tires, run them down or replace when worn?

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2,574
Location
Northeast
my sister has a leased 2002 jetta that she has for another year, but we will probably just buy it. the oem michelin mxv4 plus tires have about 1/4 tread left in front, and 1/2 left in back. so winter is approaching, and since those tires would probably need to be replaced sometime next year, i decided to buy her new bf goodrich traction t/a's. her boyfriend told her she does not need new tires. which i agree with, those tires will do fine, but since they will need to be replaced within the next year, why not get a good solid tire now that will last years and give better, safer performance in winter. whats the point of running them until they have no tread? so i set up an appointment to get them put on, my dad and sister go because she couldnt fit the tires in her car. she gets there, and they tell her she does not need new tires. so they say ok, and leave, and i flip out. we have new, better tires. why not get them put on? the guy claims they can go till 50k, which im sure they could. but why on earth would anyone want to drive a tire which has poor winter performance down all the way? put the new tires on before winter so you get the advantage of the deep tread blocks, and better overall tread pattern. just checking to see if im really as stupid as my dad/sister/mechanic/her boyfriend think.
 
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3,094
Location
Metro Detroit
You're definitely right to be concerned about your sister and were very generous in your offer. It seems that she chose to go with the majority opinion, unfortunately. I'd suggest you just let things run their course. She'll probably be fine on those tires (don't get them rotoated, though). Perhaps she'll realize her mistake in turning down your offer after her car handles like crap this winter.
 
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1,979
Location
Houston
What's so much better about the new ones other than "they're new"? Why is newer better? More tread doesn't necessarily make them better.
 
Messages
541
Location
Virginia
I just put these same tires on my car. The last hurricane that blew through put down a lot of water and even though I was just above the wear bars the front was all over the road. Wet traction was way down. I put these Traction T/A's on and it's night and day. These things never slide. I think they should replace them. What are they going to do, let perfect tires sit around and rot? It's best to err on the safe side.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,119
Location
New Jersey
I havent heard the best reviews of those michelins. My father had a mercedes on which one of the same tire wore down to the steelbelt (on the inside rear so it was hard to see). No underinflation, etc., didnt see it until it was up in the air. Thgat said, michelin makes some good tires, and Im sure with moderate care and driving, they will last 50K. But remember, the guys in, say, a tire shop dont make the most money and would be the type who even with discount would try to make tires last. Yeah, sure the tires were fine, they would last the winter, but your concern was also warranted, and [Cheers!] to you for being so thoughtful. However, seeing that youre from CT, and I asume your sister is as well, I think you ought to have considered winter tires! They give extremely great traction in snow and messy winter weather, and then she could swap each set, get a whole extra year at least from the michelins, and used the winter tires for extra reassurance in the winter. Just my opinion about the winter tires... I think youre really thoughtful, and its great that youve spent your hard earned money for your sister's well being. But unfortunately the others arent as anal as you (no offense intended) regarding safety and car repair, so Id suggest that you explain it to them in calm terms. Also explain that the other tires could be re-used by someone not as well off, and they could get good tires with 15-20k of life on them for a good price (assuming you went to a real tire shop that does that sort of thing) [Patriot] JMH
 
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36,461
Location
ME
Jettas have a common enough bolt pattern that you can get junkyard rims for dedicated snows. If you're throwing away half-used all-season tires, they aren't really "all season" now are they? If she has (for example) 16 inch fancy alloys see if 14/15 inch steelies will fit and clear the brakes. In CT I'd get "store brand snows" for ~$50/side. This'll put her in the 90th percentile for traction. If the weather is so terrible that those tires won't work, she shouldn't be out on the roads with all the idiots. [crushedcar]
 
Messages
250
Location
WV
Your sister sounds a lot like mine. Sounds like she has almost ruined a set of tires by not rotating them correctly. My sister wore out both her front tires and ruined the set. The back still had a ton of tread but the front was trashed stupid if you ask me
 
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1,539
Location
Shippensburg, PA
Personally, I'd gladly throw away $50-$100 (or 1/32-2/32" of usable tread life) for peace of mind. What's will cost more, risking vehicle and personal injury, or throwing away tires that still have 2 months worth of treadlife? Perhaps I am overcautious, but my car ALWAYS gets tires BEFORE they are down to the wear bars.
 
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1,432
Location
Virginia
ediamiam; Not to be some "self-proclaimed expert" on this, but from what I have read, you actually want the more worn down tires in the front. Sounds stupid at first, but here's why: If you are going to lose traction, it's better to lose traction on the front wheels first because you can hopefully regain control when they start to grip again. If you lose traction on the rear wheels, you're going around! A lot harder to recover and more potential for damage/injury. Basically, putting the worn tires on the front would create an 'understeer' in marginal conditions, which is safer for the avg driver than an 'oversteer'. Last place I saw a writeup on this was the Goodyear website.
 

sxg6

Thread starter
Messages
2,574
Location
Northeast
quote:
Originally posted by kenw: What's so much better about the new ones other than "they're new"? Why is newer better? More tread doesn't necessarily make them better.
the only advantage the michelin's have over the bf's is that they have a quieter and softer ride. in every other category the traction t/a's are better.
 
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
There was a thread that went on and on most of the summer. Seemed to favor better tires on the back. Winter is a bad time to use up the last of the tread on a tire. Regardless of what type of a tire, they do very poorly on ice and snow with very little tread. I mean a lot less than 1/4''. [ October 28, 2004, 10:27 PM: Message edited by: labman ]
 
Messages
625
Location
Silver Spring, MD (USA)
Tires are responsible for every major movement in a vehicle. Acceleration, handling, lateral grip, wet/dry traction, snow/mud traction, and most importantly, braking. If a tire is ever "in question" as to whether you should continue driving on it or not, don't. Just get a nice set of new tires. Its not worth taking chances. If your oil was a few quarts low, and had a semi-milky look to it...would you just top off and hope it goes away? Tires are insanely cheap compared to medical or body shop bills.
 
Messages
1,908
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Tires are cheap, cars aren't. One wreck, alone, can be life-changing. Tire tread isn't the only concern. Sidewall and tread flex begin to compromise themselves apart from mere treadwear at some point. IMHO, 40k of driving means one has gotten ones moneys worth. Fully agree with initial post about new tires; should include brake re-line/shocks as well. Preventive maintenance is cheap. (Boyfriend ain't my idea of potential brother-in-law with that attitude). Buy a "tread depth" gauge. Measure tires at 12 o'clock at inside/outside/center. Repeat for 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions. Difference of 2-3/32's of an inch across tread outside to inside is beginning indication of poor maintenance and/or "unthinking" driving. Treadwear should be essentially even across tire surface (given cold psi is at manufacturer recommended front/rear and alignment is spot-on along with tire balance). http://www.tirerack.com is a good place to research tire values. I search for best wet traction.
 
Messages
40
Location
Connecticut
quote:
What's so much better about the new ones other than "they're new"? Why is newer better? More tread doesn't necessarily make them better.
As to new (more tread) being "better" than worn, newer is absolutly better in resistance to hydroplaning and wet traction.
 
Messages
4,632
Location
Decatur AL USA
Tread compounds also work harden with age. Decreasing traction even more when cold. I like at least 6/32" of tread if the tire is going to see any snow use. 4/32" for standing water. If you live in a area that receives major snow fall in the winter I would not consider anything short of real snow tires. Gene
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Houston
quote:
Originally posted by BenDarDunDat:
quote:
What's so much better about the new ones other than "they're new"? Why is newer better? More tread doesn't necessarily make them better.
As to new (more tread) being "better" than worn, newer is absolutly better in resistance to hydroplaning and wet traction.

define "worn". so you replace those tires of yours every day? They are "worn", you know.....
 
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