Tire break in period— why they need a break in period
Tires are made with multiple components, including different types of rubber, steel and fabric. The components are assembled and then put under high pressure inside a mold where hot steam is injected to bond the materials together and vulcanize the rubber.
To aid in the tire’s release from the mold, the mold is pre-treated with a slippery release agent and that slippery material sticks to the outer surface of the tire. That release agent must wear off the tire in order to provide maximum traction. It takes about 500-700 miles to wear off the entire release agent.
The fabric used in the belts must also go through a break in period so they can stretch a bit, almost like new shoes.
So you should be extra careful during the first 500-700 miles. Drive on dry road to remove the release agent. Accelerate a little slower, avoid hard braking and take your turns a little slower than normal during this new tire break in period.
New tires have more rolling resistance
New tires have deep tread, which is normally a good thing. But all that extra rubber causes the tire to have more resistance to rolling and flexing and that reduces fuel economy for a while until you’ve worn off a bit of the rubber. Expect new tires to reduce your fuel economy.
New tires have lower response
Deep tread blocks tend to squirm when put under lateral stress, so new tires offer a bit less responsiveness than older tires with half the tread depth. As they wear in, the responsiveness will increase. Just don’t expect your new tires to be quite as responsive when first installed as your old tires.
©, 2021 Rick Muscoplat
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat