Do New Tires Need to be broken in: Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Do New Tires Need to be broken in

New tires have many different components that are critical to the tire’s performance and ride quality. When these substances are removed during the first few hundred miles of driving, it exposes the material beneath, allowing for maximum adhesion between the rubber and steel.

As a result, new tires will not provide their best performance or ride quality until this break-in period is completed. New tires should be driven a few hundred miles on dry roads.

How long does it take for new tires to break in?

New tires should be broken in for the first 500 miles (800 km). During this time, you should avoid full-throttle starts and rapid acceleration. Vary your speeds during this time, including some highway driving (where permissible), to give your tires a chance to adjust to different conditions.

Do new tires ride rough?

In the early stages of their life, new tires may not ride as smoothly as older models. This is normal for tires that have never seen the road before and should go away after a short drive. If your new tires continue to ride roughly, come into your local Firestone Complete Auto Care store and we can explore possible solutions.

Do tires have to be broken in?

It has always been recommended that you break in new tires. This means driving on them very gently (no hard cornering, acceleration, or braking) for a few hundred miles. The goal is to round off the tread blocks and smooth out the rubber. This will improve traction and prolong tire life.

The idea of breaking in tires is still popular, but most modern tire makers don’t recommend it because today’s tires are designed to be driven on right away. And with low-profile tires (shorter sidewalls), there isn’t as much rubber to smooth down anyway.

Will new tires smooth out?

Most times, yes. Tires with flat spots will eventually work their way out as you drive more miles. However, this could take weeks or months of daily driving before they wear down enough to disappear. If the flat spot is large enough, it might never go away entirely.

Do new tires cause vibration?

Many drivers have complained about tire vibrations, especially after installing a new set. This is normal; new tires need time to “wear in”. While the rubber treads are still hard and stiff, they won’t grip the road as well. This can cause the vehicle to vibrate at speeds above 50 mph.

It’s best to drive slowly until the tires wear down a bit and develop a smoother surface. The vehicle should stop vibrating once they’re broken in (usually after 500 miles).

Do tires need a break-in period?

New tires come with a protective coating on their surface which prevents them from wearing down too quickly. However, it also makes them stiff and more prone to sliding and hydroplaning.

This is why manufacturers recommend keeping speeds below 50 mph until they’re broken in (usually after 500 miles). Once the protective coating wears off, traction improves significantly, making them safer for daily use.

How do you break in new tires?

It’s simple. Just drive normally and slowly increase your speed and cornering forces over the first 500 miles or so. In the first 100 to 200 miles, avoid full-throttle starts and hard braking. This will allow the tread surface to work against the road surface at slower speeds, helping seat the tread blocks, improve traction and reduce noise levels.

Should you dump the clutch when breaking in new tires?

Nope! Although a clutch dump might be good for drag racing (which is not going to help your tires last longer), it’s not good for your street tires. Drag launches can cause slips and skids that result in premature or uneven wear on your tires. 

Launching at too high of a speed can also cause wheel hop or spin, which could damage the tire’s internal components, leading to a premature failure.

Conclusion

Tires are composed of rubber and other materials, including steel belting that adds strength. Because of these different components, new tires require a break-in period to ensure maximum performance and ride quality.

New tires should be driven a few hundred miles on dry roads to rid the tread of parting agents and antioxidants applied during production.

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