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As many of you know, I spent late spring, summer and half of autumn poking around in the Northeast. As the weather started getting colder, I and the Extreme High Performance Summer tires (Michelin PS4S) on the 20" rims needed to come to warmer weather.

In preparation for the trip I had the pre-paid 20k maintenance done at Ray Catena Porsche in Edison, NJ. including the riveted bracket recall item. Nothing unusual turned up, my front tires had 20k mi. and plenty of tread depth, the rears 7k mi. and even more tread depth. I confirmed this myself before leaving for the first fall foliage tour in early October to the Upper Delaware River Scenic Byway. Since we didn't get enough :p we did another trip in the Adirondacks Thu-Sat before our scheduled departure late afternoon on Monday. Friday night the temperature dropped to 28-30F and being aware that cold is a problem for these tires, we parked in a place that got into the sun early the next day and waited until 12 o clock before departing with 48F and climbing. I made sure to go slowly and not put any significant loads on the tires.

On the way back we planned to do the 1640 mi trip in 3 1/2 days, driving 460-480 mi every full day. The weather was good except for a bit of rain in Tennessee. I walked around the car every morning and every evening for a cursory inspection. I was a bit apprehensive about the front tires which were getting a bit long on the tooth.

24 mi from home (on I10 near Baytown TX) the right rear tire blew out with a loud bang. Air pressure was gone in an instant.

Thankfully, the tire settled inside the protective bead (there is a bead in both sides) and was kept there by the bead in the three careful turns it took next.

I turned on the alarm blinkers and was able to go from the far left to the right lane quite quickly and then continue on at the freeway exit ramp which conveniently materialized. I had to do about 100 more yards, thankfully the traffic respected the alarm signal, (I am not sure they could see the flat tire) and then I drove into the hospitable dealership lot of a local Honda. They were very gracious to let me wait there for assistance and they offered any help I thought I might need.

NEXT STEP: CALL PORSCHE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE

After a couple of voice recognition questions, a pleasant young lady (whose name I didn't catch) asked me how my day was. I replied that judging from the fact that I am talking to Roadside Assistance, I had seen better days... She chuckled, got the information (who, what, where, why, when) and the last question was how to recognize the car. I said it is a silver Porsche in a sea of colorful Hondas. She chuckled again and she said she would hang up so that she could talk to the towing company and that I would get an SMS with instructions.

Barely 3 minutes lated I got an SMS saying that the "Porsche and Lambo Towing Company" was assigned to my case, a link to contact their site. I cliked on the link and found out that a truck and a driver would be assigned shortly.

5 minutes later, Jarvis, the car carrier driver called confirmed my name and the whereabouts and said 'I am comin'... Hoa, you are comin'... when are you gonna be here?

15 minutes... :oops:

10 minutes later, Jarvis pulled up, went around the car taking photos with his mobile phone, then dropped a rather long ramp, with an even longer extension and non-chalantly got into the Cayman and drove it up the ramp. He hit the brakes near the top and the ramp lifted as the CG went past the pivot point. Spectacular! This was NOT his first rodeo...

He put two safety belts securing the car fore and aft on each side and off we went to Porsche North Houston. I was a bit worried that we may arrive past 6 pm when the place closes. Porsche Road Assistance said not to worry, Jarvis knows to take the car to secure storage and we would get a complimentary Uber ride home. Jarvis had a better idea, he knows everybody in the Service Department. He made a phone call and made sure that they'd be waiting for us, the Porsche Municipal Band playing a lively march for our arrival. We made it 5 before 6.

I talked with a very nice (and competent) SA, he proposed to take a look tomorrow before we decide on a course of action. I asked to keep the tires for my inspection before they did anything, because I'd bought them at Discount Tire and they have a pretty comprehensive warranty coverage. He agreed and asked, as a favor, to allow them to put in a quote.

Next day I found out that the tires were now near slicks... :eek: Both tires in the back were excessively worn out! The front tires were at 6/32 (and as I said these were the OEM). They gave me a very competitive offer (comparing what I had paid DT a few months ago). Less than $100 apart, no DT warranty/road hazard BUT they are the Porsche N0 spec which I wanted (some have seen some of my comments about potential hydroplaning). I also asked for an alignment.

So far so good...

The alignment measurements came within spec for everything EXCEPT THE TOE-IN IN THE REAR TIRES! That was off by 0.3 degrees roughly for both tires for a total of 0.58 degrees and a very small thrust angle (0.04 degrees).

The tires showed almost uniform wear, very little (but some) feathering with excessive wear at the edge with the inner sidewall, as it would be expected since there is about a degree of negative camber (within spec)

My Take

I believe that I left NYC with about 6/32 of tread or more. This is based on careful comparisons between the front and rear tires I made before we left for the foliage trips. The fronts measure 6/32 yesterday, after the blowout. Also, if the tread depth were less than 7/32 the Porsche dealership in NJ would be all over me to sell me new tires...

I believe there was accelerated wear starting sometime into the trip. I think it is probably caused by the excessive toe-in, which probably happened when I fell into some unkind pothole ruining the toe-in setting. Or the incessant thump thump of the expansion joints in the (mostly) concrete freeways.

I am not sure whether the cold encounter had anything to do with excessive wear. The SA didn't think so.

What would (and I will) do better from now on:

a) Buy a tread depth gauge and use it (often)

b) Let's keep in mind that most people report changing rear tires every 10k mi. A 2200 mi trip (foliage + trip to Houston) is almost 25% of the projected life of the tire. I should have asked for tire tread depth report and an alignment before I left. I pride myself as being a smooth driver. Normally my tires and brakes last a lot longer than those of other acquaintances. I fully expected to make 15-20k mi. with the Michelin PS4s. The fact that it didn't happen should be a lesson.

c) If I drive 500 mi/day, I will take tread readings every evening. I should be prepared to buy new tires if the need arises, taking the appropriate delay.
 

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Glad everything went well. Nice to know that Porsche was there for you.

Well at least you know you got the max out of your tires !!!! I am still blown away by your discovery of the fully paid up maintenance what a win.

BTW: Ray Catena is my goto dealer although I have also had great interactions with Princeton Porsche as well.

Craig
 

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Glad things went smoothly post blow out. Thanks for all the information. It is very helpful. I have the 20' rims too and just passed 10K. I will follow your advise and check the depth.
 

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I routinely got 60,000+ km (37,000+ mi) out of the tyres on my 2 Subaru Imprezas--well above average for our roads. The Boxster was down to the wear bars after 25,000 km (15,000 mi). Soft, sticky tyres driven hard don't seem to last.?
 

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Thanks for the report. Good to know you came out okay.

It seems you got good treatment too. I wouldn't think cool weather wore out your tires, nor did the highway expansion strips upset your alignment. Hitting potholes sure could though.
 

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Excellent report. I'm about half way through my P Zeroes at about 5,000 miles, so that fits. I almost exclusively drive country roads and have 2 HPDEs on these tires also. I like their grip, but know they don't have the tread life most tires have, including the Michelins.
 
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Good to hear things worked out well. A tire blow-out is to be avoided! And that was a concern with a recent road trip to Banff in Canada during which there was 3" of September snow... Original 20" Goodyears with ~20k miles on them, and I kept checking tread depths expecting new tires upon return... Which I did, replacing rears-only with the same OEM Goodyears. At that point the rears had 3/32" on the right (at about the wear bars) and 4/32 on the left, with both fronts at 7/32. Last year at 13K they were 5 and 6 rear and 8/32 at front, and the dealer's service advisor was telling me I needed new tires soon. I'm hoping now that all four will last until 40k or so!

FWIW these Goodyears have done remarkably well in freezing weather, even slightly icy.
 
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