There’s a lot of questions about inflating your tires according to the maximum PSI listed on the tire’s sidewall. While this is okay, when it comes to the right tire pressure, the maximum doesn’t equate to the optimum.
Allow us to explain.
Correct tire pressure is important for getting a good fuel economy, long-lasting tires, and a smooth & safe ride.
Every tire has a recommended tire pressure that will state its optimum fuel economy, handling, and tire life. This is usually printed on a label found on the driver’s side door jamb or the vehicle owner’s manual.
This digit is what we recommend you follow when filling your tires.
Notice that on your tire’s sidewall, under the large Bridgestone logo you’ll find an engraving in a small text saying eg. “MAX LOAD 615 kg at 51 PSI MAX Press”
This is the number of the maximum cold pressure needed for your tire to carry its maximum load. This means—using this example, 51 PSI of pressure is required to carry a maximum of 615 kg.
Overinflating your tires will have a direct effect on their performance, while under inflating also brings in other problems. It’s a myth that under inflating your tires will give you a better grip, in reality, all it does is wear the shoulder of your tires rapidly.
See the illustration below for reference.
Notice the difference with correct tire inflation? Not only does it boost your tire’s lifespan, performance, and fuel economy to the optimum, it also ensures that your tires are safe to drive in.
A good rule of thumb is to inspect your tire pressure once a month. Look out for any bulges or cuts too while you’re at it too.
Lastly, remember to check the pressure of the car when it’s left idle or parked for a few hours to allow the tires to cool down. By doing this, you’ll get an accurate reading of the pressure at its “cold” level.