Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Charles asks: I apologize if you’ve already addressed this (searched old reader questions as best I could to no avail) but could you speak to proper tire inflation? I see the number on the sidewall, but since the pressure changes with air temperature and when the tire warms up while driving… what’s a boy to do? PS: Thanks for all of your consistently awesome content!
My reply: It’s generally true that tire pressure specifications are premised on cold inflation pressures. This being to allow for increased pressure as the tire heats up. If your car has digital display tire pressure readouts you can watch the pressure increase a bit as you drive. The cold inflation specs make allowance for this increase (there may also be a hot inflation number, which of course will usually be lower than the cold inflation pressure recommendation).
There is also sometimes a difference between the pressure recommended by the car manufacturer, for the factory-equipped tires – and the pressure recommended by the manufacturer of tires you purchase later on, which may be of a different type (e.g., high-performance vs. all-season vs. snow).
There’s some wiggle room here – but so long as you don’t over-inflate or under-inflate the tires, all should be well!
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