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Old 11-28-2007, 03:14 AM   #1
sixtoo
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Default Hit a patch of water this evening

Context:
Bone stock 07 Impreza wagon with Pirelli PZero Nero M&S on stock wheels (235-45-17).

3/4 circle freeway interchange kind of like this:



Story:
The conditions were dry with low levels of moisture in the air this evening (typical SoCal weather). While doing about 45-50mph around the turn, I hit a small patch of water from a sprinkler overrun from nearby foliage that surrounds the freeway. I immediately lost traction in the front wheels as the car started to rotate clockwise, subsequently leading to the loss of traction in the rear. With the very slightest countersteer, I eventually regained traction since a lot of speed and momentum was scrubbed off during my slide.



Question/Discussion:
I went to get some gas shortly after the spin-out to check the tread (lots) and the tire pressure (between 45 and 48psi). The suggested max tire pressure is at 51psi on the sidewall. Now, it's obvious that when you hit a patch of water, and the transition from wet to dry is rapid, loss of traction will be lost. I just had higher expectations from my Pirellis. When running some Bridgestone S-03's a couple of years back, they never exhibited behavior like this under similar conditions. I took a look at the tire reviews from TireRack and noticed that both tires are "relatively" similar in performance. Granted, the S-03's have better wet traction while the PZero's good in snow/ice conditions.

I guess what I'd like to ask is if this has happened to anyone else? If I were to jump to a "performance alignment", would I have a lesser chance of spinning out? Perhaps my driving input caused the loss of traction (1/4 on throttle while decelerating when going into the turn). It's obvious that I should have taken the turn slower but I'm still interested about tire dynamics and the their tendencies under rapidly changing road conditions. Ideally, I'd like to be able to run through patches of wet and dry without any loss of traction. At the moment, I'm not very pleased with the performance of the Pirellis.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
Context:
Bone stock 07 Impreza wagon with Pirelli PZero Nero M&S on stock wheels (235-45-17).

3/4 circle freeway interchange kind of like this:



Story:
The conditions were dry with low levels of moisture in the air this evening (typical SoCal weather). While doing about 45-50mph around the turn, I hit a small patch of water from a sprinkler overrun from nearby foliage that surrounds the freeway. I immediately lost traction in the front wheels as the car started to rotate clockwise, subsequently leading to the loss of traction in the rear. With the very slightest countersteer, I eventually regained traction since a lot of speed and momentum was scrubbed off during my slide.



Question/Discussion:
I went to get some gas shortly after the spin-out to check the tread (lots) and the tire pressure (between 45 and 48psi). The suggested max tire pressure is at 51psi on the sidewall. Now, it's obvious that when you hit a patch of water, and the transition from wet to dry is rapid, loss of traction will be lost. I just had higher expectations from my Pirellis. When running some Bridgestone S-03's a couple of years back, they never exhibited behavior like this under similar conditions. I took a look at the tire reviews from TireRack and noticed that both tires are "relatively" similar in performance. Granted, the S-03's have better wet traction while the PZero's good in snow/ice conditions.

I guess what I'd like to ask is if this has happened to anyone else? If I were to jump to a "performance alignment", would I have a lesser chance of spinning out? Perhaps my driving input caused the loss of traction (1/4 on throttle while decelerating when going into the turn). It's obvious that I should have taken the turn slower but I'm still interested about tire dynamics and the their tendencies under rapidly changing road conditions. Ideally, I'd like to be able to run through patches of wet and dry without any loss of traction. At the moment, I'm not very pleased with the performance of the Pirellis.

...d000000000000000000000000000000d.......ya got rocks in ya head and ridin on rock hard tires

that is TOO MUCH pressure

jesus....drop it to 36/34 and adjust from there
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:17 AM   #3
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For sure. WAY too much pressure. Do you have any center tread left?
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:21 AM   #4
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Yea way to much tire pressure. Bring it down to the pressures givin above. Now your tires will be able to grip the asphalt to their full potential.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
Question/Discussion:
I went to get some gas shortly after the spin-out to check the tread (lots) and the tire pressure (between 45 and 48psi). The suggested max tire pressure is at 51psi on the sidewall.
Why are you running your tire pressures so high? What is the significance of the max pressure on the sidewall?
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:30 AM   #6
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....and make sure to check/release/fill when the tires are cold (i.e. in the morning before you drive the car). I'm no Mario Andretti, but on my 3rd set of PZero M+S's and found that they've always been pretty predictable (provided they are properly maintained).
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
Why are you running your tire pressures so high? What is the significance of the max pressure on the sidewall?
For the sake of fuel economy, and with all of these disclaimers of potential blow out possibilities from running lower pressures, I have always followed guidlines set by the tire companies. When running S-03's a couple of years back, I was running their recommended pressures (can't seem to think of it at the moment).

So, I decided to take a look at the cold pressures this morning before coming to work and noticed that I was at 40psi on all tires except for the driver side rear (39psi). I was shocked to see how much the pressure had dropped since I had been on the road last night.

I guess I'll take Uncle Scotty's suggestions of taking the pressure down to 36/34 (front/rear??). Should I take it down lower to compensate for increased pressures when the tires heat up?

By the way, thanks for all of the responses.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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....the recommended tire pressure depends on a few factors (i.e. vehicle application, load, driving conditions, etc.). The pressure listed on the outside of the tire is the maximum (cold). The pressures Scotty gave you will put you in the ball park of where you want to be for most situations (cold settings). ......you can adjust from there as mentioned. Obviously, pressures will fluctuate with heat which is why it is usually recommended that you set them in the morning when they are still cold. ......even exposure to direct sun can have a noticeable affect (i.e. increasing pressures on the sunny side of the car while the others remain close to their original cold settings). The following is an interesting article you may want to read:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=73

There are several others in the "Related Links" section to the right.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
For the sake of fuel economy...
How much is your mileage improved? How much money are you saving on gas? Does it pay for the tires that are going to wear out prematurely because you're running the pressures too high?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
...and with all of these disclaimers of potential blow out possibilities from running lower pressures...
Wait, are you driving a modern Impreza, or did we flash back in time and you're driving an Explorer 7 or 8 years ago with soon-to-be-recalled Firestone tires on it? Unless you plan to drive around at very high speeds with your tires at 20# or something retarded like that, there is zero blow out possibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
I have always followed guidlines set by the tire companies. When running S-03's a couple of years back, I was running their recommended pressures (can't seem to think of it at the moment).
Other than R-compound tires, I have never seen a tire manufacturer give recommended tire pressures. What "guidelines" are you following? You realize the max pressure on the sidewall is not a recommended pressure, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
So, I decided to take a look at the cold pressures this morning before coming to work and noticed that I was at 40psi on all tires except for the driver side rear (39psi).
I typically run 38-40# in my 215/45-17s. That's pretty reasonable. 45-48# is not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
Should I take it down lower to compensate for increased pressures when the tires heat up?
Tire pressures are generally given cold, so I'm sure Scott meant 36f/34r when cold.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:58 PM   #10
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.....also......and no interest in starting any kind of war, here.....BUT......

MANY of the most 'recomended' suspension 'mods' and parts used are made by the autox crowd d000000ds that make the car better for the cone gig.....and not necessairily good for daily driving-----in fact IMO, dangerous for changing conditions and loads.......and if these mods are done without any regard for making the car unstable----which is what the autox crowd generally GETS 'cuz it is 'fast'.....these mods may prove to make for lots of spun and wrecked cars.

......which there seem to be a GREAT MANY ..... and which the OP almost got a taste of, as posted.


...and IMO, the OP has too large of tire(and an AS tire, ta boot) on the stock wheel which may also lead to instability
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
How much is your mileage improved? How much money are you saving on gas? Does it pay for the tires that are going to wear out prematurely because you're running the pressures too high?


Wait, are you driving a modern Impreza, or did we flash back in time and you're driving an Explorer 7 or 8 years ago with soon-to-be-recalled Firestone tires on it? Unless you plan to drive around at very high speeds with your tires at 20# or something retarded like that, there is zero blow out possibility.


Other than R-compound tires, I have never seen a tire manufacturer give recommended tire pressures. What "guidelines" are you following? You realize the max pressure on the sidewall is not a recommended pressure, right?


I typically run 38-40# in my 215/45-17s. That's pretty reasonable. 45-48# is not.


Tire pressures are generally given cold, so I'm sure Scott meant 36f/34r when cold.
I'm just trying to play it safe here Pat; the tires say not to go above 50psi so I didn't deviate. I'm definitely going to do some research that will substantiate your claims. I've read your posts over the years and value your opinion since you've got a ton of experience. I just wish there was some reference ON the tire that would suggest optimum pressures.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
.....also......and no interest in starting any kind of war, here.....BUT......

MANY of the most 'recomended' suspension 'mods' and parts used are made by the autox crowd d000000ds that make the car better for the cone gig.....and not necessairily good for daily driving-----in fact IMO, dangerous for changing conditions and loads.......and if these mods are done without any regard for making the car unstable----which is what the autox crowd generally GETS 'cuz it is 'fast'.....these mods may prove to make for lots of spun and wrecked cars.

......which there seem to be a GREAT MANY ..... and which the OP almost got a taste of, as posted.


...and IMO, the OP has too large of tire(and an AS tire, ta boot) on the stock wheel which may also lead to instability
I'm just glad that I was alone while on the turn; it wasn't my intention to endanger anyone's life.

Back on topic, I think it's interesting that you mentioned that my tire's are too big. Perhaps my logic is backwards, but I was under the impression that the more tire I can fit underneath the car, the more stability I'd retain (assuming not driving like an asshat). One of the suggestions above mentioned lowering the pressure to increase my tire patch width.

So you think the 235's on a 7 inch wheel are working against me? Is there a tradeoff between grip and stability? I'm wondering is a 215mm tire (on a 7 inch wheel) with a lower pressure would lend itself to better stability and handling characteristics to a 225mm tire (on the same wheel) with similar/higher tire pressures. Do you have any experience with this Uncle?
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daishi00 View Post
For sure. WAY too much pressure. Do you have any center tread left?
+1
That was my initial reaction half wayt through the original post
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rallymaniac View Post
+1
That was my initial reaction half wayt through the original post
Haha, I'm still tryin' to figure out where I missed this information about my overtly high tire pressures. Been browsing this forum for 5 years now.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
I just wish there was some reference ON the tire that would suggest optimum pressures.
It's not on the tire, it's on the inside of your door. There is a sticker that gives you proper inflation pressure. Take this and add usually 2-3 psi for a better stability and cornering.
If you put too wide of a tire on a narrower rim, the tire will be "floating from side to side" in the corners due to the fact that the sidewall needs to be somewhat flexed inward in order to hokd the rim
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:25 PM   #15
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On some tires, maybe not all. The pressure rating on the side of the tire is the maximum beading pressure. Beading pressure is normally much more than operating temps.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
I just wish there was some reference ON the tire that would suggest optimum pressures.
....they simply can't. There are too many other factors to consider that could have an affect on the recommendations (as mentioned before). .....what may be good for one application may not work well for another.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:37 PM   #17
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The recommended tire pressures are printed ON THE SIDE OF THE DOOR JAMB on your car. It's like that on all cars. IIRC it's 35/35 for most subaru's.

Use that as a guideline, not what's printed on the tire.

When I first started driving, I ran overinflated all-seasons once in 40ish degree weather...on a non-abs car. Damp roads and I almost slammed into the rear of the car in front of me three blocks in a row.

Suffice to say, I lowered my pressures right on the spot.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:01 PM   #18
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I just went to check the recommended pressures on the door jamb a couple of minutes ago. Sure enough they're listed as 33-front/32-rear. The sticker also calls out for some 215mm wide tires. Thanks again to all for the great advice; I'll be lowering the pressure on my lunch break.

So, is it safe to assume that the car will keep its composure under the same conditions as described in the first post once I lower the pressure? Or am I just screwed since my tires are too wide?

This almost seems like a justification to purchase some 17x8 wheels.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:15 PM   #19
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I think running a 235 on a 7" wheel is way too wide personally. I run a 235 on an 8" wheel and run pressures right around US's (about 38F 36R).

As for how it will handle...way too many variables. It will handle better, but I have no idea if you'll lose it. I have a feeling you're getting some serious sidewall roll with that wide of a tire which was part of your problem right off the bat.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
I'm just trying to play it safe here Pat; the tires say not to go above 50psi so I didn't deviate.
That max pressure on the sidewall is not at all intended to guide the sort of pressure you should be running. It has to do with the maximum rated loading of the tire - that's it. You are seriously compromising the contact patch of the tire by running your pressures in the upper 40s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
I'm definitely going to do some research that will substantiate your claims.
Go here and start reading. Note that the first few topics are about air pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
I just wish there was some reference ON the tire that would suggest optimum pressures.
As Kean pointed out, that just isn't feasible. Each car has different tire pressure specs that the car manufacturer specifies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
Back on topic, I think it's interesting that you mentioned that my tire's are too big. Perhaps my logic is backwards, but I was under the impression that the more tire I can fit underneath the car, the more stability I'd retain (assuming not driving like an asshat).
That also assumes the wider tires are installed on properly sized wheels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
So you think the 235's on a 7 inch wheel are working against me? Is there a tradeoff between grip and stability?
I missed that you were running stock wheels with tires that big. That's definitely a problem. Every manufacturer publishes specs for their tires, including the allowed rim widths for each size. According to Pirelli, the 235/45-17 Nero M+S is supposed to be mounted on 7.5-9.5" wide wheels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
.....also......and no interest in starting any kind of war, here.....BUT......

MANY of the most 'recomended' suspension 'mods' and parts used are made by the autox crowd d000000ds that make the car better for the cone gig.....etc etc etc.
A wonderful rant, Scott, but I don't know what it has to do with anything here. See the original post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo View Post
Context:

Bone stock 07 Impreza wagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtoo
So, is it safe to assume that the car will keep its composure under the same conditions as described in the first post once I lower the pressure? Or am I just screwed since my tires are too wide?
I wouldn't say you're screwed, you just have a suboptimal setup. And it's really impossible to speculate how the car is going to handle in a scenario that none of actually encountered. It certainly won't be any worse than it was before, and it should be markedly better.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:40 PM   #21
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Pat,
I think what scotty was trying to do was warn OP to be on the lookout for auto-x setups in his research. Just do a search for alignments and you'll mostly get such advice on this site. I tend to agree that auto-x setups are not the most ideal for daily driving, they can certainly be driven daily, but in low traction situations you need fast reflexes for a loose car. I tinkered around with alignment and tire pressure settings on my WRX in the winter and didn't like DD with the an auto-x ish setting, especially in slush and standing water.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:43 PM   #22
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Great posts guys...
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supermarkus View Post
Pat,
I think what scotty was trying to do was warn OP to be on the lookout for auto-x setups in his research. Just do a search for alignments and you'll mostly get such advice on this site. I tend to agree that auto-x setups are not the most ideal for daily driving, they can certainly be driven daily, but in low traction situations you need fast reflexes for a loose car. I tinkered around with alignment and tire pressure settings on my WRX in the winter and didn't like DD with the an auto-x ish setting, especially in slush and standing water.
...indubitably

...and as a general point for those that read through this.

There is, unfortunately, a great red tide of misinformation....wives tales....half-truths, and utter stupidity that has, over the course of time.......inundated this board and HAS caused too many too much needless mayhem and destruction.

My post was an attempt to point this out and help reduce the

....... and my insurance rates
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:36 PM   #24
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yeah, there's no way that a manufacturer could print the recommended pressure on the tire.

Given the same tire...


On my car, inside the door, it says 36f, 30r...iirc
On my friends R32, VW recommends almost the opposite, more in the rear than the front.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
[url="http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/tiretech.jsp"]Go here
...now that's the good stuff....thanks for the link!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post

My post was an attempt to point this out and help reduce the

....... and my insurance rates
Eloquently spoken, as always.



Quote:
Originally Posted by supermarkus View Post
I tend to agree that auto-x setups are not the most ideal for daily driving, they can certainly be driven daily, but in low traction situations you need fast reflexes for a loose car. I tinkered around with alignment and tire pressure settings on my WRX in the winter and didn't like DD with the an auto-x ish setting, especially in slush and standing water.
I've got the reflexes and the seat time to keep out of trouble...but I sure would love a setup I'd be more confident with. Are you suggesting that the OEM setup is superior to upgraded struts/springs? I'm curious of the OEM setup versus Koni/RCE springs in similar varrying road conditions.
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