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Switching to summers = much harsher ride

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Old 04-07-2014, 10:01 PM
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Default Switching to summers = much harsher ride

Hi Guys,

So, I switched to summer tires (20" sport package) and I have noticed a big increase in harshness. Almost to the point of untolerable ride. Every expansion joint and every bump is now so much more evident and transmitted through the car. I've been using my winter tires since I picked up the car in January, and in my opinion, the ride was just right.

Am I the only one who thinks like this?

I've been considering selling my 20" rims and picking up a set of lightweight 18s or 19s with a thicker profile tires.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:25 AM
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What does the Owner's Manual say for inflation pressure on the 20" tires?
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:50 AM
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summer tires tend to be more stiff on the material.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:39 AM
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I have the 20-inch Sport Package on my A6. My OEM Pirelli P-Zeros were pretty harsh and noisy. I live in Snow Country at Lake Tahoe, but I didn't want to switch back and forth between Summer and Winter Tires. So I went to Michelin AS3 and I'm very pleased with them. The AS3 is a Ultra-High-Performance all weather tire. It is much less harsh and much less noise than the PIrellis. No regrets.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:55 AM
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If you ask members here if there's any difference in ride quality between 19" and 20" wheels, invariably you get told "no" or "not much". Invariably, those owners live in California or Florida, where the roads are billiard-table smooth. Since you hail from Ontario (which is almost, but not quite, as bomb-cratered as Alberta), I think you've discovered the reality for people living in the snow belt.

I agree with your stated option - get the smallest wheels that will fit (more sidewall equals better impact absorption and pothole resistance). Lighter is indeed better, as lower unsprung weight allows the suspension to work better, improving ride quality even further. If you get decent summer tires, you won't lose much in terms of handling either.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:43 AM
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Yes, Ontario got hit hard with this past erratic winter, there ar pot holes everywhere. The pressures are set to 44 and 46psi as per the sticker on the door jam. Can the pressures be lowered safely to ~ 38psi?
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Superfly_A6 View Post
Can the pressures be lowered safely to ~ 38psi?
Check your manual. It will state what tire pressures are recommended for a standard load by tire size and type w/driver and one passenger. Labels on the vehicle show the max PSIs for a full load of passengers and a full trunk of stuff. I usually play with the standard PSIs a bit to find the best compromise between handling and comfort, typically a lb or 2 above the manual's recommendation.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:11 AM
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Superfly, those are max load tire pressures (5 passengers + 5 suitcases) and will yield a punishing ride, especially for those sitting in the rear. That's why I specifically asked if you had viewed the Owner's Manual where you WILL find comprehensive info.

(I thought Canadian cars got a hybrid version of our B pillar sticker that containted more info ???)
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:13 AM
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+1:

Originally Posted by snagitseven View Post
I usually play with the standard PSIs a bit to find the best compromise between handling and comfort, typically a lb or 2 above the manual's recommendation.
^^^This is the same strategy I use. Normal load + 2psi.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DeerHunter View Post
Since you hail from Ontario (which is almost, but not quite, as bomb-cratered as Alberta), I think you've discovered the reality for people living in the snow belt.
Another factor could be the cold temperature.
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