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Focusless
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Alright guys, well I just installed my winter wheels for the first time. How much air should I put in them to be the best in the winter. The tires I have are General Altimax Arctic size 185/65/14 and it said 44 max PSI on the tire. I right now I have 40 PSI in them, but I'm not sure if that is too high for the winter. Please let me know what I should put them at... thanks!

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Jetsetter
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tire pressure is set to the car, not what it says on the side of the tire. and you should NEVER run the max psi rating.

having said that the reccomended size for 14's is 32 psi. right now i would put in about 34 and when it starts to get colder adjust as needed to stay around the 32-34 range.

40psi is way too much IMO your decreasing the surface area where the tire meets the road, and the tires will not be as effective as they would be at 32-34psi
 

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I think there is exception to the rule when considering winter tires. Due to the soft compound and sidewall construction, higher psi is acceptable for ride stability. Winter compounds will give you a very sketchy ride when inflated too low. Keep them up high in the psi range but not necessarily max inflation. If you feel comfortable with them at 40, keep them there. You will probably find the bringing them down to 32-34 will give you a soft squishy ride.
 

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I just test drove my Focus after having the Altimax Arctics installed. I went out without checking pressure (cold tires.) The ride was very very squishy and unresponsive. Checked pressure after returning with normal operating temperature. They were 35psi. I'm upping by a few pounds tomorrow for sure. I've googled a few other forums/sites that suggest this as well. Keep in mind that some manufacturers state right in the owners manual 3-5psi increase. VW comes to mind. Anyone know what Ford states on this matter?
 

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Focus Fanatic
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Definitely a few psi higher for the winter, but don't go by what the tire says.
Anywhere from 34-38 psi should work fine. I'd stick with 34-35 for 14" wheels.
 

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Winter tires are going to be squishy by the nature of their design. They have tread compounds that have to remain soft in cold temps and lots of sipping for traction. Both make the tire feel a little softer. Please remember, IT'S A SNOW TIRE first and foremost!!!!!!! not a high performance street tire. Airing them up to improve "feel" will just negate some of the winter performance characteristics you bought them for. I agree with several of the above statements that no more than a couple of additional PSI should be added.
 
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