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

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Comments

  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    I was going to mention that too, but figured I'd let them shoot down one thing at a time....
  • Anybody know what the tread life of the PAX tire is? 36,000 miles? 50,000 miles? With the limited availability, how much do replacements cost? The local salesman didn't even know (or didn't want to tell me.)

     

    I average about 20k /year on the main family vehicle and, putting the safety aside for the moment, what is it going to cost me in tire replacement over the course of say, 8 years. The Ody/Touring is a sweet penny to start out with but I would hate to be raked over the coals every two years.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    It's hard to know what the true cost of ownership or real-world tread life will be, as no Tourings have been on the road long enough to know yet.

     

    You might try and find a neighbor with a Rolls-Royce Phantom and ask him....
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Tearwear is rated at 500 - a high number. Though there is no guarantee, it is safe to assume they should last 50,000 miles.

     

    I've seen various figures thrown around as to cost but nothing defintive. They are not inexpensive - you might want to call a Michelin dealer to be sure.
  • The good news is that I have just gotten a rim for my 2004 XLE AWD on ebay for $147 + $20 s/h. Now I need to get a tire, but it seems that they are hard to find. Tirerack lists the Dunlop SP sport (which are on now) for $194 and the Bridgestone B380 for $212. Neither of these have gotten very good ratings, although the Bridgestone seems to be a little better than the Dunlop. Both seem to be getting only between 15,000 and 20,000 miles before they need replacing, which is ridiculous for a $200 tire. Anyway, does anyone have any comments on these two tires? Is there anything else out there? Are there any other sources I should be checking? Or maybe I should go for a non- run flat for my spare in the hope that the run flats might be cheaper and easier to find in the future. Can you drive for short periods of time with 3 run flats and one regular tire? Thanks.
  • I have had Bridgestone B380 tires for 42,000 miles on my Sienna LE AWD, and they are down to about 4/32 of an inch. The noise from them is now really unbearable, since about 20,000 miles. Did not feel like replacing them because there were no decent alternatives in 225/60R17 size. I like to keep pressure in my tires within specs, and checking it bi-weekly. I think that longer than usual mileage (as compared to other reports) is due to the fact that tire pressure was maintained at 35 psi all the time. My impression is that these tires are very sensitive to the correct pressure as far as their tread wear is concerned.

     

    The B380s were decidedly average to lower than average in performance (dry, wet and snow) compared to other all-season passenger tires at double the price of a premium passenger tire, and having a tread wear rating of 1/2 to 1/3 of typical premium passenger tire (240 vs. 500 to 700). The noise level was significantly higher than other premium passenger tires. Let’s sum up: less than average overall for 4 to 6 times the price per mile driven...

     

    So what is the selling point? Run flat operation. I have had plenty of real world experience in this regard. During less than 1 year and 10 months that I had the minivan, had punctured these tires 3 times. Two times out of three, could not use the widely advertised and vastly over-rated runflat feature. Both times metal objects which were lodged into the tire (piece of somebody's exhaust hanger and a sizeable bolt) could not be removed except using shop tools, because the tire is made so rigid to run without air. Could not drive because in both cases because these metal “studs” were protruding 1 to 1.5 inches out of the tread, making tire jumping and limping up and down. One of these damages was repaired for about $70.00 by a Toyota dealership, another required tire replacement at about $300 after shipping from tire rack and installing at the dealer (four days after the incident). The third damage was minor with tire loosing about 1 psi per week, so again no chance to use run flat feature. Based on my experience with these, I am convinced that the very same construction features that make tire rigid enough to operate without air makes them also more vulnerable to punctures. After all soft, more pliable tire is more likely to run over a metal object without lodging it into the tread, than tire so rigid, that it requires a special machine to remove / install it on the rim.

     

    Now the most interesting question: How was I able to get to the dealer if I could not run these tires flat (because of 1 to 1.5 inches protrusions)? I never believed in having four tires run flat or not without the spare, especially with availability problems for these tires and special machines required for installation. Within a month of getting the minivan in April 2003, ordered steel wheel + inexpensive tire form tirerack (about $100, including shipping) to use as a spare.

     

    To anybody who is not buying into the hype of novelty at absurd prices, and interested in replacing runflats with regular tires, a new Yokohama tire is coming to the market this month: Yokohama Avid TRZ (Triple Riding Zone, see yokohamatire.com for more info) is similar, at least in concept, to Goodyear triple tread tires. I ordered these at $116.00 per tire (including installation and all associated charges) from the local Yokohama dealer. Should have them installed by the end of the month.

     

    I love everything about the Sienna, and definitely do not regret getting the AWD model, but strongly dislike these tires. Toyota, being a company with conservative business and engineering culture should have never bought into this hype without clearly thinking it through.
  • Thank you so much for your detailed contribution. So to be concise, this is what I got:

          1. If I want to stay with the run flat, the Bridgestone seems like a better choice than the Dunlop, but I should be diligent about the tire pressure.

          2. If I want a non run flat for a spare, go with an inexpensive tire, but be sure to have it with me at all times.

          3. You personally are ditching the run flats altogether in favor of the new Yokohama that is coming out. I assume you will be getting 5 tires.

         So you had no problem driving for a few days with 3 run flats and 1 regular tire? Did you keep your spare in the back well or on the roof? I just had another thought. If one switches to non run flats and down the road they become more available, more reliable, and cheaper, there is nothing stopping you from going back to run flats for the third set of tires. They use the same rims. Something to think about. Thanks.
  • I was at a car show over the weekend, and ended up discussing PAX run-flats (on the Ody Touring) with a Honda salesperson. The salesperson claimed the tires could handle trailer towing, even when running flat. However, the PAX owner's manual at michelin.com claims otherwise (see pertinent manual text below).

     

    Anyone have other experience of knowledge of run-flat tires and trailer towing issues?

     
    The idea of leaving a trailer at the side of the road while hunting around to find a tire and service center that can do the work isn't comforting. Of course, this would only happen at night, on a holiday weekend. In the rain.

     

     

    Phil

     

    -------

    From http://www.michelinman.com/assets/pdfs/doc_paxwarranty.pdf

     

    Operation of PAX System tires at low or zero air pressure with a trailer in tow, is dangerous and not recommended. If the low pressure warning indicator is activated when a trailer is in tow, stop, disconnect the trailer and do not continue to tow the trailer until the tire has been repaired and re-inflated to the proper air pressure. If the tire cannot be repaired, it must be replaced with a new PAX System tire, and inflated to the proper air pressure, before the trailer can be safely towed again.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,058
    Salespeople don't always have the correct info.

     

    Run-flats for trailers; now there's a good idea.

     

    Steve, Host
  • Well, I'm more interested in run-flat issues regarding the tow vehicle.

     

    In particular, it doesn't seem that current run-flat technology is suited for vehicles that tow trailers (even occasionally).

     

    A run-flat tire that requires me to leave the trailer at the side of the road while hunting down a new tire (within the rated 50 to 100 miles) doesn't seem to be terribly useful.

     

    But I'm curious what others have learned.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Maybe you can ask a Rolls-Royce Phantom owner who's rented a trailer from U-Haul.....
  • ...or an Odyssey Touring owner popup camper!
  • Your #2 (If I want a non run flat for a spare...) I suggest to use 16" (225/65R16 tire)or 15" (225/70R15 tire) steel wheel for a full size spare (non-runflat). That is what I did (see my post #710 for details - Toyota Sienna 2004+).

     

    Your #3. I am going to buy four Yokohama Avid TRZs. My existing 15" spare will stay as it is.

     

    I absolutely did not have any problems driving on three Bridgestone B380 225/60R17 and one Kumho 225/70R15. As far as I remember, I used this spare for about a week.

     

    I now keep my spare behind the third row at all times. It goes inside a wheel well, which is shown in the manual and on the diagram included with the jacking tools on AWD models. I bought threaded post which is designed to hold spare in place from the Toyota dealership. There is threaded hole in the center of the spare tire well behind third row. The hole is covered by carpet. A small cut in the carpet is required to gain access to this threaded hole.

       

    When going on trips which require a lot of luggage, the spare goes on my hitch mounted bicycle carrier (between the post and rear hatch, while bicycles go on the cantilevered beam mounted on the opposite side of the post). I attach spare to the vertical post of the bike carrier using big U-bolt which I bought for $10.00 form the marine trailer place. This U-bolt is used to attach spare tires for boat trailers.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Well, one combo is only slightly more rare than the other.

     

    This towing issue seems--IMO--to be yet another drawback to PAX. And it certainly seems as though Honda and Michelin need a crash course in eachother's product.
  • Thanks for the follow up information, vgrinshpun.
  • heywood1 -

     

      Actually, I'm a member of an on-line community that focuses on popup campers, and you might be surprised how many people use minivans to pull popup campers.

     

      The issue of towing with a minivan that uses run-flat tires is fairly new. I'm used to new popup owners being told to get a full-size spare for their minivan, so I was curious as to how run-flat tire manufacturers were addressing the issue. If leaving the trailer at the side of the road is their best solution, it does seem that run-flat tires are still an immature technology that only addresses limited needs.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 839
    Understandable.

     

    By 'rare,' I just meant that there probably aren't that many 'Touring' owners pulling popup campers at the moment, because: 1)it's a new model, 2)it's a small percentage of Odyssey production in-general, and 3)only a small percentage of THOSE would have any towing experience with PAX.

     

    I myself have never really considered a minivan as a tow vehicle, but I'm sure it's more than adequate for light popups and small watercraft.

     

     

    If you haven't already bought this van, I'd go for the EX-L instead.

     

    Good luck.
  • Yes, I recognize there aren't many out there, yet. Just happened to be gathering info and stumbled into this issue; quickly came to the conclusion that run-flats are interesting technology that hasn't been fully developed yet.

    A related problem with many minivans (inlcluding non-Touring Odysseys): The spare tire storage area isn't large enough for a full-size spare (the donut spare isn't rated to tow a trailer, either).

    In many ways, minivans are ideal tow vehicles: A low center of gravity (most SUVs fall short in this area) and short rear-axle-to-hitch-point distance makes for a very stable, controllable tow platform. Sadly, most minivans are designed around car-based front-wheel-drive components, and simply don't have the drivetrain for heavier loads.
  • buck4buck4 Posts: 1
    I talked to a dealer and told me $600 bucks apiece
  • I am in the process of buying a new car and I had just put down a deposit on an AWD '05 Sienna. We need AWD (upstate NY) and are trading in a Town & Country AWD. After I signed the purchase agreement and paid the deposit, I started investigating the run flat tires (I didn't know they came with them until that point). I have learned a lot about them and I am very wary. I want AWD and Toyotas have served me well over the years. Now my question. Should I just replace the run flats before I even get the vehicle? I have heard that the dealer installed spare interferes with the back seats. I am tempted not to get the Sienna (the dealer has already cancelled our original deal) and get another AWD/4WD. Any advice??
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