On my 02 Sonata, I've always noticed that when I am traveling at a
fairly regular velocity >30MPH and let my foot off the gas it seems to
begin decelerating instead of just cruising forward slowly. This
action, if I can attempt to describe it, feels somewhere in between
lightly depressing the brake to being in a lower or wrong gear; almost
like engine braking. My tires are Yokohama Avid H4s and have no more
than 20k on them. They've recently been rotated and it doesn't drive
any different than before after rotation. As I never suspected the
tires in the first place, and it's not the parking brake being
engaged, is there something I should have checked out? Whatever this
is, it seems to be affecting my gas mileage lately. Driving with the
feeling that my breaks are slightly in use kinda sucks so I hope you
have some suggestions. Many thanks in advance.
- Thee Chicago Wolf
That's because it IS engine braking. What's the problem with that?
I realize that a lot of cars with automatic transmissions provide
virtually no braking when you let off the gas, but I see engine braking
as a big advantage, as it provides more precise control over your speed
than constantly getting on and off the brake and accelerator does.
That's one reason I always owned manual transmissions. Frankly, I find
it disconcerting to let off the gas in a rental car (the only time I
drive automatics) and have it continue careening down the road unabated.
Hmmm. I guess you've never put your car in reverse! ;-)
The Yokohamas are unidirectional tires, which means that they are MEANT
to be used in a specific direction. However, reversing the tire rotation
is not going to result in the car slowing down as the OP described.
I'm not sure if that's even an issue anymore. If you check out the
recommended rotation pattern for tires, reversing direction is once
again common practice for tires with symmetric tread patterns. The
reason that some tires are unidirectional is to get the best performance
out of their asymmetric tread patterns that often also use different
rubber compounds in the center and outer edges.
Effectively, yes. In practice, no. All tires, regardless of
directionality, are designed to "function" in either direction. Though
in the case of my tire, the treading is not parallel. The
manufacturers these days are designing tires with non-parallel or
angled treading to reduce the amount of water resistance and / or
hydroplaning. It's classic "wedge versus brick analogy" so I don't
need to get into it. What it does for traction or anything else is
debatable at best. In any case, it's not the tires causing the
problem. And yes, they are properly inflated all the way around.
- Thee Chicago Wolf
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