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Toyota Prius Tire/Wheel Questions

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  • sthogesthoge Posts: 28
    I was told the plastic wheel covers are supposed to reduce wind drag on the wheels, giving better fuel economy. I doubt it's ever been proven by anybody though.
  • 63pro63pro Posts: 15
    Yes, this is the real deal. I bought a 2010 in October and had even questioned the salesperson about how confusing the sales brochure was concerning alloy wheels and wheel covers. He said he didn't know but would check it out--he didn't and I failed to follow up until I took my car throught a carwash and accidentally hit one of the carwash rails and ended up popping off the wheel cover. I was angry at myself for doing this, but very pleasantly surprised to find the alloy wheel underneath. Needless to say, I popped off the others and now have a great looking set of wheels. The only "fly in the ointment" was that very small center caps for the wheels were needed, but were not there, so I had to buy them from the dealer for close to $70. No gas mileage issue for me. Changed to synthetic oil and averaged 55mpg on my latest 1800 mile trip. :)
  • I have 45,000 miles on my 2007 Prius Touring and needed to replace the tires. There seemed to be plenty of tread left but, because I live in Las Vegas with the extreme heat, the tread started to split. Because I had experienced the high cost of wheel cover replacement before, I decided to get new rims as well. I know, dumb, but I didn't think it would make a difference. The car looks great but my gas mileage has dropped tremendously. I used to get between 46 and 49 mpg (per the car's computer--my calculations are always a little less) and now the high is 43. My current tank is showing 36 mpg. I have NEVER seen it that low before! I also notice that I can't coast as well and I can't "float" the gas pedal to get better gas mileage while still going the same speed.

    All that said, what do I do? I might be able to get different tires and go back to my old rims since I got the tires and rims from Discount Tire but what tire do I ask for? I'm very depressed at the drop in mpg. HELP! : :cry:
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 800
    edited November 2010
    First, all other things being equal, new tires should get worse fuel economy than old tires.

    Second, if you changed from an OE tire to a replacement market tire, expect a further drop in fuel economy.

    Third, if you went after a tire with god treadwear ratings, expect another hit in fuel economy.

    Be aware that there is a 3 way relationship between rolling resistance, traction, and treadwear. Rep[eat after me: "There is no free lunch!"

    So I'm thinking the problem isn't the rims.

    If you want more detail:

    http://www.barrystiretech.com/rrandfe.html
  • TAKE NOTE: The variables that effect milage are many...tires, weather, temperatures, seasonal gas blends, wear & tear, and finally, change in driving habits. I suggest, after 8 yrs with an 04 Prius with 133 plus thousand miles, milage is going to vary. Mid summer I always climb back into the upper 40's and expect much less come the harsh winters. Truthfully I find keeping tire pressure up to suggested specs a key point. I once saw what a massive head wind can do to milage on a trip from Indiana to western Iowa. I got 31mpg and on the return 51mpg. What a difference that can make. So, what I'm suggesting is simply consider ALL the issues when it comes to MPG's. ;)
  • Thanks for the info. Sorry for not getting back to you before this--work/computer issues. Sounds like I got hit with all three issues. That'll teach me! At least the rims aren't part of the problem. They are alloy too and do make the car look awesome! I stopped back at Discount Tire today and talked to them about the tires. They claimed they had never had anyone complain before but were "appreciative" of my comments. They checked their computer but couldn't find any tire that listed anything about tire and gas mileage for the Prius. They actually asked me to let them know what tires would be good for the Prius. Toyota had told me that Goodyear makes a tire they use for the Prius but I can't remember what the name was. See what happens when you get non-young! (I prefer not to use the "O" word any more!

    Again, thanks and if you know of a good tire, I'd appreciate the info.
  • I've had my car since March of 2007 and have kept track of my gas mileage every fill up so I understand the varying situations and am considering the issues. The gas mileage I am now experiencing is 5 mpg lower than the lowest mpg I've ever experienced so that is a major drop. The one issue I wasn't aware of before was the whole new tire, rolling resistance factor thing which was mentioned by another. After reading what he said and checking out the website he included, it all makes sense to me. I'm going to try inflating to a higher psi and see if that helps. I'm also hoping it will get better as the tire wears. thanks for your reply.
  • the atmosphere is 78% nitrogen. Nitrogen has an atomic mass number of 7 where as oxygen has a number of 8. The lower the number the smaller the molecule. The smaller the molecule the more likely to leak out. Yes nitrogen is less affected by temp change but the charge for it is ridiculous. Save your money check your Tire pressure every few weeks.
  • esm2esm2 Posts: 2
    edited January 2011
    I replaced a tire on my 2010 Prius with a Bridgestone ECOPIA EP 20 BL P195/65R15 89S, which is the same brand and numbers on the original tires.

    Now the speedometer is crazy. It reads 80-90 when I know I'm only going 40-50.

    Did they mess something up when they changed the tire.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,085
    Replacing a tire with one of the same size will have no effect on your speedometer reading, so I think you're looking at something going wrong with the speedometer, just a coincidence that it happened at the same tiem as the tire change

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  • sthogesthoge Posts: 28
    Did your speedometer get changed from MPH to KPH?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,085
    Well, those numbers DO sound like metric equivalents, but it's the speedo simply marked with two scales?

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  • SURE SOUNDS LIKE K.P.H. TO ME
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I agree: 80 km/h = 50 mph. Does the 2010-11 Prius still have a digital speedo like the 2004-09 model? If so, there's probably a button to switch from metric to English units.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,085
    Ah... with digital I'm right in the "accidental mode reset" camp ;)

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  • esm2esm2 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the help.

    Yes, it was Kph. I noticed when I picked up the car the radio was off. The mechanic probably hit the little Kph/Mph button (right next to the radio on/off switch).

    Thanks...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,085
    Hmm... seems an odd place to put that button since the radio on/off is something you would tend to be using more often.

    Glad that our collective brains could help! :shades:

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  • Actually it's kinda fun 'once in a while to deliberatly put the "SPEEDO" In Metric Mode. You feel like your buzzing around faster than you thought ..AND...you get to test your mathimatical genious trying to figure out how fast your going in English Mode.
    Come on now ...life is boring if you don't expand your horizons and think outside the box. ;)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,085
    Oh, I always enjoy my trips into Canada for that very reason. Once you cross the border, you really make good time :P

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  • I had a 2005 Prius which came with Goodyear Integrity tires...they lasted around 24K miles and I replaced them with Michelin...I cannot remember their model name but they had "v" grooves and were highly rated. Shortly later my son took my Prius over and fairly quickly ran the Michelins into the ground. I later got a 2010 Prius which I ordered with 17 inch wheels...it came with Pirelli tires which show little or no wear after 12K miles. My son bought some Bridgestone tires for the 2005 Prius and has upwards of 40k miles...I believe they were more LRR upscale tires but were bought on sale thru Sears. I have been reading and like the specs on Bridgestone Go19 tires which one can get a good price on thru Costco.
  • I also have '05 & '10 Priuses hmm... not sure of a good plural. I purchased the '05 with 22,000 miles and the previous owner had already switched to a Big O EuroTour tire... I spoke with the folks at a local Big O trying to figure out why he had switched (did not have the opportunity to speak to the previous owner so I have no idea at what mileage they were put on) and all they could tell me what that the particular EuroTour tire he put on was the top of their line for that car. Interestingly my son is also driving my '05 and has rolled up about 12k miles since he borrowed it (at about 28k).

    I have considered switching the '10 to the Michelin Hydro-Edge as we are using the car in Northern Utah (as my son has mine) where originally we thought the '10 would be spending its time in Las Vegas. I have read that the Hydro-Edge is a noisier tire (I guess they have to be a harder rubber to last 90k miles), but am also a bit concerned as to what they would do to the fuel mileage. I got the Prius IV so with its 15" wheels I can switch the Hydro Edge tires over to the '05 (assuming my son ever gets a job so he can replace the transmission in his car) and then use it in Utah.

    I did speak briefly with an gentleman who lives in the same neighborhood who I noticed had the Hydro Edge on his Prius and he was quite happy with them. Apparently he had some difficulties driving up the hill to his house (he is a higher up the hill than I) which is the reason he switched to the Hydro Edge and has not had any difficulty since. We do get snow in our area, but not as bad or sustained as it would be if I lived up in one of the ski-areas or the Dakota's.

    If anyone else would like to chime in about their experience with the Hydro Edge on their Prius I would love to hear it.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I put on Nokian eNTYREs on my '06 Prius last fall to replace the OEMs. They're smoother and I seemed to get a little better MPG and so far this winter with all this snow they've been great.
  • tikaltikal Posts: 7
    "I put on Nokian eNTYREs on my '06 Prius last fall to replace the OEMs. They're smoother and I seemed to get a little better MPG and so far this winter with all this snow they've been great. "

    How are they on the rain?

    Thanks in advance for your response.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    No problems in the rain either that I've seen.
  • tikaltikal Posts: 7
    Great and thanks for the response bobw3.
  • 63pro63pro Posts: 15
    I am curious about your winter driving experience. I live in Ohio, and have a 2010 Prius with about 22K. Although I am doing Ok with current tires, I think I want to get some designated snow tires for future winters. I haven't seen much on the forum about dedicated snow tires and I know it will cut my mileage down, but I am not sure the current "dealer" tires are all that great in snow. I seem to slip around quite easily, but so far have stayed out of the ditch. Do you or perhaps any others out there have any recommendations about dedicated snow tires. I have heard about Blisak (?), but have not talked with anyone who has them on a Prius. Thanks for you help.
  • I have a 2008 Prius with 34000 plus miles. The stock tires are not wearing well and was advised to get new ones. Soooo, has anybody put the Cooper GFE tires on their Prius?
    Thanks.
    TN
  • sgbglasgbgla Posts: 1
    I also purchased a 2010 Prius in August of 2010 and I absolutely hated the wheel covers. We had popped off the cover and discovered alloy wheels underneath but didn't like the look with the missing center cap. You mentioned that you purchased them at a dealer for $70. When I asked the Toyota dealer about the cap, he said there wasn't one for the 2010 Prius. Was the cap for a different model Toyota and it fit the 2010? This would have to be for a 15" wheel...not the 17" one. Any help you can offer would be great.
  • 63pro63pro Posts: 15
    Hi, I really don't understand why your dealer didn't have access to the wheel caps for your Prius unless the 15" wheels are the difference maker. I just went to the parts counter at my dealership and ordered them up. I do have 17" wheels and that may be the difference. Before I finally bought, I went on the net under "wheel caps" and saw a ton of items. If you choose this route, check the inside diameter of your opening and how a cap fits into it. I think you might find something. I was even to the point of buying a cap with a different logo in hopes of saving a few bucks, but wound up going with the dealer. Hope you can find what you are after. :)
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    After I purchased my Prius IV in August of 2009 I had the same problem with the plastic wheel covers. I purchased four center caps for the 2009 Prius from centercaps.com. When they arrived I was not sure they would stay on the wheels, but it has been over a year and one very rough winter and they are doing just fine. I believe I paid about $12.00/cap since they were used (but looked new).
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