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Another opinion on tire pressure

Check out what this cop has to say:



CS, you just like to kick ant hills, don’t you? Sgt. Storton’s opinions don’t agree with most here. I will say that they have a slightly different set of requirements - potential for high speed chases would make me want to keep the tires at pretty high pressure to insure NO chance of a blowout.

And, if true, the point about the recommended pressure being for the civilian version of the car is a good one, but one that wouldn’t apply to most drivers.

If I was driving a police cruiser, or a car modified for high speed pursuit, I would follow that advice. However, the average Joe has a different (usually unmodified) vehicle and a much lower level of training. Also, when Bobby Ore drives a vehicle on two wheels, it is on a closed course, not public roads.

The best advice isn’t one-size-fits-all advice. The best advice is usually based on specific factors including driver skill, vehicle design specs, and vehicle modifications. In this forum, we generally dispense one-size-fits-all advice for the average Joe, and I don’t think this article fits the bill.

It is very angst to go against the legal requirements and responsibilities, but I do it anyway. Sure the door panel says 32psi, sure the tire max is greater, but I love the extra 2 mpg, 23 hwy vs 21. Would I recommend it to others? Heck no, will I continue to do it, heck yes. I have found no loss of control or stability. More flats are caused by under inflated tires than overinflated. So don’t try it unless you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions (an under appreciated quality in this word of litigation). I can only advise against using anything other than the pressures listed for your vehicle

Unfortunately Sgt. Storton did not do his homework. If he did, he would not have published the article and embarrassed himself.

  1. The inflation pressure specified by Ford for Police Crown Victoria in 2005 IS indeed higher than for civilian Crown Vic’s - contrary to what Sgt. Storton says.

  2. The load carrying capacity of the tires on Police Crown Victorias is already maxed out and adding pressure above the placard does not result in increased lopad carrying capacity - contrary to what Sgt. Storton says.

  3. The tire will indeed “balloon out” with increased pressure. The steel belt restricts the growth, but doesn’t prevent it - contrary to what Sgt. Storton says.

I’m going to stop there. In the first 3 paragraphs, Sgt. Storton made 3 factual errors - not a good track record. Even taking into account that he is a policeman and not a tire engineer, he ought to know to check out his facts before publishing. A simple trip to the Ford dealer would have revealed the 1st factual error. This article is all about all about his opinion and not much about the truth.

BTW, this article was written in 2005.

The owners manual for my Acura TL lists 2 recommended tire pressures. One for street use, and one for “contests of speed” on racetracks. The race pressure is about 10lbs higher.

Cop cars are basically expected to be race cars from time to time, and the cops never know when they’ll need to do that. They will have a different car setup than those of us who do not need to chase criminals at 100mph. This article doesn’t really have anything to do with civilian non-racing applications.

For still another opinion on tire pressure, read Hunter Thompson’s "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In one chapter, he and his attorney pump the tire pressure up to 90 psi in their rented Cadillac convertible. The service station employee almost has a heart attack when he sees them do this.

In this book, Hunter Thompson also says that it is absolutely the wrong move to slow down immediately and pull over when a policeman wants you to stop. He recommends putting the accelerator to the floor and show the cops your driving skills. He claims that cops have no respect for someone who wimps out.

I have never followed these recommendations, but as I approach geezerdom, I’m tempted to give them a try!