Tyres need replacing?

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.


MB Enthusiast
Apr 12, 2007
SLK55 & E400 Coupe
So, I have had the E400 for 7 months now and over Christmas took a proper look at the tyres it came with having done a few thousand miles
The Conti 5's are at around 4 mm but spin up with 'half a boot' or more (I have never really liked Contis)
The Bridgestone's on the front are at around 5mm and are 'fine' (and I like Bridgestone)

So in principle I should have many months, perhaps a year or more of life left in them (at 5-6k miles a year)
I do keep an eye on pressures, run them all just a little above the recommended given the profiles are so low (35 on the front, 30 on the rear) - I know, madness!

Yet when looking at them today, the fronts I see that the outer section is very smooth but not actually bald - these are Potenza S001's and Google image shows there is some tread pattern supposedly on outer section of the tread. And there is some shallow crazing / cracking which is my main concern.

Have a look below

A new set of Hankooks (the K127 Evo3's ) is available to me at around £550, which is a lot, but is a steal, (though I do have other uses for that money in January)

Interested in your views and if anyone has experience of this condition of tyres / how its happened and if you view the condition with caution (or is it 'normal'' tyre wear on front axle that take corners and steers?)
I am leaning towards these no longer being fit and if I swap them out, I swap them all out - if nothing else with inflation the expensive rears with 'only' 4mm on them will be more expensive in 6 months or so.



  • DSC_1814.JPG
    136.4 KB · Views: 17
  • DSC_1815.JPG
    102.1 KB · Views: 17
The cracking tread is due to UV exposure and age most likely. There is usually a date stamp on the outside of the tyre. I see some. Brands perish more quickly that others.

My old C63 perished the Kumhos very quickly, but only on the side of my driveway exposed to sun!
Hadn't thought about it being age related - thanks Alex

I always thought it was the side walls that took that the UV punishment, although I use Megs on them which does have a protective coating within it as most actually do
Its a bit 'persistent' outside at the moment, but will look at the dates on them when it stops later

From your experienced experience though - would that level or deterioration concern you?
Or am I just being an old woman?
No, it wouldn't concern me. I would usually mention it though. If you do a lot of miles per year, it's likely they will need replacing before it becomes a problem. If they are old (6+ years) they will start to go hard and loose grip etc.
Agreed the wear looks like brittle wear i.e. weathering or age.

I find Bridgestones Potenzas are more stiff walled (had them on a EP3 Civic Type R), so this maybe why the reason it is wearing more on the outside even though you have higher pressure.

I find Continental Sports give more feel. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S are also highly rated but I have not tried these before.

I've recently purchased a 2018 Suzuki Vitara. This had new tyres on it, part of the dealerships service agreement. However they were WestLakes on the rear and Lansails on the fronts. I felt so detached to the driving and I was on the motorway last week in very stormy weather. Aquaplaning was a big issue.

I have just changed the tyres to Continental Premium Contacts (I don't need Sports for this vehicle) and now I have so much more steering feel. The difference is shocking. I thought the detached feeling was due to this being a newer more insulated car from my 2005 Suzuki Ignis, but now I know it was purely due to the tyres. I am surprised how much difference brand makes.
Others may chip in with different view but from my observations over the years the front tyres tend to wear down more on the outer edge than the inner edge or middle with the rate of wear greatest on the front passenger side. I have found this to be true on both MB and BMWs that I have run. I tend to do just over 25k per year and by 28k the tyres are looking well past their best. I always change before they are down to the legal limit as grip in the wet really falls off when they are below 3mm. A new set of rubber really does change the drive of the car. Modern large tyres cost a lot, oh for the days of small diameter narrow remould crossply tyres?
It's stopped being persistently persistent outside and the tyres are not old...

Fronts are 10/19 and 14/19 (where the crazing is)
Rears are 49/19 for both

Will keep an eye on the fronts, but at 6k miles this year, unless I 'feel' anything different, they should do me up to this coming winter.

Cheers all

Youngest daughters Corsa's front tyres next it is then.....:rolleyes:
Bridgestones do seem to do this more than any other tyre in my experience. Not a fan of them i always find them rock hard and not much grip. Wear is generally decent as they offer little grip.
Looks like light cracking and abrasion caused by using a stiff summer tyre in cold conditions. Now it’s turned mild again then you might be lucky as it doesn’t look too bad just yet, and so the affected layer may wear off and be good for another summer season. You may be unlucky though and the cracks will continue or worsen.
Wear on the fronts outer edge might be down to a little too much toe in?

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom