Tire Pressure Issues

Tire Pressure and Load Limits

by Katherine Bailey
(Cattaraugus, NY, USA)

Car overloaded, Load limits exceeded and Tire pressure low,

Car overloaded, Load limits exceeded and Tire pressure low,

In the fall of 1990 my husband and I were moving from the country into the big city of Buffalo, NY. I was 4 months pregnant & we stuffed all that we could into our 1977 Monte-Carlo.


We were driving down the 219 and all of a sudden we heard a loud poof and saw our left rear tire rolling past us down the highway!

My husband did all he could to get our car safely off the road and onto the shoulder. It wasn't as easy as one might think!

No pay phone near by, no rest stop in sight and cell phones hadn't been invented. We were stranded. What were we going to do?

I was getting cold and our food in the car was beginning to spoil. I had to use the restroom.

We waited for what seemed an eternity for someone to stop & help us. Finally someone did and we got a ride to the next rest stop where we used the phone to call a tow truck. When the tow truck driver reached us he just shook his head and laughed. He asked us if we knew what the weight limit was on our car.

We looked at each other in awe & confusion. No, we didn't.

He laughed again & told us how lucky we were that ALL of our tires didn't blow and flip the car over with all the weight we had.

We just shook our heads and looked down in embarrassment.

We got into the city, spoiled food and all, and made it to my Aunt's house very late, very tired and VERY embarassed.

The lesson we learned is to check the weight limit on your vehicle and tires BEFORE you cram it full of all of your stuff and adjust the tire pressure to compensate for the load.

(ed: See Reading a Sidewall for more details on tire limits and pressure.)

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Tires losing pressure

by JP
(RI)

Tire and wheel damaged by impact

Tire and wheel damaged by impact

My two front tires were losing pressure. I took the car to the shop and found out both were badly worn, so I purchased two new tires. Within a few weeks, however, both had also lost pressure, and needed inflating. What would cause this?


Editorial Comment:  Without actually seeing the tires and the vehicle it is difficult to make an accurate diagnosis, however, based on the description I'll try to tell you where you might find some clues.

Since this is affecting only the front wheels and they seemed to be loosing pressure before and after changing tires I would start by seeing if there is anything that might be affecting only the front wheels and not the rest.

You could try putting these wheels on the back and see if they act differently in that location. If the other wheels from the back lose pressure on the front, you have a locational problem. If these wheels lose pressure in another location, you have a problem that goes with the wheels.

Is there anything unusual in the way the vehicle is parked? Are there any curbs or ridges that might put pressure on the tires at the front?

Have the front wheels ever been damaged through hitting a curb, a pot hole, or other kind of impact? Sometimes just a very minor distortion of a wheel, putting it out-of-round would be enough to provoke a slow leak.

I'd like to think that your tire valves were changed when you got new tires. They're really quite cheap but if they were defective or damaged and not changed, they might be the reason for the pressure loss.

These may not be the only causes, but they represent to ones which seem most likely given the description that you've provided.

TG

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Trailer tire pressure under different conditions

by Ernie Tidwell
(loxahatchee fl)

assorted trailer tires

assorted trailer tires

What happens if you put the maximum pressure of 110 psi cold in a tire in Florida when it is 80 degrees and you're at 10 feet above sea level then travel to Georgia where the temperature is 60 degrees and you're at 1500 feet above sea level? You check all 4 tires cold and observe a pressure of 100 psi. Would you add 10 pounds pressure before starting the trip back to Florida?

Guidelines
The guidelines for trailer tires are as follows:


  • Inflate trailer tires to the maximum inflation indicated on the sidewall.

  • Check inflation when the tires are cool and have not been heated by sunlight.

  • If the tires are hot to the touch from running, add three psi to the maximum inflation limit.

  • Underinflation is the number one cause of trailer tire failure.


Based on this you should be checking your tires at the beginning and ending of your trip ... or any other time that you know that something has happened that may change the load/pressure conditions.

In this case you have a change in altitude and outside temperature.

The most important thing that you want to avoid is having the tires run at a lower pressure, since a low pressure is more likely to produce a tire failure than a slightly higher pressure.

If you make any stops along the way, or change your load, you'd want to recheck and possibly adjust the tire pressure especially if the tires have a chance to cool during your stop.


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Pressure indicating valve cap Warning

by Jim
(Illinois, USA)

This isn't a horrible story, just sort of a warning to anyone who is considering the use of the pressure indicating valve caps (covers).

The ones I purchased were made of aluminum, I put them on my wife's car, and when I went to add air, they were galled to the brass valve threads.

With two dis-similar metals all you need is a little water and a little salt like in the midwest, and chemistry takes over causing them to lock together so you need to cut the aluminum off.

One solution that may work is to use some "Never Seize" anti-seize compound on the valve before putting the cap on.

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Silverado Tire Pressure

by gm
(ny)

Chevy Silverado

Chevy Silverado

What's the best tire pressure for Chevy silverado with r16 235x75?

The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle is usually on the tire information label – normally located on the edge of the driver’s door, the door post, the glove box or the fuel door.

This information can also be found in your owner’s manual.

Don’t use the pressure shown on the tire. It’s the maximum pressure which the tire is designed to support, and is probably higher than the recommended one.

See Tire Pressure for more details.

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Tire Concerns: Minimum tire pressure

by Andres
(Costa Rica)

BF Goodrich Momentum Tire

BF Goodrich Momentum Tire

I have BFGoodrich LT 285/65 R18 tires with a load rating of "E." What is the minimum air pressur that I can run. Is 40PSI too low?


Editorial Comment: 

It's unusual to hear someone asking about minimum tire pressure, but that doesn't make it an invalid concern. In fact, many tire accidents and problems could be avoided if people were more concerned about minimum tire pressure.

I'd like to take a moment to explain why minimum tire pressure is important.

You see the most important danger to a tire is heat. When a tire heats up, the heat weakend the rubber and at the same time increased the air pressure inside the tire. Eventually with the weakening rubber and the increasing air pressure caused by heating, the tire explodes.

I would guess that most tire blowouts that you see on moving vehicles started out as a tire with too little pressure.

Now, if a tire has too little air in it this will cause it to flex more as it rolls along, thus creating more heat than if it were being run at the pressure it was designed for. So there certainly is a minimum air pressure required.

This minimum air pressure is determined by the maker of your vehicle, and is usually posted on the door post or inside your glove compartment.

Measure your pressure when the tire is cool -- remember that heating increased the air pressure -- and never let your cool tire air pressure fall much (1 or 2 PSI at most) below what your manufacturer recommends.

40 PSI, by the way, seems to be somewhat higher than what most vehicles call for, so you might be looking at something lower.

TG

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Tire Concerns: Tire bald in center

by anne
(coral springs,fl,usa)

Over-inflated tire

Over-inflated tire

My back tires are worn only in the center. There is still plenty of treading around the rest of the tires. I keep the air pressure in my XL7 at 32psi, so what can be causing this?



Editorial Comment:

If the wearing on your tires look something like the photo above, then you have a classic case of tires being used with excessive pressure.

The best bet to learn the correct pressure is to check the recommendation of the car manufacturer which is usually found on a sticker on the driver's door or the inside of your glove compartment.

If your car has different sized tires from what the car originally came with the pressures listed may not serve and you could have to do some experimenting.

Also, you might want to be aware that some vehicles require different pressure in the front and rear tires, depending on the weight being placed on the front and back axles.

TG

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new tires and light for tires just came on

got my car out the shop on saturday now its tuesday and my light for my tires are on.

Editorial Comment:

Obviously something is wrong!

The question is what is wrong.

Whenever anything changes after you make some new installation or adjustment the first place to start looking is back where the change was made unless something more obvious is evident.

Take a look at your tires. If they seem to look perfectly normal and you can see nothing which looks strange, then at least phone the place that installed your new tires and see what they might suggest. Of course, if it is convenient you could also return to them but I'm supposing that this may not be easy to do since you're posting this question rather than driving over.

There are several questions the tire dealer may ask you which could help reveal what the problem is depending on your answers. Since we don't have the capability to chat about this, take it up with them … helping solve these kind of situations is part of the service you get when you buy tires.

TG

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PSI

by Robert Q
(Long Beach, CA)

The majority of COMMON people need to know thier PSI, but it is 'printed' in the smallest ratio.
Why not have it printed in a medium size, spaced evenly around the tire in 3 spots, or printed in a large size in 2 spaces around the tire.

I'm always helping older or ederly people read thier PSI.

Editorial Comment:

The term PSI, means Pounds Per Square Inch, and is one way the air pressure in a tire is measured. I agree with the writer that people should be aware of the proper air pressure for their car's tires, but what is printed on the side of a tire is not -- I repeat -- not the correct tire pressure to use.

What is printed on the sidewall of the tire is the Maximum tire pressure, and virtually every tire I've seen actually has the word "Maximum" printed next to the pressure. This is the tire maker's advice that this tire is not designed to use a pressure which is more that what is stated.

The correct tire pressure for any car is not found printed on the tire. It is usually found in the car's user manual, and often on a sticker which may be found on the door post of the driver's door, or sometimes inside the glove compartment or inside the fuel cover door. This is the correct tire pressure to use and will certainly be less --often much less-- than the Maximum pressure which is printed on the tire sidewall.

TG

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Tire Concerns: psi vs psig

by roy george
(Trinidad WI)

my tyre pressure reads 44psi what is the correct pressure in psig?

The tyre pressure gauge I am using is in PSIG. Could you advise

Comment:

All common tire gauges and consumer air pressure measurements simply use PSI, so there is no need for you to get worked up about one measuring system over another.

When dealing with tires and inflation pressure PSI and PSIG mean the same thing. (Psi means pounds-per-square-inch while PSIG means the measured (or gauged) PSI

Get yourself an easily found common tire pressure gauge that reads PSI and forget about it unless you are wanting to get into scientific investigations for whatever reason, in which case this forum is not the best place to be directing your questions.

TG

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Tire Concerns: Tire Pressure and Speed rating charts

by Bernie@Beleskey.com
(Kitchener, Ontario Canada)

It is my information from doing accident insurance investigations, that a lot of accidents involving RV's are related to tire problems.

When the tire pressure is 20% + below the maximum rating on the tire, rather that the rating on the RV or Pickup/Tow unit.

NB the rating on the vehicle unit is usually 25 - 40% below the rating on the tire.

It has been proven that lower pressures on the maximum rating on the tire cause the following:

Lower fuel economy
Lower control and braking
Lower speed rating
Poor steering control in wet and windy weather
Excessive bouncing of RV
Over heating

All leading to blowouts and possible accidents.

Upon contacting all the major tire manufacturers I found out that their posted speed ratings are based on their maximum recommended posted tire pressure "Cold."

They all indicated that a reduction of tire pressure relates to a reduction in the "Speed Rating."

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inflation for remington L215/85

by babette
(atascadero, ca usa)

Remington Wide Brute

Remington Wide Brute

i need to know the proper inflation for remington LT215/85 tires on my RV.

Editorial Comment

In simple terms there is no "proper" inflation for any tire make or size.

To answer your question, we would need to know how much weight the tire is going to carry, and also the rim size and construction of the tire.

You will find stamped on the side wall of the tire a phrase which tells you the Maximum Inflation or tire pressure, but this is only an indication of the limit of pressure which the tire is designed to use.

The PROPER inflation of any tire is determined by the amount of weight it is going to carry. Usually when you purchase a vehicle, the manufacturer of the vehicle will calculate this for you and tell you both the tire size you need to use and the inflation they recommend.

In your case you haven't even told us the complete size, and even if we were to guess the amount of weight which each tire would carry, the proper inflation would be different if the tire were a 215/85 R15 or a 215/85 R17 or R18.

Your best bet is to ask a dealer for the RV you are using, or check the owner's manual which you might be able to find doing a web search if you don't have one at hand.

TG

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Tire Concerns: Tires filled with Nitrogen

RAV4 came with nitrogen filled tires, need new tires should I get nitrogen filled tires or get air filled tires?

Comments

See Nitrogen Tires to see what are the pros and cons of these tires.

Basically if you're happy with the experience you've had so far and don't find any important cost difference you may want to stick with them, but if not, then consider filling your tires with air. They are the same tires … it's just the gas which fills them which will change.

Just remember though, once you start mixing the gases, you lose the benefits of using pure nitrogen.

TG

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