Tire Rack.com

Air Pressure: When and How to Set

Lea esta página en español

Maintenance Tips to Increase Tire Performance, Life and Durability

Check and adjust first thing in the morning. Set according to the vehicle manufacturer's cold tire pressure(s) recommended on the vehicle's tire placard or in its owner's manual. This must be done before rising ambient temperatures, the sun's radiant heat or even driving short distances temporarily warms the tires.

Accommodating Variables

Indoor-to-outdoor Temperature Variation. Significant differences between the conditions tire pressures are set (the warmth of an attached garage, heated garage or service shop) and in which the vehicle will be driven (winter's subfreezing temperatures) requires inflating tires 1 psi higher than recommended on the placard for every 10 F difference in temperature between interior and exterior temperatures.

Afternoon Ambient Temperature Increase.* Set 2 psi above vehicle manufacturer's cold inflation recommendations when installing new tires or if the vehicle has been parked in the shade for a few hours.

Tire Heat Generated While Being Driven (or at speeds of less than 45 mph).* - Set 4 psi above vehicle manufacturer's cold inflation recommendations.

Heat Generated While Being Driven Extensively (or at sustained speeds greater than 45 mph).* Set 6 psi above vehicle manufacturer's cold inflation recommendations.

Do Not Release Hot Tire Pressure if any of these variables could be the cause of measured tire pressure exceeding the maximum psi branded on the tire's sidewall by the 2, 4 or 6 psi indicated above for the various conditions. This temporary pressure increase is expected and designed into the tire's capabilities.

*NOTE: Tires on a parked vehicle exposed to direct sunlight will appear overinflated due to the heat absorbed from the radiant energy of the sun. Pressures cannot be accurately set on these tires until all have stabilized in the shade.


Want to stay on the inside track?
Sign up for our emails today!