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Old 06-07-2013, 05:08 AM   #1
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Default Recommended Tire Pressure

Hi all, just wanna find out what is the best tire pressure for more smooth driving. currently im following the factory instruction 240 kpa.

owned chevy sonic 1.4L sedan A/T - 16inch rim. stock tire continental.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:35 AM   #2
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factory is 38psi in the states and i run mine at 40 to get a little better mpg's out of mine. i have a set of RS wheels on my LS Sedan and get about 32 city and almost 40 highway.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:47 AM   #3
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Stick with whats on the door placard. Depending on the wheel and tire its between 35-38 psi COLD.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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What's marked on the door is what Chevy recommends for the best blend of comfort, traction, and efficiency. Higher tire pressures (up to the max pressure marked on the sidewall - don't go over) will help fuel efficiency, potentially at the expense of some comfort and traction. IDK if it's different for the 16s, but for the stock 15s the placard says 38 and sidewall is 44.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #5
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ok, thanks for the advice. I will go for the recommended tire pressure, 35psi.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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how many people here have nitrogen in their tires? Dealership put it in mine, so technically I need to go to them to add air...I've not had any leaks, but if I do get low, I wouldn't hesitate to put air in....
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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Technically, we all have nitrogen in our tires, along with oxygen, carbon dioxide, and the various other gases that make up the atmosphere.

That you don't have any leaks is not surprising; it is pretty much the point of filling tires with nitrogen as opposed to compressed air. Apparently, the oxygen molecules in compressed air are small enough to permeate the rubber of the tire and escape. This is not the same thing as a leak, but it doesn't really hurt to consider it that way. Over time, your tire will lose pressure as a result of the oxygen escaping.

Nitrogen molecules, on the other hand, will not permeate the rubber of your tires and escape. Thus, tires filled with nitrogen will maintain correct pressure longer than tires filled with compressed air.

The reason that nitrogen filled tires can aid fuel economy is because the tire stays inflated to the correct pressure for longer. You can achieve the same results with compressed air, but you have to check and top off your tires more frequently.

Long story short, should you happen to find one of your tires getting low, do not hesitate to fill it with compressed air. Nitrogen is not so special or magical as some would lead you to believe. You are breathing roughly 78% nitrogen right now.
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:44 PM   #8
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Well said River Rat.

In my experience the biggest advantage of nitrogen is with temperature swings, particularly from fall into winter. It was very common for cars that had air in the tires to drop 3-6psi during a cold snap whereas nitrogen filled tires were typically less than ~1psi.

For air filled tires inflated to ~36psi or higher it didn't really matter, the tire still had enough air that the sidewall didn't start to flex much, maybe a tiny drop in fuel economy.
For tires inflated to the "wives tale 32psi" this was a big issue. After the temp dropped the tires would really start to ride on the outside edge of the tire and the sidewall deflected alot more, the result is severely dropped fuel economy, poor handling, and massively increased tire wear.... In a tire that was previously acceptably inflated.

Nitrogen on the other hand Is hugely insensitive to temperature changes and maintains psi over a broad range of temps. With nitrogen when winter hits tire pressure is maintained significantly better. This also holds true as the tire heats up (from driving or just ambient temps), This is why they're popular for racing and aerospace.

And as stated nitrogen's larger molecule doesn't permeate rubber like some of the molecules in Air. The result is nitrogen doesn't lose pressure over time like air does.
This is big for operators that never check tires and with longer service intervals there is now greater periods of time before a technician will check tire psi (if they do their job).

That's nitrogen's advantage in tires.
It won't directly increase gas mileage and it won't stop leaks; some how some people think that it's impossible to get a leak with nitrogen, even after picking up a nail or puncture WTF!? lol

You can also sleep easy if you add a Few psi of "air" into a nitrogen filled tire. Any changes in overall properties will be negligible (I've never seen any in the shop after several thousand miles).
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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been doing 35 psi all this while as written in the manual.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:07 PM   #10
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Recommended tire pressure 240 kpa - so much for me. Four wheels - 210-220 kpa.
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