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Old 01-22-2010, 09:41 AM
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Default tire pressure in winter

I know there are about as many opinions about tires as there are about fuel brands, so I'm curious what people think of this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tire rack
Use Higher Tire Pressures for Winter Driving

Operating winter/snow tires with 3-5 psi higher tire pressure than what youíd typically run with summer or all-season tires is an often recommended tactic.

Why?

Winter/snow tires feature more aggressive tread depths and softer compounds. These provide the traction necessary on snow and ice but can reduce the responsiveness to driver input. Higher inflation pressures offset the reduced responsiveness by increasing tire stability.

And when itís cold outside, tires run cooler and build up less hot tire pressure inside the tire. The 3-5 additional psi makes up for that drop in heat build up to maintain adequate driving pressures.

Read more in our Tech Center.
I thought it was better to use slightly lower pressures in the winter to allow for a little more bite from your tires. That's not based on any facts, jmo. Wouldn't you think that these temperature effects and 'tire response' effects would have been engineered into the tire, simply because it's a tire engineered for a specific set of weather conditions?
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:15 PM
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I don't run snow tires or anything but I run the same PSI regardless of temperatures which is 32psi.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:18 PM
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me too. recommended tire pressure year round here.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:01 PM
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yeh, I only run all-season tires at 35 psi year round too.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
And when it’s cold outside, tires run cooler and build up less hot tire pressure inside the tire. The 3-5 additional psi makes up for that drop in heat build up to maintain adequate driving pressures.
That pretty much says it all. Hot weather makes the tires heat up quicker, and cold air, well, won't. So to keep them running with optimal traction at their regular operating temp, you need to increase pressure. It won't kill you if you don't, but it helps.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:52 PM
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^^^ More or less what I figure. Checking your tires once a month will probably help too and that way you can adjust as necessary.

The other reason I've heard is that the extra air helps the contact portion get smaller in slush and snow... Sounds counter intuitive, but it helps the tread cut through the junk so it can get down to pavement. This is more than likely a put on because most tires are steel-calandered. However, the usual wisdom when buying snow tires is to go 10% narrower than your summer tires so the tread can get through to pavement.

Hope that helps.
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