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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Quick reminder - Don't get your shorts in a bunch about tire inflation.

Recently was asked why some dealers want to go with the minimum inflation needed to carry the load.

I think the most likely reason for specing the minimum inflation is the belief that customers are more likely to complain about harsh ride even when they are getting better tire life and better MPG. They can feel ride immediately but not see the benefits of inflation to minimum +10% psi at once.

I am also in favor of +10% so you don't find yourself chasing your tail every day by adding 1 or 2 psi when it gets cooler when you find yourself 1 or 2 psi low, or bleeding off 1 or 2 psi when the weather turns warmer.

With +10% it would be easier to discover you are low a couple psi and simply wait till the next fuel stop, where there should be high pressure air available.

For those that don't know how to inflate a warm tire here are the steps:

1. Measure the pressure when the tire is at ambient temperature (not warm from driving or being in sunlight).
2. Note the number of psi you want to add to each tire to get to your goal inflation.
3. When you get to a fuel stop measure the warm pressure.
4. Add the number of psi from #2 to the warm pressure in #3 and add air till you get to at least this new warm pressure goal.

This "rule of thumb" will work for pressure changes of 5 psi or less. If you find you need to add 5 psi there may be something wrong,  i.e., a leak -- and this needs to be investigated ASAP.

Don't get hyper about being 1 or 2 psi off. Remember, if you have a 10% cushion, you are good to go as long as you are within a few psi of your goal.

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