Weird tire situation ?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Chris Wolfgram, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Chris Wolfgram

    Chris Wolfgram Active Member

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    Alright, so first off the Toyo Nano energy A41's that came on my 2019 Prius LE have been great tires. Always gave me excellent traction, even on wet roads. Even had them in a few icy conditions where they actually did better than I would have expected.

    So now, they have 52K on them, and quite surprisingly, they have a good amount of tread left on all 4 of them. Dry evenly worn too. Totally legal for probably another 30K miles !
    However, they seem to really be losing their grip ? I'm really noticing it on big sweeping circular freeway ramps... Plus, just by coincidence, I've had to slam on the brakes a couple times in the last week, and even with traction control, they seems to break loose and skid more than they ever have ?

    Now I know the traction and handling performance of tires goes away somewhat as they near the end of their life. I'm just surprised that they look so good, and have so much rubber left after 52K, yet seem to really be losing there performance ?

    Honestly, I'm doing okay on $ right now, and would have no problem replacing them. I'd just feel kind of dumb when they still look so good. I guarantee a tire place would throw them up on their shelf and sell them used for $50 each. Your thoughts ?
     
  2. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    You worry too much.
    It sounds like your analysis is probably correct.
    So replace them and don't look back.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how much tread is left, have you measured it? depending on your driving style and rain, it might be too little
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    There's a difference between the amount of tread required to pass a visual check of the wear bars and the amount of tread needed to displace standing water at your preferred highway speeds.

    Might also be worth checking alignment, particularly rear axle.
     
  5. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

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    Mine have 49k miles on them but they are getting low on tread. Gonna replace them before the rainy season.
     
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I have noticed that effect with every set of tires I've ever had and paid attention to, in several different brands. I watch the tread wear and compare to the tread wear rating and projected miles and even when that seems to be right on track, the grip, even on clean dry pavement, takes a much earlier nosedive.

    I've read some explanations saying the rubber compound is not uniformly grippy through the full depth of the tread, but that harder stuff is exposed as the tread wears. I've read other explanations just saying the aging of the rubber has hardened it. I don't know if either one is 'the' explanation, but there must be some explanation, because experience has convinced me there's a real phenomenon there.
     
  7. robsnyder20

    robsnyder20 Active Member

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    Totally agree with you. As tires get harder as they wear out, they get slicker, which increases MPG. However I don't enjoy white knuckling my steering wheel driving slowly in the rain. Since swapping out to Michelin defenders in 2019, despite the MPG hit of 2-3 MPG, I can freely drive the car in the rain very quick and handles the best of any car I ever drove
     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Bugs me when I start unintendedly peeling out in ordinary starts on dry pavement with plenty of tread depth left. Sure, instant motor torque is part of it, but it isn't something that happens much in my driving style, and generally doesn't when the tires are new.
     
  9. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Active Member

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    My OEM tires were evenly worn, rotated regularly, totally legal, but worn at 27,000 miles. I replaced them (for Touranzas) due to the tropical storm rains we get here - which are in season. I wanted deeper and open sipes, and the Touranzas had that for rain driving. If this was still the dry season I probably would have held off a little while longer.

    That's great that you drive that smoothly that you aren't going through tires. I bought my 2019 Prius in August or September 2019, did not notice any hardening of the tires, but then I haven't put them through as many miles as you have. Any chance you've spent an appreciable number of miles on the very hot pavements of the desert out there? Hot pavement or hot black asphalt (I wish there was a white asphalt sealant for tire life instead of black) kills the life of tires.
     
  10. Chris Wolfgram

    Chris Wolfgram Active Member

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    Oh yes... Between last Summer and this Summer so far, we have probably had 25 100F + degree days, and a few of 110F or more. But hey, it's pretty doable with 10-25% humidity
     
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  11. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

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    How fast do you drive? 99% of my driving is to and from work at 55 or lower.
     
  12. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Active Member

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    Still, take into account the tarmac / pavement temperature, and the effect the road temps have on the tires. Those drives baked them, and caused them to age prematurely.

    Something I've seen from the retired old-timers who have learned how to save a buck: on blacktop parking lots where they park they will drive all four tires onto 1-inch boards (imagine an 8" or 10" wide 1" board about a foot long under each tire) to save their tires from the heat. These folks don't drive a lot, so it's worth the time to get the boards in place. Some of them leave cars down here in the summer to go home to where it is cooler, and they also leave the car parked on boards to insulate the tires from the heat of the parking lots. (Here in the big truck industry, it's those same black-sealed asphalt parking lots that seem to kill certain truck's batteries that sit exposed in their black battery boxes.)

    I'm not writing that you have any hope of driving on boards, lol, but that there is a case that the heat will destroy tires (make them dry-rot by cooking the oils / ingredients out of them).
     
    #12 Mambo Dave, Jul 30, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  13. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Active Member

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    Understandable if you have a short commute.

    75% of my commute can be at 80 to 92 - keeping up with traffic. Best not be in the left hand lanes if only doing 80 though. If traffic is going slowly, that's 72 to 75 MPH. About 14 miles each way of that, only then is it on to side-streets at 40 to 60.
     
  14. Chris Wolfgram

    Chris Wolfgram Active Member

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    Update; I feel kind of dumb to have not noticed it from the start, but although my tires were wearing flat nearly all the way across, they were worn down pretty low, only on the front, inside corners. Backs are fine. Now I'm sure somebody will say that is an alignment issue, but Id say two things about that, 1) the tires gave me 53K miles, and 2) my buddies 2019 Prius LE, did the same thing on his first, second, and 3rd sets of tires... just like mine on his front tires only. Hasn't gotten any worse on his with the additional wear on the car (he's at 155K miles, on his 2019)

    Long story short, I bought a pair of new tires, for the front., and now my traction is excellent. I will watch them close, and when I start to see some wear on the front inside corners, I will buy another pair, and rotate the fronts to the back. As long as I'm getting 50K per tire, and steering and braking straight, I'm not going to worry about my alignment.
     
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  15. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Be careful - if you have better tyres on the front, you'll risk dangerous oversteer!!! The best tyres should always be on the back.
     
  16. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Thank you. I just KNEW that this thread could not end without someone saying that. :whistle:

    The truth varies some depending on the circumstances and the experience and skill of the driver.
    While what you said is true for most drivers who have little or no experience dealing with loss of traction on the rear, if you DO have experience with that and know how to handle it (and prevent it), the possibility of under-steer caused by loss of traction on the front can be a MUCH worse situation.......because there is virtually no way to correct for that after it happens.
     
  17. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Active Member

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    The only time I hydroplaned, it was the loss of the rear tires that caused it. So there is something to it, but that's also with very worn highways (troughs that trap water ... maybe still an issue in the state that it happened in, but I've never seen highways that bad around here, nor in the last 30 years) and speed.
     
  18. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Active Member

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    The only time I hydroplaned, it was the loss of the rear tires that caused it. So there is something to it, but that's also with very worn highways (troughs that trap water ... maybe still an issue in the state that it happened in, but I've never seen highways that bad around here, nor in the last 30 years) and speed.
     
  19. Chris Wolfgram

    Chris Wolfgram Active Member

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    I do think their could be some truth to that.... especially if my rears were very worn, and getting lousy traction. But in fact, the rears look great. I think any loss of traction I was hearing (squealing) was all comin g from my fronts. So I think I'm good for now.
     
  20. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I had a tyre fitter refuse to correctly fit the NEW tyres to the REAR of my vehicle - so I wrote to the manufacturer - and this was the reply. I also wrote to a Motoring Magazine, and the overwhelming response was agreement.

    This came 20 years after my only major accident was as a result of new tyres on the front wheels of a FWD car. Fortunately I wasn't badly hurt - but the car was badly damaged (particularly the roof where it landed). I've known 2 other people who had major accidents (one sideways into a tree) - within 2 weeks of each other - both with new tyres on the front wheels.

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