MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: What is a good test procedure to determine the best tire pressure?

Date: Sat Apr 1 23:10:17 2000
Posted By: Arnold Anderson, Staff, Tribology/Friction systems, retired (Ford Scientific Laboratory)
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 953682988.Eg

Tire pressure is a compromise.  Lower pressure gives a smoother and 
quieter ride, but with more tire noise and less tire tread life.  Higher 
tire pressures give more precise steering and better fuel economy.  Higher 
rear pressure than front pressure will bias a vehicle to understeer.  This 
is where the front of the vehicle slides out in a sharp turn before the 
rear.  Higher front tire pressures than rear biases the vehicle to 
oversteer.  This is where the rear axle slides out first, leading to a 

I would suggest that you experiment with your tire pressure to get the 
performance compromise that is acceptable to you. You might want to use 
the door sticker recommendations for a lower bound and the maximum 
recommended tire pressure number (from the sidewall) as the high limit.  
Get a good tire pressure gage, and use it regularly.  Try different 
pressures and see what combination of ride and control makes you most 

You should find that your best pressure settings change from summer to 
winter, and even for different road surface conditions.  You may wish to 
gain more knowledge on tires, suspensions, steering, and their 
interactions at the following Internet sites:

Current Queue | Current Queue for Engineering | Engineering archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Engineering.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2000. All rights reserved.