According to experts, the recommended tire pressure for 51 PSI tires is between 43 and 45 PSI. This can change depending on a variety of factors that are important to check out.
Tire pressure related accidents happen more often than you’d think. It’s not always the fault of a reckless driver when something goes amiss—tires play an enormous role.
You need to keep in line with the recommended tire pressure for your wheels so you can know you’re being as responsible as possible. You may not be a reckless driver, but do you want to be a reckless owner?
If your tires are 51 PSI maximum, keep reading to find out what is the recommended tire pressure for 51 PSI max.
51 PSI Max Recommended Pressure
According to experts, the recommended tire pressure for 51 PSI tires is 43 to 45 PSI. However, if you find this makes the ride too rough or stiff, you can drop that to a reasonable 38.
For the most part, you’ll want to stick to 10 percent under what your tires can handle at their fullest. Hence, 43–45.
The heavier your load, the more pressure will be on your tires.
While 43–45 PSI is fine for you and your regular passengers, like your family, you may want to go closer to 47–49 if you’re carrying an unusually large load.
What kind of large load? Well, say the trunk is full of supplies, and your kids are bouncing around in excitement because you’re off on a beach or camping trip. Once you empty out the trunk, you can go back down to your previous tire pressure.
Recommended PSI for Your Vehicle
When it comes to PSI, manufacturers are careful to recommend a standard PSI for your tires. This may be different from what we recommended above.
If you’re using the original tires that came with your vehicle, you can go ahead and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. The tires chosen are usually the ones best suited to your vehicle, so the recommended pressure is linked to how your vehicle and the tires work together.
As soon as you replace your tires with another brand, the sticker telling you their recommended PSI becomes redundant. It’s time to heed the advice above, or contact the tire manufacturers and see what they think.
Be wary of the PSI on the tire’s sidewall. This number is usually the maximum PSI, in this case, 51. You may want to think twice about setting your pressure that high if you live in warm areas.
Why Should I Avoid Setting My Tires to the Maximum DSI?
Friction and heat generate more heat.
Your tires have friction on the road, generating heat and therefore upping the pressure in them. In many cases, the pressure may only go up by 1–2 PSI, but that’s substantial if your tires are already maxed out.
Since tire pressure will fluctuate depending on your speed, the texture and the heat of the road, you need to allow some wiggle room.
How Often Should I Check My Tire Pressure?
You should check your tire pressure fairly regularly.
Some of the best, most up-to-date vehicles will have a tire pressure monitor on the dash. This lets you check it before every ride and adjust if needed.
If you live in a hot area or somewhere with fluctuating temperatures and road quality, you should strongly consider getting a vehicle with such a system.
Forgoing that, check your tire pressure at least once a month.
You should also check your tire pressure:
- Before long trips.
- When carrying a larger load.
- On unusually warm days.
- If you know you’ll be driving on a bumpy road that’ll cause a lot of friction.
Lower the pressure accordingly for each of the situations above, but not too much. Low tire pressure is dangerous, too.
The Dangers of Incorrect Tire Pressure
Your ride feels smooth, and constantly checking your tire pressure is a lot of work. Why should you bother? You know the role tires play in car accidents, but you’re such a careful driver. Besides, it’s a quiet area …
High Tire Pressure Issues
If you’re lucky, with too-high tire pressure, all you’ll feel is mild discomfort.
As the pressure inside your tires increases, they fill up with air, right? Therefore, they gain more of a perfectly round shape and have less rubber in contact with the road.
Your vehicle isn’t heavy enough to sit and squish all that extra air, letting the tires flatten as you drive.
Less road-on-rubber action means less friction on the road, leading to:
- Bumpier ride due to less shock absorption.
- Higher speeds.
- Bouncy vehicle as your tires struggle to grip the road.
- Long stopping distances due to less tire-on-road friction.
The last one is the most dangerous by far. A skilled driver can handle it, but is it worth the risk?
Low Tire Pressure Issues
With low tire pressure, you have too much rubber rubbing on the road.
This increased contact also increases friction, slowing you down and causing a jolty ride.
Since so much of the tire is touching the tarmac, stopping distances are shorter than you’re used to. Your stop is sudden, so you lurch forward and back as you come to a halt. That’s not comfortable, especially if you’ve just been out to eat.
Not only will this discomfort become possible, but something pricer and more dangerous looms, too.
With the increased friction in the tires, the tread will start wearing fast. You won’t be able to blame the manufacturer and claim that treadlife warranty, either—not if they can prove you’ve been driving with dangerously low tire pressure.
You may not even get that far, though. Remember how friction causes heat?
Overheating can make rubber separate. This is an extreme possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.
So your tires fall apart mid-drive, leaving you with no tread to keep you stable on the road. Suddenly you have a tragic car accident to deal with. If you’re lucky, the worst you’ll do is hit a tree and get whiplash.
Signs of Incorrect Tire Pressure
Let’s say you’re in the middle of a cross-country road trip. The weather fluctuates, you’ve got a heavy load, you checked your tire pressure about a week ago in preparation for the trip.
You’re way too exhausted to manually check your tire pressure mid-trip.
What signs should you be looking out for that indicate your tire pressure isn’t at its safest?
Your tire pressure may be too high in the sudden occurrence of any of the following:
- Your car is jumping.
- Long braking distances.
- You seem to be going faster than intended.
- Small bumps rattle the vehicle in a way they never did before.
On the other side, here are the signs you need to add more air to the mix:
- Your tires are suddenly squealing on corners.
- Bumps feel a little harsher.
- You feel as though you’re drifting to one side.
- One side of the vehicle seems lower than the other.
- You’re suddenly using more gas than usual.
How to Check Your Tire Pressure
Now that you’re sufficiently scared of scraping by with incorrectly inflated tires, how do you check and adjust their pressure?
Step #1: Get a Gauge
You’ll need a pressure checker gauge to correctly measure your tire pressure. Ensure it’s trustworthy and well-reviewed. We recommend this one, detecting up to 150 PSI with ease and precision. It’s inexpensive, and customers love it.
Step #2: Check in the Morning
You need an accurate reading, so it’s best to check your tire pressure in the morning (as long as you haven’t been driving all night).
Not only will your tires be cold, but the temperatures won’t be too drastic and will be closer to the neutral temperature of a basic day.
Step #3: Utilize the Gauge
The gauge above is fully digital and works like a thermometer. Press it up against the valve step, and you’re good to go.
For older gauges, you’ll need to insert the gauge into the valve stem. It’ll take a little longer to start reading the pressure, but it works.
Step #4: Compare
What’s your tire pressure? Compare it to the number on the tire’s sidewall. If the number on the sidewall is 51, then remember, your reading should be 43–45 or near enough 10 percent of what’s on your sidewall.
If these are your car’s original tires, it’s worth comparing your reading to the manual or the sticker inside the car.
Step #5: Adjust
Pressure too high? Twist the cap off your valve stem, revealing a pin, and use a tool to press down on the pin. If you hear a light hiss, air is coming out.
Pressure too low? You’ll need a car tire inflator instead. Attach it to the valve, power up, and get inflating.
The End of the Road
For 51 PSI max, go with a safe 43–45 PSI and adjust as necessary. It’s that simple.
Tire pressure is something we feel drivers neglect too easily. Don’t fall into that trap, and keep your attention on the rubber as well as the road.
You may be one of the lucky ones who experiences no issues with incorrect tire pressure. Yet, you never know when this next drive will be your car’s last. Check on those tires!