classic Mustang tire pressure

Classic Mustang tire pressure recommendations

Tire pressure is very important on any car. It affects fuel efficiency, handling, cornering, stopping and tire life. Read on to learn all about the correct Mustang tire pressure.

What’s the correct tire pressure for my classic Mustang?

The answer to this question depends on the size and type of tires you’re running.

Use the following rule of thumb to determine the right tire pressure for your ride:

  • Check the the maximum tire pressure on your the tire sidewall. This tends to be around 40 PSI for radial tires.
  • Deduce about 10 PSI from the max pressure. Tires will pick up around 8 PSI in warm weather.
  • Set the max pressure minus 10 PSI as your tire pressure. If your tires have a maximum of 40 PSI, use a tire pressure of 30 PSI.
  • Monitor the tread wear. An overinflated tire will wear more in the center, and underinflated tire will wear more on the sides.

Don’t forget the spare wheel!

An example: I use a very pretty common tire size for a Mustang, namely P195 75R14 radial tires from Goodyear. These have a maximum pressure of 44 PSI, which means the actual maximum pressure is around 34 PSI. As the Mustang is a light car, I usually run about 32 PSI in the front. As I rarely have rear passengers or heavy loads in my trunk, I set the pressure to 29 PSI in the rear.

If you have radial tires, 30-32 PSI is probably a good range. If you have bias-ply tires, try 24-28 PSI.

Note: in Western Europe, ‘bar’ is used as a unit of measure instead of PSI. FYI, 14.4 PSI is equal to one bar. So 32 PSI is around 2,2 bar.

65 66 mustang tires

More information on Mustang tire pressure

It’s not always easy to determine which is the right tire pressure for your classic Mustang. You can see a reproduction of the original label in the 1965 and 1966 Mustang (usually found inside the glove compartment) here:

Mustang tire pressure

As you can see, Ford originally recommended 24 PSI as the correct tire pressure. Please note that at the time, this recommended pressure applied to 13″ bias-ply tires.

Nowadays, most classic Mustangs are equipped with radial tires of different sizes, the most common being 14″, and a different tire pressure applies.

You can determine whether you have bias-ply or radial tires by looking at the tire sidewall. Radial tires wil always have an R in the name (for example P195 75R14), while bias-ply tires will have a ‘D’ in the number.

What are the risks of incorrect tire pressure?

Incorrect tire pressure can be problematic for the following reasons.

Risks of over-inflated tires

  • Less flexible in case of potholes and bumps
  • Increased tire wear
  • Increased braking distances
  • Less driving comfort

Risks of under-inflated tires

  • Risk of premature failure, as the tire is forced to flex more
  • Increased tire wear
  • Less control in rain, snow, gravel and other debris
  • Higher fuel consuption
  • Increased braking distances
  • Problems with handling and cornering

And again, don’t forget to chekc the pressure on your spare wheel as well! A deflated spare wheel is just taking up space in your trunk, and will do you no good when you’re in need of a replacement tire!


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