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I always pump my tyres up to the maximum (like 45 bar), for maximum fuel economy.

However, does this affect road noise?

  • 2
    45 bar is 650 psi !!! – agentp Nov 27 '17 at 20:57
  • Personally I have found it depends on the car/tyre combo. I. Currently running an 07 vectra on 215/55r16 they seem quieter at the higher 'eco' pressures than the lower 'comfort pressure. I also found the lower the pressure the more the tyre shoulders were loaded up. Maybe this has something to do with it??? – Matt Sep 1 '18 at 21:37
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tl dr; More pressure = less noise.

Here is a pretty good write-up about the affects of tire noise. In the write-up it states the following:

Tires running higher inflation pressures generate lower noise levels compared to those with lower inflation levels.

This holds true to my line of thought because a flat tire (or very low tire) will make a lot more noise than a full tire will. According to the write-up, one of the reasons noise is created by tires is because air gets trapped within the tread pattern as the tire rolls onto the pavement and the car is pressing down upon the tire. As the tire rolls forward, the air is released and makes noise. This is reduced when the tire is fully inflated versus one which is low on air pressure.

There are many reasons for tire noise, but needless to say, tire pressure is one of the factors of road noise.

  • Should be noted that over inflating tyres can have a negative effect on the longevity of the tyre (Wear in the middle of the tread pattern) and performance degradation in cornering (less lateral grip) and wet road handling (can increase distances due to the lower contact patch size). – Mauro Aug 24 '15 at 10:28
  • Fascinating. I generally run my tires at 35 psi as advised by an advanced driving school. That's a lot less than 45 bar :-) – timbo Jan 9 at 23:50
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Tyres pumped up to 45 bar would probably explode... What car do you have, as even 45psi sounds high for a normal car?

You should always inflate your tyres to the manufacturer's recommended pressure. Over-inflating will lead to increased wear (so you'll have to replace them more quickly, negating any fuel saving!), and poorer grip and handling, leading to increased skid risk... Under-inflating has equally bad problems...

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My c1 on 155x65x14 is quieter@ 35 pi than 32 and smoother on rough tarmac

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I've recently (in the last three months) started running my tyres at relatively high pressure on my daily driver as I'm a hypermiler and higher pressure does indeed decrease rolling resistance and improve in-gear coasting range. Obviously I never exceed the manufacturers stated maximum printed on the sidewall.

I have not noticed and appreciable difference in tyre noise at all so suspect that in most cases, higher pressure will not lead to any increase in cabin noise and if it does, the cause should definitely be investigated.

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