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  Wheels - Tread Depth

Before we go into the question where tires with greater tread depth belong to, we should first clarify a few things in principle. And hopefully at least these statements will be understandable for laymen and specialists alike. Tyres with different tread depths should not be on the same vehicle, not between the front and rear axle and certainly not on the same axle.

Why? Because tyres have different properties depending on the tread depth. Roughly simplified one could also call completely worn out tyres slicks. Of course, in racing they have a completely different rubber mixture and almost stick to the road. But there must be something to the omission of the profile.

So would you please agree with me that worn tires build up more lateral forces on dry roads than tires with tread of the same age. So what is the tread for? So that in wet conditions the so damaging water between the tires and the road can escape laterally.

So maybe it is best not to give any general tips at all about where the best tyres belong. Because every halfway careful normal driver will drive slower than normal through curves in the wet, so he/she will not be embarrassed to use the possible lateral guidance of the outside tires.

They are much safer with the best tyres at the front. Because while you can adapt your behaviour in bends to the conditions, the dangers of possible aquaplaning on the front axle are much more difficult to foresee. In addition, even professionals are powerless against suddenly occurring aquaplaning.

There you suddenly find yourself on a piece of road with a slightly higher water level. This can happen even on the highway. Braking can even increase aquaplaning. Once you drive onto a suitably equipped traffic practice area, you will see what it means to be absolutely powerless when it comes to speed and direction of your vehicle.

And where does the instruction come from to mount the best tyres on the rear axle? These are obviously the ones that make it through corners even in the wet. They are dependent on the last bit of lateral guidance and have often had the experience of going too far. This punishes wetness much more than normal drivers and even more unexpectedly than normal drivers.

But they also do not drive cars that understeer in an emergency, like good normal drivers. No, they are looking for the challenge of oversteering. Counter-steering is much more spectacular, it proves more skill at the steering wheel, so to speak. So, when you get tips from people like that, consider the background.

And with whom would the tire industry agree? With a lot more curve robbers than with engineers? Who do you think will be able to sell more and more expensive tyres, the good normal driver or the halftime rally specialist? I.e. the tyre industry actually gives tips, the majority of which are suitable for their clientele.

Speaking of tips: And when specialists, such as the ADAC editors, give tips for so-called normal drivers, it is not uncommon for them to go wrong. Well, the first one is still healthy, namely to change the tyres from front to back axle and vice versa.

But then comes the hammer: If the tyres are not directional, you should change diagonally every 10,000 km at the latest to avoid sawing. Such a thing comes straight from the moth box of post-war tips on how to be extremely economical.

You will of course ask what can be disadvantageous about removing the tread blocks evenly from front to back rather than at an angle? Quite simply, you have to consider the situation immediately after changing the tyres. Because such a replacement is naturally associated with an immediately effective deterioration of the properties.

Depending on speed and wheel load, a certain slip angle is set for a given static friction.

There is nothing worse than habit in these cases. Does someone consider such a change before he/she acts in risky situations? Has anyone ever informed him/her about the consequences of such a change? Therefore, please do without diagonal exchange and the last cent of thriftiness. And take a look at your operating instructions. It usually rules out such nonsense.

Tread depth at the front is more important as protection against aquaplaning than at the rear.

English undertitles are possible . . .

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