Discussion in 'General' started by jhu, Jan 30, 2010.
Just wondering how long your vehicle's tires last and what the tread depth was before replacement.
At the time I could only afford cheap tires, so I got 40k mile tires. I am at about 37k miles with about half the tread left. I do plan to buy a new set in the next few months, store them, then when the tires I have on now are too low put on the new ones.
(It is a little complicated, I know, but it makes good financial sense to my situation.)
I completely depends on the tires and the vehicle, but...
The original tires on my Ranger were 40K mile tires, and I swapped them out at 80K miles.
They were still just above the wear markers.
60k on the Ody, but they were poorly treated by the previous owners for half of that.
45k currently on the OEMs and no real slippage so far this winter, so no plans to replace them.
So does anyone actually do the tread measurement to decide when it is time to get news ones and how do you go about doing that? Do you need any special tools?
Mine were nearly down to the wear bars in the front. I decided to go ahead and change them since winter was coming on. In summer I would have gone a bit longer.
OK Andrew, get a little simpler for the simpleton. What are wear bars?
The orange highlighted part. They're in there to show when the tread depth reaches the legal limit. If the bars are starting to wear, and are no longer deeper than the main tread, you really need to replace the tires. Some will say you are overdue by this point, and they may be right - traction degrades as tread wears, starting from day 1.
Using pocket change, you can measure basic tread depth. I have a tread depth gauge (about $2 from the auto store), but coins work well enough for rough guesstimates.
2/32" - legal minimum - Insert a penny upside down into one of the wide treads in the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, you're below the minimum.
4/32" - minimum if driven in heavy rain - Insert a quarter upside down into one of the wide treads in the tire. If you can see the top of Washington's head, the car will be very susceptible to hydroplaning.
6/32" - minumum if driven in snow - Insert a penny upside down into one of the wide treads in the tire. If you can see the top of the Lincoln Memorial, you're below the minimum for good snow traction.
I have replaced tires in as little as 20k miles, and the average is usually about 60k miles. The winner, though, is a car I traded in at almost 170k miles that still had the original rear tires installed, and they had plenty of tread life left on them. The fronts wore out at about 60k mile intervals, with the swap-out done at 4/32 tread depth.
I wait until the tires get down to near the wear bars which be a few years as I have two sets of tires, one set for the summer and another for the winter both sets on their own rims.
My bike tires are a whole different story as you have to watch for sidewall wear from cornering, I tend to change them every two years as my life really depends on them.
I wait until I notice the wear bars. Sometimes it takes me a while to notice them. I've replaced tires that did not have visible tread on certain parts of the "tread surface" before. (I'm trying to get better at that!)
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