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

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Comments

  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 847
    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: 847
    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.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,963
    Salespeople don't always have the correct info.

     

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

     

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • 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: 847
    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: 847
    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: 847
    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??
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 847
    Well, I'm not sure there IS another AWD minivan. Your only other alternative would be an SUV.

    I understand some of the complaints regarding premature tire wear with the conventional run-flats. That being said, I've not been unhappy with mine-- we've even bought an additional set of RFT winter tires. They have performed reasonably well (the winter tires are AMAZING in the snow), but I'm not expecting 50K out of either set. If you're one of those people who judge the quality of a tire strictly by the number of miles you get from a set, then you probably won't be happy with the RFT's. Keep in mind, ANY tire that can go 50K is beyond the limits of being very safe long before that point anyway.

    The AWD Sienna has been wonderful. If you don't like the RFT's, then replace them with conventionals when they wear out.

    Keep in mind, this is an expensive and capable vehicle. You can't expect to get off cheap with the tires.

    Also, conventional tires for any bigger SUV you may be considering will cost as much or more per tire.

    Don't let this tail wag your dog. Buy the AWD Sienna-- you'll love it.
  • Just purchased a 2005 AWD with the run flats and have decided to just "see how it goes" in terms of wear. I did purchase a compact spare (the RFTs are not good for over 100 miles and you can't drive on them under all circumstances.) When they wear out I'll probably replace them with non-RFTs since I'm carrying the spare anyway. Incidentally, the spare mounts behind the driver's side third row seat in the well that the folded seat normally uses. There is a kit for it but since it fits in the well, you can't fold down the third row seat with the spare in place. Not a problem for me but if you carry bulky loads often it might become a pain to carry the spare. I also invested in another set of wheels and non-RFT snow tires. The original equipment RFTs are not supposed to be all that hot in the snow. PS. The van is very nice overall and I'm very happy with it.
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    ednovak - Where dod you get the compact spare? How much did it cost. Is this the "dealer installed option" advertized in the Brochure? I am carrying a full size spare with an alloy rim, but I wouldn't mind downsizing to give me more room behind the 3rd row seat. I also am using run-flat snow tires on their own rims.
  • I got the compact rim from the dealer (forgot how much I paid but couldn't find it anywhere else). The tire was from TireRack.com. It ran about $175 including shipping but the dealer wanted $220. I know, ridiculous. Also, I don't know that the compact will really be of much use to you IF the full size spare you are using fits into the well behind the driver's side third row seat. I saw a post awhile back that said some full sized tires MIGHT fit into the well but they would be tight. The diameter of the compact spare is nearly identical to that of a full size tire. If the spare you are using does fit, there is little advantage (and a lot of cost) in putting together the compact spare. One thing though. You should get the tire hold down bracket from Toyota so that the spare doesn't become a missile in an accident. There is already a threaded bolt in the floor (under the carpet) behind the driver's side third row seat that is designed to accept a spare tire hold down bracket. You shouldn't have to buy the entire spare tire "kit" (which would only fit over the compact spare anyway.) The P/N for the spare tire bolt and knob set alone is 51900-45010. Hopefully, the center hole of the full sized spare will "line up" with the bolt in the floorboard in the same way the compact spare does and allow you to safely bolt it down. Good luck.
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    Thanks for the info. Why is the compact spare tire so expensive? I don't think the full size spare fits flat in the well, but I'll try it again. I have it standing upright, secured to the lower, metal frame of the bigger of the two third row seats, and blocked in with a storage box. I can still fold down the smaller third row seat.
    I know some have advocated replacing the run-flats with conventional tires. But, what does one do when it is time to sell or trade in the van? A buyer or dealer may not appreciate the fact that there is a spare tire taking up room behind the thrd row seats, and removing some seating versatility.
  • I don't know why the compact spare is priced the way it is. I nearly fell over when Toyota quoted over $220 for it and wasn't exactly thrilled at the TireRack price either. Still, it's good for up to 3,000 miles vs. 100 on the run flats and it will fit horizontally in the well behind the seat so I went for it. With the spare tire in place I can also fold down the passenger side third row seat.
    I never considered the trade in. I expect to have the van through at least a couple of tire changes so that isn't really a concern for me. Hopefully by the time I trade it, RFT technology will be more mainstream and MUCH cheaper.
  • The new Yokohama Avid TRZ, size 225/60-17, are listed as available at Tirerack now. $95 ea. I'm thinking about going to these myself. Have a nail in one of my runflats, and it's such a pain to find a place with the proper machine to work on runflats. Talked to a Toyota service foreman, it takes a special machine because of the superstrength sidewall, and it also needs an inflation cage because of the high psi they have to use to get the bead to set on installation (again because of the high strength sidewall). The Yokohama has an 80K treadlife warranty. Would mean getting the spare though. But the next flat I could get fixed at any old tire store.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    unless you really are going on unplowed roads, I have found that good snowtires on a FWD van with traction control is usually as good as if not better than AWD with crummy all seasons (ie almost any OEM all season). Best obviously is AWD and snowtires.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,963
    And on whose van? The one in the Edmunds Long Term test fleet:

    Long-Term Test: 2005 Honda Odyssey

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

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