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Tires and Tire Pressure


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#1 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 06:36 AM

I'd like to share what I've experienced after changing my tire beliefs 8 years ago. Since that time, I've seen amazing  improvements in handling, traction, hydroplaneing, tire wear, tire weight and MPG. The San Jose Police Department Training Officer has confirmed most of hypermiler's recommendations for tire pressure. At first, I was reluctant about increasing tire pressurers for all the myths I've heard during my lifetime about high tire pressure. I thought it would cause the center of the tire to wearout before the outer edges. This may have been true before steelbelted tires came out, but it is no longer a problem today.

 

The vehicle handles better because the tires don't ride on the sidewalls in a turn. I thought traction would be reduced because the tires were harder. It turns out with steelbelted tires, the tire patch remains flat, so the tread contact with the road is the best. I've found that it's the wear that reduces traction as the tire tread wears down. For instance, my front tires on my '11 Explorer are getting near the life of the tread, and I'm noticing some increases in slippage under hard exceleration on wet pavement and even a little on dry pavement. Because my front tires wear flat accross the tread, traction is still good in hard turns on wet pavement.

 

Hydroplaneing has improved because the tread is doing what it was designed to do, push the water away from the tread. Lower tire pressure increases the area of the tire patch like a larger ski on the water.

 

Tire wear is most important to me because of cost, handling over the life of the tire for safety, traction, and tire weight. If you can wear the tread evenly across the tire, weight decreases which decreases roll resistance. I've experimented with lighter factory rims and the same worn factory LRR tire vs a heavier factory (Limited) rim with new factory LRR tires. The difference with the lighter setup can be as much as 3 - 5 tank MPG.

 

Look at having higher tire pressure as the key of hypermiling. It all starts there because higher tire pressure increases the glide distance in any gear. It allows you to maintain your speed from dropping faster compared with lower tire pressure. I think Ford increased the recommented tire pressure from 35psi to 38psi on the Michelin Energy that comes with the C-Max. The Max sidewall is 51psi, so I'll most likely run 55psi on my new C-Max Energi. 

 

Gary 

 

 









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#2 OFFLINE   jeffegg2

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:24 AM

Everyone seemed shocked when I mentioned that I increased my tires to the rated pressure. I found no ill effects at 51lbs.

#3 OFFLINE   mikeb

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:25 AM

I agree that running higher pressure seems to have few drawbacks. The biggest one is probably comfort/noise, but we already have a quiet car so this isn't a big deal.

 

But if the max pressure on the sidewall is 51psi, I think it's a bad choice to exceed that. It's listed as the max from the manufacturere for a reason. I'm running about 45psi now, but I'd be extremely reluctant to get closer than 1-2psi below the sidewall max.

 

I'd also disagree that this is a key hypermiling issue. It'll save you a few mpg at most. You get far more gain for things like predictive driving and gentle acceleration/decelleration, and even more gain from things like planning your route and schedule to avoid traffic. Those are the key techniques that give the biggest gains. And in a plugin hybrid like the Energi, the overwhelming dominant issue is using pure EV mode. Everything else pales to insignificance: I regularly see 100-150MPGe while running in EV mode, and getting 1000 miles on a tank of gas is routine for some people. Even pulse and glide is meaningless when driving EV, since it's entirely a workournd for the inefficiency of a gas engine, which we aren't even using.



#4 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:44 AM

I agree that running higher pressure seems to have few drawbacks. The biggest one is probably comfort/noise, but we already have a quiet car so this isn't a big deal.

 

But if the max pressure on the sidewall is 51psi, I think it's a bad choice to exceed that. It's listed as the max from the manufacturere for a reason. I'm running about 45psi now, but I'd be extremely reluctant to get closer than 1-2psi below the sidewall max.

 

I'd also disagree that this is a key hypermiling issue. It'll save you a few mpg at most. You get far more gain for things like predictive driving and gentle acceleration/decelleration, and even more gain from things like planning your route and schedule to avoid traffic. Those are the key techniques that give the biggest gains. And in a plugin hybrid like the Energi, the overwhelming dominant issue is using pure EV mode. Everything else pales to insignificance: I regularly see 100-150MPGe while running in EV mode, and getting 1000 miles on a tank of gas is routine for some people. Even pulse and glide is meaningless when driving EV, since it's entirely a workournd for the inefficiency of a gas engine, which we aren't even using.

 

Hi Mike

 

All the hypermiler techiques you mention all are all inhanced starting with higher tire pressure. I do all of those techniques and many more to increase MPG and safety. I disagree gentle acceleration is a MPG saver as "cut in stone". Until you conduct acceleration test, you will never know how to accerate for the best MPG. Also, gentle acceleration may cause road rage while not increasing MPG at all. Example, I've did acceleration test from a stop mark to a one mile mark. The goal was to reset the aveage MPG and start accelerating right away. Record the average MPG at the one mile finish line. You want to exclude the battery Assist during this test to isolate MPG from battery assist. In addition, you want to be charging the battery during acceleration to use that extra charge at a steady state speed later. This will also increase overall tank MPH at fill-up. I most likely will not use battery assist or EV for any acceleration in my C-Max Energi for this reason.

 

What I meant by saying tire pressure is the key, is because you will improve all the other techniques by overcoming the drag of lower tire pressure. For years now, I can tell that even if one of my tires drop in pressure, my MPG starts to drop. Most people don't keep their fingers on the pulse of MPG like the best hypermilers do.

 

Gary       



#5 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:51 AM

The higher the pressure the more dangerous you ride becomes. High pressure increases the chance of blowout and increases stopping distance. Reducing your tires ability to conform to road irregularities increases the stress the rest of your car incurs.



#6 OFFLINE   smangerer

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:00 AM

I understand the concepts mentioned but I tend to leave these decisions to the engineers. I'm sure the decision for PSI numbers have gone through many highly qualified, highly trained people who have thought about all the pros and cons of vehicle performance and safety.

Filling up every other month is such an improvent from any car I've driven, I don't feel like pushing a good thing over the edge. Err on the side of caution.

That's my philosophy.

#7 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

Everyone seemed shocked when I mentioned that I increased my tires to the rated pressure. I found no ill effects at 51lbs.

 

You are a smart man and that's why everyone seemed shocked. The not so smart engineers want you to replace your tires regularly and don't give a damm about you and your family's safety. Most of the time the Engineers are recommending what the car and tire manufactures want them to say. Once you see the benefits of the higher pressure, you will never go back to wasting money and safety again.

 

The fact is, tire manufactures are raising there Max sidewall to compete with the other manufactures for ride, handling and stopping distances. Michelin can't let manufactures like Hankook beat them out because they let the cat out of the bag by raising their max sidewall to 51psi. Michelin and most tire manufactures had kept there max sidewall at 44psi. Now Michelin has jumped to 51psi just like Hankook. Now, what are all those people that are shocked going to do?

 

Gary 



#8 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:18 PM

The tires become part of a system when incorporated into an automobile. Just because a tire can handle a certain pressure, on a test device, does not make that pressure the right pressure for the vehicle it is used on. It never ceases to amaze me as to how many amateurs latch onto a few isolated data points, without a complete systems understanding, to make a case for their viewpoint. When you mess with the manufacture's recommended pressure you are messing with the system design. The recommended tire pressure, for the vehicle, is put on by the car manufacture and you will notice it hardly ever is the same as the pressure the tire is rated at. One of the biggest factors in designing a safe automobile is making sure that the car will not go into a resonance mode of vibration and tire pressure is a large contributor in that area.

 

It is always the claim of the amateurs that there is some conspiracy behind the specified numbers. The fact is that these are complicated systems and they do a lot of analysis to optimize the vehicle. The biggest concern is safety since that is where the largest liability is. It is one thing to defend against MPG not as expected but it is an entirely different issue when having to defend against injury or death. You would be well advised to go with the designed by professionals recommendation (they have had 1000's of years of combined experience) vs a few amateurs who do not understand the larger impact of messing with system design.

 

Improved MPG is a huge marketing bullet for any car manufacture; it would be real low hanging fruit for them to simply increase tire pressure and make the claim of more MPG. The amateur's reason for them not doing so is that they want to sell more tires? Car manufactures want to sell more cars and they really don't profit from selling tire replacements. Ford, in particular, knows all about having put up with tire problems. Look at your history book and look up Firestone 500.


Edited by Don, 16 May 2013 - 01:01 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:46 PM

The tires become part of a system when incorporated into an automobile. Just because a tire can handle a certain pressure, on a test device, does not make that pressure the right pressure for the vehicle it is used on. It never ceases to amaze me as to how many amateurs latch onto a few isolated data points, without a complete systems understanding, to make a case for their viewpoint. When you mess with the manufactures recommended pressure you are messing with the system design. The recommended tire pressure, for the vehicle, is put on by the car manufacture and you will notice it hardly ever is the same as the pressure the tire is rated at. One of the biggest factors in designing a safe automobile is making sure that the car will not go into a resonance mode of vibration and tire pressure is a large contributor in that area.

 

It is always the claim of the amateurs that there is some conspiracy behind the specified numbers. The fact is that these are complicated systems and they do a lot of analysis to optimize the vehicle. The biggest concern is safety since that is where the largest liability is. It is one thing to defend against MPG not as expected but it is an entirely different issue when having to defend against injury or death. You would be well advised to go with the designed by professionals recommendation (they have had 1000's of years of combined experience) vs a few amateurs who so not understand the larger impact of messing with system design.

 

Face it Don, you have never experienced driving with higher tire pressure as I have for 8 years, who is the amateur? You will never experiment with tire pressure, but yet you think you know everything about it. I've worked with the top engineers in this Country and had to take some of them off there high horse many times. In fact, my 27 year old Son graduated from MIT with a 4.7 gpa in engineering and computer science with a minor in economics. At age 26, he became a self-made millionaire by selling his start-up company to Ebay for 80 million dollars. He doesn't think I'm an amateur, but a gifted father like he will be. I was a College Professor, so throwing that around doesn't impress me either.

 

You use the word dangerous like you have experience or proof of some sort. I haven't seen any examples of that proof, so lets hear it. All I've posted is about my expriences with first hand knowledge and experiences. I've not seen or heard of any blowouts or road damage because of the higher tire pressure I use. That facts are, I've gotten results from my driving techniques and have demonstrated them with the News media like my friends like Wayne Gerdes has. People have ask me to produce videos of hypermiling the FEH, and I had my younger amateur film maker son film me hypermiling. It's all done in fun and safety is a top priority.

 

Gary   



#10 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:33 PM

Gary,

 

Throwing around you and your son's accomplishments do not impress and only gives me greater cause for concern since you feel that citing your accomplishments, in other fields, gives you credibility. In fact I am now wondering if you are real or just some 10 year old yanking the chain. The fact is that you are claiming conspiracy as the reason car manufacture's recommend lower tire pressures. The conspiracy claim is a claim a kook would make. 

 

Making a bunch of money off ebay was easy and all I had to do was buy ebay options to do that (was no work involved at all). I had many excellent professors help me in my education but a few kooky ones, as well (one chemistry prof. was actually convinced he would soon discover how to turn lead into gold). I am going to put you in the kooky category.

 

Recommending that folks operate equipment outside of manufacture's recommend parameters is downright criminal. You have not done the comprehensive system testing required to make such an important parameter change recommendation. You are a single person with a single data set. Take your car through all SAE test conditions (all road surfaces, road hazards, etc.) and then maybe I will listen. If  someone gets injured or killed, caused by an out of control vehicle, and it was discovered that the tires were inflated outside of the car manufacture's recommendation where do you think the legal system will go with the case? Everyone knows that if you operate equipment outside of the manufacture's recommendations that you pretty much change the focus of liability from the manufacture to the operator. Stop giving bad advice that could get people in trouble.

 

Like I said Ford would love to improve market share and claiming a few more MPG would help them do that. Use common and practical sense to reason why they don't grab the forbidden fruit.


Edited by Don, 16 May 2013 - 03:12 PM.

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#11 OFFLINE   dr61

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:29 PM

I just knew that this subject would generate heated posts!  Always does on just about every Internet car forum I've read.  I'll post some of my opinions a bit later...



#12 OFFLINE   jeffegg2

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:08 PM

I have not and do not recommend that anyone run their tire pressures higher than recommended. I only stated what I do. If I jump into a river will you???



#13 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:37 PM

I have not and do not recommend that anyone run their tire pressures higher than recommended. I only stated what I do. If I jump into a river will you???

 

Neither have I, but I think it gets under some peoples skin when you talk about it.

 

After driving from Opopka Mullinax Ford to the Lake Park Mullinax Ford (200 miles of highway) with the tire pressure still at the factory pressure of 42psi, I cranked up the pressure this morning to 62psi. Couldn't feel a change in the smooth ride at all, but everything else has improved. First of all, with the lower tire pressure I could kick in the ICE and accelerate to a steady state speed and go EV with no problem. Now, the car goes EV during a harder acceleration because there is far less tire drag. The glide now last about twice as long in neutral than with the lower tire pressure. The car handles great and I can feel the improvements. The MPG just shot-up also with no plug-in since the Opopka dealer who hadn't completely charged the battery (18 miles EV) in the first place.

 

I can see P&G with a plug-in charge may get up to 30-35 miles in EV range. Pulse in EV, ICE or both and glide in neutral down to a target speed and repeat. I'm noticing the EV range goes up a mile with some of "L" gear regen when slowing down for a stoplight. The "L" gear works also the same as my '05 FEH like I expected.

 

I raised the tire pressure more than I planned at 55psi, because I could really feel the tire drag in "N" with the pressure at 42psi. I still feel safe at 62psi with the Michelin Energy's, and my guess is they would wear out much sooner with a lower tire pressure than that.

 

Gary



#14 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 03:11 PM

Neither have I, but I think it gets under some peoples skin when you talk about it.

 

 

I raised the tire pressure more than I planned at 55psi, because I could really feel the tire drag in "N" with the pressure at 42psi. I still feel safe at 62psi with the Michelin Energy's, and my guess is they would wear out much sooner with a lower tire pressure than that.

 

Gary

Typical snake oil peddler. Point out that there is a shift in liability when operating equipment outside manufacturer's recommendations and they are quick to point out they are not sharing their experience to encourage others to follow.

 

It appears now you are guessing about the inflation pressure and how it impacts wear. Is your guess the basis for your statement: "The not so smart engineers want you to replace your tires regularly and don't give a damm about you and your family's safety. Most of the time the Engineers are recommending what the car and tire manufactures want them to say." ?

 

The engineers give safety the top priority unlike yourself. You are changing parameters and performing experiments on the open road where others can get hurt. Testing done, per SAE standards, is done in controlled conditions where innocent bystanders are not put at risk. You experiments have no experimental controls, violate all standards of the scientific method, and put the general public at risk. Downright irresponsible behavior.


Edited by Don, 18 May 2013 - 03:13 PM.


#15 OFFLINE   jeffegg2

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:26 PM

I have no snake oil to sell. The manufacturer also sets inflation pressure for driver comfort. I understand this, and am not as concerned with comfort as with rolling resistance.

 

A recomendation is not a rule, just a recommendation. That is what the company does is recommend a tire pressure.



#16 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:53 PM

I have no snake oil to sell. The manufacturer also sets inflation pressure for driver comfort. I understand this, and am not as concerned with comfort as with rolling resistance.

 

A recomendation is not a rule, just a recommendation. That is what the company does is recommend a tire pressure.

You are spreading bad information that can cause injury or death. Straight from the owners manual:

 

Always inflate your tires to the Ford recommended inflation pressure

even if it is less than the maximum inflation pressure information found

on the tire. The Ford recommended tire inflation pressure is found on

the Safety Compliance Certification Label (affixed to either the door

hinge pillar, door-latch post, or the door edge that meets the door-latch

post, next to the driver’s seating position), or Tire Label which is located

on the B-Pillar or the edge of the driver’s door. Failure to follow the tire

pressure recommendations can cause uneven treadwear patterns and

adversely affect the way your vehicle handles.

 

 

What don't you understand about "Safety Compliance Certification" and "adversely affect the way your vehicle handles"?


Edited by Don, 18 May 2013 - 04:56 PM.


#17 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:54 PM

I have no snake oil to sell. The manufacturer also sets inflation pressure for driver comfort. I understand this, and am not as concerned with comfort as with rolling resistance.

 

A recomendation is not a rule, just a recommendation. That is what the company does is recommend a tire pressure.

 

Just got a confirmation that the Michelin Energy's love higher tire pressure and he was at 100K with his now. Love that snake oil!

 

Gary



#18 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 02:24 PM

Just got a confirmation that the Michelin Energy's love higher tire pressure and he was at 100K with his now. Love that snake oil!

 

Gary

Much too often we get these kooks that come along spouting conspiracy and spouting a bunch of BS that, unfortunately, convinces the gullible types to drink their Koolaide; inevitably, sooner or later, you will get served that special glass with a surprise in it.

 

Use common sense here. Like I said before Ford would benefit, in a huge way, if they could claim a few more MPG but they must comply with putting safety before increased sales. These kooks that are trying to get you to run your equipment outside of parameters that were required to obtain a safety certification, established by many years of diligent research and DOE (design of experiments) analysis, are setting you up for failure.

 

Don't forget if you get in an accident and it was discovered that you inflated your tires beyond what the manufacture uses to obtain safety certification you have performed a modification that moves the focus of liability to you. I am not saying this to refute I am saying this to help you be safe and protect you and others from increased risk of injury or death.


Edited by Don, 19 May 2013 - 03:07 PM.


#19 OFFLINE   Mr. Fusion

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:49 PM

Oh I can confirm that GaryG isn't a 10 year old troll.

In fact, his knowlegde of the 2009 Escape Hybrid turned me on to buying one. I give him all the credit for my summertime 50 MPG tanks.

Unfortunately his arrogance and holier than thou attitude turned me off to the greenhybrid site. Not initially, but when he personally attacked me for no reason -I was done. It's sad because he really knows the Escape Hybrid.

Gary, in my Fusion Energi, I found the "force the gas engine on while accelerating to charge the battery" is tough or even impossible when the little battery is over 50%. It forces the battery to assist in acceleration. Below 40%, that seems to work. I also don't ever find myself neutral gliding.

The best part of the Energi over my FEH is not having to piss off the people behind you to get good fuel economy, which Gary stated.

I put my tires at 45 psi. Maybe I'll bump up to 50 one day, but I personally won't exceed the maximum.

#20 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:35 PM

"Unfortunately his arrogance and holier than thou attitude turned me off to the greenhybrid site. Not initially, but when he personally attacked me for no reason -I was done. It's sad because he really knows the Escape Hybrid"

 

Sorry, sometimes I get like that when I can't get my point accross. Thanks for the kind words though. It doesn't have to be your post that I was attacking because it could have been someone like Don I was attacking that responded to your post. The nonsense he posts, I do go through the back door sometimes like with the snake oil comments he made. 

 

Haven't had the Energi long enough to know yet, but that long highway trip back was completely different than being plugged in for the charge. From what I'm seeing with the tires at 62psi now, it's a completely different vehicle. If you're not using "N" for the glides, you must have been doing a lot of other tricks in your FEH to get 50mpg tanks.

 

I've already gave up on the strategy of kicking the ICE On for acceleration that I use in my '09 FEH. I can't even get it to work with one mile left on the battery. Don't knock what I try with tire pressure unless you try it. I didn't know the benefits untill I findly listen to Wayne Gerdes for a steady state speed test he had me conduct. If Don knew that 3 Ford Hybrid Engineers and Carl Edwards did that first promotion of the '10 Fusion Hybrid with the tires well over max sidewall, he wouldn't believe it. The five of them drove that Fusion 1445 miles and got over 80mpg on a single tank of gas.

 

No one at this site needs to believe me when I tell them what I do or the techniques I use. Many of the techniques I tried came from other hypermilers and even some that do not care to hypermile at all. Today, my wife drove the new Energy with the A/C On all around town and didn't even need the engine from start to stop. Other than having the tire pressure at 62psi, she was hypermiling and didn't know it.

 

Gary

 

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