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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just checked my tire pressure for the first time and both front and rears were at 40psi!!! I have the LLS tires. I guess this was suppose to prevent flat spotting during the trip across the pond.

Since I do mostly straight-line freeway driving (80 mph), would 5 psi over the recommend (26/29) be a problem? I'm trying to maximize the thread life. I'd be running 31/36.

PS: My original Elise order wasn't with the LSS. This car became available and I made the switch.
 

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I typically run about 5psi over on my MINI Cooper and 911 here in Phoenix for the same reasons as you and have had no problems. Ride's a little more harsh but steering response is tighter and I like being better able to feel the road's surface. I'll probably do the same with my Elise...whenever it gets here. As long as you don't exceed the max PSI rating on the tire's sidewall, I believe you should be fine.
 

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Tire pressures are significant to handling.

If you think about it, the air in the tire acts as a spring, that works in concert with the rest of the suspension. Running a tire pressure that far out of wack with the recommendation will result in different handling - and I certainly would expect Lotus to have figured out a good tire pressure for the tire model and suspension.

ed
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your resposne. The 40 psi would explain why the sides never had any wear on them. It reminded me of motorcycle tires. It also explains why my Elise felt rather twitchy and sometimes vague in cornering. Originally, I had thought it was to do the short wheel base. I'll see how the 31/36 set up works and go from there.
 

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Also keep in mind that the tires are relatively wide - especially for the light weight of the Elise. Adding extra air pressure to get better tire life could be doing exactly the opposite...
 

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The tire pressures were probably set there for transport/storage and were not taken back down. If you are trying to maximize tread life, then just don't get too crazy on on/off ramps. ;) But that's the purpose of this car, so I wouldn't worry too much about saving your tires! The only people getting really terrible life out of these are the people who track them often or do a lot of performance driving. Back and forth on the freeway is not a problem...
 

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My car was 10+ pounds under-inflated when delivered. I discovered this after 300 miles of driving and thinking "the car isn't as sharp as I remember it...". Put the pressures to the recommended 26/29 and the car feels great.

I guess it wasn't enough that I SPECIFICALLY asked if the pressures were set, but actually set them myself:rolleyes:
 

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Allan Gibbs said:
I I'm trying to maximize the thread life.
Kind of an oxymoron with the A048's.

I just checked my tire pressure for the first time since I got my car. I picked it up on 12/1 and was away on business from 12/4 through today :mad: It is cooler than when I picked up my car and it sat for a week - pressures were about 1 psi low in front and 2-3 psi low in the rear (LTS).

I also checked wheel bolts - fine and oil - fine but very hard to read because the oil was so clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Re: 40 psi tire pressure!!!???

ex-M3 said:
I also checked wheel bolts - fine and oil - fine but very hard to read because the oil was so clear.
I had the exact same problem with the oil when I got home from the dealer. The engine was smoking and I couldn't tell if the engine has no oil or if the burning smell was from the cosmoline.

I tried the 31/35 psi this evening. The Elise steers much heavier and the ride was more harsh (compared to the 40/40 it was originally at). I'd try the stock 26/29 next to see how that feels.
 

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For highway driving:
Too high and the middle wears faster. Too low and both edges will wear faster.

For racing running a little higher prevents the outside edge from rolling off of the tread.
 

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>>>For racing running a little higher prevents the outside edge from, rolling off of the tread.<<<

It won't do this even with the stock pressures. I've autocrossed the car with both AD07s and AO48s a number of times.
 

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Re: Re: Re: 40 psi tire pressure!!!???

Allan Gibbs said:
I tried the 31/35 psi this evening. The Elise steers much heavier and the ride was more harsh (compared to the 40/40 it was originally at). I'd try the stock 26/29 next to see how that feels.
I image most of us on ETalk have been conditioned by our experience with other cars to mis-trust factory recommended tire presssures for performance, but with the Elise (Lotus) we are all learning that the factory is more like us (in their orientation toward performance) than just about any other car maker out there. That means we've got to re-program our brains and learn to trust them (Lotus). Again, try recommended settings, you'll like them. (note the thread from Dan P on his track day at Road Atlanta where ran lower pressures and was faster)
 

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I will second Kiyoshi's recommendation

I have tracked my car at Thunderhill and Sears Point. I have autocrossed three times, albet twice in the rain.

I agree that stock settings are an exceptional plact to start. In my experience I was getting just the right sidewall roll over (to the marked triangles). Only once did I roll the sidewall over too far, past the marks, in the front and that was likely due to weight compression of the car entering an uphill turn.

Tire and suspension technology is constantly changing. In addition this car is different because it has a lot of rubber for such a light car. I had A032s on my Seven (1250 lbs with me sitting in it) and I could not get the pressure low enough, even at 14 lbs)

Go ahead and try what you know, but also give the stock settings a try. I think you will like them.

Michael
 

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perryeyges said:
My tires wer EXACTLY the reccomended pressure when I got the car. Never seen that before..
you got your car from HRM...nuff said:clap:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here's my impression on tire pressures and please let me know if my understanding's wrong.

High pressure: Using reasonably high tire pressure will usually mean longer tire thread life and is usually recommend for high speed FREEWAY driving. You'll probably get less flex when cornering but will get more of a vague feel. You'll also have less of a contact patch for full accelerations.

Lower pressure: Using a reasonably lower tire pressure means you'll get the maximum contact patch for acceleration and maximum grip. Also, on the track, the lower pressure means the tire will heat up faster. Also, using a lower pressure will mean there's a greater safety margin from the maximum psi when the tires start to heat. Downside, heavier steering and faster wear on the street.

Recommend pressure: Optimal mid-point for longevity and spirited driving.

Does that sound right? :confused:
 

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Well for most tires, maximizing the tire pressure might not be a bad idea for increasing fuel economy and tread life, but I'd avoid it on the A048s on the assumption that they are similar to the A032s. With the latter, they can feel fairly greasy when you get the smaller contact patch.
 
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