There are a few reasons why a driver might choose to over-inflate their tires. Unfortunately, almost all of them are myths, and doing this comes with its own problems. Try to keep these points in mind if you find yourself wanting to inflate too far.
Myths and Misunderstandings
Tire inflation in general is cause for a significant amount of misunderstanding among drivers. Perhaps one of the most common reasons for over-inflation is an effort to improve fuel economy. The idea is that with higher-than-recommended pressure, you have as smaller contact patch on the road and therefore less rolling resistance. Firstly, this has been roundly debunked as an ineffective way to boost mileage. Secondly, even if it did make some small difference, you’d be paying the price in the safety department.
It’s important to appreciate the fact that a great deal of testing and research went into determining the recommended pressure range for your tires. It is the optimal level of inflation for your traction and braking, the comfort of your ride, and the durability of the tires themselves. Deviating from it will compromise these aspects of the drive. It can also be cause for confusion. It’s all too common for us to see customers bring their BMWs in with the tire pressure light on assuming that it’s indicating low pressure when the tires are actually over-inflated!
Is it Ever a Good Idea?
Generally, the bottom line is that you need to stick with the tire pressure recommendation on the sticker of your doorjam or in your owner’s manual. But is there any occasion when over-inflation is justified? If you’re storing your BMW, inflating to the maximum psi indicated on the sidewall will help to avoid developing flat spots, which are particularly prone to happen during winter storage due to the effects of lower ambient temperature on rubber compounds. Max inflation is a much better option than removing your tires and placing the vehicle on blocks, as leaving the suspension hanging for a while is not advisable. Other than this, always follow the indicated pressure recommendations so that you can stay safe and make those tires last!
When it comes to complex machinery, sometimes even the smallest thing can make all the difference in the health of your BMW and your driving experience. Still have questions? Give Motorwerkes a call at (403) 768-3166, we’d be happy to help!