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ML 350 Tire Pressure

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David Carson's picture
Colorado Springs, CO
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2010 ML350

When looking for the right psi for my tires I get conflicting numbers.

On the gas flap it says that cold psi (normal load) should be 32 psi  front and 32 psi back and that loaded it should be 32 psi front and 38 psi back.

But the tag inside the door jam says cold pressure readings should be 32 psi front and 38 psi back...makes no mention of 32/32.

Which is right? I had been putting 32/32 and at my last service they had to rotate the tires after just 2500 miles. 

 

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David Carson
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Alex's picture
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Correct tire pressure

The door jamb label's numbers presume a loaded car; the fuel flap doesn't.  All pressures are with the tires cold.

If you're going to drive the car without passengers or other stuff in the rear, the rear tire pressure should be lower than 38, though not 32.

I generally inflate tires a few pound over the specified numbers.  So in your car I would go 34 in front and 38 in rear, assuming that the car will not be fully loaded most of the time. You might try different pressures to see how it feels; experiment a little. 

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syracusea's picture
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I could never understand the

I could never understand the cold psi and load psi. I set the tire pressure to 40 psi on all four tires.

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-Andrew 2009 NYC-Long Island Section

My Car: 2009 C300 4Matic Luxury Sedan

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AIR PRESSURES

Just checked the air pressure on my C55 which hasn't been driven since yesterday -- just had new tires put on two weeks ago. Copacetic at 33 front 37 rear. My door jamb and fuel filler flap both recommend the same amount for "Cold" pressure, though the fuel flap does say "with load"

For Andrew, one note -- Mercedes-Benz recommends lower pressure in the front so that the car will be stable in corners. Setting the front higher than recommended can mean that the behavior on "turn-in" will be altered and the car won't respond properly under conditions when you might have to change direction abruptly, like to avoid a car stopped in front of you or something falling off a truck in the lane ahead of you. If I recall correctly, having too much air in your front tires will cause the car to continue straight when you turn the wheels since they have less tread bite than they would have if they were at the right pressure.

Re the importance of measuring cold (i.e. when the car has been sitting for awhile) -- this is the baseline for the tires and takes into account that the air pressure will increase as the tires warm up when driving, so that they will be in the correct temperature/pressure range under normal operating conditions. 40 psi in the rear probably won't cause any problem, but I would definitely lower the pressure in front by three to four pounds. Running the car at 36/40 would be just fine, though you won't get quite as soft a ride as the person running at the recommended temp.

Gary

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David Carson's picture
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Thanks Everyone

Thanks to everyone that responded to my question concerning ML 350 tire pressures.


Good info from all.


 


David

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David Carson
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Walrath's picture
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We are currently into our

We are currently into our third M-Class, all 320's, and have kept the tire pressures at the factory engineered recommendations.  With our current ML320 pressures are 32/32 normal, 32/38 with load.  I have found the pressures to be just fine.  The big benefit we get is even wear and over 60,000 miles per set of tires.  For the first time I have non-original tires on the ML.  At 62,000+ miles I switched from the original Continentals to Michelins, the Michelins are an approved tire and were on sale, plus a dealer 15% MBCA discount.  Now we'll see if the Michelins can get the same mileage.  Based on my prior experiences I will stick with the recommended pressures.

Jim W.

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garthnorton's picture
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air lift shock absorbers

I sometimes pull a trailer loaded with one of my E Type Jaguars.  While I am well within the load limit of 5,000 pounds the back of my ML 350 is a little lower than ideal.  

Have any of you had any experience with air adjustable shock absorbers?  If so I would appreciate you suggestions.


Thanks a lot,

Garth

SFBA Section 

 


 

 

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mikapen's picture
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Depends on the tire

I think it depends on the sidewall construction. I also think the ML likes a little more roll stiffness in the rear, so I tend toward 1 - 2 lbs more pressure in the rear.

I experiment with a new tire starting about 6 over then go down until ride harshness decreases (with warm shocks). Then I zero in, up or down, by driving on some twisty roads until it is most responsive and stable. Over a few thousand miles I measure tread depth across the tire and may adjust further if I'm getting shoulder or center wear.

Increasing pressure too much decreases the footprint, increases slip angle (less traction), decreases comfort and tire mileage, and makes the tires more susceptible to impact damage.

For trailering, I use the max 38 psi in the rears, and 35 front because I transfer a lot of weight forward with my weight distributing hitch.

Normally, I run 33F and 34R. Good handling, good wear, good comfort. That's with my snow and ice tires - I use a pound or so less with summer tires.

YMMV really applies here....

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David Brittain's picture
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A topic that draws lots of opinions

You ask a dozen people about proper tire inflation, you get a dozen different answers. Seems like it's a pretty subjective thing. It always seemed to me like you get best ride and maximum tread life without heavy load at something between 33 and 37 pounds. I like a couple of more pounds in the rears than in the fronts. Watch closely for wear. If under inflated you'll get more wear at outside edges of tread; if over inflated you'll get more wear in center of tire.

This is of course IMHO and very subjective.

Dave

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Alex's picture
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There appears to be consensus on this subject

Doesn't seem so subjective to me. mikapen's clear summary above is pretty much what others have said in different words.

The only reason there are differences in the numbers is that tire pressure changes with temperature, which is always changing.  And "cold" in Wisconsin is not the same as "cold" in Florida.  Also there are differences in car weights which play a role in inflation pressure.  But the principles seem to apply to all. 

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Alex Rosner
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