Best tire opinion for Malibu

e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
edited June 2014 in Chevrolet
Mine is an '09 with 17" Firestone FR710.
I feel there must be a better tire for handling or there is a suspension problem which may be design. The steering feels slow to respond or a bit mushy. And it tends to track the road surface too much in my opinion. Especially the road crown, both left and right crown. I've seen complaints about the electric PS being weak, and that might be related, but suspect it has more to do with tires or alignment.
Respond with your experience.


  • xmechxmech Member Posts: 90
    Well, I don't have a Malibu, went with the Fusion, but was looking at the Malibu, too. (That's why I still check in here once in a while.) But we recently replaced the tires on the wife's Tuscon, and I went to to check all the reviews and tests. Tire noise was a problem with her car, and we were able to pick a good rated, quiet tire which we're really happy with. You can read their test ratings as well as people's personal ratings, even filter it down to the ratings of tires on the same model car as yours. Much like here at Edmunds!

    Good luck!
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Update. I looked at my window sticker again a few weeks back. Under the wheel upgrade it clearly says "Touring Tires". Those Firestones are a basic A/S passenger tire. I've been cheated.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    You need a hobby, you complain all over the net, lol.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Not complaining here, but to the dealer. Here I am trying to pass what can be valuable information to those with similar situations. I was pointed to the GM forums because of issues with this new car, but have been a very long time user of Edmunds. And it has saved me a lot of headaches and money with various models. Oddly, with this vehicle, it is the only time I've been criticized for input. With one vehicle, none of us were criticized for saying that certain parts, mostly engine related, needed to be GM originals because that engine was finicky and you'd end up doing the job again in a few thousand miles. Despite that the GM parts were much more expensive we were constantly thanked for the input, especially from those who made the mistake of using an aftermarket part.
    One such part I got burned on, but felt it was an OK part because Rochester had been making many of the parts for GM. The fuel pressure regulator had gone bad and using the Rochester seemed to cut power a little at some parts of the range. It turned out that the specs they got from GM were not totally inclusive for that specific vehicle but covered a wide range of GM vehicles and thus so did the Rochester part. The reality was that it needed a different spring rate for NorthStar Aurora engines.

    :shades: Share the info and give valuable replies!
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Maybe on this forum, the Malibu forum wants you to go away, you sure like to type,lol
  • malexbumalexbu Member Posts: 169
    Please do not listen to gonogo and stay. Your musings are interesting and are appreciated. Those who don't like them, can skip them. No one here has the privilege to send another away.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    I never told him to go away, I just said he needed a hobby. The other Malibu forum got tired of his complaining and told him to sell his Malibu, then all his problems would be solved. He listed about 12 problems on that site, they got tired of it.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Thanks Malexbu.
    As you can see, there are some that are offended by any mention that a Malibu could have a problem, despite numerous other posts with many similar issues.
    Sharing tire information was common in some of the other edmunds forums I've been in and was always appreciated. I know I appreciated it for one particular vehicle I owned because it saved me and many others hundreds of dollars when it came time to replace.
    This tire issue just being one of several issues seemed to ignite a fuse when I posted that I had discovered that the tires that came on the car were not "Touring Tires" as stated on the window sticker.
    Maybe some of the critics don't realize the difference between such ratings as passenger, touring, grand touring, winter, summer, or even truck tires. And definitely do not understand that even within a tire grouping what tire is great on one vehicle it might not have the same qualities on a different vehicle. And that is specifically whay I started a thread to learn others experience with different tires.
    Certainly I expected "Touring Tires" as a starting point, even if they were not the best match for this vehicle.
    And with other issues present, over in those GM formums it seemed like there were company men dedicated to quashing anything but praise for Malibu.
    However,. there are some over there that truly seemed to help with good advice.

    I would strongly suggest that the better forum to start in is Edmunds. Then if you run out of help, then maybe take a look at GM since there seems to be some dedicated mechanics over there, or do as I did, follow the suggestion here, Edmund forum, to check over there. It might not be a place for the thin skinned. :blush:
  • malexbumalexbu Member Posts: 169
    Maybe some of the critics don't realize the difference between such
    ratings as passenger, touring, grand touring, winter, summer, or even
    truck tires.

    To be honest with you, I still don't realize that difference -- if you
    could share your experience/opinion, I'd appreciate it.

    We (you and I, in particular) briefly talked about tires a couple of
    months ago and I said I could not, in honesty, distinguish between
    various tires on my three Malibus. Since then, I changed the rear
    tires on my Maxx -- the ones I bought it with were pretty worn out,
    and, in the early November, I was almost thrown off the ramp entering
    the highway. So, I installed the pretty expensive Eagle ComforTred
    ones there, with the "20% extra padding". Did it make my pretty
    road-sensitive Maxx smoother? A bit, undoubtedly. But not to the
    extent that I could say it changed the nature of the car and the road
    feel. Of course, I have no fear of losing the road grip now, but this
    is simply because the old ones were so worn out. (The old tires were
    "Cooper Lifeliner GLS", of wrong size, it turned out: P215/65R instead
    of P215/60R16 supposed to be there (in that older discussion I
    misidentified them as Continentals, IIRC).)

    So, a direct question to you: what would be my experience if instead
    of ComforTred, a "passenger" tire, I installed a touring or grand
    touring one?

    When you regret not getting "Touring Tires", what exactly you think
    you are missing, other than the name?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    My experience is that Touring Tires ride better and quieter than std passenger tire. Often tend to roll straighter and hopefully get rid of the slight vibration from the road surface. The next step up would be to Grand Touring Tires. Some are available in MS, multi season, or even winter versions.
    But there are also other categories that might fit your needs such as Sport or High Performance. They may have higher speed ratings if you need that. Or better traction on dry surface. If you like to drive aggressively, say cornering at maximum speed they might suit better as well, but I don't drive that way because it would be easy to out drive visibility or encounter something on the road you weren't expecting. The best tires for such would likely still fall short if you encountered an oil patch.
    If you are an aggressive sporty driver you might not mind that such tires are generally noisier and ride harsher.
    I like a tire that will stay balanced, wear evenly, do its job well on wet roads, especially against hydroplaning, rides well but grips too, and is quiet. What might seem quiet on one vehicle could be noisy on another because of vehicle construction. Same goes for handling.
    I think it was Tire Rack that used to have a way that you could search for your specific vehicle and then read the comments of users as to what their experience was with particular tires.
    Sorry to hear the expensive tires did not give you a big boost. Sounds like you only gained because of new tread and that the old tires may have started getting hard with age.
    I am going to start another thread about GM Tire Performance Criteria (TPC) and I'd like you to participate because you have more than one BU. It could yield some interesting results.
    20% extra padding?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Added insight. I was surprised at the numbers that came in for your tire.
    I compare the reviewers as well as test results because the test results seem to all be from a BMW and I don't drive a BMW.
    When looking at the test charts you might note that they only compare tires in the same grouping. Passenger tires with other passenger tires and the one I'm investigating, a grand touring with other grand touring. The one I'm interested in posted higher numbers for each test than the comfortread.
  • malexbumalexbu Member Posts: 169
    I was surprised at the numbers that came in for your tire.

    If you are talking to me, about Goodyear Assurance ComforTred, and
    refer to the TireTrack reviews:

    Look what you have there, on the scale of 1 to 10 -- just three reviews:
    4.5, 8.7. 9.5.

    I don't think any person with scientific or engineering background
    will try to make a meaningful conclusions on the basis of that sample:
    too small, too varying. Throwing away that 4.5 seems like a must, as
    a "measurement error".

    On the other hand that above number show that with the same tire the
    assessment can vary wildly -- there is not objective metrics to
    measure "the feeling".

    When looking for a tire replacement this fall, I did read a lot of
    reviews. That reading was useful in one sense -- to come not to
    believe them. If you never drive the same car with different tires
    with the similar mileage on them, you can't compare your tires with
    others. I have three Bu's, all with different tires, and I think I
    have a reasonable basis for judgement, and it is:

    * The tires may wear differently, but I will not know until they are

    * The tires are indistinguishable, in all practical ways, for a
    person with normal (for Bu) driving patterns. (FWIW, I usually
    drive in the left-hand lane).

    ABS and traction control do make a difference -- one of my Bu's
    doesn't have it, so I know.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Member Posts: 1,380
    Actually you need to hit the reviews button and then filter by Chevrolet. That will yield 56 reviews and several are for Malibu. I'm not sure what that low score we saw was about. Maybe he had other problem with vehicle, grain of salt, and near 50K is not bad for a tire that performs under all conditions very well.
    The test results are done by company, under tests button, and hoping they are a bit more objective than reviews, which are purely subjective. As stated earlier, to get tests for touring or grand touring you have to look up tests on that tire. The one I looked at in that category was the Michelin Primacy MXV4.
    Where I run into a problem is that different sites show a different size as the OE for 17" wheels. Some say 215/55R17, others show 225/50R17 as the OE. Which is why I put up the survey for TPC. According to GM, the tests they do are to find the single best tire for your vehicle and that is the TPC of your OE tire (found on sidewall). So far I have not located a cross reference showing vehicles and what number or numbers apply. I did find a TPC to tire converter and it shows the tires I have, but many other owners seem to have come with a different tire, so how is it the single best?
This discussion has been closed.