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OK, I bought my '01 Insight just a few months ago, and the two rear tires are badly worn from being underinflated, and the sidewall rubber is badly cracked (from the sun and hot climate, I assume). Is this enough reason to replace these tires?

The two front tires look newer, as though the previous owner replaced them more recently, and they appear to have about half tread left on them. Should I replace all four, or just the rears? I hate to throw out two "good" tires, so I'm included to just replace the rears and let the fronts wear down.

Thoughts?
 

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Common sense should chime in here. Cracked sidewalls and badly worn rears...new tires? You think! Front tires usually wear faster than rears. Rotating them helps even out the wear. But yes replace the fronts only for now.
 

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I would replace all 4 tires, and rotate them every 7,500 miles (see owners manual) or so all the tires wear out evenly. The most important safety item that drivers neglect is their tires.
 

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Having personally waited until my tires were pretty badly weather cracked and hardened I will say you'll be amazed at how much nicer fresh rubber will ride. And if your tires have wear paterns where the tread on the inner and outer portions have worn about twice as much with the center still having good tread this is normal for these tires. I've ran 50psi in mine and still got this wear patern, so it doesn't necessarily mean they were ran underinflated.
 

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Strange, but I've had less problems with Insight tires than the CRX HF tires. The CRX would have suspect handling in rainy weather unless the tires were brand new.

I almost wish the rear tires were thinner for less rolling resistance and to wear out about as fast as the front tires.
 

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I do mostly highway cruiseing but I still have two tires with 110K+ miles on them. THey still have 5/32nd inches of tread which is amazing to me. I don't even rotate them as I don't see the wear difference. I only replaced two due to one having a bulge in the sidewall (tread was fine). I use the 50psi level but it hasn't lead to tire failure. Have fun, RIck
 

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My two cents would be, only replace the tires if there is a problem with them. If the car still handles okay, doesn't slide needlessly, etcetera, then I wouldn't bother replacing the tires. New tires will probrably handle a lot nicer, and maybe have a smoother ride and stuff, but they will also cost money. Tread is overrated. :wink: In good conditions at reasonable speeds tires worn down to the steel belt are still sufficient. Handling will be poorer than with tires that have tread (or at least rubber!) on them, but you can compensate by dropping speed more before the corner and using more throttle coming out of the turn. I would rate the risk of catastrophic tire failure in the rears at very low. There isn't much stress placed on those tires, and they don't contribute much to handling anyway, and theres virtually no rear brakes on the Insight, so loss of control in the case of catastrophic failure should be minimal. I would wait until a tire blows, won't hold air anymore, or a cop serves you notice that your tread is insufficient and you need to get new tires within 7 days.

However, I'm extremely miserly. Control and comfort may be your thing, so in that case you might want to splurge on new tires. Hence, my official recommendation would be, replace the rears depending on how much you value "peace of mind" and/or how well you can handle a car under adverse conditions. The fronts have half-tread on them, you say, so they're like.. halfway through their life.

Note that this is under good driving conditions. As winter is approaching, you should consider getting winter tires all around if you live in a climate that has snow and stuff, or enough rain that there's a plausable risk of severe hydroplaning.
 
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Hi All:

___Most tires are ready for the scrap heap when they hit ~ 2/32nd’s tread depth. The Insight’s RE92’s when running 50 + #’s however just won’t wear out in this fashion so it is signs of wear that will tell you one way or the other. I am down just 2/32nds’ after 36,000 miles from new on my RE92’s besides the one I had replaced last month because of a screw through the sidewall :( Most of the other signs of wear have already been described here.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:9xx69lqz][email protected][/email:9xx69lqz]

 
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