Another thing to check yourself - tire wear

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While I'm in the habit of checking over almost everything on my cars myself, I let the experts guide me on tires. So the Mercedes dealer reported in March that the tires could blow any minute. Not seeing it ourselves, my wife went to Discount Tire and asked them. They reported right rear at 3/32 and left rear at 4/32. Thought ok, someone was trying to upsell at the dealership as usual. Let's check in a few months. Well this week, went into the same Discount Tire for a rotation and balance on the other car. Different person handled it this time and refused to do it. Said the inside of the right rear was at 2/32 while the rest and the left rear was at 4/32 So I began shopping for tires. Then thought lets go and see for myself. So running in all 4 grooves, I find one tread bar that is close to going flush. Ok, so I can see what they are getting at. Went over to the Merc whose tires are closer to the wheel arch so much more is by feel. But on the outside I can kind of see where they came up with 3/32. Reach to the inside and cannot feel any tread bars! Get down lower to eyeball the inner part of the tire nearer the ground and am astounded by what I see! No wonder the Merc dealer said it could blow any minute! It all comes down to who looks at your car. The first tech at DT was lazy and assumed the inner wear was the same as the outer wear. The second tech at DT and the Merc tech were more thorough. It made me realize that maybe I should do my own rotations - I can do a brake fluid flush while I'm at it and can if course inspect the tires much more closely myself
 
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This is a common complaint on my car as well. Many vehicles with IRS and wider low profile rubber exhibit alignment wear and the owners never even notice because the INNER edge of the tire is hard to see. And it is exactly the reason I like to do the rotations myself. I do not trust my family members to the care of any stealership technician.
 
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I find it hard to believe that anyone on this forum wouldn't know at least the general condition of the tyres on their car. You get to walk up to it from nay number of directions in any given week, and can see what's there.
 
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Use caution if any steel belts are exposed (not that I'd expect anyone on this forum would let it get to that point). Exposed steel belts are razor sharp and will slice a hand. When I worked with tires, I'd circle any exposed belts with a yellow crayon to warn others of the hazard.
 
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Originally Posted By: Shannow
I find it hard to believe that anyone on this forum wouldn't know at least the general condition of the tyres on their car. You get to walk up to it from nay number of directions in any given week, and can see what's there.
On some cars its not as simple as you seem to think it is. especially on the inside edge.
 
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ALSO....Check ALL the tires... It's not uncommon for 1 tire to wear more than the other 3 (or 4 depending on number of tires in rotation)...
 
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Originally Posted By: hemitom
Originally Posted By: Shannow
I find it hard to believe that anyone on this forum wouldn't know at least the general condition of the tyres on their car. You get to walk up to it from nay number of directions in any given week, and can see what's there.
On some cars its not as simple as you seem to think it is. especially on the inside edge.
Why not? Sure if you want to do this while the wheels are mounted on the car it can be challenging, but why would I want to do that? Instead I combine this task along with brake inspection with tire rotations. Problem solved.
 
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Originally Posted By: Shannow
I find it hard to believe that anyone on this forum wouldn't know at least the general condition of the tyres on their car. You get to walk up to it from nay number of directions in any given week, and can see what's there.
Could not agree more ! Tire condition is quite easy to see when checking air in tires. Also easy is investing in a tire tread depth gauge and checking tread depths. Takes absolutely no effort and just a little kneeling down ( good exercise which apparently is beyond some ). Have to laugh.....won't check his own tires, but will do a brake flush.......yeah....uh huh !!
 
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I have a tire tread gauge. Easy to check the depth and you get an accurate measurement. I start tire shopping at 4/32.
 
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Originally Posted By: CMMeadAM
Originally Posted By: Shannow
I find it hard to believe that anyone on this forum wouldn't know at least the general condition of the tyres on their car. You get to walk up to it from nay number of directions in any given week, and can see what's there.
Could not agree more ! Tire condition is quite easy to see when checking air in tires. Also easy is investing in a tire tread depth gauge and checking tread depths. Takes absolutely no effort and just a little kneeling down ( good exercise which apparently is beyond some ). Have to laugh.....won't check his own tires, but will do a brake flush.......yeah....uh huh !!
How about when changing your oil? Does no one take a look around while under there? No doubt you can see the tread on all 4 tires while you're underneath the car.
 
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Originally Posted By: KD0AXS
Originally Posted By: CMMeadAM
Originally Posted By: Shannow
I find it hard to believe that anyone on this forum wouldn't know at least the general condition of the tyres on their car. You get to walk up to it from nay number of directions in any given week, and can see what's there.
Could not agree more ! Tire condition is quite easy to see when checking air in tires. Also easy is investing in a tire tread depth gauge and checking tread depths. Takes absolutely no effort and just a little kneeling down ( good exercise which apparently is beyond some ). Have to laugh.....won't check his own tires, but will do a brake flush.......yeah....uh huh !!
How about when changing your oil? Does no one take a look around while under there? No doubt you can see the tread on all 4 tires while you're underneath the car.
this is when i usually thoroughly inspect my tires. i pop the plug and check them all out while it drains. i usually do 5-7.5k drains so its perfect timing to check for rotation/wear.
 
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Guilty....well sort of I'm just just now showing the TWI on my fronts. I know that they are geting thin on tread. That's why it's just "sort of". I just want to see if I could get 45,000 miles on this set. They are worn evenly across the tread. Just worn. I really felt it in the rain the other day. Wipers on high midwestern downpour. My car scooted around a few times in deep water on the freeway. An Impala in front of me did a 720° spin in the same. Ended up facing almost the right direction in the adjacent lane. I thought to myself right then, "If my worn Direzzas are holding me, how bad are the tires on your Impala?"
 
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Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
This is a common complaint on my car as well. Many vehicles with IRS and wider low profile rubber exhibit alignment wear and the owners never even notice because the INNER edge of the tire is hard to see. And it is exactly the reason I like to do the rotations myself. I do not trust my family members to the care of any stealership technician.
Ford Specs a pretty good amount of negative camber in my Focus. And tires on front drivers seem to always wear more. IRS SUVs and Minivans are always going down the road with the rear tires cambered out like crazy. I've always wondered if it's worth it to swap the Tires on the wheels (left to right) so that the old inside would be the outside. But it's $40 to mount and balance ... not sure if that would pay off.
 
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They say you can't eyeball a radial, for tie pressure, but I disagree. I think if you look once a week you can learn the proper bulge for your tire. I'd still check with a gauge once a month, though. Checking tread every so often would be good too. I know my Jetta wants more psi than the door jam indicates for even wear.
 

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Originally Posted By: CMMeadAM
Originally Posted By: Shannow
I find it hard to believe that anyone on this forum wouldn't know at least the general condition of the tyres on their car. You get to walk up to it from nay number of directions in any given week, and can see what's there.
Could not agree more ! Tire condition is quite easy to see when checking air in tires. Also easy is investing in a tire tread depth gauge and checking tread depths. Takes absolutely no effort and just a little kneeling down ( good exercise which apparently is beyond some ). Have to laugh.....won't check his own tires, but will do a brake flush.......yeah....uh huh !!
Inner tire tread is not easy to see when checking air. I have a very good Discount Tire who I trust (less so now) and have lifetime rotations with them. So I have relied on them for a thorough tire check. My Mercedes that this happened on has tires that cannot be rotated and you cannot at all see the inner tire wear. The outer tire wear is 4/32 and this has happened after just 12k. The discount tire guy said the tires were fine. I am the person who checked them and found the issue.
 
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Inner tire wear on my Volvo is really hard to check since there is a fender gap of maybe 1-1.25" on the fronts, and about 2" on the rear from the factory. I will purposefully park with the wheels cranked full lock every month or so just so I can check wear on the fronts. The rears I can see from behind fairly easily. As bad as this sounds, I let the first set of tires that were on the Volvo wear until there were cords showing on the fronts. I was trying to stretch it until there was a rebate on the Michelins I ended up putting on.
 
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Originally Posted By: Spazdog
I really felt it in the rain the other day. Wipers on high midwestern downpour. My car scooted around a few times in deep water on the freeway. An Impala in front of me did a 720° spin in the same. Ended up facing almost the right direction in the adjacent lane. I thought to myself right then, "If my worn Direzzas are holding me, how bad are the tires on your Impala?"
A few years ago I was driving in the remnants of a tropical storm to a friends house and it was raining like I have never seen before. I was going about 50 in my S class at the time with fresh rubber on it. Now that's a heavy car but I was still feeling it in the puddles. Anyway some kid in an Eclipse thought he was invincible and blew past me in the left at 70. I told my buddy I bet we see him off the road...and sure enough about a mile up he losses it and stuffs it into the grass. Moron.
 
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Tire depth gauges are cheap and easy to use, you may have to get down but readings are taken without looking. Come to think of it; most jobs are easier with the proper tool. YMMV
 
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Tires about to blow at 3/32???!! I had michelin mxm4's on my car til less than 2/32...and lets say they were still fine. (dry only..forget it on wet roads..) i recently picked up a tire depth gauge and its so simple to check. Id replace maybe at 4/32. At that point traction drops enough on wet roads. Thats for your own safety. But as im sure everyone does here is shop around and get a great deal on tires and not have the dealer dictate when they need changing.
 
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Here's a great tip given to me just recently where you can check the inside wear on your tires almost weekly [or daily depending on what you drive lol]: Whatever side you fill-up your gas on, turn the wheel all the way left or right that way. You're waiting on filling up the tank anyway, and are bound to walk by or notice the wheel/tire turned all the way. It's not going to tell you the whole picture [rear tire wear of course], but its some sort of indicator to help you gauge your tire's wear and vehicles alignment. And to address some points made previously, a tire's tread depth is given at it's lowest measurement [think a chain is only as good as it's weakest link]. Tires should [but necessarily must be] be replaced when any part of a/the tread block reach a wear bar, which is usually right around 3/32" for most brands and tire types. Wet traction decreases [dramatically imo] below 5/32. And yes, those cords can be pretty sneaky nasty and have gone through almost any type of glove I've used at work; be careful.
 
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