Tire Pressure [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Tire Pressure

05-21-2004, 08:31 PM
Hey EOC,

What is the ideal tire pressure to get good gas mileage??

05-21-2004, 10:48 PM
The ones printed on your door jam!

05-21-2004, 11:22 PM
I guess that would make sense

05-21-2004, 11:38 PM
[quote:bfcea5028b=" "]Hey EOC,

What is the ideal tire pressure to get good gas mileage??[/quote:bfcea5028b]

Ideal tire pressure for gas mileage might not be the best handling or produce the best tire wear.... it very well might be higher than on the door jam.

The door jam sticker is a good starting point...but many car companies have door jam stickers that have a matrix that reflects vehicle load and speed.

At current gas prices it might be cheaper to wear out tires sooner in order to burn less gas.... perhaps not more environmental.

Suppose wearing out $280 worth of tires at 40K instead of 50K was the result of a 4 PSI increase

20 % of $280 is $56

Over 40K at 25 MPG and $2.30/ gallon = $3680

If the 4 PSI imprved mileage by 2 MPG then 40K at 27 MPG and $2.30/ gallon = $3407

So a 2 MPG improvement would save $273 - $56 = $217

I don't know if my hypothetical is realistic...but my gut feeling is that it seems possible.

05-22-2004, 12:02 AM
Hard skinny tires reduce your rolling resistance, and should increase the mileage. They also give a harsher ride, and provide less traction, such as when braking, or when conditions are slippery. Hard tires also are more likely to be damaged if you hit something.

You could also save gas by driving less, taking fewer short trips, staying at the speedlimit rather than 5-10 over, etc.


05-23-2004, 12:51 AM
Personally, I am liking running 4psi over the door sticker, 36 FRONT, 38 REAR, on the OEM POS Wranglers. Seems to work in ALL weather, wear does not indicate overinflation, ride and handling seems decent, and related gas mileage is about optimized. I can actually tell when they start to drop significantly below that, back down to door spec.


05-23-2004, 09:27 AM
I was running same as Honu on oemHP's, and running +6 on Firestone Destination LE's. Makes a big difference in handling if you like to turn fast.

Bill in Houston
05-26-2004, 02:10 PM
Tires will last noticeably LONGER at higher pressures, not shorter as an earlier poster surmised. I'm at 37-38 in all 4. I get 25-26 mpg in my 2wd 5sp.


05-26-2004, 03:28 PM
There are 2 potential reasons for lower tire life with high pressure:
- less of the tire is in contact with the ground, so the part that is in contact will wear faster. Wear at the center of the tread, with less wear on sides is an indication of too high pressure. Conversely, excessive wear at the sides is an indication of too low pressure. Note though that the tread pattern on the HP tires may give a false impression of excessive outside wear.

- a hard tire might be more susceptible to damage by rocks, potholes and curbs. This is more obvious when comparing skinny high pressure bike tires (100+ psi) with the wider mtn bike tires (40-80 psi). A soft tire can have other problems, such as heat build up due to flexing, and pinching the tire between the curb and rim.

I don't know whether 4 or 6 psi over the recommended 32/34 is enough to cause noticible problems in either of these ways.


05-26-2004, 03:44 PM
After owning my E for about 2 months, I was not happy with the handling and ride. I didn't think it was nearly as good as all the reviews had said. I mentioned this to my son and he asked if I had checked my tire pressures. All the tires were at about 40 lbs! I reduced the pressure to the recommended level and I noticed a tremendous improvement in handling and ride.

05-26-2004, 03:56 PM
If you are serious about maximizing the gas mileage of the Element via the tires, consider going with narrow high profile ones.

The RAV4 uses the same stock size tires as the Element. The discontinued all electric RAV4EV apparently came with 195/80/16 tires, running at 44 psi. These should give lower rolling resistance for about the same overall diameter. Admittedly selection in that size is limited, and the traction ratings are poor, but you can't have everything in a tire. An Element might require higher pressures since it weighs more (the stock RAV4 recommended pressures are 28/26 v. the Element's 32/34).


05-26-2004, 05:13 PM
Tirerack on proper pressure, including effects of under and over pressure


they have other tech articles


06-19-2004, 07:20 AM
In one of my former lives, I was involved in metrology for a few years and appreciate how useless a measurement can be with an inaccurate measurement instrument. Here's my question for the group: Since we all agree tire pressure is critical to safety and economy (gas and tire wear), what have you found to be a reliable, accurate tire pressure measurement device. Here's a link I found that has some info...there are many others of course, but I kinda liked their plain language approach. http://www.retread.org/packet/index.cfm/ID/174.htm
And here's another good one: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/eng5242?opendocument