail-in gift card/rebate as well.  So the cost while necessary, was not as bad.

Three days of regular driving after that I was happy with the ride and for safety purposes I went back on Father’s day and got the front two replaced and an alignment check done as well, which was perfect.

Alright so now for the data…  I have found little significant increase in my MPG, and if you know me I am crazy about tracking this stuff. (I even note which pump I fill up on!)  You can check my fuel log here at ecomodder.com, which by the time I publish this post should be reasonably up to date.  Look for NEW TIRES in the notes, for when I got the new tires. UPDATE:  I just added all past due fuel logs, and have found that (while only one tank) my MPG is up over the last.  With all the elements that can alter my MPG, I am going to wait for two more tanks, then make a more educated conclusion.

So there you have it, my experiences with LRR (low roll resistance) tires, if you have any feedback or questions feel free to leave that in the comments below.

Also on a side note, these tires are rated at 51PSI, the techs at Just Tires only filled them to 35 PSI! So the data on the first tank may not be as accurate as those after it.  I am currently running them at about 55 PSI or so, since it is the summer.  The ride is a little rougher than I would prefer, but I think it helps the gas mileage.  In about 3 tanks I will be letting some air out and try them at 40PSI and see if there is any significant change in the MPG, if there isn’t I will be much happier as the ride should be much smoother.

UPDATE: After further reading I have found it takes about 500mi to “break” in your tires and see significant savings.  So I am hoping that my current tank will show better results, but we will have to wait a week to see…

Tires purchased:
Make: Goodyear
Model: Assurance Fuel Max
Size:  P185 65 15 (stock, OEM size)