Hot Tire Pressure Vs. Cold – Get Rid of the Confusion

Many people consider tire inflation one of the simplest car maintenance practices, as it primarily involves filling the tire with air. This is not the case, as there are several things to consider when inflating your tires and one crucial consideration to name is the temperature. That is what may put you in a fix hot tire pressure vs. cold.

The surrounding temperature is a significant determinant of the inflation levels to prevent tire damage. Read on to learn more about tire air pressure cold vs. hot, and how to properly inflate your car tires depending on the heat levels.

checking tyre pressure when hot

Hot Tire Pressure Vs. Cold

To understand the hot vs. cold tire pressure discussion better, you should know the behavior of air under different temperatures. When it is hot, air expands as its molecules move faster and apart. Conversely, air contracts when the atmosphere is cold.

Charles’ gas law explains the relationship between gas volume and temperature. According to this law, the volume of a gas is directly proportional to its temperature. As temperatures increase, the volume increases, meaning you need more pressure. A decrease in temperature translates to a volume reduction of volume, and the pressure requirements are lower.

Hot Tire Pressure

Hot or warm tire pressure refers to the recommended tire inflation limits when the temperatures are high. As mentioned earlier, air expands when hot, which will happen to the air inside the tires. The outcome is your tires will be low on pressure, something to avoid for smooth driving and longevity of the car parts.

How much does tire pressure increase when hot? Tires gain 1 PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature. Your tires will have more space when the temperature increases.

Back to hot tire pressure, you must adjust the pressure levels accordingly when the temperatures are high. Typically, your tire pressure is around 32 to 35 PSI: when it is hot, the value increases between 4 and 6 PSI. The ideal range for hot tire pressure is 36 to 41 PSI. 

Be careful when inflating tires in high temperatures, as you risk overinflation, a leading cause of tire wear.

Cold Tire Pressure

Cold tire pressure, or cold inflation pressure, is the tires’ inflation pressure before you move the car. This is the value indicated by car manufacturers, and you can find it on the vehicle manual or the door’s edge.

As the name hints, cold pressure is the tire’s inflation value when the temperature is low. The standard cold tire pressure for passenger vehicles is 32-35 PSI. The value drops with a decrease in temperature.

“What Is The Difference Between Cold Tire Pressure And Hot Tire Pressure?”

You realize several differences in the car tire pressure cold vs. hot discussion. Simply put, hot tire pressure is the inflation value when the temperatures increase. You rely on cold pressure parameters when the vehicle is immobile or in cold conditions.

Cold pressure is the recommended tire pressure for winter driving. The PSI drops with a decrease in temperature. Cold pressure is the ideal pressure, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, ranging from 32 to 35 PSI.

Hot pressure levels are higher, due to the volume increase, with the range being 36 to 41 PSI. You should adjust the PSI value accordingly, depending on the temperature. If driving in areas with fluctuating temperatures, you may have to let air out of the tire to prevent tire overinflation in low temperatures. You should allow the tires to cool before deflating them.

The cold and hot tire pressure values vary depending on vehicle type. For instance, trailer tire pressure cold vs. hot limits range from 50-60 PSI when cold and 54 to 66 when cold.

For your convenience, get the hot tire pressure vs. cold chart to know the correct inflation values.

how much does tire pressure increase when hot


Q: “How Much PSI Do Tires Increase When Hot?”

Air volume in tire increase when temperatures are high due to molecular activity. The volume increase requires extra pressure for adequate inflation. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature hike, the tires gain 1 PSI, translating to roughly 4 to 6 PSI for typical summer driving. When inflating the tires when hot, the ideal pressure is 36 to 41 PSI for standard passenger vehicles, with a cold tire pressure of 32 to 35 PSI.

Q: Do Hot Tires Have Higher Pressure?

Gases, like other states of matter, expand when heated. The air in hot tires expands as heat weakens their molecular bonds, allowing the molecules to move freely. The expansion results in higher volumes, and you need more pressure to inflate the tires adequately.

Q: Is 40 PSI Too High for Tire Pressure?

You should be keen with your tire PSI values to prevent underinflation or overinflation. 40 PSI is too high for the cold tire pressure of regular passenger vehicles, considering 35 PSI is the upper limit. Nonetheless, the value is okay for hot tire pressure due to the volume increase.

Q: Is 35 PSI Too High?

35 PSI is the upper limit of cold tire pressure: do not exceed this limit for winter driving, as the tires will get overinflated. It is a reasonable level for hot tire pressure, especially if you expect the temperatures to decrease.

On the motorcycle tire pressure hot vs. cold debate, 35 is a medium value, as motorcycle PSI ranges from 28 to 40. 35 PSI can be high or low, depending on the temperature and type of vehicle.

Q: Should You Let Air Out of a Hot Tire?

You might want to release pressure from a hot tire to prevent overinflation, but it is not wise, as you risk tire damage. The air is hot and may blow the tire if you attempt to let it out. You must wait for the tire to cool before releasing air.

Q: Should You Let Air Out of Hot Tires So the Pressure Goes Back To Normal?

Releasing air out of tires is advisable if the pressure is too much. Overinflated tires wear on the outside, translating to unavoidable expenses. Do not release air out of hot tires, as the hot pressurized air may damage the tires or injure you. Let the tires cool before deflating them.

Q: Should I Overinflate My Tires In Winter?

Temperatures dip in winter, and air in tires contracts. The resulting low volume in tires requires low pressure. Do not overinflate the tires, as you make them prone to damage as the air contracts. In severe situations, the tire may blow. Keep up with the indicated cold pressure limits of 35 PSI and lower, depending on how cold it is.

Q: How Much Does Tire PSI Go Up After Driving?

When you drive, tire temperature increases due to friction and contact with the environment. The temperature hike causes the pressure to increase by roughly 1 to 8 PSI, depending on the heat levels, driving conditions, and distance covered.

Q: Does Cold Air Mess With Tire Pressure?

Low temperatures cause the air in tires to contract. Contraction makes the volume to reduce, meaning you need lower pressure to inflate the tires. On your tire pressure check, the values should be between 32 to 35 PSI if it is cold.

Final Thought

The hot tire pressure vs. cold discussion brings to light the effect of temperature on tire pressure. We learn that you should adjust your tire pressure accordingly depending on how hot it is. Tires require low pressure when it is cold and more pressure when it is hot. 

You should always be careful when inflating tires. Underinflation leads to a rough driving experience, tire damage and poor fuel economy, while overinflation hastens tire wear. Know the right inflation limits determined by the temperature for your tires to be in the best form. 


Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

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