Tire Pressure/Tread Wear

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Maine Pilot, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Maine Pilot

    Maine Pilot Senior Member

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    When I purchased my Prius this past Spring, the service manager gave me a grave warning about the dangers of putting in more air pressure than the standard one. He showed me some tires that had severe cupping due to over inflation.

    Several on the Forum have indicated boosting the pressure to 42/40 for better fuel economy.

    If you're one of those running with the higher tire pressure, have you noticed any excessive middle tread wear, cupping or other abnormal conditions?

    PS: I'm running the Bridgestone Ecopia tires.
     
  2. ksstathead

    ksstathead Active Member

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    My '10 w/ 27000 on the odo, also with Ecopia, runs at 44/42. Tread wear is perfectly even. Placard pressure ensures premature edge wear. Max sidewall will improve every aspect except NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness).

    In other words, tread life, handling, and mpg are all improved by adding air. If you drive conservatively and/or avoid rough roads, the downside of NVH is not pronounced.
     
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  3. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    A lot of people here run pressures in those ranges and generally don't have tire problems. A search of the forum will give you more answers than you will get in this thread. Radial tires are generally very tolerant of overfilling as far as center tread wear goes.

    Cupping is usually from worn suspension parts, not tire pressure.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Any other dealerships nearby? :rolleyes:
     
  5. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Pearl has Nokian WR tyres on. I've run 40/38 PSI for the last four + years. They are just about to be replaced as at a current 66,000 km they are within a few 32nds of the "wear bars". They are worn evenly, with no cupping or any other tire problem. They were rotated every 8000 km (free by the tire shop I bought them at). They DID only last about 60,000 km (warranted for 100,000) so I expect some money off the new tires (I took Pearl into their shop last month and they confirmed I would be getting an "adjustment").

    As posted above cupping is caused by alignment issues and -low- pressure not high pressure.

    But you have to expect some BS from dealers. It's their job!
     
  6. bc104

    bc104 Junior Member

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    50 all around & normal wear on my Tiger Paws.
     
  7. mainerinexile

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

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    I've been a proponent of higher pressure, and have been running 42/40. But I've also cupped two sets of tires in just 25,000 miles. Toyota bought me a second set, and now I'm about to buy a third set. So I guess I'm going back to normal pressure for my Prius, reluctantly. The bigger issue: why is this car different from others. Toyota is now calling this 'normal tire wear' and declining to do anything else for me.
     
  8. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    If that's normal have them show you the same symptoms on their used cars or look on the cars of other customers sitting on the lot. I'll bet you are the only one with cupped tires but calling a problem "normal" is the cheap & lazy way out.
     
  9. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    I ran my OEM Yokohama Avid tires at 40/38 for the full 32000 mile life of the tires. The treadwear was even on all four tires. No abnormal sign of treadwear at all.
     
  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Ecopias here, 32k miles, no wear problems. The only times any tires have been below 40 are (1) at delivery, a single tire was at 39, all others at 40; (2) one service, while traveling far from home, the shop let out my 'very excessive' pressure (high altitude and highway hot), and actually left the front tires underinflated (cold the next morning). I promptly refilled them.

    The cars come off the boat at about 40 psi, and my dealership has absolutely no qualms about leaving them at that pressure.
     
  11. Insight-I Owner

    Insight-I Owner 2006 Insight-I MT + 2011 Prius

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    Different car, different tires, but I have run my Insight-I's Bridgestone Potenza RE92's at 65psi for years (sidewall rating is 44psi, like my Prius' OEM Goodyears). No problems whatsoever, great mpg.

    After 60,000miles, I finally replaced them. Not because they were worn out but because they were 5 years old and because I was concerned that Bridgestone might stop making them (they're apparently specially designed for the Insight-I to optimize mpg).

    Surprisingly the tread depths were 4/32" at both inner and outer edges and 5/32" in the middle. Not what you would expect if additional pressure bulged the center of the tread.
     
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  12. Genoz World

    Genoz World ZEN-style living

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    yep, same with me, have ecopia 422's, 42/40, over 10K and NO problems, even wear.
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Isn't it odd, there's a lot of instances like that, when you pay someone to do something for you, and then have to patch it up after. Kind of like cleaning up before the cleaners come over, LOL.

    I believe it's common practice to ship the cars at max sidewall pressure, to avoid flat spots on the tires, either in transit, or during protracted times on dealer's lot. It's also just much easier at prep time to deal with an overinflated tire than underinflated.

    To OP,

    When we took delivery our tires were at recommended pressure, except for the temporary spare, which was down around 45 psi, instead of recommeded 60 psi. Basically, I don't think they looked at it.

    With 15" diameter, 65 profile tires, I usually set them around 42/40 psi (front/rear), both with the snow tires I'm using on our current Prius, and with previous vehicles.

    I'll vary that a little, depending on the tire: we had some higher load capacity Nokian WRG2's that rode quite harsh at 42/40. Stiffer side walls?

    With our current Prius' stock 17" dia 45 profile's, I found the ride a bit too harsh with 42/40 psi, so set them around 38/36 psi, still higher than Toyota recommended 33/32 psi.
     
  14. DetPrius

    DetPrius Active Member

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    I still have the original Ecopias with 33,500 miles and run 42/40 with no wear problems at all.
     
  15. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
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    Yoko Avids, and I'm at nearly 30k miles now.

    I'm not religious about tire pressure - I fill to 42/40 about once a month or so, but rarely find the appropriate time to check them (morning while "cold"). Also due to lack of time, I failed to rotate the tires at the last 5k interval, and my fronts are showing a bit more wear in the center than along the edges. Rears are a bit more even. I'm "really close" to needing to replace the front tires, but I'm a bit aggressive in pulling out of left or right turns. As a result, there's also some "chunking" out of the outer edges.

    I wouldn't consider these results typical, and I'm amazed that they'll give me 30k miles (previous Prii generations were much harder on tires).
     
  16. Maine Pilot

    Maine Pilot Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I feel better now and have started running the car with 40/38 and will probably increase them to 42/40. (I've noticed a 2 mpg improvement already, but wonder if that's due to the car "breaking in?")

    One additional question: hypothetically, if one were to get into an accident, and was running with higher air pressure, would Toyota have a basis for absolving itself from any possible manufacturing defect? I'm assuming, (correct me if I'm wrong), the Prius has the dreaded "black box" driving recorder installed and because of the TPWS, tire pressure would be recorded?
     
  17. Hal W

    Hal W New Member

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    Are you cupping the rears? If so it probably means you have negative camber! Time for a wheel alignment?[Rear] Hal
     
  18. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    The burden of proof is on the plaintiff. You'll need to prove the "defect" caused the collision. The TPMS is an idiot. All it knows is to trip when 25% of the set pressure is lost. It can't even tell which tire lost the pressure.
     
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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  20. Helio

    Helio Member

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    What about a tire wear issue where the leading edge of the inner and outer tread is feathered up; when I run my hand over the tread starting from the front of the tire to the rear it feels rough or sharp. When I run my hand over the tread running from the rear to the front it is smooth. This is much worse on the rear tires. Middle treads feel smooth and visually the wear pattern looks fine. It may be that the front tires are smoothing out from being rotated a few thousand miles ago, not sure. The howling from these tires is absolutely awful! From about 25 MPH to 65 MPH it's quite an annoyance. I do remember that my Bridgestone Turanzas' were somewhat loud as well near the end of their life. These tires are Goodyear FuelMax. I was at Sears and one of the techs felt the tire and stated they would take a look (he definitely felt something was amiss, but stated they appeared to be wearing fine visually), but I didn't have time to put it on the rack. Pressures are 40/38. Rear camber two years ago was L -0.8, R -1.7 and toe was L 0.30, R 0.19 I don't appreciate any difference in either the left or right rear tire treads. Any ideas?
     
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