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Dumb question, but what's the correct tire pressure?!

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by NomadicFrog, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Jun 10, 2018 at 12:16 PM
    #1
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    I've had my Tundra for about a month. Bought it from a dealer who did a thorough inspection and somewhat thorough service (oil change, front brake job, etc.). Everything looked good. After that month, on a recent road trip, I thought I'd check the tire pressure, just to be a conscientious driver.

    They were all nearly 40 psi!!! My door panel and owner's manual, for my tires, says 26psi front and 29psi rear.

    Now, granted, at the time I was about 5000ft higher in elevation, but still, yikes. So I let some air out. I checked again back home at around 1200ft elevation, and they still read around 33psi.

    Here's the question: my tires look squishy! They look noticeably flat, and on any other car I would be concerned there was a problem. Yet they are 4-7psi over the recommendation already.

    What gives?? Why would the techs at the Toyota dealership fill them so high, and why do my tires look flat when I get them even close to the recommended psi?

    (I did a quick search of the forums and didn't see anything already, and I checked the tires with two different gauges, so it's not a measurement problem.)

    Details:

    2003 Tundra Access Cab
    265/70R16 Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires

    This front tire (below) is at 32 psi "cold", as in "the truck hasn't been driven since yesterday, but it's 102F outside".

    IMG_0266.jpg
     
  2. Jun 10, 2018 at 12:39 PM
    #2
    Dabutcher

    Dabutcher New Member

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    I run mine at 35 psi. When I went in for alignment last week. Toyota dealer bumped them all up to 42. Peace. D
     
  3. Jun 10, 2018 at 12:43 PM
    #3
    D1227

    D1227 New Member

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    I run mine a max pressure stated on the side wall.
     
  4. Jun 10, 2018 at 12:45 PM
    #4
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model New Member

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    Been running my 285/75/r16 tires at 32 psi at sealevel for years. Max psi per manufacturer is 60 which is hard ridin’. 32psi is the sweet spot. Go with what drives best for you.
     
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  5. Jun 10, 2018 at 1:59 PM
    #5
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Ok, guess it wasn't as dumb a question as I thought. I anticipated the answers would be "run it at what the door panel says" despite my paranoid sense that they look flat.

    I'm really surprised to hear you all saying to run them so much higher than recommended. In my past life (i.e., passenger car not pickup truck) that would seem dangerously over-pressure, with a resulting loss of steering control, premature tire wear, and reduced ride quality.
     
  6. Jun 10, 2018 at 2:04 PM
    #6
    RonW

    RonW New Member

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    Mine are 32ish all around. People sometimes comment on how low they look.
     
  7. Jun 10, 2018 at 2:09 PM
    #7
    chphilo

    chphilo Tundra addict

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    I suspect that those who run at higher psi may have after-market e-rated tires. I run mine (max psi 80) at 45. If you run stock tires, you are advised to follow the door spec under normal driving condition.

    You could always do the chalk test to see which psi you should run.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    NomadicFrog [OP] and Grey Wolf like this.
  8. Jun 10, 2018 at 2:30 PM
    #8
    AxelsHumanDad

    AxelsHumanDad I am Groot

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    I have the same tire in 20" on my third gen and I (currently)run 39 front, 38 rear.
     
  9. Jun 10, 2018 at 2:34 PM
    #9
    D1227

    D1227 New Member

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    Chalk test ? Just curious
     
  10. Jun 10, 2018 at 4:08 PM
    #10
    the_midwesterner

    the_midwesterner New Member

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    None, yet....
    Bingo. Anybody else who says I run mine at XXpsi because so and so told me, is just spewing misinformation.

    If you are running stock tires, run the door pillar pressure. If you are running anything different, do the chalk test. Period.

     
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  11. Jun 10, 2018 at 4:15 PM
    #11
    D1227

    D1227 New Member

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    That's good info... when i get different tires I might do this. For my stock tires and all the stuff I tow I like the ride better near max.
     
  12. Jun 10, 2018 at 5:39 PM
    #12
    Twofer

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    The door jam info sticker is for the stock P rated tire. Looks like you have a LT rated tire which requires more air pressure due to the tires construction. I had the same question when I switched to an LT tire so I asked Cooper Tire and they explained this to me. Cooper said 40 psi minimum for their LT tires.
     
    NomadicFrog [OP] likes this.
  13. Jun 10, 2018 at 5:52 PM
    #13
    15whtrd

    15whtrd Tundra fanboy/lover....dryhumper...

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    I felt like the door recommended pressure was way too low. I don’t like the way the tires look or how it road. I mean the ride was soft but going around corners felt like driving a marshmallow. Mine are the stock Michelin all terrains. The chalk test is the best way to find out if you are wearing on your tires properly. Mine were wearing out on the outer edges. I pumped them up over what I thought they should be. Did the chalk test and slowly reduced air pressure until they were perfect.
    For me I run my fronts at 36 to 38 psi and the rears are 28 to 30 PSI. This works for me but it may not for you.
     
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  14. Jun 10, 2018 at 6:39 PM
    #14
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Ok, this is why i went ahead and risked ridicule for a dumb question: I've learned quite a bit about something I had thought was pretty straightforward for the past 28 years. I'll add some air back for now, then do the chalk test asap. Thanks everyone!
     
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  15. Jun 10, 2018 at 6:45 PM
    #15
    Samoan Thor

    Samoan Thor God is technically an alien

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    I wish there was an easier method other than the chalk test, yes I’m that lazy to do the chalky thing. there should be a simple formula like tire size x wheel size=blah blah yes I get it just chalk it
     
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  16. Jun 10, 2018 at 6:48 PM
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    D1227

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    Dont be scared man I ask dumb questions all The time on here the people on this forum are super helpful. Just make sure you can take a joke there are some funny m'fers on here too.
     
  17. Jun 10, 2018 at 6:51 PM
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    D1227

    D1227 New Member

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    Me too...maybe if i had bad ass tires but for my stock tires im good...not doing all that.
     
  18. Jun 10, 2018 at 6:55 PM
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    Outbound

    Outbound American stuck in a Canadian body

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    I have load range E, Cooper ST Maxx tires. Sidewall says max 80PSI. Kal Tire inflated to 32PSI. TPMS light doesn't turn off until 42PSI.

    I run at 45PSI
     
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  19. Jun 10, 2018 at 7:09 PM
    #19
    15whtrd

    15whtrd Tundra fanboy/lover....dryhumper...

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  20. Jun 10, 2018 at 7:23 PM
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    D1227

    D1227 New Member

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    Also if you paint your tundra white not only will your tires be properly inflated all the time the white adds like 15 20 horse power.
     
  21. Jun 10, 2018 at 7:25 PM
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    15whtrd

    15whtrd Tundra fanboy/lover....dryhumper...

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    And it’s instantly more capable!
     
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  22. Jun 12, 2018 at 3:43 AM
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    SgtNewundies

    SgtNewundies New Member

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    Chalk test is the best way. I run my Tacoma at 36 front, 35 rear the Tundra gets 35 front, 34 rear. If you run a tire at max pressure watch out for a blowout!
     
  23. Jun 12, 2018 at 3:51 AM
    #23
    Yota18

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    I run mine at 35 all around on the stock Michelin tire. I also ran 35 on my Tacoma at 35 with bfg muds. I’ve never did chalk test just went off how they felt when driving. When I upgrade tundra I’ll be doing the chalk test but I’d suspect 35psi will work for that too
     
  24. Jun 12, 2018 at 4:24 AM
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    bowhun2r

    bowhun2r New Member

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    If you switch out the P rated tires for LT rated tires with a higher load capacity, this pdf will help you determine what PSI you should run. Page 11 begins the chart coming from a P series tire going to an LT tire.

    I'm running 275/70/18 K02's E rated running 44 all around. With 3K miles on them, they are wearing evenly and do not ride harsh at all. Although, I do have the TRD-pro suspension that likely is helping smooth the bumps out.

    Forget where I found that PDF. Might be on this site or tundratalk.net. Wanted to make sure I was running the correct inflation on the LT tires.
     

    Attached Files:

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  25. Jun 12, 2018 at 4:46 AM
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    myt1

    myt1 New Member

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    I have KO2's, 275/70/18, E rated; the same as the above post.

    Discount Tire recommends 40 PSI.

    I'm at 45K miles and I don't think I will have any trouble getting another 10K.

    There are no signs of uneven ware.

    The ride can be rough, but I attribute that to my OME suspension.
     
  26. Jun 12, 2018 at 5:04 AM
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    Boerseun

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    If you don't want to do a chalk test, just do a quick visual inspection. If your tires are wearing more along the outside, you are too low, if it is wearing down the middle, your pressure is too high. If you can't see a significant difference between the tread wear across the width of the tire, then you are good the way it is.
     
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  27. Jun 12, 2018 at 5:06 AM
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    Boerseun

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    Those swirly marks on the sidewall tells me you are running at too low pressure. Essentially been driving on the sidewall, probably when turning.
    It might have been scuffed on the side of a curb also. But it looks too low.
     
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  28. Jun 12, 2018 at 5:27 AM
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    JoshuaA

    JoshuaA Tundra Fanatic

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    295/70R18 Nitto RG’s 42/40 empty bed, 50/52 when towing. That is specific to me, may be different to you. Chalk test confirms. Super easy to do, liberally apply a wide line on all 4 tires, extend it down the sidewall to a letter as a marker. On a flat street down the middle, drive 1/2 block, more or less and see where it’s worn off. Reduce pressure if chalk disappears down the middle first, and vice versa. Wash your tires and truck, be happy.
     
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  29. Jun 12, 2018 at 8:49 AM
    #29
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    I wondered about the scuffing, too. Given the super narrow spaces in our apartment complex, some with curbs on at least one side, I hoped it was that, but I suspect you may be right.

    I put put them back at ~40psi yesterday. Hope I didn't do too much damage in the ~400 miles I drove at "only" 33psi (which was still, in my defense, 4-7psi over what the door pillar says.)

    Yep, the chalk test is one of the several things I learned about in this thread. Will do asap.
     
  30. Jun 12, 2018 at 6:17 PM
    #30
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    So I checked today, and I just happened to photograph the only tire with the swirls like that - in fact, the swirls are only about 1/2-way around the tire - so I think it was indeed a curb at our apartment complex parking spot. (They are tight no matter what, plus about 50% of the time the next person crowds the line too.)

    But still, I put more air in and will do the chalk test! Thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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