Thursday, December 16, 2021

Continental UltraContact 6 SUV - UC6SUV - 2 Years In

With slightly more than 2 years in service and approximately driven for about 12k km with 2 occasions of tire rotation, balancing and alignment which happens once every 6-months. Here is a follow up of the Continental UC6SUV tire that has braved through the Covid19 lockdown and rarely used due to movement restrictions. My original post dated to August 2019 can be read here, and I will be drawing a few photos from that posting as a comparison.

Throwback August 2019
I decided to have a follow up post as the tire is technically into it's half-life (age wise) but still has a lot of tread. Rule of thumb for safety is to replace a tire once every 5-years or when the tread has worn down to the tire wear indicator. This is for both safety and compliance to the regulation (where you must have at least 1.6mm of tread on your tire). It is an offence that will get you summoned for RM300 for failure to do so. You can refer to the JPJ Malaysia site here, under Act 333 (K.105MV/C/U)

I have diligently sent my car for rotation, balancing and alignment every 6-months, or when I need to service my car. Apart from prolonging the tire life, a well aligned tire is essential for safety and handling. What help is that I have a friend that does this for a living (tire shop) and he will always ensure my cars are well aligned. I missed one session of alignment due to MCO, and this actually resulted in the car running for a year without proper alignment session.

This is the tire new as reference

This is the tire now, 12K km approx, flipped L-R. 

Immediately you can see that the left and right edges are worn off more than the middle. This is a front tire, which takes in more weight due to the engine location. So this is not unexpected. But this also strengthen the reason why tire rotation is important every 6 months or 10k km. While I am on more extreme side (every 5k km), the cost to replace the tires will be more expensive than the rotation and alignment, so the maths works out in favour of a scheduled (vs km) rotation.
closer look of the front left side

rear left is ok

Front right even wear on outer edge

Post 2 years ride impression:
The tire doesn't dissapoint in all Malaysian weather. Surely planted in the dry and a joy to drive in the wet. Aquaplanning is minimal and the grip around the corner when put through the paces is great. This is likely due to the fact that this is a UC6 meant for SUV with stiffer sidewall and limits the flexing. Having said that, the actual performance on the bend of this tire is limited only by how aggressive you are driving. As I am a careful driver, i rarely push through corners as you never know what will happen. On the straight, the tire felt secured to the ground, added with Subaru AWD system, the car goes where the steering points to with almost no delay - a testament on how responsive the tire UC6SUV is. One thing I enjoyed from day 1 until today? The braking performance remains the same as new. Impressive.

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