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Old 25-01-2008, 11:41   #1
philameena
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Tyre Experts - Hairline cracks in treads?

Just been to have 2 fronts fitted.
Bought them on BlackCircles.com (excellent) and they were delivered for fitting at a local tyre place which for now I shall not name.

They fitted the fronts OK and then I asked for the tracking to be done. Had to pay extra but it needed doing.

Whilst it was up on the ramps, the manager called me over to look at the rears. I know they'll need changing soon.. but they're not as bad as the fronts so I thought they'd last a couple of months at least.

The 'manager' bloke then proceeds to tell me they need changing "now". His basis for this is that at the bottom of the tread ditches there are tiny hairline cracks in the rubber running all round the tyre. They're not splitting or peeling.. it's an absolute micro hairline crack in the rubber. I wouldn't have looked twice at this.. but he said this meant they were "lethal".

This slightly concerned me.. until he then proceeded to ask why I'd picked the tyres I had just had fitted on the fronts (Falken 452s).. that these were cheap rubbish and he had a much better budget tyre.. in stock (quelle surprise!) that he could fit now.

I pretended poverty at this point and said I'd have to go away and save up.


My question.. is he right about these micro cracks (I thought all tyres would have these after time)? Or was he purely, as I reckon, trying to shift his budget tyre overstock (the brand of which I can't even remember.. but I'd never heard of it)
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Old 25-01-2008, 11:43   #2
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I've heard of this when sidewalls develop cracks, but they're more than hairline. How old are the tyres on the vehicle?

As for the Falkens being 'cheap crap' they might be cheap but they're working fine for me and a good few others - i don't find them lacking in anything that the supposed 'better' tyres had.
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Old 25-01-2008, 11:48   #3
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The tyres are 3 years old. Like I said.. I know they're at the end of their life and will be changing them soon anyway.

I know a crack in the sidewall is dangerous but the sidewalls are in perfect nick. In fact, apart from tread wear.. they're in pretty good shape.
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Old 25-01-2008, 11:50   #4
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TBH if they're 3 years old and nearly at the end of their service life, i'd get them replaced with what you put on the fronts - ti be entirely fair, none of my tyres last more than 10k miles which is about 9 months
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Old 25-01-2008, 11:51   #5
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do you do a lot or miles this normally happens when there old or they dont get used.
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Old 25-01-2008, 11:51   #6
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Regardless, I thought the rule was always put the new tyres on the back, ill try and dig up the link to the video i saw.
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Old 25-01-2008, 11:52   #7
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Cracking inbetween the treads means the rubber has become hard and no longer flexible, they have begun to perish, I'd replace them as soon as you can afford to.
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Old 25-01-2008, 11:58   #8
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not the link i was looking for but good all the same
clicky clicky

Personally, id get them done mate. At the end of the day, its what keeps you on the road! No point second guessing safety.....
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Old 25-01-2008, 12:09   #9
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Fair enough.

I might try a different fitting station though. I'm not going back there after he dissed my Falkens!!!
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Old 25-01-2008, 12:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philameena View Post
Fair enough.

I might try a different fitting station though. I'm not going back there after he dissed my Falkens!!!
some garages specailise in brands so the garage you probably went to specailise in Pirelli or Khumo so there guna diss them. we do it with other wheel brands lol
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Old 25-01-2008, 12:47   #11
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This is what the tyre garage said to me.

Infact reading your story was quite weird as I did EXACTLY the same.

Bought 2 new tyres via blackcircles (for the bald fronts) - they sent me details of a local garage that would fit them with a date and time.

The bloke in the garage asked why I had gone through blackcircles and not directly to him, I replied cos blackcircles were offering the tyre I wanted at a good price. He laughed and told me Falkens were crap Jap shit and not worth a penny (had 4 Falkens on my MKII golf and they were outstanding tyres, worked even better in the wet!)

Told me it would have been cheaper to gen Dunlops (best tyre in his opinion) directly from him without needing blackcircles.

He also told me my 2 back tyres were cracked and dangerous, so ended up buying another 2 Falkens direct from him. The cracks were slightly bigger than 'hairline' but only where the tread was, not on the walls etc.

When I told my old man he said I was a f-ing prick and most tyres over 1-2 years have cracks due to the summer/winter cycle.

But as I was driving around with a newborn the last thing I wanted was a blowout etc, so got them changed. I must say since getting the Leon I've checked the pressure alot more and it seems to be paying off with both economy and tyre life.
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Old 25-01-2008, 15:22   #12
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When he told me about the cracking being "lethal" I got quite worried. But then he started slagging off the FK452s as cheap crap.. I knew he was just talking shite.
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Old 25-01-2008, 15:38   #13
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I would have gotten two new tyres aswell.
A betting man would wait until...............................
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Old 25-01-2008, 16:11   #14
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I got MY52 Leon in 2006 sep I put some new fronts on around Nov/Dec Kumho SPT's they were about 40 quid each off flea bay.

Changed all 4 tyres in Sep/Oct last year and got told the Kumhos were dead.... I didnt ask why but knew I could trust the garage and also knew that the tyres were covered in hair line cracks and had done 10K+

Glad I didnt argue the toss for some nackered spare tyres(incase of punchers, as I had 2 in one month ) .
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Old 25-01-2008, 16:32   #15
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The legal part of the hairline cracks is............ there is nothing. As for lethal, dunno but like you said there 3 years old so changing them would be the best idea.

Also like mentioned above you should, when replacing front tyres, put the rears on the front and the new ones on the rear. Ford did an experiment in dif conditions and found that this way was the best. I think it has something to do with grip and wear.

As a rule I have always done this and found (obviously) that I dont get the cracks.

For the record I have the Kuhmos on mine.
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Old 25-01-2008, 17:36   #16
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For the record, I like Kumhos and look to put these on my cars when I replace tyres.

You should also always put new tyres on the back. If you in a car, it's the rear of your car that goes out the majority of the time - you need the extra grip at the back.
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Old 25-01-2008, 18:11   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4i View Post
Told me it would have been cheaper to gen Dunlops (best tyre in his opinion) directly from him without needing blackcircles.
did you get a quote in writing ?
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Old 25-01-2008, 18:17   #18
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Originally Posted by Neg. View Post
Regardless, I thought the rule was always put the new tyres on the back, ill try and dig up the link to the video i saw.
Im a mechanic and when we put new tyres on, they go on the front. Thats where you get traction, braking and steering mainly.
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Old 25-01-2008, 18:42   #19
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Yep same here i'm a Mitsubishi Mechanic and Mitsi recommend that tyres should be rotated on service so that most grip goes to the driven wheels

but that said i did put the Falkens i bought last year on the back, but this was because i wanted to "Kill off" the last of my GSD3's so i'd have a matching set just fitted 2 new FK452's today and they've gone on the front
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Old 25-01-2008, 23:53   #20
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Sorry guys, but i cant find a single link to back up the "new tyres on the front", all links say the same, new tyres go on the rear. Viki on 5th gear also did a test and tried both, and said new tyres go on the back.
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