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Fresh Squeezed Orange Oil Tires
Tires are the only thing between the entire rest of your car and the ground, so it goes without saying that they are extremely important factors in the safety, efficiency, and handling of your vehicle. There is more to it than simply making sure you have a properly functioning air fuel ratio sensor and O2 sensor. There are several components to a great tire, but two main components that effect fuel efficiency and longevity of the tread are the rubber and oil mixture used to make the tire.
The outside tread of a tire is usually comprised of 10% oil from petroleum products. The composition of a tire seeks to compromise traction, tread life, and rolling resistance. The less rolling resistance you have, usually the less traction you have. Less rolling resistance leads to better fuel economy (less fuel to get the car moving and maintain a speed) but typically a more slick tire that doesn't have great handling. Tire company Yokohama discovered that replacing the petroleum oil with orange oil resulted in a tire that offered a 20% reduction in rolling resistance without sacrificing performance in traction. Yokohama’s orange oil tires allow for a better tire in all three categories.
They introduced these tires three years ago with the dB Super E-Spec, offering only four sizes and orange oil racing slick tires that were used in the American LeMans Series to show its true durability. They are now making a new orange oil tire called the AVID Ascend in a variety of sizes that cover about 85% of the touring market. They are marketed as eco-friendly, as they are now comprised of rubber and orange oil, both renewable resources (as opposed to petroleum).
If you’re into performance tires, the new AVID Ascend is definitely worth looking into. They are priced just slightly above other brands of touring tires, but maintain much higher tread-life warranties making the extra cost well worth it. And if you’re concerned about the environment, it’s a great option as well. However, if you're looking for a citrus-y scent to accompany your burnouts, you're going to have to settle for one of those sandpaper trees hanging from your rear-view mirror.