Breaking in a Tire
Very few motorists are aware that their new tires require a "breaking in" period before delivering their expected performance, and that many tire manufacturers recommend driving with this in mind.
Why is this necessary? During the manufacturing process, tires are coated with a lubricant to prevent them from sticking to the mould. That lubricant can take up to 800 kilometres to wear off. Until that happens, the lubricant can reduce the traction of the tires, especially on wet pavement. Consequently, new tires should not be subjected to hard acceleration, cornering, or braking. Driving at or just below the legal speed limit will also allow the lubricants used during the manufacturing process to wear away.
This breaking-in process is especially important with new winter tires to ensure the slippery lubricant is worn off before the first snowfall. In addition, if the winter tire is studded, avoid spinning the wheels - even in snow. During initial use, the studs are often not perfectly settled in and may be ejected. Wait for the rubber around it to conform to the shape of the stud.
There are other steps that should be taken to ensure your new tires are properly broken in. Although each tire is balanced before the initial installation, it is advised to have the new tires balanced a second time after driving a few hundred kilometres. This process ensures even wear and may help identify any tire defects before they become a problem. If there are any problems at this early stage, it is likely the repair costs will be covered under warranty.
Remember that in order to reach maximum efficiency, any new tire, no matter the brand or model, requires a break-in period. Please refer to any paperwork that may come with your new tires to verify the manufacturer’s recommendations.