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Toyota Prius (First Generation)

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  • I only need two (as I've had two flats and thus had 2 replaced by the dealership) ... I can't stand the Bridgestone Potenza RE92's that the dealership insists are the ONLY tire I can use on this car. HELP! Anyone have any other recommendations that I can use when only replacing 2 tires? Or do I need to replace all 4 to use a different tire? Thanks for the help!
  • You might also want to consult our expert in the topic called Ask Connor at The Tire Rack. Just click on my link to visit that topic.

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  • I was just advised that my 2003 Pruis tires needed 45 pounds of pressure to stop the Whomp, Whomp noise. Is this correct.
  • marcbmarcb Posts: 152
    errr....wassa whomp whomp noise yogie?

    Anyway not sure if this is related, but there were times when ice froze on my rims. The resulting imbalance caused the car to shudder at higher speeds (removing all the ice/snow between the spokes fixed the problem), at lower speeds it prolly felt similar to what you discribe.

    If cleaning your rims won't take care of the problem, try to have them balanced. Hopefully they won't discover something more serious with your tires or rims.

    Btw, just so people don't think Prius is prone to ice freezing on its rims, the ice on the rims were caused by my having to drive thru snow as deep as the underside of my '01 Prius. As long as you keep a good momentum and the tires touch the road, snow can't seem to stop this car.
  • yogieyogie Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. Marcb-The dealer did add 45 psi per tire and the strange noise did stop.
    I am on the 2nd set of front Toyota Bridgestone EL on my 2003 Pruis, the first time I heard the noise they gave my new front tires. The second time the up the psi to 45. So far no noise.
  • The Honda, Ford, and Toyota Hybrids are parallel "mild" hybrids.

    But here is a true parallel "full" hybrid.
    - Electric Motor at highway speed (>65mph)
    - -or- Combustion Engine at highway speed
    - -and- has a plug for recharging, so people can drive to work every day without burning a single drop of mideast oil

    http://www.evworld.com/view.cfm?section=article&storyid=312

    troy
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A reporter is hoping to talk with Southern California residents who own a first- generation Toyota Prius, or who upgraded from a first-generation Toyota Prius to a newer one.

    Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com with your daytime contact info by 12pm Friday, May 27, 2005.

    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds.com
  • dgreenedgreene Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Prius and I also love my Prius. I am on the 2nd set of tires and was told today, a year after I bot my 2nd set that I need a new set of tires. I am not happy and it seems that no-one wants to accept responsibility for this problem. Maybe it will take a lawsuit for someone to correct this problem.

    debi
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    We just put the third set of RE92s on our 2002. (It has just over 60K miles). The first set wore very badly, Toyota replaced them (and did an alignment) under warranty. The second set wore quickly (we got about 33K out of them) but evenly, in part because I inflate the tires to 44psi front, 42psi rear. I and others believe the Toyota specified pressures of 37/35 psi are way too low for this vehicle. Of course YMMV and all that. Since the RE92s are XL rated tires they can handle up to 50psi cold pressure, so 44psi is well within the capability of the tire.

    AFAIK there are only 2 XL rated tires in the size the Prius uses, the RE92 and the Dunlop SP10. Both are claimed to be OE fitments according to Tire Rack...
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017
    I would be much more confident about maximum road grip in both wet and dry conditions if I did not over-inflate my tires by seven pounds. That's just plain dangerous, and could cause an accident, since you are not presenting a complete tire patch to the road, just a narrow strip in the center of your tires. That would result in premature wear on the center of your tread as well as a harsher ride.

    It's not worth the tradeoff for a few more mpg.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "I would be much more confident about maximum road grip in both wet and dry conditions if I did not over-inflate my tires by seven pounds. That's just plain dangerous, and could cause an accident, since you are not presenting a complete tire patch to the road, just a narrow strip in the center of your tires. That would result in premature wear on the center of your tread as well as a harsher ride."

    The original poster said the tires "wore evenly". Could he elaborate: Did the tires wear in the center first, or did they wear all the way across the tire?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Here is a VERY INTERESTING page talking about fleet performance of a group of 2001 Prius cars in Canada.

    "There were no costs identified that were specific to the hybrid components of the vehicles."

    http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Reliability.htm

    Battery Life
    A few Prius owners have commented that the vehicle’s 12 V battery has died when the car hasn’t been driven for a few days. Note: The 2001 Prius owners manual specifically states that the vehicle should be driven for 30 consecutive minutes at least once a week to ensure the battery remains properly charged.

    For many consumers the life and replacement cost of the hybrid battery pack has been of concern. Toyota has issued the following statement about battery life:

    "The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the battery at an optimum charge level - never fully draining it and never fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle. We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well. Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36% and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time replacements may be needed it won't be a much of an issue. Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear.”
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    More from this website...

    http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Reliability.htm

    Canada’s highest mileage Prius, a 2001 model, has operated for over 366,182 kilometres with only a few maintenance repair issues. Jatinder Parhar, owner of a Empress Taxi in Victoria, British Columbia, operates this vehicle.

    That's 227,535 miles for those counting at home.... :D
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    That's 227,535 miles for those counting at home

    It looks like he made the grade with that first Prius. Taxi cabs are expected to have a 200k-300k mile life cycle without major repair. Passenger shuttle vans are expected to last 250k to 400k miles. If he can get 250k miles out of the 2004 Prius that will be a good test.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    The original tires (at toyota's specified 37/35 PSI) wore shoulders first. Classic symptom of UNDER inflation.

    The second set of tires ran their whole life at 44/42 PSI and wore evenly across the entire tread surface. To me that says 37/35 is too low.

    Car makers often choose the lowest pressure that will allow a tire to meet the weight requirements for the vehicle, to promote a "softer" ride. Sometimes they choose a pressure that's too low (Explorer/Firestone debacle, anyone?). I believe the 37/35 pressure for the Prius was too low and the tire wear seems to bear that out.

    Ironically, the boneheads that installed the new tires horribly under inflated them (they said they would only inflate to the factory reccomendation, but the highest pressure I found on their "work" was 30 PSI and the lowest 26PSI) This after making a big deal of using "pure nitrogen" to inflate the tires...

    YMMV of course.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    This after making a big deal of using "pure nitrogen" to inflate the tires...

    Does the nitrogen add any life to the tires? If you add air doesn't that kind of pollute the nitrogen? You bring up some interesting points. I assume when I tell the tire guy what pressure I want in my tires that is what he does.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    I haven't read anything specific to the whole "nitrogen is better for your tires" issue, but keep in mind that the air that we breathe is made up of 80% nitrogen. The other 20% is Oxygen, CO2, and other mixed gasses. Personally I think its more of a way for them to make themselves different than the other 100's of tire places on the same street, but I could be wrong.

    Just my $.02

    BTW, many places will not go over the manufacturer's recomendations as corporate culture has dictated that it opens the place up to customer complaints about uneven tire wear due to pressures that are not in manufacturer specs, and of course the dredded lawsuit if anything does happen and tire pressure is found to be a contributing cause.

    Toyota Ken
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    The claim made at this warehouse store (I'll let you guess which one) is that Nitrogen fill is more stable than regular air. Sounds like pure marketing hype to me...as you mention the minute you top up the pressure you've "contaminated" the fill, and since I doubt they mount the tires in a pure nitrogen environment (employees in space suits, anyone?) there's already air in them!

    Part of the problem in this particular case may have been that the tire installers were very busy, it was pouring down rain, and we'd been sitting there waiting more or less patiently for about 2 hours...

    I'm withholding judgement for the time being, as the price was right, but I'll wait to see what they do at the rotate/rebalance visit.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Yep, smells like a marketing gimmick to me...which is odd given the nature of this particular business (warehouse membership club).
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    ....let's put this to bed. Yes, Costco uses nitrogen, and yes, Costco is absolutely hyper about tires after being sued for putting S-rated tires on a car whose OEM tires were H-rated. Now they refuse to budge from OEM speed-ratings, and OEM pressure recommendations. You are free to do what you want as soon as you drive away from the store.

    Nitrogen IS more "stable" in that it has two characteristics that help - it varies less as the temperature goes up and down [normal variation is 1 psi for every 10 degrees F - nitrogen reduces the variance], and it seems to bleed less over time through the carcass and valve - all tires lose a certain amount of pressure over time, even if they are not driven.

    None of this is revolutionary, either postively or negatively. It can hardly be a "marketing gimmick" when Costco does little or no marketing to sell their tire service. Most of their clientele couldn't pass a quiz on this topic to save their lives, either before or after their tires are installed.
This discussion has been closed.