Last Updated on August 19, 2021 by Viva Elizeee
If you check your tire’s sidewall, you’ll see max pressure. And the pressure figure will either be in PSI (pounds per inch) or kPA (kilo Pascals).
So, if you see 51 PSI max, should you inflate to that pressure? Well, the recommended pressure for 51 PSI Max is around 43 PSI. This pressure works well for both winter and summer conditions. So, use it as a reference when you’re inflating or deflating your 51 PSI Max tires.
And why not 51 PSI? Well, the max pressure is the figure you shouldn’t exceed. To explain, tire manufacturers inscribe it there only for info purposes. So, to get the exact PSI recommended for your car, look at the label on the driver’s door jamb.
The PSI info on your label comes from your car’s engineers. As they were testing it, they used that PSI, and the vehicle operated best.
So, use it.
How Manufacturers Calculate Your Tires’ PSI
The manufacturer uses these details to calculate the optimal tire pressure:
1. Total weight and size of the vehicle (GVWR)
2. Payload and towing capacity
3. Recommended tire size
Now, here’s a table showing recommended tire pressure for different PSI-max limits:
|Max Pressure (PSI)||Recommended Pressure (PSI)|
|51||43 – 45|
In this article, you’ll get the following:
1. What happens when you overinflate your tires
2. Finding the correct tire pressure
3. If you should fill your tire to max PSI or not
4. And at what PSI will a tire blow up
Now, hear this!
When You Overinflate Your Tires (An Explainer)
For whatever reason, you’ve added too much air into your tires. It could be that something distracted you, and your tires are too full now. Or someone said that overinflated tires would improve your fuel mileage.
So, what could happen? When you overinflate your tires:
1. Your safety becomes compromised
2. Rides become unpleasant
3. Your tires become more vulnerable to wear and tear
So, don’t go anywhere with those overfilled tires. You wouldn’t want to add to the tire-related accident stats. To put things to perspective, read this:
“In 2017, the NHTSA reported 738 deaths and 11,000 injuries – all from tire-related accidents. And the figures could be higher since traffic reports have a lot of errors.
Simple – your overinflated tires are dangerous. Read more.
1. Your Safety Becomes Compromised
One safety issue to be wary of is tire bursting. A tire blowout occurs when your wheels have too much air. If you go above the recommended PSI and drive, a tire blowout may make you lose control.
Also, it may affect your braking distance. And so, in such situations, you may endanger yourself plus others on the road.
2. Rides Become Unpleasant
When your tire is too full, it becomes inflexible and stiff. And more, the wheel won’t withstand debris, potholes, and curbs. Also, the driver and passenger will feel every dip and bump, making the ride unpleasant.
3. Your Tire Becomes More Vulnerable To Wear And Tear
Besides, too much air pressure distorts the tires’ shape. When that happens, traction decreases, and wear-and-tear increases, especially at the center.
You’ll notice that inflated tires bulge at the center. So, the only part which touches the road is the skinny, small central patch. With that, your tire will get center tread wear. Rides will become uncomfortable, and blowout unavoidable.
Where Can You Find Your Recommended Tire Pressure?
Apart from the driver’s door, here are some places to find your recommended PSI:
1. In the car’s manual
2. Using an online tire pressure tool
3. On the label in the fuel door or the glove box
Other Related Questions
At What PSI Will A Tire Explode?
First question: is it possible for a tire to burst because of excess air pressure? Yes.
From CarTalk.com, a tire’s burst pressure is around 200 PSI. But things change depending on the weather.
For example, if the day is colder, your overinflated tire may not burst. That is because there’s little heat to raise the temperatures inside the tires. On the flip side, hotter days provide burst-off temperatures.
So, if you live in humid areas, avoid overinflating your tires. But, if you do, don’t complain when your tires blow up in your face.
How Do You Know If You’re Under Or Over the Recommended Tire Pressure?
Here’s a table showing you signs of high and low air pressure:
|High Tire Pressure||Low Tire Pressure|
|The car will be jumping|
Your braking distance will belong
Your rides will seem a little too fast
Your vehicle will feel more minor bumps more than usual
|The tires will squeal on cornersBumps will rattle you|
When handling, you’ll feel like the car’s drifting to one side
One of your vehicle’s sides will be lower than the other one
Your gas/fuel expenses will go up
Should I Fill My Tires to Max PSI?
No, since your rides will be uncomfortable.
Although meeting the recommended pressure is good, staying below it is better.
How Can You Maintain Optimal Tire Inflation?
If you want your vehicle to impress, you need to maintain optimal tire inflation. And how do you do that? Well, check your air pressure:
1. Every time you inflate your tires
2. Each 5.6° C (10.5°F) temperature change
3. Every 30 days
By checking your tire pressure, you will ensure it says below the recommended PSI. Also, you’ll know if you need to deflate or fill in the air.
Which Is The Lowest Tire PSI You Can Drive On?
The lowest PSI that you can drive on is about 20. It is because most tires have PSIs between 20 and 50. And so, it is rare to find anything outside the range.
How Do I Check My Tires’ Pressure?
As the final part of this article, I’ll give you some steps for checking and adjusting air pressure:
1. Get a low-maintenance, high-performance pressure gauge like this from Amazon. But before you do, check its reviews to ensure that it’s trustworthy.
2. Check the reading during morning hours. The morning weather provides neutral temperatures, and your tires will be cold. So, you’ll get the most accurate results.
3. Connect the pressure gauge to the air valve. If you’re using this one, the pressure will show on the meter immediately. You won’t have to hold it steady –press it against the valve step.
4. Compare the pressure readings to your car’s recommended PSI. Ensure that the pressure reading is within 10% of the PSI max. Also, it should not be more than the PSI figure on the tire’s sidewall.
5. Inflate or deflate, depending on the reading. If the pressure is too high, deflate the tire. Follow these steps:
a) Twist the valve stem’s cap to reveal the pin
b) Press the pin down using a tool, like a key
c) You will hear a hiss, and air will come out
d) If the pressure is too low, get a car tire inflator. Once you do, attach it to the tire’s valve and inflate.
For your 51-PSI-Max tires, stick to the 43 – 45 range. For any other figure, refer to the table in the introduction.
Don’t downplay the importance of having well-inflated tires. When they have optimal pressure, your rides will be comfortable. Also, you will stay away from tire-related accidents.
Finally, check your tire pressure from time to time. That way, you’ll maintain your tires in the recommended pressure PSI. And if you discover any underinflated or overinflated tires, don’t drive. Instead, inflate or deflate to stay safe.
Thanks for reading, and I don’t mind you sharing!