5/32 tread remaining on OEM tires - should I replace now?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by itengineer, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    If you buy winter tires mounted on rims, and have any relationship at all with a mechanic, they should be willing to swap the wheels for you for between a nominal charge ($10-20) and nothing.

    A set of good winter tires mounted on wheels will cost you about $600 shipped from Tire Rack. These should last you five winters. Used summer only, your current tires will last for at least one more season. When you buy the next set of summer tires, they will last you five seasons as well. Assuming you keep the car for 5 more years, you will be buying two more sets of tires either way. Either two sets of all seasons, or one set of all-seasons and one set of winters. The total cost is likely to be within $200 either way, but buying snows gets you tires that inspire confidence in winter driving, and will stop you in as little as half the distance on snow-covered roads.

    All Season vs. Winter (Passenger Vehicle): The Difference Between Wintertime Gripping and White Knuckle Snow Slipping
     
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  2. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Exactly right, although you do have to have a place to store the other set, and take at least a little care in how they are stored. Swapping sets is no more a cost or hassle than rotating.

    Anyway, I agree: this is the smartest and most prudent behavior. It is also practiced by relatively few people, percentage wise. ;)
     
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  3. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    Having lived in the snow belt all my life I am constantly dumbfounded by the number of people who are literally scared to death of winter driving, yet who do most of their driving on worn out all-season tires (often driving a heavy, gas sucking AWD vehicle year round in order to feel 'safer' in the winter). Good winter tires are THE most important aspect in being comfortable and safe in winter driving. :)
     
  4. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I spent a few years in Buffalo. I know exactly to what you refer. I was always amazed by all the people who stomped on the fuel pedal at lights and spun their tyres, making each intersection an ice rink.
     
  5. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    You may replace tires at 2/32's, but I kinda like being alive after a drive in the rain. When tires hit 4-5/32's they're gone ... Or after the first time I skid or hydroplane. Suppose you needed to stop at the time you skidded or hydroplaned ? Is delaying spending $400 or so worth wrecking a $25,000 car and possibly getting hurt or hurting someone else ?

    Buy the damn new tires now.

    REV
     
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  6. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    I did mentioned that he should switch it to the winter tires, I never mention saying he should drive it in the rain with 2/32 thread depths, it was just a recommended tire replacement. I only recommend 2/32 tread depth during the summer, not winter. Hope that cleared things out for you.
     
  7. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Different climate zones have different types and amounts of foul road conditions. They shouldn't all be forced into a one-size-fits-all tread criteria for replacement.
     
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  8. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    that is true since I live in California, the weather is always nice here and not as crazy as the east coast.
     
  9. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    It doesn't rain in the summer ? Really ? Ever ?

    2/32 or 1/16 of an inch of tread on your tires is not safe to be driving on .... Period. All to save $400 ? I don't think so.

    REV
     
  10. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    Th OP has ALREADY SAID that he was skidding and hydro planing in the rain with the tires he has at 5/32's, and you're telling him to keep them for 2 MORE YEARS ?

    That is absolutely horrible and dangerous advice. I ask again ... If there had been a car or child in front of him when he was skidding and/or hydro planing in the rain, would it have been worth eking out even one more year on a set of admittedly marginal tires that are only going to get exponentially worse .... All in the name of 'getting your money's worth' out of a stupid set of tires .... LRR or not ?

    REV
     
  11. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    Absolutely .... Think how absolutely stupid you'd feel if you had an accident while driving on those used up tires, especially when you KNEW they were questionable due to hydroplaning and skidding in the rain.

    REV
     
  12. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    Tires are probably one of the things I pay the most attention to in my cars. My fun car has FOUR different sets all mounted on wheels. I know exactly when my tires have been used up. For good quality tires that is almost always at 2-3/32". I guarantee if you remove your tires at 5/32" the tire shop is turning around and selling them to another customer.

    Regardless, the economics are the same however you personally choose to replace tires. Two sets of season specific tires will have minimal extra cost when amortized over the life of the car, while giving you superior traction in all situations.
     
  13. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    Geez zhenya, I totally agree with all your other posts, yet this post is so contradictory to your other posts that I don't really understand your point of view.

    The minute that tires scare me, and any amount of skidding or hydroplaning scares me ... As long as I wasn't overdriving them ... They're gone.

    About a year and a half ago I mounted up a set of pro contacts with ecoplus that were. Supposedly 80,000 mile tires (yeah right), and after 30,000 miles I'm ready to dump them. There is no way I'd keep them until 2/32's just to exercise the warranty. They're at 5/32's now and almost gone in terms of performance and safety. They handle better than the OEM 33's, which only got 28,000 miles before I replaced them, but knowing what I know now .... I never would have bought them .... I would have gone with the Michelin Energy Save A/S's instead.

    Tires are way too important to take chances with, I think you agree with me on that.

    Take care.

    REV
     
  14. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    Fine by me .... Let somebody else die. I usually dump them at 4/32's. Or when I've lost confidence in them ... Whichever comes first.

    REV
     
  15. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    Thanks REV. We can disagree on some things. :)

    My most recent experience were the Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2's on my old Volvo 850. I drove those down to 2/32" and in the last week before I replaced them, I drove over 300 miles in one of the worst downpours of the summer. The car was absolutely rock-solid even under those conditions. The Nokian winter tires on that car were down to 4/32" and still had enough traction for me to be competitive in winter rally. No way I was going to get rid of them at that point.
     
  16. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    You already stated they are unsafe, so replace them. If your OEM's are the Yokohama Avids, you are lucky they lasted this long and the wear rate will increase. Those tires made good MPG from the factory but are soft and have a very short life. If you made the last 35K miles in Minneapolis without snow tires, fresh all-seasons will be just fine if you can not afford another complete set of wheel assemblies.

    Most here are partial to quality Michelins, Energy Savers for mpg, Defenders for traction and longevity. For your location and weather I would suggest the Defenders. The price of tires can and should be negotiated even if there are no rebates currently offered.

    Ultimately the decision is on you.
     
  17. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    No, it does not rain in the summer REV, I am in California, not PA, and I've had my OEM tires for about 5 years or 65,000 miles before I even replaced them, and they were 2/32's in the middle and 1/32's on the outside. I changed them before rain season started.

    Like what zhenya said, if you replace your tire's at 5/32's, people will keep them and sell them to a used tire shop for cheap. People have their own opinions on when they should change their tires. I bet all autoshops, dealers and automotive school recommends them at 2/32's. To each their own, if you want to be safe and want to waste your money, then so be it. This is my opinion and recommendations, if he takes its or not, its just an opinion.

    As for you getting all worked up about everyone should change it at 5/32's, that's your problem.

    As to the OP, if you're experiencing hydroplaning at 5/32's, I suggest you to change your tires for the rain season and drive at a safe speed limit.
     
  18. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Robber points gun at Jack Benny and demands, "Your money or your life!"
    Benny sticks his hands in pockets but remains silent.
    Robber, "Well?"
    Benny , "I'm thinking! I'm thinking!"
     
  19. mn4az

    mn4az Junior Member

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    For those on thread that are DIY's and have two sets of tire/rims.... I have a 2012 Prius IV and also live in Minneapolis. How are you handling the TPMS (assuming that my Prius has it)? Do you have to worry about it even (I am pretty good about checking tire pressure)?
     
  20. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    I let it blink and don't worry about it.

    REV
     
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