Jimmy writes:Sajeev,For years I traded in my Hondas and Toyotas within 18 months of purchase. However, I did not care for the newest Highlander, Pilot, and Camry, so I kept the old ones hoping the next versions would be more acceptable. While I have not had a single problem with these vehicles, with the exceptions of a few light bulbs, I’ve noticed Michelin Green X and the Continental ContiProContact have small cracks in the tread grooves. The tires have 40,000 and 55,000 miles on them with lots of tread left. I have asked tire stores and some say don’t worry while others say they are dangerous.What is the rule for tire replacements when it comes to cracks in the tread grooves?Sajeev answers:A timely query: my once-new 2011 Ford Ranger is old enough for new rubber. I noticed those cracks, even with decent tread and “good” rubber between them and the wear bars. And, just like you, I certainly ain’t trading it in for a new Ranger anytime … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Safe Thinking on Dry-Rotted Tires?
“Hey!” Across the parking lot, my brother was yelling at somebody. “HEY! DO YOU HAVE A FLAG AT THAT CORNER? YES? YOU DO? YOU REALLY HAVE A FLAG? ARE YOU SURE? ABOUT HAVING THE FLAG? YES? THEN WAVE THE FUCKING THING NEXT TIME, YOU IDIOT, SO NOBODY GETS KILLED!”It was ninety-four degrees at noon, with no shade available anywhere, and tempers were flaring. My son was sitting a hundred feet away in Bark’s Fiesta, making a waving motion at me that I interpreted as If you don’t leave your corner station and get me water, I’ll die in this hot car like a dog. But then he gave me a thumbs-up, which my paranoid mind interpreted as I just want to let you know you’re a great dad… before I die from the heat.This was shaping up to be the worst autocross ever. For some of us, anyway. For my brother, who had already said that he wanted to go home at lunch. For my son, who was dying of heatstroke. For me, too; my leg hurt like hell … [Read more...] about Trackday Diaries: So Very Tired
When Maggie Dajani realized that the tire-pressure warning light was on in the van she’d rented to take six teenagers and their parents to a One Direction concert in El Paso, she took the van back to the rental company. A representative of the company, Star Limo, told her not to worry. She then continued to the concert. Shortly afterwards, the van blew two tires and rolled over. Several motorists helped drag the ten passengers out of the van, which was filling with smoke. The children went to the hospital with various injuries, and one of them reportedly received one hundred and fifty stitches as a result.Now, the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission has delivered a very, ahem, business-friendly verdict on the whole ordeal. Turns out that Star Limo is the beneficiary of a unique combination of regulatory conditions.There is little doubt about the circumstances of the accident, as reported late last year: According to State Police, the driver was driving at a safe speed when … [Read more...] about Rental Van With Low-Pressure Tire Warning Rolls, Injuring Six Children; No Charges To Be Filed
The United States International Trade Commission issued a split 3-3 ruling on a petition regarding Chinese tires filed by the United Steel Workers under U.S. Antidumping and Countervailing Duty (AD/CVD) laws. That means that — in all likelihood — the United States will put tariffs or other controls on tires imported from China. Counterintuitively, not one of the nine domestic American tire companies that produce 100 percent of the tires made here supports the AD/CVD petition.Don Ikenson at Forbes explains the domestic tire producers’ lack of support for the ruling is due to the steel workers union not really being interested in stopping Chinese imports, but rather gaining power to use against their negotiating partners here in the United States.The United Steel Workers represents about 40 percent of American tire workers. They were the sole petitioner that argued the domestic manufacturers are the victims of unfair trade. The problem with that … [Read more...] about US Tire Makers Oppose New Restrictions On Chinese Tires – It’s A Union Thing
“Fiesta, Fiesta, Fiesta.”Our own Bark M. found himself in Los Angeles, so why not crash The Smoking Tire Podcast and praise the Fiesta ST a bit?King Farah of Lexus was joined by Bark and Jeff Glucker of Hooniverse to talk about the Fiesta, autocross (where Bark predicts future hatemail), haters, and the GT350R for starters.If you’re allowed to drink at work, take a sip of Glenfiddich Single Malt for every f-bomb. … [Read more...] about Bark M. On The Smoking Tire, This Time With Added Soberness
TTAC Commentator Land Ark writes:Hello again, Sajeev!I’ve been wondering about tire pressure for a while. I changed the wheels and tires on my car which originally came with 14-inch wheels and high profile bias-ply tires. The new tires are 255/40/18.How do I account for the drastically different sizes when it comes to determining the correct air pressure I should run in the new tires?I have the original sticker which says to run 24 psi up front and 28 in back. That seems low so I usually keep it around 33 in the front and 38 in the back. But I have no basis for these numbers other than what it says for my other cars. Is there any sort of guide to figure it out?Keep up the great work! Sajeev answers:ZOMG.That is a fantastic restomod, proving once again that the 1967 Impala is a seriously under-appreciated Bowtie.No matter, your owner’s manual or body sticker is intended for application to bias ply tires, so it’s now irrelevant. Those … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Land Ark’s Radial Tire Pressure Bias?
Kai writes:Hi Sajeev,I could use a good, concise opinion regarding all-season tires. Researching this on the internet is more confusing than researching “chest pain” on WebMD, so you get to be the doctor on this. We’ve got a 2007 Honda CR-V, which my wife drives in 4-season weather about 1,000 miles/month. There are no major snow months here but there is a bit of rain and a couple good snowstorms a year. The CR-V is a great little car, light on the back end despite being 4WD and has 18-inch rims versus the OEM-fitted 17-inchers.The tires are low on tread and should be replaced after 20,000 miles. I thought I had all-seasons on the Honda, but turns out they were winter tires with a “M+S” rating. They are Vredestein imports, which I wouldn’t buy again due to being very noisy and having poor traction on ice and wet surfaces. I really want to stay with all-seasons (I don’t want to hassle changing them every 6 months) and am willing to … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Get Your M+S, Be the All-Season Tire MD
TTAC Commentator 70Cougar writes:Sajeev,I am probably the first owner of a Civic Si to ever want to downsize his rims, so I’m looking to the expert on -1 matters: you. (Woot! –SM)I have a 2007 Honda Civic Si sedan with the factory 17-inch wheels. I’ve always preferred the same generation EX’s 16-inch five spoke rims, and I wouldn’t mind a smoother ride and cheaper replacement tires if I still get decent handling performance out of the 16s.Would the 16-inch rims fit around the brakes on the Si and otherwise safely function on my car? Would there be a significant decline in handling performance?Sajeev answers:I should be the reason why bangin’ big-ass wheels are dumped for smaller ones!The first determination is front rotor size. Rears are almost always smaller, therefore irrelevant. Snooping around RockAuto, the Si has a much larger front rotor compared to its more plebian counterparts. Oh dear:Civic Si front rotor diameter: … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Si or No to ‘Minus 1’ Tire Sizing?
Suppose you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle and you’re looking to fit a set of winter tires. Also, let’s assume that two of those tires have much more tread depth than the other two. On which end of the car do you install the better rubber?According to the CBC, a woman in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada (that’s my town!) ran into just this problem, complete with conflicting advice from two repair shops: One said putting the fresher rubber up front is safer as the vehicle is front-wheel drive, while the other said giving the rear more grip is the best course of action to reduce the chance of a spin out.Which one is correct?The vehicle in question, owned by Susan Hachey, is a 10-year-old Toyota Echo. She bought two brand-new winter tires and had them fitted to the Echo by Costco, along with two older tires she already owned.Later, she went to her local Toyota dealership for an oil change. CBC explains:“As they were doing the oil change … [Read more...] about Winter Tires: Business Up Front or Party in the Back?
BFGoodrich’s All-Terrain T/A tires can be found everywhere, from your local construction site to the most grueling of off-road races. I’ve fitted some of my trucks with the original KO and used them on and off-road, so I was curious what improvements BFGoodrich could bring to its latest iteration: the new KO2.BFGoodrich brought me up to Bethel, Maine to test out its new tire in the nearby hills — and to catch this year’s Red Bull Frozen Rush.The Frozen Rush trucks run a one-off spiked version of the same tire, but I was more interested in the street version that might adorn one of my (or your) vehicles.It was quickly apparent the KO2’s thicker shoulder had deviated from the traditional KO design. Along with that bulkier shoulder was a new serrated pattern on the sidewall. The aggressive features certainly looked fit for an off-road adventure, so that’s just what we did.After a brief morning presentation, we … [Read more...] about Tire Test: BFGoodrich KO2 in the Snowy Hills of Maine