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Old 01-05-2007, 08:06 PM   #1
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high tire pressure and wet roads

In my 91 civic hatch I have had a few close calls on wet roads. Thought you all should know. I was running 44 front/42 rear, on newish 165/70/13 all season tires.

incident 1: fast decel to a stop light, lost front traction, then e brake to a diagonal stop.

2nd, today: someone pulled out in front of me while i was going 60, fast decel in 5th gear to 35 and lost front traction momentarily.

now I have 35 front/32 rear and everything is fine.

All you high pressure vets can drive accordingly i am sure, but what do you do in an emergency and you have no traction?

everyone needs to be careful...

our lives are more important than our gas mileage. ...i think.

I think everyone here with high pressure should test their traction on the wet, if not already done, just to see what to expect in an emergency.

preesure=pressure (measured with warm tires)
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:25 PM   #2
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I lowerd mine a little when it snowed pretty heavaly so that i wouldent get stuck. I put mine to 44 from 54 because i was loseing traction. The only reason though was the snow but when it rains i just increase my folowing distances by 2-3 secounds on the interstate and a little less in the city. I just know that i have to be alot more carful when it comes to the weather wit the higher pressure tire so i drive like it. Also its not the safest thing in the world to do but most kids in my age group (17-19 ish) drive freakin crazy so this is my rush knowing that a tire could exsplode or lose all traction.
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Old 01-06-2007, 12:19 AM   #3
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Thats how they get all those great car sliding shots in Tv and movies .. high pressure and wet roads.
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:39 AM   #4
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Good info! My pressure is set at the factory suggested 23 PSI front and back.

I'm going to bump it up to the sidewall pressure to see what happens.

My first concern is the ride. Even at 23 PSI my Sidekick rides VERY VERY hard. Almost to the point of being uncomfortable. Can only imagine the sounds my high mileage suspension is going to make and the handling with a truck that is only 1900 pounds when I add more air.
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:52 AM   #5
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This is a valid point. Traction on loose surfaces will be worse with high pressure also (eg gravel).

If you choose to run high psi, you have to compensate with your driving in those conditions: more caution, lower speeds, greater following distances.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:06 AM   #6
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I've understeered my car (mildly) around a few corners in the wet with the high PSI. But it was expected - I was conserving momentum, and didn't brake before turning.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:35 AM   #7
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My wife and I took a trip up to NH last weekend -- slush, freezing rain, salt and sand. Tire pressures were at 38/40 and everything was fine. The only time I lost traction momentarily was when making a sharp left turn across the piles into a driveway to turn around.

Road surface quality helps a lot. MA roads are generally the worst in the region, but I'm fortunate because most of my newer hypermiling route to work has recently been repaved. On my former route, the car would go airborne on frost heaves, so high (or even normal) pressure in rain was very dicey.
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:17 PM   #8
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I have had no problems with traction on wet roads despite maintaining my Michelin Harmony 175/70/13 tires at 60psi and I take the corners pretty fast. Now that my tire's tread is getting low after 60,000 miles, I have to take it easy when the water is lying thick on the pavement, but they are perfectly fine on normal wet roads.
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Old 01-06-2007, 05:52 PM   #9
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I never had probs with fast corners either.

stopping short is where i would be more concerned with high pressure.

agreed on increased following distance, but

what if a deer runs in front of you, or someone cuts you off or some other totally unexpected event?

that is the point, you can only anticipate so much.
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:41 PM   #10
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Good point about the deer because a few months ago that happend. I ended up hiting it but it wasent because of loss of traction it was just he jumped out from a froresty aera on the side of the road maybe 30 feet in front of so i hit the breaks hard and it didnt really skid or lose any traction. I was doing 60 without loss so thats pretty good.
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