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Dueler, Continental, GoodYear & tire pressure?

I drove a 2010 CR-V with Continentals a few months ago and thought it's ride much more comfortable and handled just as well as the Duelers on my '09.

A few weeks ago I drove another one with Continentals and it too felt more comfortable than one with Duelers. I checked the tire pressure and it was about 35 at 70 degrees. I let enough air out to get it to 31 at 70 equivalent and it rode as bad as the Duelers. If you have Continentals try increasing the cold tire pressure a few lbs. But not over the maximum on the tire sidewall.

I have done an exercise with every car and set of tires I've owned for the last 30 years to find the optimum pressure for each car and tires.

I start with the maximum allowed pressure on the tire sidewall at ambient temperature of 70 and reduce the pressure over several days one degree at a time to find the best combination of ride and handling. Most of the cars/tires have been 33 lbs. equivalent to 70 degrees cold ambient. One degree either way makes a noticeable difference in a more harsh ride. And as it goes down the car also starts to handle sloppy.

So, What is 31 lbs. equivalent to 70 degrees cold ambient?

Tire air pressure changes very close to 1 lb per 10 degrees temperature. Driving raises the temperature of the air in the tire so the pressure goes up. Stop driving and they cool and it goes down. It also changes with the ambient air temperature.

In all this tire-pressure testing I have found that keeping the pressure at the temperature that is equivalent to the optimum if it were 70 degrees ambient is best for me. For my 2010 CR-V EX L with Duelers this is 31 lbs.

When checking tire pressure I first determine the ambient air temperature. Then I add or subtract 1 lb for each 10 degrees above or below 70 degrees. So on a cold morning with ambient of 30 degrees which is 40 degrees below 70 I subtract 4 lbs for a tire pressure of 27 lbs. This is what it would be if, on the day before it was 70 cold ambient and the pressure was 31 lbs.

Yes, yes, I know, this is below the 30 lbs. on the door jam placard but guess what. Tires heat up more when under inflated, so as the ambient warms during the day and driving warms them more the pressure goes up to about where it would have been if it was 70 when you started which is exactly what you want.

And the converse, if it is 90 degrees cold ambient, 20 degrees above 70, the pressure will be 33 if it was 31 at 70 ambient so you leave it alone.

Yes this sounds like a lot of trouble but it actually results in much less raising and lowering of the pressure and a much more comfortable ride.

Using a gauge with dial and bleed valve make it much easier. My favorite is the G.H. Meiser Tire Pressure Gauge at AutoZone, about $9.|GRP2068____

And if you need new tires checkout the newest offering at TireRack, Goodyear Assurance ComforTread Touring. Reviews are great for comfort but a little mushy handling - note they have max pressure of 51 lbs! (Yup, 51). I suspect one could run the pressure up for whatever handling one wants?
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