Backward treads

I had front tires put on my 2003 Mazda Protege5. The treads on the driver side tire go in the right direction but the treads on the passenger side tire go backward. They are installed with the outside facing outside but the treads are V shaped to push water away so I was wondering if having a driver side tire on the passenger side (thus having the treads running backward) would affect driving or traction.

It should say on the sidewall if the tires are directional or not-- look for arrows pointing one direction.

If these are directional tires, there should be an marker on the sidewall showing the proper direction of travel. If this marker is facing the wrong direction, take the car back, and have them mount the tire correctly. Some tires may look directional, but are not. Look for the directional marker to be sure. No marker means they are not directional.

Having a directional tire on backwards will compromise wet weather traction. They are way more prone to hydroplaning if backwards.

I looked for an arrow after they put them on but I couldn’t find one. I just checked Kumho’s website:

It does say they are unidirectional. I’m going to take it back tomorrow and make them put a passenger side tire on the passenger side (hopefully they have one around).

All they’ll need to do is remove the current tire, flip it over, and re-mount it. Or are these OWL (outline white-lettered) tires?

They are not OWLs but the tire does have an “outside” and “inside” marking and I don’t think I should put the outside on the inside…

Since you are the same person who posted the issue of a “knocking” sound coming from one wheel (most likely loose lug nuts), and since the new tires were mounted on the front of the car (in violation of good practice and tire company policy), I REALLY have to wonder about this place where you bought these tires.

If, in addition to those other screw-ups, they also mounted a directional tire on the wrong side of the car, then these people should not be in the tire business, as they are endangering the lives of their customers.

It’s common practice to mount unidirectional tires in either orientation. I used to have them mount my RWL tires with the lettering in when I couldn’t get them in blackwall. I can understand your reluctance, just letting you know it’s done and safe.

Tire Rack’s picture of the tire at shows an arrow. I guess yours looks different for some reason.