Tire Inflation Variation


Old 03-11-16, 12:37 PM
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Tire Inflation Variation

My 2012 Chevy Traverse has recommended tire inflation of 35 psi. Outside air temperature variation caused psi variation. I want to stay on the high side to avoid tire wear. How high psi is too high?

Same concerns for 2015 Chevy Colorado.
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Old 03-11-16, 01:03 PM
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Set the tires at 35 PSI when they're cold. Best way to do this is to inflate (or deflate) them after the vehicle has sat for several hours. So you'll need a compressor at your house for the best results.

As you drive the vehicle, the pressure will increase by a couple PSI (variable with driving conditions) then settle back down as the tires cool off.
Old 03-11-16, 01:13 PM
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You'll have to experiment a little to determine the sweet spot - it's not about tire wear but EVEN tire wear, as too low will wear the edges and too high will wear the middle. What's the sidewall say for max cold psi?
Old 03-11-16, 02:56 PM
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I guess that's why racers and airplanes inflate their tires with nitrogen. It's pressure is a bit more stable with changes in temperature.

But I'm with the others saying to set your cold pressure to 35 psi, regardless of the ambient temperature. I make sure to check the pressure at the beginning of each season. This sort of helps offset for the changing weather. I usually find at the beginning of winter I need to add a few psi but into spring and summer the natural loss of the tires compensates pretty well so the pressures only need a fine tweaking.
Old 03-11-16, 03:10 PM
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FWIW my 2012 Ford Fusion shows to inflate to 34 psi on the door but I prefer the ride at 36. Max psi on the tires is 44 so I feel like I'm ok. I had a previous car where I liked the ride at 40 psi but I started to see wear in the middle of the tread so I knew I needed to back off a bit.
Old 03-11-16, 03:26 PM
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That's the thing - how the tires wear. Most every vehicle I've owned would wear the outsides of the tires at factory spec so I'd air them up past that to get even wear. Depending on the vehicle that has generally been between 35psi and 38.
Old 03-11-16, 08:09 PM
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I like to check and inflate my tires in the morning before my truck has been driven and before the sunlight hits the tires. During the day the PSI may increase 1 or 2 PSI.......maybe 3 PSI with a lot of highway driving.
Old 03-12-16, 04:42 AM
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Keep in mind that tire pressure ratings for each vehicle is engineered for safety, ride comfort and wear. Fooling with inflation pressure over or under the recommended rating will compromise one or more of the three. Filling at cold ambient temp is proper. Don't worry about sunlight hitting tire or snow covered tires That is all engineered into t he design. Perhaps the next best way to get the most out your tire ware is timely rotation. Assuming the car is purposely aligned. Also avoid rough roads and hitting pot holes at high speed.
Old 03-12-16, 06:10 AM
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Inflation Pressure

Thanks to all for your comments. I have become more aware of pressure variations during the day since both of my vehicles have on-board tire pressure displays. I see a 3 or 4 psi change on a warm day such as we have had recently. Never thought about it much until seeing it every time I drive the vehicle. I was concerned about the maximum safe psi. Guess I need to get on my knees and read the fine print on the tire sidewall.

I think the nitrogen thing is a gimmick. Someone on this forum reminded me that air is 78% nitrogen anyways.
Old 03-12-16, 06:47 AM
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I wouldn't say that nitrogen use in passenger vehicles and light duty trucks is a scam.
The industry would call it a value added product.......value added to their profit margin.

To my knowledge the rate of pressure rise of a tire using air is about a 2% rise for every 10 degF which is well within the operating range of any light vehicle tire.
The only benefit IMO would be with tires that will operate at above average conditions like long distance trucking and racing tires.
Did a quick check and found one nitrogen generator manufacturer uses the US Air Force as a referral saying their machines are used to inflate B2 bomber tires.
If you own a B2 then it would be a good product but a car or light truck, not so much.

BTW, if you want to save a few bucks and avoid a lengthy discussion with a service shop toss the green caps on your new car tires and get some black ones!
And yes, you can put air in a tire that has nitrogen in it without your tire blowing up.
Old 03-12-16, 07:10 AM
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PSI Change

To my knowledge the rate of pressure rise of a tire using air is about a 2% rise for every 10 degF
I have observed that my tires have about a 1 psi change for each 10 degree change in temperature.
Old 03-12-16, 01:42 PM
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usually mine runs between 32 and 39 depending on how cold or warm it is so yes there is a fairly big range but setting tire pressure when the tire is cold is correct and you usually have to reset in winter preferably on a colder day and may have to let some air out in late spring when you start seeing normal warm temperatures as the psi may be to high.
I really haven't noticed any tire wear running in those pressure ranges and currently have tires with about 75k on them but your alignment and brand of tire may be the more critical factor on how much life you get out of them.

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