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Toyota Prius Tire/Wheel Questions

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  • Thank you very much for your reply. My home is on the "bench" down in Utah County, so I do have a bit of hill to negotiate going to and from home. As I am on the West side of the street I do have a flat driveway which is a plus.

    When I went by the Big O tire store... to get information on the tires on my '05 Prius I asked them if they were something "special" for winter driving, but they said no it was just their top-of-the-line all season tire.

    I have been considering purchasing an extra set of wheels and mounting a pair of Michelin's Xice2 tires or possible the Blizzak's from Bridgestone. Either that or switching over to Michelin's Hydro-Edge tires and then taking the Big O tires down to my '08 Prius in Vegas.

    However it sounds like as long as I don't drive like a maniac that these Big O tires should work fine, thank you for your assistance.
  • Best wishes with the all-season-radials. Yesterday, one of our snowplows was crossing Dillon Dam and triggered the anti-terrorist barriers installed by the Denver Water Board, destroying the plow truck and sending the driver to the hospital, so sliding into the ditch in winter is not the worst that can happen to you in a snowstorm.
  • ronshronsh Posts: 1
    Did you finish your analysis of mileage - hub caps vs. center caps? Any difference? Did you end up using the center caps and ditched the wheel covers?

    Thx..Ron
  • biomanbioman Posts: 171
    I actually have not tested anything. The cold winter weather has put the MPG's in to a tailspin, so I decided to wait until the more moderate weather of Spring/Summer to switch off the plastic wheel covers for the center caps.
  • wshelbywshelby Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2002 Prius with 100,000 miles on it in August of 09. I got great gas milage.... averaging 42-44 on the highway and 45+ around town. I commute daily roundtrip 150 miles a day, freeway miles at 75 miles an hour. My milage has steadily dropped to 38-40 miles per gallon. This has been a gradual drop. I have not changed driving habits, or tires (I keep them at max air pressure). My car was serviced once after a yellow triangle warning. The dealer said I needed new spark plugs and they replaced a filter. The drop was already starting and it has continued after the dealer service. I have switched to synthetic motor oil but this started before that
    The only difference I can find is the weather has steadily gotten colder thru this time frame.
    Any tips out there? Am I missing something? Does some filter need changed? Is it the colder air? I am confused, especially since it has been a fairly gradual decline.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    It's not that much of a drop and I would think the colder weather is to blame. In what part of the country do you live?
  • biomanbioman Posts: 171
    Before last winter I purchased a replacement wheel cover and a set of wheel caps for my 2010 Prius 4. I was curious as to why Toyota put plastic wheel covers on aluminum alloy wheels. One hypothesis I had is that is had something to do with improving MPG. I waited until this spring to switch over from wheel cover to caps. Well, after abut 1000 miles I can say that the mpg's have not been affected in any measurable way that I could see. Since I like to look of the alloy wheels the wheel covers are in my garage when the Prius is on the road.
  • biglou5biglou5 Posts: 1
    One reply to this says "who ever told you Priuses are heavy is crazy". Well Priuses are heavier in the front of the vehicle than other compact cars. Hybrids have a gasoline engine, an electric motor, Heavier battery, and a transmission all supported by the front axle. Early Priuses came stock with and required required XL Tires (Extra Load). A tires weight capacity is effected by the size of the tire as well as inflation. Until 2004 Priuses came with 175/65/r14 xl tires with an inflation requirement of 35psi. The mistake Toyota made was that the extra load rating of the tire doesn't kick in until the tire is inflated above 38 psi. There is no difference between an xl tire and a standard load tire of the same size at 35psi. Because of this many Prius owners experienced the front tires going bald on the inner and outer edges at low mileage. This wear pattern is classic under inflation wear. (due to the weight of the car) Inflating the tires to 40 to 42 psi puts them at the weight capacity they need to be at to support the weight of the car, but Toyota never admitted to this error because Increasing the required air pressure would change the handling and stability of the car. They corrected it in 2004 by making 15 inch tires standard. The larger tires have a higher load capacity at 35 psi with out requiring an xl rating.
  • kirbs10kirbs10 Posts: 1
    are these 16" wheels? i was looking for replacements for my touring prius...
  • mbros2kmbros2k Posts: 71
    I don't get! I have a Prius with 17 in. alloys so this doesn't apply to me, but... Yesterday I saw a 2010 Prius with great looking 15 in wheels and complimented the owner and asked where he got them. I was floored when he said they were under the plastic wheel covers. I drove away thinking he was nuts until I did some research myself. How can this be? Why would Toyota cover up such hot looking rims and waste the money on plastic crap that looks like it was purchased from the Target auto accessories dept? If aerodynamics was the issue, it could be incorporated into wheel design. If protection from damage was intended, then no one would buy custom wheels in the first place. Toyota could have spent the money on DRLs or dual zone a.c. or any number of cheap upgrades. What am I missing?
  • 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: 785
    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.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    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

    PFFlyer@Edmunds

    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

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