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Toyota Prius Tire/Wheel Questions

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  • pinkopinko Posts: 2
    thanks for the advise. Someone told me that it's possible to "shave" a tire, so that you have the same wear with a new tire (so that it matches). Is this true?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    It's possible, but good luck finding a place to do it. Most just want to sell you a tire/tires, mount, balance, get their money, and get you out the door. The tire shaving machines are pretty specialized. Perhaps if you could find a race shop they might have one (they shave street tires for racing in certain classes).
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I can't see the logic in shaving away useful tread life.
  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    Tire shaving is for racing applications, not for a street car, let alone a Prius. New tires don't grip as well as worn ones. So, when racing, you "shave" the tire in order to wear it down so it grips better.

    Yes, it takes life off the tire. Drag races shave DR's (Drag Radials), for instance.
  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    There is actually some logic to this fi your tires are very expensive. For example, let's say you have 15k on your tires and still have useful life left, but you get a blow-out. At this point, you have the option to replace BOTH, or shave the new one. This might be cost-effective on a $200 tire, but certainly not on a $75.

    Tire Rack will shave any tire you buy from them I believe. You just need to tell them how many mm's of tread you want left.
  • I have a 2007 Touring with Bridgestone Tourenza EL 400 Speed rating H 16 inch
    We had one go flat/road hazard in the tread and needed a new one. No One has these tires! Wound up having a shop order one from Tires.com, other than that these tires are on National Back Order!

    What is a good Alternative for these when they wear out? Is the speed rating related to a lower rolling resistance/higher mileage? I paid $141 for this one tire and had quotes from $ 180 from a Firestone Dealer to $220 ffrom a Toyota Dealer ( if they had them)

    I suspect that these "expensive tires" are what I'll need to keep on it if I want the mileage to stay reasonable?

    Thanks for feedback!
  • I purchased a 2007 Prius in late winter and am trying to figure-out my best tire strategy for next winter. I live between Vail Pass and Officers Gulch on I-70. I drive down a 5% grade to work at 4:00 AM and try to ascend before the tourists are released from the ski resorts when the lifts close at 4:00 PM. Most of the winter, Officers Gulch becomes iced pavement due to the shade at 4:30 to 5:30 PM and vehicles, primarily AWD SUV's, fill the ditch. I have never observed a Prius anywhere in Summit County in a ditch.

    During the winter, I have observed 18 Vail Pass road closures. At least 20 vehicles per season strike the cable rails on the curve at Officers Gulch, 198 Mile Marker Eastbound. In the past week, I experienced an 8 hour road closure due to a 70 vehicle pile-up and single fatality on Vail Pass, 189 Mile Marker Westbound. However, I have not experienced any slippage problems with the original-issue tires on my Prius, driving 35 MPH in white-out; 45 MPH on snowpack; 55 MPH on sanded mulch and slush; and 65 MPH on dry pavement.

    Please provide me with some Prius owner experiences with winter driving conditions. I do not mind burning through tires a bit faster, but have limited space in my studio condo for storing tires in summer. I have studied various recommendations for winter tires:

    All-Season: Michelin HydroEdge, Michelin X Radial, Goodyear Assurance Triple Tred

    Softer Rubber Performance Winter Tires [H Rated]: Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip GW3 H

    Soft Rubber Grip Winter Tires [Q Rated]: Michelin X-Ice, Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice

    :confuse:
  • During late winter, I bought my 2007 Prius with standard-issue tires. I have not experienced any slippage issues in snow, slush, or ice. However, I am concerned about next winter, since I live in the mountains and must climb 5% grades in snowstorms.

    Please share any experiences with winter driving conditions. I have researched winter and all-season tires, without any conclusions. Goodyear Assurance sounds like a good all-season tire. Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip sounds good in a softer H-rated tire.

    How much of a snow tire will I need?
  • Among the many myths that I hear concerning the performance of a Prius - lack of power, lack of fuel savings against conventional engines, expensive battery replacements - my supervisor claims that a Prius wears through tire tread faster than other vehicles because of the weight of the battery pack. I would enjoy responding with a technical analysis of this myth based on the experience of other operators.

    What is the weight of a Prius, with light construction materials, compared to the average SUV?

    What is the life expectancy of tires on a Prius versus other typical vehicles?

    What is the cost of tire replacement?

    I cannot imagine any basis for any problems with a Prius over the lifetime operation costs of SUVs. I am tired of hearing from the misinformation campaigns. :mad:
  • I live in upstate NY in the snow belt & have all my life. I just got a 2008 Prius with the stock Good Year tires on it. I immediately went to Tire Rack & got 4 Blizzak's. Front wheel drive is great, especially with ABS, traction control & VSC BUT.... There is just no replacement for snow tires. If you live where it snows there just is no way around it. All season's just don't cut it. 4 Blizzaks cost me $232.40 delivered to my door from tire rack. You just can't beat that. Get a spare set of rims & don't forget the tire pressure monitors & all you need to do twice per year is jack up the car & change the tires. It's just not worth taking the chance on snow & ice with all season's. I have had Blizzaks on my last 3 vehicles now & swear by them. I have never had any other snow tire handle that well on ice, or snow whether it be a coating or 3 feet.
  • Thank you for a practical experience assessment. :)
  • hihostevohihostevo Posts: 59
    Hi I am in the process of buying an '08 Prius...

    I was wondering if I should stick with the stock tires or have the dealer trade them out for something that handles better, but does not impact the gas mileage....??

    Looking for advice and experience.......
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I'd just go with the stock tires unless you have unusual driving conditions such as heavy snow much of the year as explained in the posts above.
  • demerittdemeritt Posts: 1
    After researching tires for my 2006 Prius, I replaced the stock Integrities with MUCH higher rated Assurance ComforTreds the day it was delivered. The specs and evals on Tire Rack's site (and others) convinced me I didn't want to risk using Integrity tires. The Comfortreds handle well, but wore down to 4/32 in 40K miles. I rotated faithfully and check air pressure twice per month (42/40). Even wear, but that's 6,700 miles per 32nd, or 53K miles to 2/32 - not a safe limit. (I replace at 4/32 minimum.) SHOULD be 50% better with an 80K mile rating. GoodYear was very amenable about adjusting for premature wear, but I had to push the dealer. The tires drive smooth, but transmit road noise even when new. Will likely try Michelins next time.
    Gas gauge is not precise, nor is fuel economy meter - just an estimate, due to bladder and mpg averaging computation. I average about 45 mpg, 90% highway at 70 mph. Does better around town - about 51 mpg. Not as advertised, but great!
    NAV system good, but wasn't up-to-date. Still isn't, even with latest update. Wasted money - should have bought a "constantly updated" add-on instead of CD loaded.
    I bought a 100K-mile platinum extended warranty from dealer for under $1,000. Just had an HID headlamp go bad, and was covered.
    Per dealership, "Brakes will last well over 100K due to recharge braking system." But then, hasn't ever replaced an HID headlamp, either!
    VERY disappointed with lack of dealership Prius savvy. I've had to guide THEM! Better info on Prius forums. Lazy service technicians!
    Can't tow a trailer, temporary bike rack slashed MPG. Aerodynamic lesson learned.
    Electric A/C compressor is fantastic, once you learn how to lock the Prius! (I have the SMART keyless entry/ignition proximity system.) Can leave dog in A/C comfort.
    If I were buying another car, it would be another Prius (but WITH the Touring Pkg), unless I needed trailer-towing capacity. For HIGHWAY USE, the Corolla would have been almost as good a choice. But with today's gas prices, I'm GLAD I bought this PRIUS!!! I tested a Civic hybrid - powerless contender! Prius is QUICK!
    And believe me, it's bigger than it appears.
  • bhelmebhelme Posts: 1
    I just took my 07 prius to the local j-lube for an oil change and tire rotation on Wednesday. Today (almost one week later) the traction warning light came on as my wife drove to work. Same route as she always takes, no new or unusual road conditions, just the normal road bumps she always hits.

    Could the tire rotation be related to the sudden occurrence of the light?
  • I decided to purchase tires for my 2004 Prius from a tire dealer rather than the Toyota Dealer because this will be my 3rd set of 4 tires with only 81K miles. The Toyota Dealer also quoted $585 and the tire dealer quoted $380. The tires will be P185-65R15-86T. I currently have the same tire except 86S at the end. Does anyone know the difference? Which tire is preferable, the 86T or 86S? Thank you! GC
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The S and T are speed ratings.

    S is nominally good for 112 mph tops, T for 118 mph. So the T is nominally a better tire, all else being equal.
  • You sound like a concerned Prius owner and you show a real want to do right for car & safety's sake. I would also point out that "wheel alignment" is a must at about 40 K (give or take) to maintain proper tire wear. I failed this and paid dearly with chatter wear at 22K on new tires. Save money and do it to avoid what I had to confront.
    About Hd lt bulb replacement...I've had to replace 2 bulbs in nearly 6 yrs. They're a sonofagun to do. I finally had the dealer do it for $10.00.
    About trailering...There are hitches available for light usage (like Jetskis,small boats, small trailer for motorcycles) I've considered this too but of course Toyota frowns on this.
    As to the car and its' inovations. I too am impressed after closeing in on 100K miles and trouble free to boot. The shiftless tranny, the AC, the 500 mile plus fill-ups, the running on electric while others are wasting gas in standstill traffic and my favorite...explaining the quality, durability, and the over $10,000.00 in savings on gas I've saved. I'm always happy to see the 2010 Prius still looks just like my '04 ;)
  • Thank you very much - that is all I need to know! GC
  • tommtomm Posts: 31
    I only took 45 mins of driving in 1/2" of snow recently ('08 with only a few thousand miles on stock tires) to affirm my decision to order 4 snow tires mounted on rims (and $100 X 4 sensors!) - can't wait for some deeper snow now!
  • Driving about 80,000 miles per year on surfaces from interstate to forest service roads, I observe an average of five vehicles in the ditch or in a collision each snowstorm. Living at 9,600 feet in Colorado, I drive on snow six months of the year. My strongest impression concerning the drivers in the ditch is not that the wrong tires are on the vehicle, it is that the wrong driver is behind the wheel. Last winter, the interstate closed more than twenty times on Vail Pass and at the Eisenhower Tunnel, including a seventy-vehicle pile-up. The lead driver was killed while taking his wife and two children to Disneyland. Almost every other road closure was caused by driver error, high speeds, tailgating, heavy braking that caused an accident blocking the road.

    I do not have snow tires on my Prius. On the interstate, I reduce my speed about ten miles an hour under surrounding traffic most of the time for both safety and fuel economy. My fuel economy due to the low-resistance standard tires is 52 MPG summer and 48 MPG winter. My compromise is traveling a few minutes early to work, rather than rushing at dangerous speeds along curves that take at least thirty hits on the guardrail every winter within one mile of roadway.

    If you are going off-roading in winter on forest service traces, then take a different vehicle than a Prius. You are going to need more clearance anyway. However, I have made it up mining road grades with a half foot of powder on ice, experiences some slippage, at slow speeds. I typically leave for work at 4:30 AM, when the roads are not plowed, but still get through because the idiots have not blocked the way yet. I have no place to store tires in my condo, so buying snow tires would put me in an awkward storage situation for six months of the year.

    A good snow tire will be made with softer rubber, more tread resistance, and reduce fuel economy. If traction is your priority, then buy a winter tire. If you can be reasonable in driving behavior, you should not experience the need for a snow tire. The vehicles that I pass in the ditch are almost always all-wheel-drive sport utility vehicles operated by over-confident, ignorant, inexperienced, drunk, or hot-headed drivers.
  • I couldn't agree more with the info provided above by snowboarder. The overall usefullness of a Prius is quite good in snow. I've driven thru 6 winters in NW Indiana and have yet to find a snow that I couldn't negotiate. That's not to say that the Prius is great in snow. It's just reasonably adiquate. A large portion of folks invariably just don't drive at reduced and cautionary levels. Every winter you see the "dummies" that end up Rr ending or off in the ditches because they refuse to slow down (especially 1st snows). I would caution anyone in a Prius to remember ..strong cross-winds are the most significant problem with the hybrid that I've encountered. Winds can be very annoying and troublesome. The car weighs in at just under 3,000 lbs. Stay safe.
  • I have Blizzak WS-50's that I have used lightly for four Colorado winters (15-20,000 total miles max.). They have plenty of tread but I'm sliding all over the place. I want to get new tires. What brand and model would you recommend?
  • I have a 2007 Prius, am at 20,000 miles and all tires are equally worn out so I need to buy new tires. And I thought that this nice hybrid was supposed to be so good for the environment. What about all this rubber???
    I have been thinking for quite sometime that there was something wrong with the fuel gauge. Says I'm low but only let's me put ~$6.-$7 in.
  • I am the owner of a 2008 Prius, was thinking about getting winter tires for here in Ohio. Does any one have any good ideas about snow tires for my Prius.
  • I think that the issue of winter tires has been ground into the pavement if you will review posts from the past. Goodyear Assurance Triple Tread 195/60R15 is one possibility or drive carefully and keep your existing tires. Unfortunately, I have no place to store snow tires in my mountain condominium, so stick with the issued tires. If you have room, buy winter tires, which are soft rubber, sticky, wear down quickly, and reduce your fuel economy. Otherwise, simply slow down and stay on the road regardless of conditions.
  • On winter snow tires, take a look at earlier posts #20, #31, #39, #42.
    Also, check Consumer Reports, which discusses the rating types for dry pavement tires, all-season, and winter snow tires. Ask a good dealership concerning your choices. The winter season tires will have softer rubber, wear more quickly, and can be studded. Check your local state laws concerning dates when studs must be off the roads because they are restricted due to destruction of pavement in some states. Your dealer should know about any restrictions.
  • I would also suggest that the ..".you get what you pay for applies here." When my o.e. tires were @ 53 K I decided to buy an economy set of tires (in the $40 dollar bracket) ...Big mistake! Next time around I bought a set of Michlins that have delivered a much improved ride, wear, and roadability. Lesson learned. Oh! Don't forget to do much needed "Wheel Alignment." (about every 40K)
  • mommagmommag Posts: 1
    Is it true -- did they make a way for you to turn the Traction Control System off on the newer models?

    We own a 2007 and live in Michigan and agree completely with our fellow New Yorkers that on ice and snow many a time we feel like "sitting" ducks just waiting for an accident to happen because of the TCS kicking in.

    Anyone know?
  • Schwab Tire installed 4 new steel radial tires (35psi max press.) and my mileage dropped from 53 mpg to 46 mpg. I called my Toyota dealer who advised me there were 3 approved tires one could install on my Prius. They were the Michelin Pilot, the Bridgestone Teranza and the Goodyear Integrity. In checking with the web low resistance tires on a Prius is important. I called Schwab and they said the dealer is all wet and Schwab tires are better than all three of the recommended tires.
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