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Acura TL Tires and Wheels

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  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,128
    Cool. I'll run through this thread for thoughts/reviews. But if any folks have any recent experience, please advise!

    Washed and Zaino's my Abyss Blue TL last weekend. Lookin' goooood... But I need a couple more coats of Z5, then Z2. I think I have a bit of a Zaino addiction...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • njvikenjvike Posts: 56
    I was looking for some wheels for my '07 Acura TL Type S and have found a
    few I like. Unfortunately, because of the size of the calipers, the wheels
    don't fit unless you use a 3mm spacer.

    Any thoughts on using spacers?
  • brew99brew99 Posts: 86
    I am looking to replace the EL 42 OEM's on my '04 TL MT. Scanning through this board has provided some great feedback.

    I am curious if going to a slightly wider size tire 245 up from 235 is an advisable option? Will it help reduce the possibility of scratching the rim, which I know is a big complaint with the current 235 size?

    Any other impacts? Performance? Handling? Gas Mileage?

    Thanks for your help! BTW, I am leaning towards the Pirelli P Zero's which seem to have received positive comments both here and on tirerack. Any additional thoughts would be great.....thx.
  • yakima51yakima51 Posts: 2
    This is a common problem that is is specific to the Bridgestone Turanza tires - they are terrible tires - It is also true that the wide tires will want to follow the crown of the road - It is easy enough to tell if you had a bad tire just have the dealer swap the front tires if the problem follows the tire then you have nailed it

    I have had my 2006 TL back to the dealer three times 2 alignments later and it still drifts to the right - dealer claims its normal So I am living with it this is my first Acura and will be my last because of blow off dealers
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    My 2004 TL 6-speed does not have a hard pull either way, but it definitily drifts to the left more than I would like. In addition, it needs more input to keep it on a straight line, even on a smooth highway, than I would like.

    After driving a lot of other cars and discussing this issue with mechanically inclined friends, it appears to be a unfortunate attribute of front wheel drive. It is not "torque steer" per se, but because the front wheels are both the steering and driving wheels, it is much more difficult to achieve perfect alignment and slight road imperfections will tend to "bounce" or twist the tires off track much more easily than in a RWD car.

    The idea that its the tire tread design is probably incorrect in most cases. Wider tires amplify the problem, but my former Honda S2000 and current 911S track in a straight line like they are on rails. I've also driven several 330i's and they require far less corrective steering inlut than any TL I've driven.

    So, a call to arms. If you like the TL but don't like the "drift" of FWD, write a letter to Acura and ask them to switch to RWD. Their stubbornness in sticking with FWD is just stupid, given the competition. FWD with low profile, high performance tires gives virtually no advantage in inclement weather. Yet the driving dynamics of FWD are far inferior to RWD for the rest of the time. Acura's decision to introduce an "S" type FWD TL is, frankly, pitiful. Are all of those S2000 engineers out on permanant lunch break?

    P.S. FWD biased SH-AWD isn't a whole lot better - and an excessivly costly fix. If a RWD TL isn't in Acura's future, they can pretty much punt this segment - at least with respect to buyers that can tell the difference.
  • gotribegotribe Posts: 101
    I just dont buy the notion that FWD cars inevitably pull to the left or right on the highway. Torque steer is another matter and usually occurs only under pretty heavy acceleration or if roads are heavily crowned. I have owned many many FWD cars (including my current 06 TL 6 speed) and have found that if alignment is set up correctly to factory specs, and tires are in good shape (e.g no slipped belts) the cars track perfectly well on the highway. If yours does not, its a problem with your particular vehicle, not an inherent problem with the breed IMO
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I too have owned many FWD vehicles and, based upon 155k miles in my Nissan Maxima SE, might have agreed with you, as it tended to track straight and didn't seem to require much input to keep it so on the highway.

    However, one cannot escape the physics of FWD. As you know, with the TL 6-speed, it is easy to induce significant torque steer with medium to hard acceleration in a turn. Not as noticable, but still present, is the engine force needed to maintain a 65+ mph cruising speed on the highway in the face of wind resistence, changing grades, etc.. When that TL engine is applying "torque" to the front wheels, anytime they are not pointed perfectly straight, there will be at least a slight centrifical force that will "pull" them in the direction they are pointed. Obviously, RWD will go in the direction that the tires are pointed, but the engine doesn't add that additional centrifical pulling effect to the front wheels.

    You can "buy" this notion or not - it's not my proprietary theory, but the explanantion over a beer I got from a friend who happens to be a successful mechanical and nuclear engineering consultant. Perhaps a better acid test would be to meet up on the PA or Ohio Turnpike and see who can go in a straight line further - you (or me) in a TL or me (or you) in a 911/S2000/3 series.

    I'm not suggesting FWD is dangerous or intrinsically flawed. In the case of my Maxima, with reasonbly sized and treaded 15" 215/60 series tires, it got me through a lot of PA winters. But now that I've experienced "the other side", I am more sensitive to the flaws of FWD relative to performance, handling and steering. And as more posters here look at the TL as an "entry level luxury PERFORMANCE sedan", they should be aware that FWD definitely has some disadvantages to RWD on that metric.

    P.S. My Acura mechanic (not an ME or nuclear expert) also pointed out a while back that FWD cars tend to need alignents more ofter than RWD cars. The bumps and potholes tend to jar the powered front wheels out of alignment more easily than would be the case if the front wheels were not powered. He used to work for Mercedes and rarely had to do alignments on C or E classes compared to the frequency with TL's.
  • gotribegotribe Posts: 101
    I guess I could buy that FWD cars go out of alignment more often due to the wheels being "powered" and jarred. But I maintain, that when properly aligned, FWD cars track just fine on the highway. I also suspect (cant prove this) that suspension geometry (e.g. toe in, camber, caster) has more to do with a vehicle's straight line stability than whether its FWD or RWD. While I realize those settings are "alignment", from what I've read, mfrs decisions about these settings can impact straight line stability. That all being said (other than the impact of torque steer when accelerating hard, or out of a turn) FWD=RWD straight line stability IMO. By the way I too had a few mid 90's Maximas--they tracked great and I dont think I ever aligned any of them!!
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,128
    Hello, Hab:

    Hope you're having a nice summer. And speaking of tires (a bit off topic here, but timely for me?), I read what you wrote about Contis. My TL will be getting new shoes this fall and I (think) I've narrowed my choices to 4 Ultra-High Performers:

    Conti ContiExtremContact
    Kumho Ecsta ASX
    Pirelli P Zero Nero MS
    Bridgestone RE960 Pole Postions

    The Contis and Kumhos are rated about the same by TireRack customers and pricing is similar. But in the one comparison test by TR, the Kumhos were preferred. Two co-workers are running on the Contis. One loves 'em, other hates 'em. Of course. Do you have any thoughts?

    The Pirellis & Bridgestones are also highly rated by TR customers and TR. The Bridgestones get rather raves from the customers. But, both these tires are a bit more expensive than the two tires above. Any thought on this pair.

    Or just thoughts overall? V or Z rated...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    If I'm not mistaken, you have a TL w/ automatic transmission, correct? If that's the case, it does not have the stiffer sport suspension and using "Ultra-High Performance" tires is a waste of money, IMO. Acura appears to agree - they did not even offer the "HPT" (high performance tire) option on the automatic.

    The TL is a very nice, moderately sporty FWD family sedan. It's not a sports car and is 60/40 front weight biased (putting serious stress onsoft compound front tires in corners). Personally, when it comes time to replace my tires again, I will likely go for a good quality, higher mileage, quieter V rated tire than the W rated ones that came with the HPT package or the Tire Rack recommended Avon Tech's which are very noisy and of questionable quality. My 911S gives me a smoother highway ride than the TL with those tires.

    About the only car in this category, IMO, that can make decent use of ultra high performance tires is a BMW 550i with the sport package. Not the E class, sport or not. And certainly not the FWD TL automatic. It's up to you, but I would treat the TL as a family sedan, not a sports car when it comes to tire replacement. Good luck.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,128
    Thanks, slushbox indeed.

    I think I was drawn to the UHP category by the high ratings for the Conti's in the snow. And relatively lower prices as compared to some tires in the "Touring" or "High Performance" category. I'll review them again. Given the nature of the TL, I do tend to value ride/noise comfort over handling. But, after the dreadful in the snow Turanza's I am looking for a decent "All Season" tire.

    Did you have any thoughts on the quality of Kumho tires? Sounds like Contis and Avons aren't high on your list...

    Took the family to Newport yesterday in the TL. Nice ride. The TL cruises effortlessly @ 80mph and Derek and the Dominos sounded fab coming from the ELS... My son has decided that "The Breakers" is too big of a house for us to buy. Thank goodness, I didn't relish cutting that lawn with my Sears push mower... :)

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I think I was drawn to the UHP category by the high ratings for the Conti's in the snow.

    That seems contradictory to my experience. The "HPT" tires that came with my TL were Bridgestone Potenza's. Much, much better in warm dry conditions than the standard Bridgestone Tourenzas that lots of TL buyers complained about. But, they wore out in under 20k miles and were absolutely horrible in light snow. The softer compound of a high performance tire (W, Y and some Z rated) will "freeze" in cold temperatures and the tire might as well have a coating of silicone on it. I literally had a tough time getting out of a grocery store parking lot in 2 inches of cold granular/icy snow.

    By comparison, we were at our second home this spring when it snowed 1-2" every day over the Easter weekend. I took out my old Nissan Maxima with H rated Goodyear Eagle RS-A's and it took me awhile to realize I didn't have to baby it. The snow handling of the Nissan was far, far superior to the TL with either my original Potenza's or replacement Avons.

    It really depends upon how you drive the car. If you really aren't testing the handling limits, don't be fooled (like I was) in thinking you need a very high performance tire on the TL. I am sure there are some excellent H or V rated tires that will give you much longer tread life and better snow traction. If I decide to keep my TL long enough for another set of replacement tires, that's what I'm going to look for.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,128
    Were the Potenzas the RE950 summer tires? I ask because the Potenzaa Pole Postions RE960a are highly rated (by TR users) in all conditions. They are an UHPT, as are the Conti Extremes and Kumho ASX.. Are your Avons the 550 M&S?

    Yes, I have the dreaded Turanzas that have dismayed me so in the white gold. I've not been stuck or (too far into) in a dangerous situation with the Turanzas due to the traction/brake assists, experience in the snow and (mostly!) luck. While I don't expect Blizzak perfomance from All-season's, a lifetime of FWD/All-season tire driving has served me well as I spend fabulous times driving to and skiing the mountains of New England. Until the Turanzas, now my TL does not go north of Mass. in the snow!

    I still have some time, so will review the "Touring" and "HPT" categories vs. the UHPT.

    If only it would snow 1-2" daily from December through Tax day at the ski resorts of New England! :)

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Were the Potenzas the RE950 summer tires? I ask because the Potenzaa Pole Postions RE960a are highly rated (by TR users) in all conditions. They are an UHPT, as are the Conti Extremes and Kumho ASX.. Are your Avons the 550 M&S?

    I believe the Potenzas were the RE950 summer tires. They were definitely rated as a "summer" compound.

    The Avons I have are the M500 in 245/45WR. I went up to the 245 from 235 width to try to protect the rims a little better. (3 out of 4 rims have scrapes from just slightly touching curbs). Lousy design by Acura - my 911 wheels have no rim scrapes and I've touched curbs just as much with them, with even lower profile tires.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,128
    My TL, too, has a couple of scraped rims. And yet I have no recollection of close curb calls. On occasion, however, the evil wife and I do switch cars... :surprise: Agreed that this is one of the TLs (minor) flaws. Along with a trunk lid that dumps water into the trunk, makes me think of a Caddy XLR in that respect. Maybe it's the 21 or so coats of Zaino that forces the drops of water to slide with such fury from lid to trunk!

    Comparing tires on TR, I'm still drawn to the UHPT category, with the qualifier that I'm looking at the All-Seasons, not summer tires. Overall, this category seems to offer more choice for the TL, with performance ratings comparable (or better) than GT or HP. And at more reasonable prices. The aforementioned evil wife insists that we will be upgrading our fireplace to a gas insert next month, so I have to save money somewhere. And she fully knows how unimportant tires are to my well being... :sick: Just kidding, of course. Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets (Damn Yankees!). She shall have her warmth and I will have my tires...

    When I have a moment, a phone call to TR seems to be in order for further research. Or I could just replace the TL with a new Jag XK which, of course, will come with new tires. Oh, yeah. I'm not Lola... :(

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Like I said, go for whatever turns you on, but I'm inclined to go with longer lasting, quieter all-season tires on the TL the next time around - realizing that it is a FWD sporty family sedan, not a sports car. I didn't realize that "Ultra" high performance came in all season compounds / tread design, so perhaps I'll check them out. But you should also check out some other ratings besides Tire Rack. I'm not impressed with their highly rated Avon Techs and the tires are considerably noisier than my former Potenza's.

    Now, on two other points: What's up with the Jag XK? not impressive in my opinion and only comes in an automatic. I know that works for your marriage, but you really ought to consider having your wife to learn how to drive a stick so you can consider some higher performance cars when you do hit that jackpot. ;)

    Second, since when is a gas fireplace insert an "upgrade"? :sick: In our area an price range, it certainly isn't. Cheaper to build and easier to maintain, yes, but no genuine architectural character and no "performance" i.e. compared to smell, sound and aesthetic qualities of a real wood burning fireplace (preferably stone construction). I wonder what Frank Lloyd Wright would do if someone wanted to put a gas insert into the fireplace at Fallingwater. Probably come out of his grave (and melt all the vinyl sided houses that have been built in the last 50 years while he's at it).

    Don't be offended - I'm just trying to give you the ammo to go back to your "evil" wife before she spends money on that non-upgrade. Money that could be well spent on that next sports car with a real 6-speed stick. ;) ;)
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,128
    Thanks for the pep talk!

    (Like many men...) I'm a fool for a pretty face. And that the Jag XK is, imho (one dealer down the road is advertising $16k off MSRP! Still a bit steep for me). Just like our TL and the classically lovely 911. Every review I've read, and from some over on the (wealthy, erudite, combative, diesel-loving, intelligent and just all around neato) "Luxury Lounge" one gentleman has purchased a convert and seems most pleased. A big manny-tranny bunch over there, too.

    Evil wife can drive a stick, I taught her. "Made" her drive one for about 10 years as I had a company slushbox and wanted a little row your own for weekend fun. Since I'm a few years away from a third car toy (kids! Summer camp, college, clothes, braces, lunches!) anything and everything is possible including the fab Germans and their offer of do it yourself gear selection. But that Jag sure is purty...

    Re: Gas insert. Since I tend to keep our New England abode on (in her opinion) the cool side in the winter, she thinks the gas insert will heat the house significantly. She doesn't understand that I will keep the insert thermostat cool too! A penny saved (gas heat, oy!) is an R8/911/Cayman/Aston Martin in the future garage. The Mendota we will be buying actually looks pretty good. Plus during power outages, it will continue to generate heat without drawing heat ex. the house up the chimney. Only the blower needs electricity. But, and here is the most salient point, she wants one. I'm sure our second (ski/lake) home will be of the wood burning type...?

    Where might I find more tire reviews, other than TR? And here... Local dealer is high on Toyo Versados, a new GT all-season...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Where might I find more tire reviews, other than TR? And here... Local dealer is high on Toyo Versados, a new GT all-season..."

    I wouldn't necessarily throw the TR reviews or their personal recommendations completely out, I'd just try to supplement with first hand info from other sources. We have several perfromance tire shops in the area that I will consult, even if I don't buy from them. Also, my Acura dealer is also a Mercedes dealer and the owner is a car nut with a Cayman S and SL65 in his personal garage, so I'll check his opinion next time around (on both my TL and 911).

    As for the Jag XK, it is a very nice looking car, although perhaps not as impressive, IMO as when it first came out in the late 1990's. I was guilty of staring at them back then. My gripe with Jag isn't the looks, it's what's beneath the skin. Just completely underwhelming as far as precise, tight driving dynamics, IMO. Essentially, a Ford. The Cayman S, by contrast, is a lot closer to what the good old E-Type would have liked to evolve to, IMO. At least as far as the driving experience.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,128
    Thanks. I'm heading to my local tire shop on Wednesday for an oil change/rotation. Will query them then.

    Yes, I believe that the prior gen XK is a work of art that will stand the test of time as did the original XKE (in my youth, a friend's Dad had an XKE 'vert. I was not much of a car guy at that young age, but I've never forgotten riding in that car. Nor, for some strange reason, another friends Dad's Triumph Stag!?). This latest iteration is also quite nice, in a modern evolutionary way. I MUCH prefer Ian Callum's design signature to Chris Bangle's... But I'm sure Bangle loses no sleep over that!

    And my desires so far are only shaped by my AutoWeek/Car and Driver/Auto Mile/International Auto Show haunting reviews and views. I probably should just for fun, but I don't start test driving 'till I'm somewhat serious about buying.

    I'm sure that if I actually drove a Cayman/911/XK/335i that I'd probably just start throwing my credit cards at the salesmen...!

    One of the two billionaire auto dealer magnates (well, one is a Jr.) here in the Hub of the Universe-land is replacing the Auto Mile Dodge dealership with a Ferrari/Maserati store. A logical progression to me.. Oh, that's not going to be good for me... Evil wife put on her best fake smile and said, "Of course if it's what you want you can buy it..." when I came home in an '05 MB E class on a test drive. She knew full well my inherent "thriftiness" would steer me to a more prudent ride, $ wise. She, as always, was right.

    But I've vowed to put us into bankruptcy with my next auto purchase. I'll show her! (picked up our daughter today from her camp on Cape Cod. In the parking lot was a shiny, new Bentley Continental GT in a most unattractive shade of blue. Another sign?) And that new Ferrari/Maser dealer might just be the sign I was looking for to contact our lawyer to begin filing for the bankruptcy declaration!

    Oh, well. Time to pay some bills... :sick:

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,128
    Have to decide soon. Tire store wouldn't rotate tires as the fronts are too far gone. They're really pushing the Toyo Versados (GT Tire). Buy 3/1 free through 7/31. Claim are quiter with better ride/handling than comparable Michelin or Bridgestones... Price includes "free" 3 year Road Hazard Warranty, free rotation/balance every 6k miles and free flat repair... What to do, what to do...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

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