Uni-directional tires


#1

what happens to uni-directional tires if you run them on the wrong side of the vehicle for a while? i can imagine that always rolling the same direction could exacerbate some minor wear issues over the long term and am wondering if reversing the tires for a few hundred or even a couple thousand miles would harm them or might smooth out certain types of wear.


#2

They aren’t designed for that. They’re designed to roll one way only. There’s no need to swap sides with them.


#3

I think you should avoid uni-directional tires since if you wish to reverse the rotation direction of your tires. The tread design of uni-directional tires is intended to channel water from under the tire. If you run them backwards you might find handling issues and reduced traction especially on wet roads.

Uneven wear wouldn’t be resolved in just a short time anyway, so you’d best stick to tires that you can reverse the direction.


#4

Reversing the direction of unidirectional tires isn’t safe. You end up with less traction, and in wet conditions, that can really be hazardous.

If you are having issues with uneven wear on unidirectional tires, identify and resolve the issue by fixing what needs to be adjusted. Sometimes, with uneven tire wear, you need the alignment adjusted, and sometimes, with uneven tire wear, the driver needs to be adjusted. In any case, uneven wear should mean you identify the problem and fix it, and reversing unidirectional tires doesn’t fix the problem.

UT, doesn’t a unidirectional tread pattern also reduce rolling resistance?


#5

Depends on the tire. A lot of unidirectional tires are performance tires. Rolling resistance isn’t really a consideration when you’re going for maximum grip.


#6

The difference between directional tires and non-directional tires is small - and it only affects wet and snow traction.

There is no inherent difference in the way a directional tire wears due to rotation. Any experinces people have in this area is due to other factors like differences between tires (meaning make and model) and NOT the difference between the directionality.

So returning a directional tire to its proper rotation direction is what needs to be done to get back the small traction improvment, but the tire was not adversely affected during the period of time it was rotating the wrong direction.


#7

Capri, I agree with your conclusions, but would point out that even a modest difference in traction can make the difference between life or death in a pouring rain on a dark highway. And as the tread wears away, even a small difference becomes exascerbated.

The tires should be moved to their proper sides.


#8

My question regarding the reversing would be if j_p_buckman meant taking the tire off the rim on one side then remounting it on the rim other side so the arrows are pointing the correct way.


#9

My cop car Crown Vic has uni-directional Good Year Eagle performance tires on it…I had a flat, had to install the spare…Same kind of tire…it was on the wrong side, turning the wrong way…It worked okay, but it was REALLY noisy, which motivated me to fix the flat and return the spare to the trunk…

On a dry road at normal speeds, traction or safety really isn’t an issue…But the noise will drive you nuts…