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Tires/pressure in winter


My tires can take up to 44psi max and the door jam sticker recommends 34. I live where there are very cold winters, and my car's tire monitoring alert goes off when any tire is at 31psi or less. Not much wiggle room, so I keep them at 36psi. Even checking them every couple months, there were still a couple times last winter when the alert went off. So to prevent that, would it be ok to keep the tires at 38psi in winter months?  Thanks


First, I don't think inflation pressure in tires needs to be very precise.  The important thing is that there be enough.

Rule of thumb:  For every 10F change in temperature, the inflation pressure in passenger car tires changes 1 psi.

So what I used to do when I lived in a cold climate was to target Zero degrees (0F) and when I set the pressures, I overinflated according to that formula.  Typically it was about 50F, so that's 5 psi - and close enough not to worry.  I also would check on warm days (or in a warm garage) just to make sure I didn't have any slow leaks.

So, yes, 38 psi is OK.


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Barry Smith


I have over 30 years experience in the design, manufacturing, and testing of tires. I have served as the technical advisor to the "800" number. I have authored or co-authored many publications - usually without credit. I can answer almost any technical question, but please don`t ask me to compare brands. I probably have prejudices because of my work experience.


Member SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Member Tire Society (Tire Technical Organization) SCCA Regional Competiton License holder Authored many training manuals on tires, their care and use.

SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Tire Society

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I am a graduate of the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH - BME, 1971 I attended graduate school at the University of Akron - but did not complete my PhD - something I regret.

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