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MuleShack

Tire Pressure and how it affects Traction vs. Wear.

6 posts in this topic

I was wondering about how the tire inflation affects mileage, traction and wear.

To be specific, my trucks run 265-70-16 & 17's in the E class for weight rating.

I have had them installed from numberous places from Tires Plus to Sears. The tires have a max pressure of 80 PSI and when all of these places have put new ones on they seem to inflate them to around 60 Psi.

For plowing in the winter, i run them up to about 75 to support the weight of the plow and counter weights. Then in the spring, drop it back down again to about 65 Psi. They grip well at the lower psi, but thought i could be getting better mileage with higher psi.

I would think that the higher PSI would give better mileage, but having hard tires in the summer doesn't that promote faster wear? What is the happy medium? We kept one set of Bridgestones at 80 Psi one summer and wore them down to unusable in one season...I wasn't driving it, so i dont know if it was abuse or just plain wear, because it was on the fronts and the rears.

Any advice or insight?

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The recommended tire pressure should be on a sticker on the drivers door or door jam. I run mine a little lower in the winter for better traction and a little high in the summer for wear and fuel mileage. 4-5 lb swing on my car and 5-10 on my truck.

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If you look at the side of the tire it will say max load xxxx lbs. at 80 psi max. The pressure is needed to support the weight. The pressure on the door is the one you want to follow for normal use. This will give you the best combination of the big three traction, fuel economy, braking distance. If you add a plow and fill the bed with sand than you'll have to add air to support the additional weight.

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I will add two more, on top of what airjer just posted:

1) Handling of vehicle

2) Safety

Do not forget, the factory tire air pressure sticker recommended air pressure is for safety and best handling of the vehicle also, plus every thing Airjer just said.

Good luck.

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I always ran about 50 psi in the front and rear on my pickup unloaded with E range tires. 80psi is way too high for riding empty, even though the door sticker says to. You can probably tell in the ride. That rating is for the truck's maximum payload. In the front on a diesel especially, you want to run manufacturers specs on the door because of the constant motor weight.

Your tires will last way longer in the rear with not so much pressure in them. It also keeps them from cupping.

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If I may also add......Ford had major law suits over their door sticker stating an incorrect tire pressure on Firestone tires that came on Explorers.

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