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Run-flat, self-sealing, PAX tires for Minivans

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Comments

  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Well, I said the same thing about the Odyssey Touring's future re-sale value, because substituting a conventional tire is not even possible. Someone will be able to run cheap non-RFT's on a ten-year-old 'beater' AWD Sienna with 200K, but a Touring with the same age and mileage will still require tires that will cost the lion's share of the value of the van.

    I doubt very much that AWD Sienna resale values will suffer, especially considering it's currently the only AWD minivan game in town. Five years from now, it's only used competition will be itself.
  • jetmdjetmd Posts: 9
    So where do you see the value of AWD now except for those whose winters are particularly severe?

    I do not think there is much upfront disclosure of any of this by the sales folk. They should be saying, "Buy AWD only where you are willing to also buy winter tires, because only then, in snow/ice conditions, will you realize the value of AWD. You will have poor braking and treadwear performance for all other times, and you will never be able to carry a stowable spare."

    The "beater" market will not be owning two sets of tires. They'll be having to decide if they want AWD at all since it brings no advantage without switching tires, costs more, performs worse, and makes them lug a spare around like a suitcase if they want to switch to regular tires. Its competition will be cars that cost less and perform as well.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    I think the mistake too many consumers make is believing the benefits of AWD are strictly limited to snowy, winter conditions.

    AWD provides superior traction (with good tires, whether they're summer or winter) over 2WD in wet and rainy conditions, too. And here in the northeast, there are many more rainy days than snowy ones.

    Winter tires are always better than all-seasons in snow or ice, whether the vehicle is 2WD or AWD.

    AWD does bring advantages without switching tires. But even assuming I'm limited to one set of decent set of all-season tires, I'd still take AWD over 2WD in less than perfect driving conditions.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    The private party resale value (according to Kelly Blue Book) for a 2004 AWD Sienna XLE with 50,000 miles is $1,200 more than for a FWD XLE equipped with the same options.

    Time will tell if RFT's and PAX affect Siennas and Tourings in any measurable way. If I had to bet, I'd say Tourings will suffer more, as there's no AWD benefit to counter-balance the cost and limited availability of PAX.
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    I doubt very much that AWD Sienna resale values will suffer, especially considering it's currently the only AWD minivan game in town.

    Note that the current GM vans also offer AWD, and they don't require RFT's (at least as far as I can tell). Those tend to depreciate more than Toyota's do, so they could be stiff competition in the used market several years down the road. I for one like the current Sienna a whole lot more, but those more cost conscience will probably go after the cheaper alternative, with regular tires.

    And, for tires you can keep on all year round that still offer a good blend of winter Vs summer performance, I like the Nokian WR's. I wouldn't use them in southern climates, but up north they are great for those of us too lazy to want to change out tires twice a year! And they have better winter ratings (considering ice and snow) then some dedicated snow tires do.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    I was under the impression that there was no domestic AWD minivan available during the 2004 or 2005 model years, and therefore--if you're shopping for a used '04 or '05 AWD minivan a few years from now--the Sienna would be your only option.

    Unless you may be referring to some final-run GM Astro/Safari vans, but I wouldn't count 18-year-old designs.......
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    heywood, you write:
    AWD provides superior traction (with good tires, whether they're summer or winter) over 2WD in wet and rainy conditions, too. And here in the northeast, there are many more rainy days than snowy ones.

    is there a reference somewhere that explains the benefits of AWD? sincerely i'd like to know because i've looked and didn't find anything truly helpful.

    i can see how there would be an advantage to "getting going", but once going, i don't understand the benefits of AWD.

    cost and performance of the AWD tire, lack of a spare, coupled with increased drivetrain complexity and any mileage hit, and the cost/benefit equation seems a bit tilted.
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    I was referring to the "new" GM vans that are AWD, like the Saturn Relay, Buick Terraza, etc (per normal GM marketing, the other divisions get their versions too...). Those are AWD with normal tires I believe. I checked out the Relay and I like the Sienna much better.
  • jetmdjetmd Posts: 9
    So is it the case with the Sienna in particular that the AWD with the OEM Dunlop DSST runflat tires has superior traction over the 2WD with whatever OEM all-season tires are on the 2WD?

    Opinions about the Dunlop tires on Tire Rack are very, very negative, and not just over tread wear.

    That's really the nut of my question. Not whether AWD with "good" tires is better than 2WD with "good" tires.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Yeah, I forgot about these new (Buick and Saturn) AWD variants of the 'freshened' (warmed-over) TranSport/Venture/Silhouette.

    I'm sure these have conventional tires w/spare, but they aren't really on my radar. Re-sale will be abysmal anyway, so tire cost won't be relevant.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    In a nutshell...the answer is 'yes.' I believe an AWD Sienna with new DSST's would be superior to a FWD Sienna with new OEM all-seasons (especially considering Toyota ladens otherwise great products with mediocre OEM's). The complaints with the Dunlop DSST's are more about premature wear. And based on the tread pattern, I don't think it was necessarily designed to be much of a performer in the snow.

    The OEM Firestone Affinity tires on my 2003 FWD Sienna were like B.B.s on a greased sheet of glass in the rain. I replaced them less than a month after I bought the van new.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Certainly, that IS the biggest benefit, but the AWD has two extra 'wheels that grip' that can help you climb a steep grade on wet, undulated country road.

    And wouldn't the benefit of traction control be double that of a FWD vehicle with TC?
  • johnnytjohnnyt Posts: 1
    So AWD is better on the crummy OEM tires because the OEMs on the 2WD are also mediocre.
    Will be heading over to Honda, I guess; I was down to Honda and Sienna.

    Will not buy PAX, but will look at the OEM tire, and might also consider seeing if the Toyota dealer will put my choice of OEMs on a new car...this same dealership just sold a friend an AWD and they are REALLY bummed about the tire issue. I told them to try the Toyota customer rep, but I'm hope the dealership will make good.
  • attilauyattilauy Posts: 32
    I am just wondering why there are so many complains about the Sienna's run flat tire. There are other cars using run flat tires like for example BMW 330xi, they rarely complain. If the tire brand is the culprit, then they just have to switch the brand of tire. Is the problem inherent in the Sienna's mechanica design?

    I am considering a Sienna AWD. This Run flat tire problems is making me think twice about this minivan. Any help?
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Well, I don't know about 'rarely' complain.

    A quick check of the TireRack website turned up only one run-flat option for the 330xi (205/50/VR17 Goodyear Eagle RS-A's)-- and that was only for cars equipped with the Sport Package. 'On special' for $199 each, they have only mediocre reviews for tread life and hydro resistance.

    For the AWD Sienna, the TireRack lists only Dunlop and Bridgestone as run-flat options.

    In either case, 'just switching the brand of tire' is more easily said than done.
  • dbh1dbh1 Posts: 3
    So is there anything good to say about the Pax Run Flats? Everyone is so negative! Should I avoid the Odyssey Touring model at all costs?
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    I was initially skeptical about PAX but ended up buying a Touring. There is no question that there are some negatives (especially replacement hassles so early in the product's life) but, at least to me, they are outweighed by some significant positives.

    Bottom line - if I have a flat anywhere I normally drive I can get home or to a Honda store for repairs. Perhaps twice a year when traveling long distance I take a chance on getting stranded for a day.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    I'd consider buying a Touring if I could get one at--or below--invoice, so I could offset the future (and on-going) replacement & maintenance costs of PAX.

    I just don't see where the relatively marginal value of the upgrades of a Touring (vs. a loaded EX-L) are worth the hassle of PAX-- especially when (unlike the Sienna) there's no added value of AWD.

    At the risk of 'repeating myself constantly,' I maintain that if Honda offered a power lift gate and memory seats on EX-L's, they wouldn't sell any Tourings at all....
  • jetmdjetmd Posts: 9
    Is it possible to put ordinary tires on a Sienna AWD, and avoid the runflat problem?
    If so, is there a place to put a donut spare beside the seat well?
    Can the FWD be ordered with 17" tires that are not runflat?

    Thanx for any help...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,695
    Oh, I doubt that. For the majority of the people I deal with, the power tailgate doesn't seem to be that big of a deal. Same applies to the memory seats.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,695
    Well, not everyone is that negative.

    There is one person here who takes every opportunity to knock them over and over and over.

    It's so rare to have tire troubles anymore it probably wouldn't affect you. PAX tires are new on the market and availability for the time being is limited should you need a replacement. This situation is improving with time.My prediction is for increase usage of PAX tires on other makes and models.

    I could be wrong on this but Honda is a smart company and they don't leap into things without looking first.

    The biggest advantage is the ability to drive with a flat. I think the immense safety aspect of this has been shouted down by a couple of others who only seem to see the bad. Get a flat on a rain slicked freeway at night while in traffic or in a bad neighborhood, you'll be very glad you have these on your car.

    I would go back, read the 385 or so messages on this subject and decide for yourself if the good doesn't outweigh the bad.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Is it possible to put ordinary tires on a Sienna AWD, and avoid the runflat problem? "

    Yes. Non-runflat tires are available in the same size as the OEM runflats and can be mounted on the 17" wheels. In fact, the 17" rims on the Sienna AWD are the SAME 17" rims as on the Sienna FWD models.

    "..is there a place to put a donut spare beside the seat well? "

    I've heard that Toyota sells a kit(?) which will allow the owner to mount a donut spare within the seat well behind the 3rd row. Two things - first, you obviously lose the ability to drop the seat into the well. Second, it is possible that a flat full-size tire/rim assembly won't fit in the seat well. I know that a fully INFLATED full-size spare will not fit in the well but I don't know about a full size flat.

    "Can the FWD be ordered with 17" tires that are not runflat?"

    Yes. The XLE Ltd. (FWD) comes standard with 17" rims and non-RF tires. Any of the FWD XLE packages which include the traction/skid control will also include 17" rims and non-RF tires. I don't know if the LE models equipped with traction/skid control include the 17" rims or the 16" rims.
  • ednovakednovak Posts: 55
    I've heard that Toyota sells a kit(?) which will allow the owner to mount a donut spare within the seat well behind the 3rd row. Two things - first, you obviously lose the ability to drop the seat into the well. Second, it is possible that a flat full-size tire/rim assembly won't fit in the seat well. I know that a fully INFLATED full-size spare will not fit in the well but I don't know about a full size flat.

    Toyota does sell the kit, including the compact spare tire and it fits and looks like it belongs in the well. The cover is very lightweight plastic but it's reinforced and covered with carpeting which matches the van. I got the kit and wheel at dealer cost (total about $285) but I ordered the tire from Tire Rack ($175 incl shipping) because it was $50 cheaper than Toyota's cost from their distributer. Including $110 or so for installation the grand total was about $600. It looks great and I don't use the well behind the seats except on a very infrequent basis so it's not a problem for me.

    An inflated full sized tire DOES fit in the well although it has to be placed in with the edge closest the rear bumper first and then PUSHED into place. It is VERY snug. I've seen pictures of it in place on another forum so I know it can work.

    You are correct about the kit not fitting over a full sized spare. The kit consists of a light box that completely covers the compact spare. I tried it with a full sized spare and although the box fits around the spare (there is less than an inch diameter difference between the compact spare and a full sized spare) the box is over an inch too shallow to properly cover the much wider tire. In short, the kit ONLY works with the compact spare.

    I've opted to keep the run flats. My wife works in a marginal neighborhood and I like the idea of her being able to "limp" home rather than waiting for the AAA. I also found a "take off" set of new Bridgestone B-380s that I got for a song on eBay so I'm well set for dealing with the run flat "premature wear" and astronomical cost issues. However, I do plan to run Blizzaks in the winter. The run flats are only a "B" traction tire at best and even a great "all weather" tire can't come close to matching a true snow tire.
  • jetmdjetmd Posts: 9
    Thanks for the reply. Hate to keep beating this up, but do you know if a full-size, 17" non runflat spare will fit in the well (obviously sticking up too high if inflated, but at least sitting flat in the well). That's good enough for me.
    If it does, I'm buying the AWD with regular tires and living with the fact I can't fold down the left third row seat. I'll have a full-size spare and probably at some point jury-rig a cover for it from the OEM kit. Pitiful, but I want this car.

    Here's a suggestion for Toyota: Widen the well to fit a full-size 17" spare. Make a cover that fits even if it sticks up a bit, or deepen the well a couple of inches. Now make the left third seat removable, for goodness sake; it doesn't have to fold down.

    Easy to criticize after the fact, I guess...
  • jetmdjetmd Posts: 9
    "The run flats are only a "B" traction tire at best and even a great "all weather" tire can't come close to matching a true snow tire."

    Seems to defeat the purpose of AWD. You get AWD but tires w/ crummy traction, so you need the AWD just to get back to FWD performance. I'd like to see tests of AWD with the OEM tires (esp the Dunlops) versus FWD with OEM regular tires. Or even better, AWD with the best runflats v FWD with the best non-run-flats. Snow and ice conditions, but also rain and puddles, which are just as important. I'd hate to have AWD and poor tires for that rare time I need AWD, but have bad traction in (very common) rain conditions.

    Also, since emergency stopping is way more common than AWD conditions I'd like to see AWD runflats compared to FWD fregular tires for stopping. It seems a poor logic to get runflats for the "safety" of running flat if the stopping ability is impaired, doesn't it? I get flats much less often than I have to stop quickly.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    I HAVE NEVER DOUBTED THE BENEFITS OF RUN-FLAT TIRES. Obviously there are safety advantages to being able to drive with a flat. Who wouldn't agree with that? Geez...

    What I HAVE doubted is the potential success of the PAX version of the run-flat concept, because it's handicapped by proprietary technology and the minuscule number of vehicles that require them.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    For the majority of people I deal with, the power tailgate doesn't seem to be that big of a deal. Same applies to the memory seats.

    So why does anyone buy a Touring? For PAX? Doubtful....
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,695
    Some people have to have the "top of the line" and I think that's the main reason.
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    I read that Bridgestone and Continental are currently developing PAX like tires, that will not be compatible with the Michelin PAX tires.

    While I think most will agree that PAX is superior to self-supporting in terms of ride quality, but it will be a big knock against them if different manufacturers try to make their own proprietary versions, just for $$$. In the end the consumers lose due to higher costs, and reduced replacement options with the proprietary designs.

    Check out the following for more details on the types of run flat tires available:

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=56
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Ah, to be envy of the cul-de-sac.....
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