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What am I safe to inflate the tires up to? 40? 45?
 

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I'm at 40, but some are much higher. IMHO, anything above 40-ish gets you diminishing returns on MPG and deviates further and futher from manufacturer's recommendations.
 

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The max cold pressure on the Michelins is 44 psi. I gave the matter some Deep Thought, and decided 42 psi would be a good number for my car.
 

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Overinflating tires slightly generally improves wear but is not recommended in snow or on rough roads.

Due to the weight of the volt, however you can easily go to 50psi and hardly notice.

Range is much higher at 50psi.

However, no matter what, you can always inflate to the sidewall rating (when the tire Is cold)
The rating is there for a reason afterall.

Good luck
Ryan
 

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I keep mine at 40 PSI, cold tires. I think there is a point somewhere when the cost savings from increasing the PSI are lost because you have to replace your tires sooner than normal, due to abnormal wear.
 

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When I was racing (not in a Volt) I ran tires up to 60 PSI for events. I found that 50-55 provided the best traction, above that and (I think) the tires became more rounded with less rubber in contact with the road. This probably reduces rolling resistance, but it also reduce traction in case you need to maneuver or brake. I would not feel comfortable driving all the time with pressure that high.

For general day to day use I run my tires at or slightly above the sidewall rating. I don't like going too much above because the tires will heat up while driving or sitting in the sun increasing pressure. In winter I'll generally keep it a bit lower.

The door sill rating is provided by the manufacturer as the best combination of performance, comfort and efficiency in all conditions from blazing hot to frigid cold, dry, rain, snow, ice. As others have mentioned on ice and snow the best traction is usually with lower tire pressure, other times of the year higher pressure will give better traction and efficiency. I feel safe increasing pressure to trade some comfort and (maybe) traction for efficiency, but that is a personal choice.

If nothing else, the tire manufacturer certifies that the tire is safe up to the the sidewall max pressure rating.
 

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High PSI is a safety concern, you are shortening the contact patch making the car less directionally stable, and making the contact smaller, which increases stopping distance.

The manufacturers recommened pressure is a good balance for safety and economy, although you can go up to max pressure of the tire, you will have tradeoffs. You are giving up some friction (and traction) for increased range. Yo will get the low traction message more often under regen braking on bumps, etc.
 

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Overinflating tires slightly generally improves wear but is not recommended in snow or on rough roads.

Due to the weight of the volt, however you can easily go to 50psi and hardly notice.

Range is much higher at 50psi.

However, no matter what, you can always inflate to the sidewall rating (when the tire Is cold)
The rating is there for a reason afterall.

Good luck
Ryan
Right. We used to say that overinflating led to excessive wear in the center of the tire but with belted radials this is not a problem. I got about a 5% increase in mileage in my last car by increasing the inflation to half-way between the recommended inflation and the sidewall maximum.
 

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The door sill rating is provided by the manufacturer as the best combination of performance, comfort and efficiency in all conditions from blazing hot to frigid cold, dry, rain, snow, ice.
... but only with the stock tire. If you replace the tire, you need to take into account the max sidewall pressure as well.
 

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High PSI is a safety concern, you are shortening the contact patch making the car less directionally stable, and making the contact smaller, which increases stopping distance.
Um no, that isn't universally true, my volt with 50psi (ish) in the tires corners much better on clean dry pavement than it did with slushy 32psi (or whatever the dealer decided to toss in there), feels like the car was falling over with 32psi.

Many tires grab clean dry ICE better with higher PSIs also.

So your answer should be a "IT DEPENDS."

Needless to say it only takes about 5 minutes to change your tire pressure,
I do all the time in the winter depending on conditions.

Heavy rain, mud, snow are about the only times that lower pressures really help.

If its not raining, your not driving off road or in gravel or through snow you can keep your tires inflated.
 

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I tend to run my tires on the lower side, about 36-37. I like a more compliant ride, I don't like them feeling hard as rocks, transmitting every bump, crack, and pebble to the steering wheel.

Also, I feel (not sure if there's proof of this -- I don't have evidence!) that highly inflated tires might cause more (or at least premature) suspension wear (for instance, struts needing replacement sooner than anticipated). Someone else can tell me I'm wrong, but it's just a guess.
 

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Our 2016 Volt has Michelin Energy Saver AS tires. Sidewall states maximum sidewall pressure is 44 PSI. This is of course when the tire is cold, for instance parked over night. If you have a full load of passenger or maximum weight in your vehicle it would be wise to inflate to that level in my opinion. Otherwise you could get along with 40 PSI cold tire pressure...
 
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