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Toyota Highlander Tires and Wheels

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  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    While I still have the A20's on my vehicle I finally just received my 4 Blizzak snow tires from the Tire Rack (been on BO since the end of June). In July I also picked up a set of new Highlander Sport 19" take off wheels to mount the snows on cheaper then the aftermarket ones available at the Tire Rack. Would have loved to have the Hybrid wheels for the snows as well, but these were all I could find. So come next week I'll have 4 19" snows, the correct size, mounted on Toyota wheels for winter.

    I hope that by the time my A20's bite the dust (11K on them now) that either the HT's will be plentyful or there are other choices available.
  • qfmaxqfmax Posts: 1
    bob256:

    I'm going to follow the same course as you (got my Blizzaks on order from TireRack...who says they have them in stock) and will wait until sprint to swap out the original, junky A20's for H/Ts. I'd like to save some hassle and get another set of wheels to mount the Blizzaks on and I'm wondering where you found the Highlander sport wheels you're using? I'd like to avoid paying $265/OEM wheel if I can.

    Anybody else have advice on a good set of 19" wheels that'll work on an '08 HH Limited?
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    Got them on Ebay for about $200 each w/ center caps and lugs shipped. I saw the same thing and this way I saved $65 per wheel and have regular Toyota wheels.
  • I'm now 60 years old and I've bought quite a few tires. First off the tire warranty for X number of mileage is nothing but a marketing gimmick. Hardly anyone (but there are a few) will get 80K on a set of tires and if you NOW read the fine print, the dealers will only honor tire warranty from wear out if you can prove with RECEIPT$ that the tires were rotated and balance every 5K. The cost to do this will out exceed the cost of a new set. DIY's that do it themselves do not count.

    Everyone drives different and those who blow away from stop lights and turn hard will burn out any tires in short time. I once bought Michelin X tires at Costco rated at 80K for my wife's AeroStar. At 36K they were well worn out and Costco (at that time pro-rated them and I go a new set for $125). At this time it came my van and when I sold it 50K miles later, the tires were worn out.

    Tire life also varies by the vehicle weight and the location in the country. Different areas have more abrasive aggregate in the asphalt and hilly and mountainous areas also are harder on tires.

    The best indicator is the uniform tire rating. When the numbers are in the 300 range, expect maybe 20K and with easy driving 30K, the 400 range maybe 40K and the 500 range and above 50K max. Therefore, I like to buy tires of at least 460 and higher and alot of it depends on your budget on which ones to buy.

    Another indicator I use is the rubber thickness of a new tire and the performance rating. So call high performance tires with high traction will not last at all. They are generally 9/32" of rubber and a softer compound for traction. Regular passenger tires will usually have a max of 11/32" of new rubber. Cheaper tires will have the 9/32".

    Another problem the tire shops have are the retired guys. They buy a new car at retirement, keep it in the garage most of the time and after 8 years the 40K tires only have 25K on them but they are all dry rotted (ozone damage) and they expect new tires because the OEM tires did not last. There is no warranty on this normal wear.

    I've bought cheap tires and expensive ones and the real indicator is the driver. So every place I read those who write and complain about how bad tires are, first look in the mirror and start from there as what tires to buy next and what to expect.

    FYI, on our Highlander I rotated the tires every 10,000 miles with the spare. On the OEM's we got 50,000 when I had to replace them.
  • nowlennowlen Posts: 35
    Don't rule out the 17" wheels that come on the base HL. I have a Sport with the 19's and I found a beautiful set of 4 with centers for just over $500 on ebay early this summer and had a lot better choice of tires in the 17" flavor. I got the Michelin Latitude X-Ice for around 160 each from Costco well after the end of last year's snow season. So for about $1,200, I got OEM wheels and primo snows. And a bonus of the 17's, if you live in pothole country, is the extra 1" of sidewall on the tire. If I come across a potential warranty issue, I'll just put the 19's back on when I take it in for any warranty work.
  • djsmwdjsmw Posts: 1
    I bought my 2008 Highlander Hybrid know about the tires. has anybody siped the Bridgestone tires and if so how did they preform?
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    Got my new snows mounted on the spare set of wheels I purchased today and just had regular valve stems installed on them and no TPMS pucks installed. I found out the following. I have a Hybrid Limited and went into the small screen set up mode (hold dsp button) and reset the tire presure monitor to off. I have no warning lights or error messages... this is great news for those worried about the light staying on.
  • Does this happen to anyone? We have a 2005 FWD 6cyl highlander which spins out with the slightest touch of the accelerator from a stop or accelerating during a slow turn when the roads are wet. I've been driving FWD cars for 25 years and am quite familiar with torque steer and all sorts of other FWD symptoms if one is aggressive, but the Highlander spins out under the most conservative of driving conditions.

    I thought it was the OEM tires, so I swapped them out with a set of Yokahama Geolanders HTS and didn't really see any difference other than the increased road nosie.

    So now I'm puzzled... is it the tires? the vehicle's torque?

    Does anyone else experience this with their Highlander?

    Thanks

    -Kevin
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    I suspect that you're accelerating and turning a little faster than you think. In a turn, you're reducing the load on the inside tires and the frictional force on the tires is proportional to that load. Wet pavement provides a significantly reduced coefficient of friction. Also, the Highlander has a higher center of gravity than a sedan which tends to amplify the effect of reduced load on the inside tires in a turn. All of those factors result in slippage when you're accelerating too fast while turning.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I have a 2003 Highlander V6 3.0L. I think your model is a 3.5L with more hp & torque. I live in S. Florida and it is the rain capital of the US. 56 inches a year and the only time the front wheels slip is hard acceleration on damp roads where the oil comes up to the surface. Other then all of the typical roads conditions, asphalt aggregate and climate can affect the road friction; have you every have the dealer check out your vehicle. You do have drive by wire and it could be a throttle position sensor or another one and the computer thinks that the engine is not up to the correct RPM/Speed for the accelerator pedal position. Since it is only happening on wet roads it could be just on the edge where the tires will break and not on dry payment.

    On dry payment if the vehicle accelerates silky smooth which these engines are well know for it might just be the driver. The best thing is to get someone else to drive it and see if they have the problem. You just might have just a heavy foot and not realizing it
  • gopcsgopcs Posts: 2
    2010 Highlander Sport V6 AWD

    Put off buying the Highlander for 3 months because of the unusual tires size and lack of tire choice. Finally, made decision and bought it knowing that new tires and wheels were coming.

    Purchased new wheels and tires at Discount Tire.
    Liquid Metal F5 wheels, 8x18, 35 offset.
    Michelin LTX M/S tires 245/60R18

    Had to return to store for rebalance. We are going on a 200 mile trip this weekend. We'll see how it goes.

    One observation. Using GPS receiver that indicates MPH and distance traveled, the speedometer registers about 3.5 MPH faster than GPS (this is at 60MPH on GPS). This would be expected if the tire is smaller than OEM. But, the odometer shows distance traveled to be lower than the GPS registers. I might put the OEM tires back on temporarily and run some more tests.
    Does anyone know if the speeometer and odometer are driven from different mechanisms? If the speedometer is electronic, is it adjustable with appropriate software?
  • I would not put to much in the GPS reading. Since it is not military grade and the the very short distance that it compares for speed travel there is not enough decimal places to get a real reading.

    Get your tape ruler out and measure the circumference of the original tire, then with the vehicle up in the air measure the Michelins and compare the two for size.

    Another easy way is to get on the interstate and click off on millage markers. If you have a another car and a friend that has nothing else to do, follow each other in the interstate and compare each others speed with the cruise set.
  • nowlennowlen Posts: 35
    Or, just go here

    http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/infoTireMath.dos

    and make it easy on yourself.

    You'll find that the difference in tire sizes is less than .08 MPH @ 65 MPH !

    Yes, that is point-zero-eight; less than one tenth of a MPH !!!
  • Yes, the odometer is computer controlled. Without posting a LONG explaination, it is all tied to the transmission and computer with vehicle. Your odometer will register incorrectly as you explained and your gas mileage will be worse as well. In addition, don't understand why you would want to VOID the warranty on NEW vehicle by going with non-OEM wheels and tires on NEW vehicle. You, my friend are taking LARGE risk on NEW vehicle in my opinion. Just discuss this with reputable Toyota mechanic or service manager. I understand . .. it may be a long shot that your NEW vehicle would experience any issues. However, in the event you experience transmission problems or front-end problems, Toyota and dealership will look to YOU as being the issue with non-OEM parts impacting the problems. Just be forwarned . . . Today (11/25/09) big recall with Tundra pick up trucks . .. 2002-2003 with defective paint and premature RUSTING... I wonder how many potential lawsuits resulted in this BIG recall of Toyota pick up trucks...

    Be careful and I got this advice first hand from experienced dealership mechanics and service manager... lower gas mileage + miles being incorrect. Now, if you have a significant warranty issue, they go by the miles on vehicle as well. They will see the non-OEM wheels and tires and hold YOU accountable and could void warranty using that as a GOOD excuse as well.... Good luck !
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    What is God's name for? Sounds like a suspension DOWNgrade.
  • 400e400e Posts: 41
    Just wanted to report on my new Toyo H/Ts. We are in the midst of a major snowstorm in the midwest and had a chance to try the tires in 6-8" of new snow. I am delighted to report that the H/Ts are fantastic in digging out of snow! I deliberately stopped my Highlander Hybrid halfway up some decent slopes to see if I could start up again and got up the hill every time.

    This is in sharp contrast to the Toyo A20s last winter - many times I would get stuck and the traction control would just shut the whole drivetrain down, which was frustrating.

    I am overall very happy with the H/Ts. Ride well, handle crisper than the A20s, obviously worlds better in the snow.
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    Thank you! I'm in the Chicago area and damn near killed myself 3 times tonight getting home from work with my OEM Bridgestones ('08 HL LTD 4x4). Glad to hear the H/Ts are good in the snow.
  • 400e400e Posts: 41
    My pleasure, and good luck with the storm coming your way (I'm in Omaha).
  • I am around Chicago as well. My wife noted last night that the HL Sport handled
    very well last evening. I put on H/T month or so ago. She still remembers sliding
    all over last season on A20s.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,261
    It seems ridiculous that Toyota puts a poor quality and traction tire on a SUV. We are looking at replacing our Ody now that our kids are done with college and moving around. We were interested in Highlander, but honestly, this tire stuff has us looking elsewhere. Not going to spend $30K + and then have turn around and dump another grand into replacing the tires.
  • 400e400e Posts: 41
    Actually, berri, you are much better off than the rest of us who bought these vehicles without knowing this was a problem.

    Were I in the market for a Highlander right now, I would just use the tire issue as a bargaining chip in the negotiations. If the vehicle comes with Toyo A20s, just make it part of the deal that the dealer has to replace them with Toyo H/Ts.

    Honestly, moving to the H/T really completely changes the driving experience (for the better!).
  • 400e400e Posts: 41
    Yep, brings back memories to my mind too. Those A20s were just an embarrassment; Toyo and Toyota should be ashamed of themselves over that deal. Nothing like buying a very nice SUV only to dread driving in the snow!
  • Well thank you everybody for this thread. Moved to a cooler area (Oregon) from Alabama. We hit snow on the way and my Toyo A20's had me all over the road. It was embarrassing!Not to mention that they even slip on wet roads. They have 20k on them and as others reported here not much thread left. They simply suck. I started my search with my usual pattern ready to order some tires... and booom: I came to realize that there are none. After digging through this thread, I am glad that some posted that the Toyo HT are a pretty good choice if you don't want to spend money on new rims. Ordered them for $172 per piece. Waiting to put them on to be able to drive in the rain/snow without the fear of driving into the ditch.
    Thanks guys for all the help. Will report back when I have them mounted.
  • 400e400e Posts: 41
    Sounds familiar - not fun having a car that's got the grace and traction of a pig on ice.

    Hopefully you'll be as happy as I am with the HTs.
  • btacbtac Posts: 4
    I got rid of the OEM Toyos on my 08 LTD in March and I've felt better ever since.

    I am at a complete loss why Toyota would build what is otherwise a great vehicle, and then decide to save a couple of dollars by putting a weak link where (literally) the rubber hits the road.

    Buying a new Highlander?

    Great point in an earlier post to get the dealer to replace the A20s with H/Ts. If only I knew then what I know now...
  • Thanks to all for this thread. H/T's nowhere to be found in this country. I am officially the first one on the waiting list at treadepot.com for H/T's. Expected in January according to Toyo. Say a prayer for me that I don't kill myself with my severely worn out Bridgestone OEMs that handle like caster wheels (even before the treads wore down).
  • 400e400e Posts: 41
    For what it's worth, when I ordered my HTs, they were on national backorder with no ETA given. Fortunately, Treadepot got them in stock and out the door to me a week later - hope that the same happens to you and others who really need those tires to get through this snowy winter.
  • My 2008 HiHy Limited had slightly over 18K miles. I got stuck in the snow last week partly because of the A20 OEM tires and partly because I took a while to figure out how to consistently engage AWD. When I pressed the pedal more than a certain threshold, gas power would kick in and the power train will transmit power to front wheel only. The tires would just spin and would not stick to the elements. Managed to pull it out of the snow somehow and drove straight home :sick:

    I have been in front of the computer ever since to find the right tires. Have been calling some of the tire dealers in the Boston area. There was one dealer that stood out for two reasons. A) They were very knowledgeable B) They were an independent dealership and had no affinity to a brand.

    Direct Tire staff mentioned that they had received a lot of complaint regarding the A20's but they highly recommended the TOYO Observe G-02 Plus 245/55 R19 winter tires. I looked at the reviews and people have good things to say about the product so far.

    Does anyone have first hand experience with these tires on 2008 or above Highlander Hybrids with 19 inch wheels?

    Please share your experince. Thank You!
  • dee48dee48 Posts: 1
    I purchased four new tires a month ago from Discount Tire, the TPS light indicator was reset, 3 days later the light came on, I checked the tire pressure at DT they said too high, released some pressure, reset light indicator and on my way. 2 days later light back on. DT said the spare was low, added pressure, and on may way, 24 hours later light back on. DT said your TPMS must be jacked, take it to a dealer. Any suggestions please!!!
  • What kind of tires did you get? In any case, I suggest you take it to the dealer. It will cut your chase - trust me. Let them identify the problem first. It could well be covered by warranty.
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