Question regarding Fuel Economy and Larger Wheel Base. - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-06-2017, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Question regarding Fuel Economy and Larger Wheel Base.

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone knows what the impact is to the CX3 Maxx FWD Petrol economy when changing from the factory 16' to 17' wheel base.

Considering a future upgrade to 17's and not keen to sacrifice economy for larger wheels if the impact is large.
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-06-2017, 05:44 AM
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As long as you maintain the overall diameter of the tire you will be fine as not to affect the tpms system if your vehicle is equip with it (+/- some amount of minimal differences). Use the website wheel-size.com and make sure that you maintain the overall wheel diameter by finding the correct tire width, tire ratio, and wheel size. a reference would be the stock 18" which are 215/50/r18.

Regarding what fuel impact you will get it would be mostly based on the weight and width of the wheel assuming you maintain the correct overall wheel diameter. Wider and/or heavy/light wheels will affect your fuel economy as the rotating mass will change but most likely by 1-2 mpg at most. Just keep in mind the weight of your stock wheels and go either same or lower to help with mpg.

Hope this helps and also if others would correct me if I'm wrong in anyway (not too experienced in "rotating mass affecting fuel economy" based knowledge).

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post #3 of 4 Old 02-06-2017, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for your response. Massive help!
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-07-2017, 01:36 PM
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Decreasing rolling inertia is most useful in stop-and-go traffic. It will have less impact on highway fuel economy. This is because with a larger rotating inertia, you need more energy to spin the wheel up to a certain speed and then you have to waste more energy (via the brakes) to slow it down again.

Reducing rotating inertia is done two ways: Reducing mass and moving as much mass as possible closer to the hub. Going with bigger wheels pushes more mass out away from the hub but this can be offset by simply having less mass.

If you want to upgrade to larger wheels without hurting your fuel economy, get the lightest wheels you can afford.

For reference: I have an old, cheap set of 18x8 alloys with snow tires on them and the wheels themselves weigh 25 lbs each. When using my highly calibrated "grunt intensity meter" (how much I grunt when installing/removing), I would say that they are about the same weight as the OEM 18" wheel/tire combo from my CX-3. They weight a subjectively YUGE amount more than the 17x8 Enkie Racing RPF1 wheels (~16 lbs) with extra wide summer tires for my RX-8. My wife can easily mount my race wheels/tires to my RX-8 but struggles to mount the OEM wheels/tires to either my '8 or '3.

I would guess (and this is a very rough estimate) that if you can get new wheels that weigh less than 20 lbs, you probably won't see much difference in fuel economy due to rotating inertia (tire choice will also have an impact). If you can keep the weight around 15 lbs for the wheel, you might even see an improvement.


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