Tire Surprise - 2009 Nissan GT-R Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan GT-R Long-Term Road Test

2009 Nissan GT-R: Tire Surprise

September 25, 2009

gtr low tire pressure 800.jpg

Yesterday, a low tire pressure light flashed up in our long-term 2009 Nissan GT-R's instrument cluster. I punched up the tire pressure display to determine the offending tire. Okay, left rear. I looked for a nail and found a small one in the middle of the tread. Yay for technology.

But I checked the other tires, you know, just in case. That's when this tire check got a lot more exciting.

Here's the inside of the left front tire:

gt-r drivers tire cords 800.jpg

Same location, right front tire:

gtr pass tire cords 800.jpg

It's understandable that nobody had spotted these cords yet, as the outer tread blocks are in relatively decent shape. The GT-R is so low and the tires so wide that you really have to go out of your way to see this part of the tire.

Our GT-R has the "performance" alignment that increases the front negative camber and adds some toe out. This will tend to increase grip at the expense of tire life.

It's been about 13,500 miles since we last replaced the front tires, which falls right into the 12k-15k mile life that our friendly local Nissan engineer has observed with this alignment.

Funny, because when the low pressure light first flicked on, I immediately assumed the low tire was one of the fronts--I had earlier observed the GT-R's steering behaving a bit more finicky/darty over pavement surface aberrations than usual (it tends to sniff out cambers even when the tires have full tread depth). The cords explain what I observed from behind the wheel.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 29,767 miles.

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