2013 Cadillac ATS: Individual Tire Pressures
January 10, 2014
I grabbed the keys for our 2013 Cadillac ATS yesterday because it had been months since I last drove it. It's nearing the end of its time with us and I wanted to see if the 20,850 miles it's experienced at our hands had made a difference. Driving from the office yesterday, it felt weird.
And not weird like the miles had taken their toll like they did with our 2008 Cadillac CTS. Weird like a wheel was out of round or it had a loose lug nut. The car behaved strangely on the freeway, incongruously "nibbling" on some seams and grooves but not others with hard-to-define wiggles and shimmies.
When I arrived home (lacking a torque wrench), I did a quick visual check. All seemed fine. But this morning, I checked the cold tire pressures from the menu on the instrument panel. Voila. Here's the reason: All but one tire was out of spec for tire pressure (according to the car itself). Of the three remaining, one was high, and the other two were low.
Now, we often receive test cars with all four tires consistently running about 3 psi low, because some of the companies out there that prep "press fleet" vehicles still don't set the pressures correctly. They set warm tires to the cold specification which turns out to be about 10% off, or around 3 psi assuming 32-35 psi is correct. (Don't get me started on all the reasons this bugs me). This is why there's a half-hour pre-test protocol for every car we test. But we can't blame them for our car. This time it's on us.
Armed with our portable compressor and calibrated pressure gauge, I've set the pressures correctly. I believe this will make a difference for my drive home tonight. I'll follow up with a comment here.
Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 20,895 miles