Dealer overinflates tires?


Old 03-25-10, 11:14 AM
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Dealer overinflates tires?

Although we avoid going to the dealer whenever possible, we had our 2005 Sequoia in on two separate occasions for various reasons. As part of their service they check fluids etc (always looking for the upsell, I guess) and for some reason, inflate the tires to 38 psi. The manual and the sticker on the door jamb says inflate tires to 32.

Is there a good explanation for why they do this? Does it make the truck (we call it the "visible from space" mobile) ride more like a sedan? Do they know something I don't, or is it a technician error?

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Old 03-25-10, 11:33 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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It might depend on who's air gauge is being used. If your checking with a pen type gauge it can be way off.
Old 03-25-10, 12:09 PM
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I was told once by a mech friend that they always put 2 lbs more than the specs. Granted not 6 like you see.

He said it was a liability and cust perception thing. I know..I know...sounds silly doesn't it?
His explanation was that his boss had read something and so they always put an extra 2 lbs in to make sure they were never UNDERinflated. Also...again...what he said....people want something to "feel" different when they have their car worked on....

Like anyone could feel 2 lbs difference...unless they are a Pro driver of some sort.

I think the most likely thing in this case is as was stated...different gauges. Next time why don't you ask them to show you the gauge they are using....could be they have one of those types that are integral to the hose end.
Old 03-25-10, 12:20 PM
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Then I'll stay with the spec

I may give them a call to see if it's something they're doing deliberately- I never thought it might be a difference between gauges. I use a dial guage (round face with a reset button) so I'm pretty sure I'm accurate.

Thanks for your thoughts
Old 03-25-10, 01:25 PM
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If they were trying to improve the ride, they'd probably under inflate I agree, it's probably a difference in the gauge. Also if tires are checked or aired up after they've been run, it will show a higher pressure. Best to check the tire pressure when the tire is cold. Maybe they add a few pounds to compensate for the vehicle being driven to the shop ??
Old 03-25-10, 01:45 PM
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I routinely air my tires to 40 psi. This helps with handling and incrementally with gas mileage. It also provides a reserve should the tire develop an air leak and gives resistance to potholes. Of course the downside is a harsh ride.
Old 03-26-10, 02:52 PM
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also wears out the center tread of the tire and likely reduces traction.
Old 03-26-10, 02:58 PM
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Whenever I take a car in and they air the tires while they have it, the paperwork they give me at the end says to what pressure they inflated the tires

I've done some experimenting over the years and I keep my tires at 36 psi

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