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Discussion Starter #1
I am still rolling on my stock Bridgestone Dueler HTs. They have about 32,000 miles on them and appear to have a decent bit of tread left. Wet traction has never been great, but it is dang scary recently. This morning on my way into work (raining something fierce), I almost rear ended a BMW when I hit the brakes. Didn't stomp the pedal hard or anything, just firm pressure as traffic came to a halt on the highway. But, the tires locked up and I had to sick my nose out in the adjacent lane to avoid hitting the car in front of me. Then, trying to brake on my way downhill over a bridge, I rolled over one of the metal grates on the bridge, I lost traction for a second. Traction has always been scary on metal bridges, grates, etc.

So, is it the tires? Anyone else have similar experiences with the stock Bridgestones? I was planning on wearing them out, but thinking about replacing them with an A/T sooner than later and would like to ensure I would no longer have these issues.

Thanks
 

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What tire pressure are you running ? What was ambient temperature ? Oil on surface of road ? If tire pressure is too high this can happen. Also agree with snafu58.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I appreciate the reply, but don't feel that is solely my problem. Like I said, things have gotten worse over time.

I am a very cautious driver, always ensuring that there is plenty of distance between me and the car in front of me. Being as defensive as I am, there are still times where you have to partially rely on your equipment to help in situations. Let me also say that I have lost traction just when trying to stop at a yellow light (one in which I should easily be able to stop, traveling the speed limit.) I also tow my boat a couple times per week and am very worried that wet traction is obviously worse with a 2000 pound trailer behind me.
 

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First one sounds like you hydroplaned. Probably going a little too fast for those fierce wet conditions and for the depth of tread you have left. The less tread depth you have, the less water your tire voids can displace as you roll down the highway. Steel grates can be like ice when wet.

It is possible that your Duelers are getting old. Tread compounds, especially the harder compounds that last for 50, 60K tend to look good as far as the tread depth goes, but as the compound ages and wears down it's not as flexible as it once was to give you bite on the road surface. A harder compound has less traction. Sipes, those slits in the tread lugs, are what give you good traction on wet pavement may be very shallow or worn away completely. The old rule of thumb using a penny and Lincolns head is bad advice anymore. You really need 2 or 3 times that depth to get good traction.
 

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I'm not trying to be the Grinch, but if (God Forbid) you hit someone you will be held at fault. Typical citations go like this "Following too close" or "Speed too fast for conditions". All vehicles have reduced traction on metal surfaces like bridge grating, so that is not the FJ or the tires. Worn tires have less tread and will hydro plane more quickly than the same tire with more tread. Pulling a 2K boat will only add to the need for greater awarness to speed and distance. If your wet season is just starting, I would buy new tires that work well in wet conditions now. If the dry season is starting, then you might be able to squeak out some extra miles out of those original tires. I put different tires on my FJ within 30 days of buying it, so I don't have a clue as to how long they should last. Good luck and be safe.
 

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The stock bridgestones on these things are by far the worst rain tire ive ever experienced in my life.

Either drive in the rain like they will wreck you at any time or replace them is my suggestion.
 

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Go to Tirerack.com and look at the survey for these tires. They don't get good reviews.
 

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Seriously. The stocker tires Toyota sold these with are appalling. But count yourself lucky; mine came with the dunlops, which were even worse. I can only assume that Toyota switched tires at the last minute on production of the FJ in an attempt to squeeze some mpg out as gas prices were skyrocketing. They are clearly a visual mismatch. Dump 'em fast... Discount Tire will set you up right!
 

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I've run duelers on a few trucks, not the HT's mind you, the Revo's, and been fairly satisfied with them up to about the 30k mile mark. Usually by that time one of the sets is wearing a bit more than the other two and it is time to replace them.

Everyones perception of "still having some tread left" varies greatly. But the bottom line is if you are questioning if it is the tires...IT'S THE TIRES. You are the only one who knows your driving habits and when things feel "off." New tires are WAY less expensive than a bent up FJ and won't weigh as heavy on your conscience either.
 

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It actually sounds like somewhat worn tires combined with one of the of the worse ABS systems on any vehicle out there. If you lose traction for a second, even at just one wheel, you'll pretty much lose 80% of your braking ability. If you want to see if this is the problem, get in an open area (on private property of course) and put two wheels off of the pavement into dirt or grass and get on the brakes until you feel the ABS kick in. Typically it'll pulse for just a second and then you'll feel your pedal firm up and the brakes will hardly work until you get off of them entirely.
 

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Time for new tires , you'll have much better braking with anything vs. a tire with 32,000 miles on them .
 
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