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Old 04-04-2013, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Winter Effects: Locked Caliper, Tires Cracking

The Integra is parked outdoors, and recently for about 3 weeks straight after some significant Winter weather driving.

Yesterday was about 50-60F, and I took it for a spin to haul a few items. Coast-down was terrible, as was FE. It turns out, the passenger-rear caliper is locked -- for the 3rd time (second in 3 years).

Then, while inspecting the problem, I saw that all 4 tires are cracking (which is a new problem). The sidewall and tread "attachment point" look to be falling apart. They have enough tread to keep another year -- should I worry and replace?

These are low-rr, Michelin MXM4s with about 40K miles, so not a ton of miles and not cheap. Last Summer was one of the hottest and driest on record -- so extreme exposure could be a factor.

Could over-inflation (50 psi) be the culprit, or just normal tire wear in this weather? I have not seen this happen on a good set of tires, even when over-inflated...

-RH77

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Old 04-04-2013, 05:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It depends on how comfortable you are with blow-outs and mounting the spare. I have no problem with either and willingly run tires until they blow so as to extract the last mile outta 'em. Just make sure the spare is aired up and the jack and lugwrench are on board.

I recently had a tire with very nice tread depth develop a slow leak, which gradually became less slow. Turns out it was leaking through sidewall weatherchecks. There is also quite a bit of cracking down between the tread blocks. To heck with that, I'm gonna run that sucker some more, so I had a tube put in. I know that raises r.r. some miniscule degree but getting the use out of that tire is more important to me.

P.S. As far as the locked caliper goes, don't be afraid to grease the guide pins. I do it whenever I'm in there servicing brakes. The key is to not use so much grease that it can migrate onto the pads or discs.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Could be the emergency brake cable has soime water in it and it is freezing with the ebrake applied.

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Mech
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The caliper if it is froze is because the dust seal has a tear. It could be the brake cable. Never apply if car is to sit for a long period of time.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you had many blow-outs from weather-checking, Frank?

My tires tend to get weather checked well before they get significant mileage on them (because I don't drive that much). But I haven't had a blow out. Yet.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lessee... three to five maybe? Same here- they age before they wear out. I HATE when tires with lots of good tread fail!
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Tires age-out as well as wearing out. The rubber loses its ability to deform, and cracks instead. I believe this is due not only to time, but also to oxygen and UV radiation. The problem is very greatly exaggerated with soft-compound racing tires, but still can occur with regular street tires. Especially when they sit outside.

Higher tire pressures would, in theory, have very little to do with this phenomenon. It could even be argued to help, because the higher pressures would keep the sidewall from deforming as much, tearing the polymers in the rubber.

IMHO, if you see visible cracks on the sidewall, the tire is done.

But then, I tend to use and abuse my tires more than the average driver...

-soD
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The caliper's piston could be stuck, too. I've had stuck pistons on older calipers before.

Yes- they were stuck pistons. I sanded and greased the sliders, but still didn't work. Turns out the pistons were rusted up due to salt spray getting in.

May be worth buying new calipers. I'm not aware of anyone that sells a true caliper rebuild kit.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sidewall cracks? I can't remember the last set of tires I drove on that didn't have them. I ran a set on my Mustang when I took it to the track that worked great, but the sidewalls were ugly looking. Amazing what some black shoe polish can do, especially to not attract attention when going through the tech inspection ha ha. I've never had a blow out, and I always run my tires at at least the sideway max, usually more. But like Frank Lee said, make sure there is air in your spare and you have all the tools to swap on the spare, just in case.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And what about you - any blowouts from riding around on weathered tires?

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