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I have just been looking at the wheel and tyres on my 98 MkIV and they are 245/45ZR17 95Y, and do not match the table of tyre pressures/tyre sizes in the hand book. Can someone let me know what the tyre pressures should be for this tyre/wheel combination.


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What's the "correct" tyre pressure?

How long is a piece of string?

Seriously though, you'll be more likely to get a sensible answer to the length of a piece of string than you will to the question of tyres pressures. Lets just say a good starting point is the pressure indicated in the owner's manual, or the sticker inside the driver's side door pillar.I say 'starting point' because on every car I've owned, I've ended up deviating from those figures for one reason or another. On my Subaru Impreza, as outlined above, I got much better gas mileage and no difference in tyre wear by increasing my pressures to 40psi. On my Honda Element, I cured the vague handling and outer-tyre-edge wear by increasing the pressures from the manufacturer-recommended 32/34psi front and rear respectively, to 37psi all round. On my Audi Coupe I cured some squirrelly braking problems by increasing the pressure at the front from 32psi to 36psi. On my really old VW Golf, I cured bad fuel economy and vague steering by increasing the pressures all-round to 33psi.

So what can you, dear reader, learn from my anecdotes? Not much really. It's pub-science. Ask ten Subaru Impreza owners what they run their tyres at and you'll get ten different answers. It depends on how they drive, what size wheels they have, what type of tyres they have, the required comfort vs. handling levels and so on and so forth. That's why I said the sticker in the door pillar is a good starting point. It's really up to you to search the internet and ask around for information specific to your car.

The Max. Pressure -10% theory.

Every tyre has a maximum inflation pressure stamped on the side somewhere. This is the maximum pressure the tyre can safely achieve under load. It is not the pressure you should inflate them to.

Having said this, I've given up using the door pillar sticker as my starting point and instead use the max.pressure-10% theory. According to the wags on many internet forums you can get the best performance by inflating them to 10% less than their recommended maximum pressure (the tyres, not the wags - they already haves inflated egos). It's a vague rule of thumb, and given that every car is different in weight and handling, it's a bit of a sledgehammer approach. But from my experience it does seem to provide a better starting point for adjusting tyre pressures. So to go back to my Subaru Impreza example, the maximum pressure on my Yokohama tyres is 44psi. 10% of that is 4.4, so 44-4.4=39.6psi which is about where I ended up. On my Element, the maximum pressure is 40psi so the 10% rule started me out at 36psi. I added one more to see what happened and it got better. Going up to 38psi and it definitely went off the boil, so for my vehicle and my driving style, 37psi on the Element was the sweet spot.

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