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Discuss Is legal safe? in the alt.autos.hyundai forum at Car Dealer Forums; Concerned that my tires seem worn took the car (2001 Elantra) into Sears today, the ...
  1. #1
    Irwell
    Guest

    Default Is legal safe?

    Concerned that my tires seem worn took the car (2001 Elantra) into
    Sears today, the service writer measured them all with
    what looks like a depth caliper.

    He said the tread is still within legal limits, suggested
    a rotation, which we did..



    › See More: Is legal safe?

  2. #2
    hyundaitech
    Guest

    Default Re: Is legal safe?

    On Mar 22, 4:26*pm, Irwell <h...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    > Concerned that my tires seem worn took the car (2001 Elantra) into
    > Sears today, the service writer measured them all with
    > what looks like a depth caliper.
    >
    > He said the tread is still within legal limits, suggested
    > a rotation, which we did..


    This is all relative. In most areas the legal limit for tread wear is
    2/32". At this depth, if you're driving through standing water or
    snow, you're going to have difficulty. In wet weather, you'll need to
    be careful.

    If I'm going to be doing driving in snow, I want 5/32" minimum on the
    drive wheels. But as we don't get very much snow here, I tend to ride
    my tires out and deal with making alternate plans if it snows and
    they're worn.

    Ultimately, it's up to you. Did they tell you what the measurements
    were?

  3. #3
    Irwell
    Guest

    Default Re: Is legal safe?

    On Tue, 22 Mar 2011 14:37:43 -0700 (PDT), hyundaitech wrote:

    > On Mar 22, 4:26*pm, Irwell <h...@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >> Concerned that my tires seem worn took the car (2001 Elantra) into
    >> Sears today, the service writer measured them all with
    >> what looks like a depth caliper.
    >>
    >> He said the tread is still within legal limits, suggested
    >> a rotation, which we did..

    >
    > This is all relative. In most areas the legal limit for tread wear is
    > 2/32". At this depth, if you're driving through standing water or
    > snow, you're going to have difficulty. In wet weather, you'll need to
    > be careful.
    >
    > If I'm going to be doing driving in snow, I want 5/32" minimum on the
    > drive wheels. But as we don't get very much snow here, I tend to ride
    > my tires out and deal with making alternate plans if it snows and
    > they're worn.
    >
    > Ultimately, it's up to you. Did they tell you what the measurements
    > were?


    Thanks for the input.
    No he did not mention and I didn't ask, isn't there
    some old method using a dime.
    I'll make a more precise measurement myself to be sure.

  4. #4
    Ed Pawlowski
    Guest

    Default Re: Is legal safe?


    "Irwell" <hook@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:r9w99509dyrg.jo9n6y0zl7ah$.dlg@40tude.net...
    > Concerned that my tires seem worn took the car (2001 Elantra) into
    > Sears today, the service writer measured them all with
    > what looks like a depth caliper.
    >
    > He said the tread is still within legal limits, suggested
    > a rotation, which we did..


    Tires have wear indicators molded into the tread. If you can see them, they
    are no longer legal and tires should be replaced. If they are not visible,
    they are probably safe for normal driving. The wear indicator is a strip of
    rubber across the tread that is recessed in the tread and shows when the
    tread is worn.

    If you drive in snow or carry heavy loads, that should be considered also.
    If the tires are the originals at 10 years old, they may be getting brittle
    from age. I'm not sure, but the tire makers are saying something like 4
    years or so as maximum.


  5. #5
    hyundaitech
    Guest

    Default Re: Is legal safe?

    On Mar 22, 8:19*pm, "Ed Pawlowski" <e...@snetnospam.net> wrote:
    > If you drive in snow or carry heavy loads, that should be considered also..
    > If the tires are the originals at 10 years old, they may be getting brittle
    > from age. I'm not sure, but the tire makers are saying something like 4
    > years or so as maximum.


    Tire manufacturers want to sell tires. In my opinion-- and I have no
    empirical backing to support this, of course-- is that they'll last
    much longer than four years in many cases. Some tire industry
    knucklehead told me it was the law that tires had to be replaced after
    they were five years old. My tires typically never make four years
    old (that'd be about 100,000 miles), but if they did, I'd judge their
    age-condition on the amount of cracking in the tread and sidewalls. I
    think that's a much better indicator than any hard-and-fast time rule.

  6. #6
    Victek
    Guest

    Default Re: Is legal safe?

    >"Irwell" wrote in message
    >news:r9w99509dyrg.jo9n6y0zl7ah$.dlg@40tude.net. ..
    >
    >Concerned that my tires seem worn took the car (2001 Elantra) into
    >Sears today, the service writer measured them all with
    >what looks like a depth caliper.
    >
    >He said the tread is still within legal limits, suggested
    >a rotation, which we did..
    >

    I buy and have my tires maintained at Sears and a complicating factor is the
    tread warranty. Sears will prorate the tires if they wear out before they
    reached the stated mileage. In other words if you buy a tire rated at 65k
    miles and it wears out at 40k you get money back toward the purchase of a
    new tire. The money back part is good, however Sears considers a tire "worn
    out" when the wear indicators are flush with the tread, which is at or below
    2/32nd" I was in this situation recently where I was feeling concerned
    about the minimal tread, but I had to wait longer to get them prorated.
    Fortunately the weather is generally dry where I am. otherwise it would have
    been a dubious choice to wait.


  7. #7
    Ed Pawlowski
    Guest

    Default Re: Is legal safe?


    "Irwell" <hook@yahoo.com> wrote
    >> new tire. The money back part is good, however Sears considers a tire
    >> "worn
    >> out" when the wear indicators are flush with the tread, which is at or
    >> below
    >> 2/32nd" I was in this situation recently where I was feeling concerned
    >> about the minimal tread, but I had to wait longer to get them prorated.
    >> Fortunately the weather is generally dry where I am. otherwise it would
    >> have
    >> been a dubious choice to wait.

    >
    > Thanks for that information. That is my dilemma too, only
    > we are experiencing very heavy rainfalls here in North West
    > California, maybe I will take it to the AAA office for an independant
    > assessment.


    The wear indicators were put where they are after a lot of research and
    testing by tire makers and by safety people in the government. Without
    them, people would use tires until bald, like some of us did when teenagers.
    If you don't feel confident, just buy new tires.

    Tread design channels the water so the tire can make contact with the road.
    The amount of water, the road surface, speed, and contaminants on the road,
    all affect how well that works. Only you can put a price on peace of mind.


  8. #8
    Voyager
    Guest

    Default Re: Is legal safe?

    Irwell wrote:
    > Concerned that my tires seem worn took the car (2001 Elantra) into
    > Sears today, the service writer measured them all with
    > what looks like a depth caliper.
    >
    > He said the tread is still within legal limits, suggested
    > a rotation, which we did..


    Safe for what?

    For dry pavement, tires are safe until bald as long as no cords are
    showing anyway.

    For lightly wet pavement, 2/32" is plenty.

    For 1" of standing water, 1/2" of tread isn't enough.

    There is no absolute standard for "safety."

    I run my tires down to the wear bars and even a little beyond if I don't
    have an inspection coming up. I rotate and maintain my own tires
    (weekly or so pressure and tread checks) so I am aware at all times of
    the status of my tires. I adjust my driving accordingly. If it is
    pouring rain, I take a difference vehicle that has more tread on the
    tires. If dry, I drive the worn tire vehicle. If I get caught in the
    rain, I either wait it out or drive much more slowly being conscious of
    the risk of hydroplaning.

    I also run tire pressures at the upper limit for the tire as this also
    reduces hyrdoplaning. While there is no formula for cars to predict
    hydroplane speed, it IS a function of tire pressure and more pressure is
    better as the NASA formula shows. However, this is for aircraft tires
    which are more alike than are car tires and runways are a more
    consistent surface than are roads so don't take the speed from this
    formula as being applicable to cars. However the RELATIONSHIP between
    tire pressure and onset of hydroplaning is applicable.

    http://www.mountainflying.com/Pages/...roplaning.html

    Matt

  9. #9
    Richard Steinfeld
    Guest

    Default Re: Is legal safe?

    Irwell wrote:
    > No he did not mention and I didn't ask, isn't there
    > some old method using a dime.
    > I'll make a more precise measurement myself to be sure.


    Within my long life, I've sometimes had to gird my loins when
    dealing with tire shops. I noted that some of these guys didn't
    check tire pressure at all, while others didn't have accurate
    pressure gauges.

    So, a while back, I decided to buy my own tread depth gauge.
    Well, not so fast: none of the chain stores had any. In my area,
    we still have one, and only one, _real_ car parts store. You know
    what I mean: the sort of place where they have good products and
    the guys behind the counter are seasoned and know their stuff.
    They have a substantial business delivering parts to independent
    repair shops and have branches in other cities in the region.

    They didn't have a depth gauge in the shop, but they did have a
    few in their warehouse a few blocks away. The gauge was cheap and
    it hangs in my garage. It can be handy for seeing how the tire's
    wearing. Using a coin is good for a near-death condition, but I
    like having the gauge, which is well-designed and has a few
    different scales on it.

    Richard

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