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Why you should never change the rotation of directional tires

Q: I have Bridgestone Potenza G009 tires on my 2005 Buick Alure. They were great for the first year, but now the noise is getting unbearable. Could I rotate the tires so the rotation arrow is backwards? Would this be safe and would it help reduce the noise?

A: No, you cannot change the rotation of a directional tire. A unidirectional tire has been designed to optimize its wet grip going in one direction. If you reverse the rotation, wet grip will suffer, braking distances will increase and you will lose cornering grip.

Obviously the tires have worn unevenly, creating the buzz. If may be a good idea to have the alignment checked on the car and corrected if need be. On our pothole-filled roads, alignment can be knocked off too easily. Correcting the misalignment would at least stop the noise from getting worse.

Something else to consider is rotating the tires to opposite sides of the car. That way the uneven wear may even itself out. However, to do this the tires have to be dismounted from their rims, reversed, and remounted on the opposite-side wheels. That way they will still be rotating correctly in the arrow direction. This, alas, is not a sure fix but it may help.

Q: I own a 2005 Nisan Murano SE still with the original tires and only 38,000 km. I think that I need to replace them based on age of the tires. I would like your recommendation for all-weather rated tires ? not snow or all season. I have been told that the Hankook 4S is not available in the size that I require (P235/65R18). If all weather is not an option, please recommend an all-season tire.

A: The logical choice for an all-weather tire for your Murano is the Nokian WR G2 SUV. But alas, it is not available in your size. You need a 30.02 inch diameter tire based on your OE size of P235/65R18. Nokian makes a tire with a 30.04 inch diameter that would fit your SUV but it is not a good idea for deep snow country. It is a P255/60R18. Each tire would be 20 mm wider than your OE tire. If you mostly drive around the GTA on plowed roads, that?s fine. If you get up into deep snow country, that?s too much tire width.

If you really want to stay with all-season tires there are a few to consider. Keep in mind that in deep snow, none of these will work all that well; in the GTA, they will be fine. The choices below are based on snow and ice performance. They all do well in the dry.

First choice is the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology. Next comes the Firestone Destination LE2, the Goodyear Assurance TripleTred, and the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia. The Continental and the Bridgestone are green tires; they will help you save on fuel.

But keep in mind that if you drive up into deep snow country or on icy roads, none of these tires well grip as well as dedicated winter tires.

Have a question? Write to [email protected] Because of the volume of mail, personal replies are not possible

  • Why you should never change the rotation of directional tires TORONTO ON - Al Pritchard, TTC senior manager of shops, gives the Star a tour of the Duncan and Harvey Shops at the TTC's Hillcrest Yard. Used tires and rims await reconditioning. The rims are inspected and painted before being put back on buses with new tires at the Duncan Shop . August 1, 2013. David Cooper/Toronto Star
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