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  • avatar texases 04/30/12 1:58 pm PST

    Higher pressure should somewhat reduce the likelyhood of sidewall failure, which often happens when the sidewall is pinched against the rim (like when hitting a pothole). It will also slightly protect the rims from damage in a pothole hit. However, the suspension was designed with the 38 psi recommendation in mind, and I'd be reluctant to go up to 50 psi. You'll have a rougher ride. Buy a good (dial or digital, not pencil) tire pressure gauge, and check your tires first thing in the morning before any driving.

    The major problem is probably more the low profile tires on your VW. What size are they, exactly?

Answers

  • texases 04/30/12 1:58 pm PST

    Higher pressure should somewhat reduce the likelyhood of sidewall failure, which often happens when the sidewall is pinched against the rim (like when hitting a pothole). It will also slightly protect the rims from damage in a pothole hit. However, the suspension was designed with the 38 psi recommendation in mind, and I'd be reluctant to go up to 50 psi. You'll have a rougher ride. Buy a good (dial or digital, not pencil) tire pressure gauge, and check your tires first thing in the morning before any driving.

    The major problem is probably more the low profile tires on your VW. What size are they, exactly?

  • Stever@Edmunds 04/30/12 2:06 pm PST

    Tires should be inflated to the number on the placard on the door jam.

    From the TireRack:

    "If a vehicle's tires are overinflated by 6 psi, they could be damaged more easily when running over potholes or debris in the road."

    I suspect that what really happened is that the tires were overinflated at the factory for transit to prevent flat-spotting (a common practice), and the dealer neglected to air them down to the proper specs when they did their pre-delivery inspection. I think the dealer is lying about the "winter pressure" and just using that as an excuse for their screw-up.

    I think the dealer owes you new tires and and wheels. If they balk, I'd open up a case with VW of America and complain.

  • morin2 04/30/12 8:41 pm PST

    I agree with both posts. Overinflation is so common on new cars that I suspect it is connected to transport. Salesmen are sometimes surprised that I check the tire pressure (and all fluids) before I take the car on a test drive. How else can one truly evaluate a car without knowing such crucial information? In addition, I check every tire in the fleet each weekend (again, along with all fluids). This is the way to catch slow leaks but would also have caught this problem.

    You can complain to VW, but I doubt that you'll get very far. Bottom line is that once you buy any item, including a vehicle, it is yours and it is your responsibility to take at least the simplest steps to check it.

  • mcdawgg 05/01/12 12:36 pm PST

    PSI drops by 1 with every 10 degree F decrease. Goes up by 1 with every 10 increase. With that in mind, no way should you ever have a 12 psi difference. I set my PSI a little higher in the winter (+3 psi), because in the garage, it is warmer, so the PSI is a bit too high vs. the outside temp, and some days are zero, others 50 degrees, so I set my PSI to the door jamb's pressure for 30 degrees for January, and then another 3 psi higher to cover me on the zero degree days.

    One of the other problems with setting it too high is the surface area of the tire on the road will be less if the pressure is too high, reducing the safety of your car. And too low will also cause safety issues. Check PSI every other week .

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