The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

26 October 2007

Speed rating

Tuesday, you may remember, I discovered something that is generally referred to as a "road hazard," the sort of thing that turns a tire into basically a paperweight for the Amazing Colossal Man.

That afternoon, about two, I contacted the Tire Rack and ordered a replacement. It arrived in the city just after noon yesterday, and was installed that afternoon.

In the interim, I got some experience with the spare, which apparently had never been on the ground before. To everyone's surprise, it was a full-size tire, not one of those shrunken-donut jobs, and it was a fairly substantial name: a Toyo Proxes. The previous owner, I surmise, had sprung for five of the Toyos when the OEM tires (probably Bridgestones) wore out, and eventually replaced four of them with BFGoodrich Touring T/As.

Which, I suppose, invites a question: how long should a set of tires last? My current Dunlops are considered "High-Performance All-Season Tires," which the Tire Rack explains as follows:

You want all-season versatility (including light snow traction) to drive your sports coupe or sedan in all weather conditions.

Branded with the M+S symbol, these low profile tires are designed to provide year-round traction (even in light snow) through tread designs and compounds that remain flexible in the cold weather to help blend all-season traction with good handling.

In Gwendolyn's size (215/55VR16), these tires carry a Uniform Tire Quality Grade of 460 AA A. This only hints at tread life: a tire rated 200 is supposed to outlast a tire rated 100 by a factor of two, but how long does the 100-rated tire last? I'm hoping for four years/45,000 miles on this set. (The longest I've ever managed to keep a set of tires going was right around 50k, on Bridgestone's lower-end Turanzas.)

Posted at 3:01 PM to Driver's Seat

The tire couldn't be patched?

I never have good tire wear because I live six miles from pavement. By the time my tread is two thirds gone, the patches are touching each other. Plus, the tread disappears faster.

Of course, since the quality of the tire I buy is generally just above "rim protector," maybe that might have something to do with it. Never have discovered a way around the nails on dirt roads, though.

Posted by: Jeffro at 3:31 PM on 26 October 2007

The screw managed to come through the very edge of the sidewall, so no repair.

John Phillips of Car and Driver took a Corvette up through the Northwest Territories of Canada this year, and managed not to destroy a tire. Then again, he was on run-flats, which had sidewalls, he said, usable for bridge construction.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:00 PM on 26 October 2007

I suppose we could switch to Tweels.

Posted by: Jeffro at 7:31 PM on 26 October 2007