Overinflated tires to 65psi

This evening I went to fill up the driver’s side front tire in my 2007 Civic and ran into some issues. My tire pressure gauge wasn’t working properly due to the cold weather. To make a long story short, the pump was pumping lots of air fast and I accidentally inflated the tire to 65psi, well beyond the max pressure of the tire. I didn’t realize this until I had driven about 10 miles at 45-50mph and my gauge was warmed up from the car’s heat. I immediately lowered the pressure to the intended 35psi. Now I’m worried that I may have caused permanent structural damage to the tire. I don’t see any visible damage to the sidewall at this point. The tires are OEM and have 27k miles on them.

I’ve found a ton of resources online that talk about the dangers of tire overinflation to the max the tire can handle (~44psi), but haven’t found any that talk about severe overinflation like this.

Any advice or experiences to ease my paranoia would be helpful.

I have never heard of damage from temporary overinflation. This’ll be hard to get a definitive answer on, me, I wouldn’t worry.

You would have to drive farther than that to cause any damage. Usually. Rare damage may happen but it would have to be nery bad luck.

I’ve personally seen 35 psi tires run at 80 psi at interstate speeds with 1.5 times their rated load in trailer applications (which tend to have higher shock loads due to lesser suspensions in trailers). And I’ve replaced rims that were damaged when these tires blow out from the heat of being overloaded. It does happen. But it would amaze you what a tire will take.

I’m certain that 65 psi is well within the range of the safety factor for a 44 psi rated tire. Don’t sweat it. The things that blow tires out are overloading and underinflation.

No you are fine. That real danger of the over inflation is not damage to the tyre, but damage to you. Handling, especially emergency handling that few of us ever experience, can be compromised and since that is a safety issue you don’t want to over inflate, but the tyre should be OK with that little distance at the higher pressure.

Congratulations on checking your tyre pressure and knowing what is the right pressure.

You should read the late Hunter Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. In one chapter, the main character and his lawyer inflate the tires on the rented Cadillac convertible to over 100 psi. while the service station attendant looks on. They explain to the attendant that they are road testing a special tire.

As well as advice on tire inflation, the central character admonishes the reader that most drivers have the wrong reaction when a police officer wants them to pull over. Police have no respect for wimpy motorists, Hunter warns. Step on the accelerator and make them work to pull you over. They have more respect for you this way.

Well, I don’t think Hunter Thompson’s advice on tire inflation or dealing with police is advice I would want to follow, but 65 psi temporarily in your tire probably didn’t hurt anything.

That wimpy mini spare in your trunk needs 60psi and it is not constructed any more rugged than you other tires, although it’s good for only 60 miles. So, I think your tire is fine, since you reduced the pressure quickly.

My vote is not to worry about it.

Thanks for all the quick feedback and reassurance. You all are confirming my gut feeling that it is not a big deal.

If I’m not mistaken . . . doesn’t my 10-speed bike tire recommend 45-60? Don’t worry about your Civic tire . . . I think you’ll be OK. Rocketman

Comparing bicycle tires to car tires is like … ah … comparing bicycles with cars: Totally different animals.

BTW, some aircraft tires are inflated to over 300 psi. I suggest that whatever is normal for other types of tires may not be appropriate for car tires.

I agree with the others that no harm has been done.

Kudos for checking your air. Since you’ve apparently discovered one of the weaknesses of pencil gages (I assume that’s what you were using?), let me suggest you invest maybe $10 in a dial gage. It’ll be less susceptable to sticking and more accirate to boot.

I actually have a small digital keychain gauge, I keep one in each of my cars. When I put it on originally it said “L” which I thought meant “Low” as in “off the charts low”, but even after unknowingly over inflating the tire it said “L”. Once it warmed up in front of the heater vent, it worked fine. I will definitely pick up a dial type gauge to have as a backup for situations like this.

Treat yourself to a dial type gauge like this:


I’ve had mine for 24 years and it works fine.

Ed B.

Your bike might recommend 45 - 60 pounds. Better bikes sometimes are rated 90 or more. In the 70’s when I went on week-long rides in company, my Schwinn Super Le Tour had 90 pound tires. Depends upon the tire, just as on cars.

I think the real danger to over inflation is poor vehicle handling and irregular tire ware. Since you only drove 10 miles, it doesn’t seem like either of these would be an issue.

Good point. Rocketman

I have an identical gauge, about 35 years old that I became convinced could not be accurate any more. I bought a good digital gauge and the both read exactly the same pressure on tires.

A failure from over inflation would likely occur at the bead. The body plies wrap around the bead and “turn up” two to three inches. If the bead were loosened it would be apparent after a few miles. But for your peace of mind you might have an experienced tire man look inside. Many years ago I worked in QC at a tire plant and was involved with testing tires. The tests included “test to fail” for many causes including high pressure and in all tires tested low pressure was a greater cause for failure than high pressure. In fact,k I have seen more wheels damaged from over pressure than tires.