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Buick Forum: Ideal Tire Pressure - 2017 LaCrosse 18" Wheel
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  1. #1
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    Ideal Tire Pressure - 2017 LaCrosse 18" Wheel

    I've been experimenting with tire pressures.

    Strangely I've found that starting 30 psi cold -- that is to say slightly LOWER than recommended 32 psi cold-- seems to improve the ride. At this setting, when tires up they hit 32 psi after driving awhile.

    At higher psi, a bit less overall ride quality. More bumps come through, of course, but also moterboating. No penalty for cornering and nimbleness, at least with normal "spirited" driving.

    Others?

    I have the AWD model but WITHOUT the 20" wheels.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ideal Tire Pressure - 2017 LaCrosse 18" Wheel

    What is that doing for tread life?

  3. #3
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    Re: Ideal Tire Pressure - 2017 LaCrosse 18" Wheel

    JSCHMO has a serious point here. Starting with the recommended cold tire pressure of 33 pounds, it quickly can rise to 38+ pounds on a hot day in the summer. In the winter, you have a cold , hard rubber that still goes up to at least 37 pounds. Add that to a V rated harder rubber tire like my Michelins(or, God forbid, run-flats), and a 19 or 20 inch low profile tire....no wonder many are feeling every bump in the road. Even conventional fatter tires from years ago would bounce around when your favorite gas station attendant would accidently put 35 pound in your tires....remember? Add all these other variables in there, and you can see where the extra air can certainly make a difference. But, in the same token , driving on an underinflated 20 tire over a pothole, is begging for trouble. But is starting up with 30 pounds, which quickly goes to 34 really technically underinflated? What do you think? Opinions welcome.PS My experience with my test drive of a 2017 Lacrosse with 20 inch properly inflated tires was not the best for road comfort over bumps. The 18 inch felt a lot better.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ideal Tire Pressure - 2017 LaCrosse 18" Wheel

    Yeah that's why I raised the question. Totally agree under-inflation can risk wheel and suspension damage, and potentially tread wear. So I am cautious about experimentation.

    I find that lower profile tires are more sensitive to proper inflation overall. The lower the profile tire, the more a change in pressure can be felt by a driver paying close attention. The 18" wheel package is a 50 series tire - that is not a high sidewall either! Back in the day, 16" wheels with 60 series rubber...a lot more cushion.

    I know the engineers do their job when setting a spec. But I figure since most people ignore their tire pressures, if one is attentive to it (as in check everyday) there must a fairly wide bandwidth around the recommendation (32 in this case) which is safe to play around with to get it to one's own preference.

    So I've tried 2 psi increments from cold on successive similar weather days:
    36 warming to 38
    34 warming to 36
    32 warming to 34/35
    30 warming to 32/33

    My preferred was the 30! 32 OK, and 34 definitely and noticeably different than 30. 36 is actually harsh. More "worry" in the direction of travel over bumps, more motion after large bumps. At 30 handling is just as sharp. Maybe sharper if the road has any imperfections, which these days is basically all roads.

    I'm not inclined to try lower than 30 for the reasons sited above. But that's just me. Thought I'd put all that out an see what the community finds same or not.

  5. #5
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    LARRY70GS is offline Full Member My Buick(s): 98 Riviera, 70 GS455 Stg1
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    Re: Ideal Tire Pressure - 2017 LaCrosse 18" Wheel

    It depends on what the maximum tire pressure listed on the side of the tire. The tire placard only applies to the tires the car came stock with. These days, it isn't uncommon to see maximum pressures listed as 44 psi, and even 51 psi. They are higher pressure tires. Generally, using a pressure of 85% to 90% of the maximum produces the best compromise between ride/handling/tread ware, and gas mileage. My 1970 GS455 Stage 1 has Cooper Cobras with a 44 psi max. I run them at 38-39 psi cold. My 98 Riviera has Yokohama Avid TRZ tires with a 51 psi max. I run them at 43 psi. Neither car rides hard. If I use the 30 psi on the tire placard with the Yokohama tires, the handling is sloppy, and my gas mileage suffers. My Riviera came with tires that had a 35 psi maximum inflation. 30 psi for them was fine.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Ideal Tire Pressure - 2017 LaCrosse 18" Wheel

    Remove this ad
    The car manufacturers recommended tire pressure is a compromise between many factors, gas mileage, ride comfort, and responsive handling as examples. Going two pounds below the car manufacturers recommended will not cause an unsafe condition.

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