Tire pressure

The manufacturer’s sticker on my wife’s CRV states the tires should be inflated to 30psi. The tire shop where I bought new tires for it inflated them to 35psi. When I pointed out this discrepancy, they said that the manufacturers choose a lower psi to make their vehicles ride softer. The tire shop guys claim I will get better ware and mileage at the higher pressure. Are they right, or should I insist on the pressure the manufacturer states?

This is a tough one for me, since I usually inflate my tires a few psi above the car manufacturer’s recommended pressure, for better mileage and a maybe slightly crisper response. Slight over-inflation isn’t bad. Under-inflation, however, is very bad, and if you set the tires at 30 and ignore them, they will soon be under-inflated.

Assuming your tires are not inflated to their maximum pressure (listed on the sidewall) there’s nothing unsafe about 35 psi. The new tires that were just installed on my car were inflated to 35 by the tire shop, even though my car’s sticker says 32 front and 29 rear. I’m not planning to reduce the pressure.

It’s up to you, really. You can leave them the way they are, and in a month or two they’ll be down to 30 psi, or you can bleed some air out and reduce them to 30 psi right now. You don’t even have to take the vehicle back to the tire shop, assuming you have a tire pressure gauge.

You DO have a tire pressure gauge, don’t you? If not, go buy a good one and start checking tire pressures at least once month. Your tires will last longer and the vehicle will be safer with correctly inflated tires.

You will indeed get better mileage. Better wear is a maybe. Less traction (like in an emergency stop) is certain.

Who knows better what is best for your CRV, Honda or this tire shop?

You want to start out what the vehicle manufacturer recommends for the tire pressures with new tires. This way you can get an idea how those tires ride and handle at those pressures. Then after a while you can play with the tire pressures to see if it helps with the handling and ride.

Increasing the tire pressure does improve fuel mileage. But there’s usually a trade-off for a slightly harsher ride.


Tough call for me too.
my 92 Explorer door tag says 26psi. This is the truck and the Firestone tires that created such a firestorm of law suits and controversy. 26psi in THOSE tires was killing people.
Mine ?
Never had less than 32psi. Loved those tires, wore out the first set and bought a second set of exactly the same BEFORE the recall came out.

we’ve argued extensively in this forum over Firestone/Ford psi vs tire type, let’s not go there now. <<

Are the tires the same brand and type as o.e.?
If not,
my opinion is thus;
Go ahead with the advice of the tire store ( they know those tires ). If you don’t like the resulting ride or mpg then adjust a little yourself. All 4 tires together of course, a few psi each time.

Sometimes tire type needs matched to vehicle type. This is where your drive time and opinion count. ex.,After the firestone recall I chose the BFGoodrich all terrain t/a from the list of approved replacements. Rode like a rock ! 50 max psi tires aired down to 32 still…bam,bam. Took them off and bought ( off recall, Ford & Firestone had long since divorced ) the current incarnation of firestones. aah, now you’re talkin’.

I’d go with 35 lbs and make pressure checks, along with oil and coolant, a habit at every fill-up. Handling, mpg and tire wear are all noticeably better. The ride difference is not worth it. Look at the pressure on the sidewalls of these tires.

Look at the pressure on the sidewalls of these tires.

Those number are not recommended values, they are maximums for that particular tyre, they did not have any idea what car they would be put on when they made the tyre They put that number there so you would know that if your tyres need X psi and that is higher than what is on the sidewall, that tyre is not safe on your car.

“This is the truck and the Firestone tires that created such a firestorm of law suits and controversy.”

Tire pressure had nothing to do with the Firestone 721 problem, if that is what you refer to. It was a manufacturing problem with the wrap wire for the tire cord.

Nah, the 721 was problematic on my 78 cordoba. Got rid of those ones.

The 721s were an IMPROVED replacement for the infamous Firestone 500 tires that came apart at high speed and killed several people. My 1976 Ford Granada 351 V8 had those recalled, and replaced with 721s. They were nort much better, but at least did not fly apart.

5 psi will not change the course of history…Few people can tell the difference…

Where was the 35 PSI measured, in the warm shop or outside in the cold? Tire pressure decreases ~1 psi for each 10 degree drop in temperature. I had tires put on my 2000 Blazer, the pressure was set to 32 in the shop, but the cold pressure the next day was 28 psi and the truck’s handling was terrible. For these particular tires (Firestone Destination LE), 35-37 psi gave the best balance of ride and handling for my tastes.

Invest in a dial type gauge and check the pressure with tires cold. The cold pressure may be closer to 30 psi than you think.

Ed B.

True true. But I’m going with the guys at the shop not the max psi on the tire.

For the CRV, I would go with the 30. The thing is a light vehicle and shouldn’t need the 35 PSI.

While I tend to inflate 3-4 psi above the manufacture’s recommendation (door jam placecard), I like Tester’s recommendation to try the manufacturer’s recommendation first to see how it feels. Then bump your psi by a 3-4 psi and see how it handles, mpg, and ride harshness.

I’ve known people who dislike the 3-4 psi increase due to the harsher ride.

Take that CRV around a hard corner and you most likely will unless it is disconnected from the road like many modern cars.

I can definitely tell when my Subaru WRX’s tires are low as the car feels loose. However the car does feel over connected to the road.

“Are they right, or should I insist on the pressure the manufacturer states?”

This would seem to imply that you have no ability to check and/or to correct the inflation pressure in your tires. And, it would then follow that whatever pressure is put in your tires–whether or not it is correct–will not be modified unless you return to the tire store or take the car for service.

This is not good, as it represents a “hands-off” approach to one of the most basic parts of car care. For your own good, you need to buy a good-quality tire pressure gauge, preferably one with a dial rather than the “pencil” type pressure gauges. And, then you need to check the pressure monthly. When ambient temperatures drop, your tires lose 1 lb of pressure for every 10 degrees of temperature decrease. If you don’t correct this on your own, you will soon have dangerously underinflated tires.

But, to return to the original question, I agree with those who suggested that you start with the recommended pressures, and then try experimenting on your own to see how the car feels with…let’s say…3 or 4 lbs additional pressure. The car will handle slightly better with this small increase in pressure, and it will have a small positive impact on gas mileage and tire tread life.

If you don’t like the slightly harsher ride quality of a few lbs additional pressure, then you can bring the pressure back down to Honda’s recommended pressures. Of course, for this task you will need a pressure gauge and I would also recommend buying your own electric tire inflator that plugs into the cigarette lighter. It is much better–for a variety of reasons–to adjust tire pressure at home, rather than driving several miles to a gas station where they may charge you to use the tire pump or where the pump is blocked by parked cars.

Take charge of your own tire pressure, rather than relying on others.

I usually infate mine a couple psi over what’s recommended. But when a tire calls for 30psi and it’s put to 35psi…that’s a 15% increase in tire pressure. Personally I’d only got with 2 MAYBE 3psi over.