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New Model 3 Tire Pressures

New Model 3 Tire Pressures

We got our Model 3 about a month ago and have about 400 miles on it.

It has the standard AERO wheels and the Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires.

I've seen other older threads about this but wanted to start something new.

Since we took delivery, I felt that the Model 3 ride was pretty hard. I know that the door plate says 45psi, the more inflated the less friction on the road, better roll, better MPG??? LOL. But the ride just seemed hard.

I checked my cold pressure and they were all at about 43psi.

I dropped to 39psi and noticed a slightly smoother ride.

Elon states that 39 for comfort and 45 for economy.

What is everyone else running for tire pressure and what are your thoughts?

CharleyBC | 15. Mai 2019

16,000 miles here, probably 12,000 of that at around 45 psi. Loving the ride, but obviously it’s a preference thing.

PS: you might want to edit your title. “New” is misleading.

surfpearl | 15. Mai 2019

My door sticker says 42 psi (have 20" tires) so that's what I use and am happy with the ride comfort, handling, etc.

Gordon87 | 15. Mai 2019

I have a LR AWD with tires on the 19” wheels. My car runs at around 40-41 psi, which I like. I don’t get caught up in energy usage for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I don’t drive that much and haven’t yet taken a long road trip. When I take a long road trip, I may consider boosting the psi to get better mileage.

Gordon87 | 15. Mai 2019

One more thing: The sticker on my car calls for 42 psi with the 19s.

lbowroom | 15. Mai 2019

Sounds like you have all the info you need to make your own decision

sixstring09 | 15. Mai 2019

Thanks for the comments.

Bighorn | 15. Mai 2019

42 for 18s on mine. P3D-.

RedShift | 15. Mai 2019

I am running 39 on my LR RWD 18” Aeros. The ride is less punishing than at 45 PSI, and handling remains close to original.

I dropped to 35 and tried as well. Handling suffered a bit, so I’m not doing that.

goodman | 15. Mai 2019

recommended pressure is 42 cold, I try to keep them at 42 cold. They heat up as high as 49 (so far) on the road. I ride a road bicycle with one inch-wide tires pumped to at least 100 psi. Talk about a stiff ride...

jordanrichard | 16. Mai 2019

Do keep in mind that the recommended tire pressure is based mostly on the suspension set up for the car and what kind of ride the car manufacturer wants for the car. Running on under inflated tires may cause wear on the inner and outer edges of your tires. This affect is called "cupping". Running on overinflated tires will cause the center tread to wear more than the outer.

jefjes | 16. Mai 2019

Door sticker on mine says 45psi and owners manual says 42psi so I figure either or in between is fine but when I add air, I go to 45psi since that will allow quiet sometime before they drop below 42psi and make me want to add more. Always check when tires are cold before driving and remember extreme ambient temps will affect cold pressure.

stockbandit91 | 16. Mai 2019

The ride softens up after some mileage on it's own. I run at about 41psi, but going to up it back to 43 or so soon. I was down at 39, range takes a small hit 2-3% vs. at 41, will see if 43 gets me a couple % more.

I'm at 27k miles, when I first drove it home last April I almost felt like it was a mistake to buy this car because the ride was so rough on anything but a smooth road, but within a couple thousand miles it really gets better.

Also on the MXM tires and the treads look like they'll last 45K+ miles to me, despite how many fast starts I do. I do rotate them on my LR RWD 3.

stevehendler | 16. Mai 2019

I started around 45 and I slowly worked down to 38-40 with 18in wheels. The ride is much better, only issue is some sway and instability with fast direction changes. Still better than your average family car though. Range seems to have dropped as well. I'm trying to get some more feel from the chassis as well because the stock Michelins snap oversteer out of no where. Lower pressure has helped identify the limit.

Mr. Spacely | 16. Mai 2019

I also have the standard AERO wheels (caps removed) and the Michelin Primacy MXM4 tire. The car was delivered to me at 49psi which was really harsh. I've dropped down to 45 and am OK with it, but am in no hurry to add more air anytime soon...

Tronguy | 16. Mai 2019

I'm going to ask a stupid question.
So, I got it: High pressure = less contact on the road = less flex of the tire = less rolling resistance = better mileage.
And makes for a stiffer, more bouncy ride.
Lower pressure, like 39 psi, does, I guess, the opposite of all the above and is more comfy.
Back in the deeps of time I read about tire wear patterns, with emphasis about tire inflation. High pressure meant that the middle of the tire "bowed" out, causing more wear on the tire in the middle and less range before one had to replace the tire.
Low pressure meant that the middle of the tire caved in somewhat, causing more wear along the edges of the tire, and, again, less range before one had to replace the tires.
There was some additional stuff about misalignment: Too much toe-in, camber, etc. that would also cause unusual patterns of tire wear.
But the conclusions behind all these tire wear follies were that there was One True Pressure that minimized wear, maximized even contact with the ground, and better handling, to boot. And that was the pressure listed in the user manual and on the plate inside the door.
At that point the various articles would go on and on about how surveys had been made against random cars pulled off the road (don't know how they did that) and that people tended to run underinflated all the time. I'm guessing that TPMS and how new cars always seem to have a way to see the tire pressures without running around with a gauge has helped that.
So: How does this all old-timey tire inflation instructions jive with the Elon 45 psi performance vs. 39 psi comfort stuff?

httran26 | 16. Mai 2019

RWD LR.
I drove with my car at 45psi for a while. It went up as high as 51 when it is heated up. I did notice inner tire wear, so I backed it down to 42psi. I don't really feel or see a difference in comfort or efficiency. My tires lasted 16k miles before I had to replace them. Almost bald. Probably 1/32 thread left.

My driving style is grandma for work on the weekdays and spirited on the weekends. Highway road trips are usually 80-90mph occasionally touching 100. My lifetime efficiency is around 240 Wh/mi.

Magic 8 Ball | 16. Mai 2019

Seems like Elon is consistent with the "old timey" stuff. At 39 you will get more comfort but MPE will be less.

The car mfr. recommended pressure is different from "max" pressure shown on the tire in most cases. The car mfr. recommended pressures, on the door pillar, are the pressures used for the Monroney ratings.

Iwantmy3 | 16. Mai 2019

Honestly , I find this all to be a bit of a joke. Tire pressures change by ~1 psi for every 8°F change in temperature. I can see a 40° swing in temperature in a 24 hour period. The idea of holding a 42 psi vs 45 psi tire pressure becomes irrelevant. Right now it is 60F here. My tire pressure is 42 (cold). A couple days from now it will be over 45. A couple nights ago it was under 40. What am I supposed to do with that?

Tronguy | 16. Mai 2019

@lwantmy3: According to my ancient memory, the tire pressures on the door are the "cold" temps, when one hasn't been driving around. The supposed intent was that a nominal underinflation and that the One True Tire Pressure would be reached when one was driving around and the tire reached operating temperature. So, if it's -10F out, one puts the recommended pressure on the tire (say, 45); then, after driving about, it's a few PSI higher. If it's 101F out, again, one again puts the recommended pressure on the tire and, after driving about, it's that same few PSI higher again.
And, in fact, I vaguely remember ancient car manuals stating that if one was pressurizing the tires during a trip, when the tires were warmed up already, one was supposed to add a few PSI to the door label pressures. You get the idea.

lbowroom | 16. Mai 2019

There is no One True Tire Pressure that's the best at everything.

Magic 8 Ball | 16. Mai 2019

Zero is the best at being flat ; ).

Iwantmy3 | 16. Mai 2019

Tronguy,
I think you missed my point.
I am not planning to put air in my tires (or let air out) every time the weather changes. I would have to readjust my tire pressures every couple days if I wanted to maintain a tire pressure consistent within 1 or 2 psi. As it is, the "cold" pressure would peak out at 45 on a 90°F day while sitting at 40 on a night where temperatures drop to 50°.

All this talk about operating at a specific pressure is only useful if you live somewhere without weather.