Let's Talk PSI

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LynnZimmerman

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My Palisade
2020 Limited AWD
Yesterday, I added air to all my tires (fronts were 3# low, rears 4# low). I set them all to 35psi, which is what I have been doing since I bought my 2020 Limited AWD. But with previous cars I would always set the rear wheels to the recommended pressure and add 2 extra psi to the front wheels. Right or wrong, I was doing this because I figured since 60% of the vehicle's weight was on the front wheels maybe that it would be a good thing?
 

Alan_F

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Yesterday, I added air to all my tires (fronts were 3# low, rears 4# low). I set them all to 35psi, which is what I have been doing since I bought my 2020 Limited AWD. But with previous cars I would always set the rear wheels to the recommended pressure and add 2 extra psi to the front wheels. Right or wrong, I was doing this because I figured since 60% of the vehicle's weight was on the front wheels maybe that it would be a good thing?
That is a good question. However, the auto manufacturer sets the tire pressure recommendations partly based on handling tests they do to make sure their vehicles (and especially SUV's since they have a high center of gravity) do not have a tendency to rollover during emergency driving conditions (like a sudden swerve to avoid an accident). This was a big problem about 20 years ago, so the government requires these tests.

So even though it may be a good idea to add a couple of PSI if you want to (over and above the recommended pressure on the sticker in the driver's door jamb), if the manufacturer specifies the PSI for front and rear tires to be the same, it might be a good idea to do that. I would not go over 2 PSI above the recommended tire pressure (when measured under cold tire pressure conditions).

IF you add way too much tire pressure, the vehicle tendency to rollover will increase, and if your tire pressure is way too low the tire may fail. This is what happened years ago when Ford recommended a PSI on the OEM Firestone 500 tires that was too low (to solve the problem that their SUV had an inherent tendency to rollover). But the recommended PSI Ford specified caused the Firestone 500 tires to fail, resulting in many crashes, deaths, and of course law suits.

Remember that cold tire pressure should be determined when the tires have not been used for about 4 hours, because the tire pressure goes up when the tires get warm as a result of driving. If you must measure the tire pressure when the tires are warm, add about 2-3 PSI from what your intended cold tire pressure should be.
 

PK75

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I have experimented with a few settings on my 2021 Calligraphy. First I went higher by 3-4psi than the recommended 35psi all around, then lower by 3-4; now settled at 35psi cold all around and really am happy with the ride and handling.
 

elp_jc

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I was doing this because I figured since 60% of the vehicle's weight was on the front wheels maybe that it would be a good thing?
Nope; you have it backwards. You want more pressure where there's more weight... if you're going to go higher somewhere. But the reason for 35 all around is if you fully load your vehicle, weight would be approximately 50/50, hence equal pressures. Also remember with each 10 degree F temperature variation, there's 1 PSI variation, so when it's getting colder, I usually inflate the tires 2 psi, so I don't have to be checking and adjusting them every week. When I travel, I also set them 2 psi higher, since the car is in the garage, where it's warmer than outside. And also for a little less rolling resistance (and marginally better MPG). Hope this helps.
 

Alan_F

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Nope; you have it backwards. You want more pressure where there's more weight... if you're going to go higher somewhere. But the reason for 35 all around is if you fully load your vehicle, weight would be approximately 50/50, hence equal pressures.
That is what the OP said. More pressure on the front wheels because more of the weight is on the front. It is true that if the vehicle was fully loaded in the rear, then it might be 50-50, but most don't drive with the vehicle fully loaded. If towing, then there would probably be more weight on the back, depending on the tongue weight of the trailer.

Actually, I don't know what the weight distribution of the Palisade is when empty, and some cars are close to 50-50, especially if they are rear wheel drive like BMW's.
 
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