Recently I needed new tires for my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. Rather than buying the identical Dunlop tires that originally came with the new vehicle, I purchased a set of Uniroyal Tigerpaws from another tire dealer. Ever since I changed tires, my miles per gallon dropped by almost 10%. I called the Honda dealer thinking that perhaps some computer setting needed to be tweaked. The service person asked if I got new tires and I said yes. He stated that unless I get the identical tires that originally came with the car FROM HONDA, I would most likely not get as good of gas milege as I was getting prior to replacing the original tires. As Tom and Ray say, “BOOOOGUS???”
Different types of tires do have different rolling resistance, which does affect performance and fuel economy. 10% does seem like quite a bit, however.
Nope, not bogus.
Dunlop created a set of tires that the main design criteria was low rolling resistance.
Honestly, you are going to be much better off with other tires that will stick to the road better, offer you better traction, handling, and braking capabilities, and allow your car to be safer on the road in bad weather conditions.
The range for rolling resistance is quite large - on the order to 50%.
You should also be aware that new tires consume more fuel than worn out tires - all other things being equal.
On the other hand tires with good RR either don’t have good traction or good treadwear (or both) - and viceversa: Tires with good treadwear don’t get good RR. It’s a trade off that you can’t avoid.
I Certainly would not call it totally bogus. The best tyres for mileage, currently available may be the ones from Honda. That said, the tyres you bought are not likely the best in terms of mileage of all other tyres. I suspect there are non-Honda low rolling resistance tyres that come very close to the Honda numbers. My own experience with my VW diesel, non-hybrid, caused a small drop when I replaced tyres. I had been getting low 50's MPG in the city and now I get just under 50. Likewise on the highway I was getting 61 or 62 mpg and now more like 59 or 60. I would also suggest that the MPG indicator in your car is never going to be really accurate. It can be useful however. If you really want to know how well you are doing, then you need to measure several fill-ups in a row and do the math dividing the actural miles by the actural gallons and then average them. Of course weather and winter mix fuel will make a difference.
Hybrids come with special low-rolling-resistance tires. The tires you purchased are probably responsible for the decrease in fuel mileage.
I’d imagine you can get the original Dunlop tires from a Dunlop dealer. It’s hard to imagine you have to purchase them from Honda.
There are probably other tires with similar low rolling resistance characteristics, but I don’t think Tigerpaws are one of them.
First place to go when you have tire questions like this is TireRack.com. They list both the Dunlop and a Bridgestone tire as original equipment for your Civic Hybrid, you could buy from them, you do not have to buy from your Honda dealer. It comes down to service and price. It’s not surprising you are getting lower mileage.