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Tire pressure

i own a 2012 chevy traverse my old tires had a maximum of 35 psi. On my car door jam the specs call for a max of 35 psi which i usually had 30 to 32 psi
in tires. My new tires same size 245 70R 17 have a maximum 44 psi should i still put 30 to 32 psi in my new tires???

You always follow what the vehicle manufacturer recommends for tire pressure.

Those tires can be used on all kinds of vehicles. And each vehicle manufacturer may have a different tire pressure spec.


What is on the door pillar is correct for your vehicle. The psi rating on the tire is the maximum psi for that tire. Another vehicle may use the same size tire and call for 40 psi. I would go for 35 psi for your Traverse.

I’m mostly OK with this “follow the pillar” approach, except we should recognize that there is some leeway. I think that the manufacturers seem to put the emphasis on thinking you have a comfortable car, within the limits of safety. I usually keep mine a few pounds higher than the spec there. It gives better handling and better tire mileage, as well as a bit of leeway in case you get a slow leak.

Sure the mfg has a suggested air pressure in the sticker on the pillar, sure you can over inflate for better mpg and worse ride, sure you can underinflate for traction in the snow, but never found it an issue to stick with suggested pressures. Sure i think a few more lbs of pressure might get me more mpg, at the sacrifice of traction, and possibly tire wear issues, but I get 2 weeks out of a half of tank of gas, and I want to mess with it why?

+1 to melott’s post.
I always try to keep my tires inflated to ~3 lbs over the car mfr’s recommendation, in the interest of better handling and better gas mileage. Additionally, if the thermometer drops by a few degrees, then at least your tires aren’t underinflated.

If the OP consistently aims for a few lbs under the car mfr’s recommended tire pressure, a temperature drop could leave him with tires that are seriously underinflated, and that is a bad thing from any perspective.

With my ~+3 lb, my tire wear is very even.

sure you can underinflate for traction in the snow

Actually, underinflation causes the tread blocks to collapse towards each other, reducing traction.

Here’s something to consider, for you folks that like going over the pressures listed on the door jamb . . .

Many trucks using LT tires call for 50psi front, and 80psi rear

Look on the sidewall of those tires, and you’ll see that 80psi is the maximum allowable pressure

I would not recommend exceeding the maximum allowable pressure listed on the sidewall

What is listed on the label on the door jam - commonly called the vehicle tire placard - is a specification. It is more than just a recommendation.

Also, in the OP’s case, the tire lists the 44 psi as a maximum (because it is a P type tire) - and unlike what db4690 says, LT tires do not list a maximum pressure. They list a relationship: Max load XXXX at YY psi. You CAN use higher pressures in those tires, but you have to be careful and follow the tire manufacturer’s recommendation (which are NOT written on the sidewall).

“my old tires had a maximum of 35 psi”

@CapriRacer correct me if I’m wrong: I get the impression that tires rated 44psi are of a more robust construction than those rated 35psi.
Much like H speed tires are better construction than T rated.

So, the OP’s original tires were just “good enough” to handle the 35psi inflation the car maker specified.
The 44psi tires when run at 35psi have some quality in reserve.


In my opinion, No, because in P type tires, the maximum pressure listed on sidewall is arbitrary. It is 35 psi, 44 psi, or 51 psi, but all the testing occurs at the same conditions regardless of the max listed.

The reason it is an opinion, rather than a fact, is that I don’t have direct knowledge about what all the tire manufacturers actually do in this regard. There may actually be a manufacturer that does it that way, but from my perspective as a tire engineer, it doesn’t make sense any other way.

“You always follow what the vehicle manufacturer recommends for tire pressure.”

Yes indeed. You can’t go wrong with that statement.

Neither of my cars – 20 + years and older – have information on tire pressure recommendations in the door area. That information is in the owner’s manual, but not on the car. Just curious, it seems like a good idea, what year did manufacturers start doing that?

Manufactures (some) began placing tire pressure labels in the drivers door jam in the 1960’s.

Standardized labels began in 2004, prior to that tire pressure information labels might be found on the inside of the glove box door, the under side of trunk lid, passenger side door jams, etc.

To my knowledge the vehicle tire placard has been mandated since the 1970’s - so, George, I suggest you look a little harder. Try the glove box, other doors and doorframes, the fuel filler door, and the trunk lid. Keep in mind, until 2008, the placard’s appearance was not mandated and it might be difficult to pick out from all the other stickers.

Ok, I’ll look again. I know on the drivers side door of my truck there’s a sticker there listing the GVW, but nothing about tire pressures. Inside the glove box there’s a VIN plate, but no tire pressure info there. Andno trunk lid in a truck. Nothing under the hood, I’ve been under the hood quite a bit of late doing a carb rebuild. But maybe it is on the drivers side door area.

You won’t find a tire pressure label on a truck that old. For example before standardized labels Dodge trucks came with three pages of tire charts listing truck model, cab size, GVWR and available tire sizes, then tire pressures for light load and full load for each available configuration. .

Just an FYI: My 1976 Ford Van had a vehicle tire placard that included GVW information - and it took a bit of reading to find the pressure information - but it was there.