Running on worn tread...?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by cyberpriusII, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    First ==== I am not advocating this practice.

    I am just passing along this theory, which may be full of -- well something --

    But was visiting with dear old dad and noticed his tire treads are getting close to the legal minimum.

    Again, not recommending it, but my dad says that the less tread the better in dry weather.

    He cites dragsters and their slicks.

    Not that he actually runs bald tires. But if the tread is worn at or a bit below minimums, he does not worry about it until the fall rains approach. Really worn, he does replace.

    More rubber on <DRY> road, better traction.

    A crazy theory? He's never had a problem doing this for the past 40+years. Of course, not a regular deal. If tires get close to minimums (using the quarter, not the penny method), he replaces them in the wetter months.

    His late spring and summer weather is boring and DRY...
     
  2. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    Basically true in dry weather, so if it virtually never rains in your area during parts of the year, I wouldn't worry too much about tread depth until the rains come.
     
  3. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    Not on a regular tyre. On a race cut slick you can have little or no "tread" and still have better grip on a warm dry track surface, but the same cannot be said for a regular car tyre on a regular road. The best grip will be on a nearly new tyre.

    Thats my 2c having run a nice race cut slick on a previous car for a bit. When the rain came, well, that was a different story

    We can't chance that here in Ireland as it could rain ANYTIME!
     
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    This is reasonable as long as you don't have to worry about a surprise summer storm.
     
  5. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    For grip only, it would be ok, but for noise, fuel consumption, steering feel etc, low thread depth isn't too nice IMO. Again, only in perfectly dry conditions
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I don't believe that it is better. Under simple classic physics, it would make no difference, but the real world is not that simple.

    The Climate Prediction Center is showing an outlook for continued drought in OR and many other places this summer, so he may be OK. Especially east of the Cascades.

    But in my portion of the Pacific NorthWet, where summer doesn't start until July 5 and will still pop up several summer rainstorms, this would be a game of Russian Roulette. On my cars, all-seasons are exiled to three-season use while they still have more than half their original tread, then banished completely when I don't like the traction in June rains. They always have significantly more than the legal minimum when I say goodbye.
     
  7. Joe 26

    Joe 26 Member

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    Rubber does tend to get harder as it dries out due to age; NEW slicks with the same tread compound may give more traction than ones with tread.
     
  8. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    Drought in Oregon....not hardly....did you not hear the Portland Water Bureau say they have plenty of stinking water as they flushed away 380 million gallons after some kid peed in the Mount Tabor Municipal Water Supply....:)

    OK, enough pee jokes. Won't worry about dad....my own tires are only about four months old, so no worries here...
     
  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Father knows best?
    I just don't buy it.

    Almost seems like advocating for the cup with the hole in it, because you can pour so much more liquid into it without it overfilling.

    My speculation, and it IS pure speculation, is that your dad is just use to driving with tires in that condition. Therefore, until the rains hit...or the tire becomes totally unusable he perceives it as being just fine.

    But I have a lot of faith in the superiority of having "tread" in almost all conditions.

    I happen to live around Portland. Seen the Mt. Tabor Reservoir.
    My guess there? That kid wasn't the first to pee in it...just most recent to get caught.
     
  10. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Asked and answered.

    This is a classic case of being "right" but not being RIGHT.

    My own daughter is just now getting to the age where I'm not a complete moron any more, but I haven't reached the age where she rolls her eyes and says "Yes Daddy" and shorts my advice to ground like she did 10 years ago.
    Life is a wheel :)

    I'm sure that your Dad will get his attended to before they're too dangerous.
     
  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Actually, yes: Climate Prediction Center. Mouse over the links in the U.S. Drought Information box to display several maps.

    Only a moderate drought is marked for the Portland area. But about half the state is in severe drought. And you indicated that dad was in a more dry area, which is suggestive of that part east of the mountains.
     
  12. xraydoug

    xraydoug Active Member

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    many places city water comes from the river, there must be someone upstream that pees in it. I think it is stupid that they will let all that water go, don't they treat the water in Portland?
     
  13. xraydoug

    xraydoug Active Member

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    I replace my tires in the early fall also unless I am going on a long trip in hot summer weather that can cause a tire to fail. I have heard you get better mpg on a worn tire than on a new tire. so I guess if you are trying to win the OCD MPG contest you may want those bald tires. A bald tire is a sucker forpicking up a nail, flats are no fun so I will use tires until they need replaced then purchase new ones.(y)
     
  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    That reservoir is down-pipe from the treatment plant, so there was no additional treatment for this added pollution.

    As several reports pointed out, the dilution is enough that this was more of a PR issue than an actual health issue. There is no cover to protect against bird bombs either. But after 9/11, I'm surprised the fence is close enough to allow this to happen. Utility officials here appear to be much more protective.

    BTW, cyberprius slipped a decimal point. It was only 38,000,000 gallons.
     
  15. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    A worn tire is a worn tire. Unless you look you don't know what the inside sidewall of the tire has seen.
    That and DOD does not have excellent reflexes anymore and blow outs sometimes turn deadly. Especially in rugged
    territory.
     
  16. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    There is no question that low thread decreases traction in wet/snow/mud. Other than that, dry traction and fuel economy are up. Those are facts and not some speculation. One more thing, tire blowout is a function of low pressure, high temp/speed, tire age/weathering, broken belts, and has nothing to do with low thread.
     
  17. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Has everything to do with an old tire though. Even if the tread isn't that bad it still may be an old tire. Sidewall could be dry rotted. Life is to short to run on old tires. I've had my share of blow outs no more.
     
  18. xraydoug

    xraydoug Active Member

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    Often low tread = old tire. So the weathering old rubber, usually comes with low tread unless someone wears out tires in a couple of years. I think most often cars that have blow outs are due to low air pressure on hwy driving hot weather. I suggest if you are taking a long trip in the hot summer and your tires are old and worn get new ones. a flat on vacation is a bummer.(y)
     
  19. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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  20. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Well this, and the total failure of the sign the city put up.

    "We Don't Store Water In Your Toilet, So Don't Pee In Our Reservoir".
     
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