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Directional tires

what is the danger of running directional tires backwards?

Quicker/uneven wear, bad handling/traction, road noise, voids warranty, etc. Unless of course you are planning to always drive in reverse.


The purpose of directional tires is wet traction (and in some cases, snow traction.)

So the only danger is slightly reduced grip in wet (or snow) conditions. Pull, wear, and dry traction properties are unaffected.

But why would you run these types of tires backwards - except by mistake?

I would submit that teh difference in wet traction may be significant The V moves water away from the center. Mounted backwards they’d push water toward the center, increasing the likelihood of hydroplaning.

Back when Goodyear first came out with the Aquatred, the tire company I worked for tested the tire for wet traction - backwards and forwards - and there was only a 10% difference. This means that a non-directional tire with an otherwise identical tread pattern would only be 5% worse. In my view that is a small difference.

Had The Titanic Steered A Course Just 5% Leeward . . .

I agree that it’s a small difference, but one never knows how useful it might be. I think the 10% figure is probably more important to the Marketing Department’s Bottom Line.


Since I am always seeking the ideal, I would run them in the proper direction, even if only 5% gain.

What is a directional tire?
Have never seen one other than a farm tractor tire.

Thank you.

What is a directional tire?
Have never seen one other than a farm tractor tire.

They are common for high performance tires. This is what some of them look like.

Why do you feel a need to know?

That’s for that tire only.

I’ve not seen any testing for a range of the more common V patterned tires, without the center relief channel, and I’d suspect that those without the center channel would hav a more significant differencee.

This would be a good experiment for Mythbusters.