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How to determine what pressure to inflate car tires to?

My Ford garage always deflates the tires every time you take the car in. They say the tires need inflated to the pressure on the label inside the door. But I tell you from my car tires are not tires that came with which I use the pressure rating listed on the tires. Is there a general rule in finding the right pressure? I usually in the coldest PSI and inflate to 90-95% of this número.Déjame know your thoughts. Thank you.

8 Responses to “How to determine what pressure to inflate car tires to?”

  • Mad Jack:

    Go by the sticker inside the door. Best to check them when they are cold.

  • Leonard C:

    Inflate to the pressure ratings on the tire.

  • troy s:

    The sidewall of the tires only tells you the maximum inflated PSI. The sticker on the door of the car tells you the reccomended PSI. I would choose a number somewhere in between those two numbers and go with that.

    For example, my truck tires tell me 50PSI max. My truck door sticker says 35PSI. I usually run about 40PSI in my tires.

  • Mitchell T:

    Over a period of time pressure builds up in the tires and need to be checked a least once every week or so. The new idea is to over inflate tires a little to actually increase fuel mileage.

  • bobweb:

    Your dealer’s right, but to get the best gas mileage, inflate to the maximum tire pressure (typically 36 psi) on the sides of the tire.

  • spencer7593:

    The pressure rating listed on the tires are the maximum for the tire. Do not exceed the pressure rating of the tire.

    For the vehicles I operate, I inflate the tires to the pressure specified by the automobile manufacturer, given in the owner’s manual, and (usually) on a sticker on the drivers door or jamb.

    Note that the pressure recommended by the manufacturer applies to the tire specified by the manufacturer, not to an “oversize” tire or a tire of a different aspect ratio.

    The manufacturer chooses the the tires and the inflation pressure to get the best balance of performance characteristics (safety, comfort, handling) from the vehicle.

    When my vehicles are going to be heavily loaded (not to exceed the GAWR or GVWR), I increase the tire pressure by an additional 2 or 3 PSI over the manufacturers recommendation.

    If you have changed to a different size of tire, then follow the recommendations of the installer. (They have formulas for figuring out the pressures for replacement tires.)

  • sardog226:

    the psi on the door is for the size of tire on the car not the make of the tire. contact your local tire guy and ask him his professional opinion

  • Mark F:

    Sorry, you are 100% wrong and your dealership is 100% correct. The reason is becauseyour dealer has been properly trained and understands tire sizing and inflation requirements and you are going by a very common misconception. But don’t feel bad, this question pops up here several times a day which means you are not the only one.

    Tire inflation requriements are determined by size, not brand or model. A little-known fact is that the vast majority of passenger tires have a maximum inflation pressure of 44 psi and this is the number written on the tires sidewall. Notice it says “maximum”, not “recommended”. It is a safety warning put there for liability reasons – kind of like the warning label on any other product. Nowhere on your tires in fact does it list a RECOMMENDED inflation pressure. Go ahead and read it all the way through. It says something to the effect of; “this tire has a load capacity of X lb/X kg. at X psi. Maximum inflation pressure X psi.”

    See anything on there about what that tire should be inflated to when fitted to your 01′ Taurus, or your neighbors 95 Cutlass, or your other neighbors 06′ Mazda MPV? Each of these vehicles take the same tire size yet each has different inflation requirements. How does the tire manufacturer know what the tire is going to get mounted on?

    Let’s take an example. The aforementioned 01′ Ford Taurus says on its door placard that it takes a tire sized “P215/60R16 94T” and when fitted with a tire of this size they should be inflated to 33 psi front and 33 psi rear. Do you see anything there about brand or model of tire? No, you don’t. Why. Because the “94″ part of the tire size is what determines inflation requirements, not brand or model. That number is the tires “Load Index” and tells us how much weight the tire can carry at different inflation pressures and it is the same for any tire that size, no matter what name is on the sidewall. And remember, the job of the air in the tire is to carry the weight of the vehicle. The tire is just a fancy container for air.

    At 26 psi a tire of this size carries a load of 1,279 lb. Go up to 29 psi and the load increases to 1,345 lb. Go to 32 psi and the load is 1,411 lbs. Most standard load passenger tires max out at 35 psi. On the sidewall of the tire it will say “Maximum load 1,477 lb. at 35 psi”. But it might also say “Maximum inflation pressure 44 psi” (it could be 35, 41 or 44 psi depending on brand or model). That doesn’t mean you inflate the tire that much, just that you could. You don’t gain any load capacity though by going past 35 psi and the vehicle only requires 33 psi.

    Over-inflating tires the way you have done canl cause them to wear prematurely and unevenly, can reduce handling capability and braking performance and make the tires more susceptible to damage from road hazards such as pot holes. That’s why if you go to the web site of the manufacturer who made your tires and ask what you should inflate them to, they will say go by what it says on the door sticker.

    Every time.

    The pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer is based on millions of miles of lab and real world testing and represents the ultimate combination of safety, performance and economy.

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