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Run-flat, self-sealing, PAX tires for Minivans



  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Shipo---some excellent points you've made.

    I do admit to an inherent Honda bias as noted by the cars I have owned....

    1982 Civic sedan
    1983 Accord hatch
    1986 Accord sedan
    1994 Accord sedan
    1995 Passport (A lemon, and an Isuzu)
    1999 Accord sedan
    1999 Civic Si coupe
    2000 Acura NSX
    2003 Accord 6spd coupe
    2005 Acura RL
    2006 Odyssey Touring
    Planning to get a 2008 Accord 6spd coupe soon

    I have dealt with 8 different Honda dealers while living in 5 states. None of them was/is perfect. But I've had acceptable or better service every single time. Although my ownership experiences haven't been perfect (my latest foray with PAX a good example), overall the Honda's I've owned have been reliable and fun to drive. (But the most mileage I've ever put on one is 82,000 miles, and I tend to trade when I approach 65,000 miles). In most cases my Hondas have had very good resale value, in spite of the fact that almost all were manual transmissions.

    I think it helps if the owner/consumer is informed, educated, reasonable, and does his/her own research so that they aren't relying on the dealer for every shred of information. Just as there some unscrupulous Honda dealers, I have found the large majority to be honest and upfront.
  • No, a conventional tire machine will not break the bead of a PAX tire and rim.

    Regards, JEff
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    IIRC, at least one company makes a PAX "adapter" to convert a regular machine. Can't recall the price and don't claim to know how well it might work.
  • "What do you mean "old rims" neogeo? Has Honda been forcing you to buy new wheels with each tire set? That can't be what you meant."

    Yes, that can be what he meant. Up until early this year, when my local Honda dealer obtained a PAX tire-mountng machine, the only option was to buy the tire and wheel assembly. As I didn't need new tires at the time I enquired (when I was looking at buying an Odyssey Touring model and was concerned about what I was reading about the PAX system) I did not puruse the issue of any credit for the old rims (with worn-out tires attached since the dealer couldn't dismount them).

    At that time I made my purchase decision based on switching over to conventional rims and tires when it came time to replace the tires, but now that my dealer has the machine I think I'll stick with the PAX. And my doughnut spare.

    This dealer is still the only 1 of 3 Honda dealers in my metropolitan area who has the PAX machine.

    Regards, JEff
  • "References?"

    My local tire dealers and the 3 Honda dealers in my metropolitan area. I checked with a lot of them before buying, with misgivings about the PAX, an Odyssey Touring model. Your references otherwise?

    In re-confirming this I was pleasantly surprised to find that Michelin now lists 10 tire dealers within 10 miles of me and 47 dealers within 20 miles. A year ago there was 1 dealer within 20 miles. This is great news!

    The bad news is that one of those dealers who I called this morning couldn't give me a price because he couldn't determine what tire I needed. He said he'd only had the machine a month and a half and wasn't yet familiar with tires, but he had learned already that it was a difficult job to change them.

    Regards, JEff
  • The bad news is that one of those dealers who I called this morning couldn't give me a price because he couldn't determine what tire I needed. He said he'd only had the machine a month and a half and wasn't yet familiar with tires, but he had learned already that it was a difficult job to change them.

    It's scary how pathetic these technicians can be (or what liers these dealerships can be). It's just a tire! This isn't rocket science. There's one extra step that requires you to reseat the inner ring. It takes 10 seconds to do that with the machine and the special roller attachment. I've seen those videos on the internet of a dismount and remount of a PAX tire. It looks the same to me. I used to work for a gas station when I was a teenager. Changed many tires in my day. It's just not as big a deal as some dealers are making it out to be.
  • It's just a tire! ... I've seen those videos on the internet of a dismount and remount of a PAX tire. It looks the same to me.

    Maybe. Maybe not. There are some unique aspects about the PAX mounting, how significant those aspects are I don't know. One obvious difference is that the PAX wheels and tires don't provide that nice big 'lip' on the rim and curved sidewall on the tire. The PAX tire sidewalls run vertically straight down to the wheel rim which doesn't have a lip - no nice big 'valley' at the tire-wheel meeting point into which to insert a tool. I haven't seen those videos you talk about. Can you provide some URLs?

    Changed many tires in my day.

    I hear you! I remember being a poor college kid and laying the wheel on the floor along the wall of the garage, putting a jack with the base on the side wall and the bumper hook under a pipe running horizontally along the wall, and breaking the bead by 'jacking-up' the pipe! I wonder if that would work with a PAX?

    Regards, JEff
  • Very interesting "technique" you had for changing tires. Your gas station didn't have a tire changer? You definitely get an A for effort!

    Here's one of those videos I was talking about. It's meant to be a training video for a Hunter' Tire changer. The guy dismounted and remounted the tire on this video in 7 minutes and 5 seconds. And THAT was with him taking time to talk to you and explain what he was doing. From what I could see, it wasn't any different then changing a regular tire, except for the extra step to seat and unseat the inner ring. There's a special roller that you must have for this changer to do that. Big deal!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "My local tire dealers and the 3 Honda dealers in my metropolitan area. I checked with a lot of them before buying, with misgivings about the PAX, an Odyssey Touring model. Your references otherwise?"

    You missed my point. I absolutely agree that a conventional tire machine is completely incapable of changing a PAX tire, however, my point was that it is my understanding that a conventional machine can simply break the bead on the sensor side allowing the removal of the sensor.

    FWIW, I searched for the post or posts from folks who've performed the switch from PAX to GFTs and had the sensors swapped and was unable to find them. That said, I just browsed through the Michelin web site and found an illustration of the cross section bead detail of a PAX wheel and tire assembly and while I could certainly be wrong, I see no reason why a conventional tire machine couldn't separate the tire bead from the wheel.

    Best Regards,
  • My understanding is that a conventional tire machine needs to be able to accept special rollers to break the bead of a PAX tire, as illustrated in the video that spiceymike provided. Not all conventional machines, except perhaps some of the newer ones, can accept special rollers designed for PAX tires?

    Of course, if all one wants to do is get at the TPM sensors to install on a different set of rims then one could use any number of improper methods to rip the PAX tires free from the rim.

    I recall seeing a post from someone on a different message board who made the switch from PAX to regular tires and gave manufacturer and part numbers for the different TPM sensors he had to install. I'll look for it, but if I can't find it I guess this particular item of discussion has hit a dead end until someone can come up with a reference one way or the other.

    Regards, JEff
  • Great video - thanks.

    One thing I didn't see was the guy prepping the tire and support ring with the special lubricant that I understand needs to be renewed when PAX tires are changed or repaired. He just took the tire off the rim and put it back on again, didn't even remove the support ring from inside the tire and re-insert it without doing the gel thing. Those process must take some amount of time, I don't know how much, to do right. There's no comparable process with a conventional tire that we could use to make an estimate based on experience with conventional tires.

    Regards, JEff
  • Hmm, good point. I guess the demo was just to show the mechanics of dismounting and mounting the tire. You'd have to take into account the step of opening the gel pack, removing the contents, and then applying it to the inside of the tire. Thinking that through, I'd guess it probably adds another 2-3 minutes.

    I'll bet 10 minutes per tire is a very conservative estimate versus 5 minutes for a regular tire. 20 minutes to replace a regular set versus 40 minutes for a pax set? I'm just guessing, but the point is, it shouldn't take 1 hour per tire.
  • Yes, the guy was just showing the parts of the process that his machine does. That's the whole process for a conventional tire, but not for a PAX tire.

    I also have no idea how long it takes to prep the support ring, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't easy to do right and could take more than 2-3 minutes depending on what's involved.

    The support ring has to be removed from the old tire - that much should be quick. But is the gel put on the ring before the ring goes into the new (or repaired) tire? If so, how to get the ring into the tire without messing up the application.

    Or goes the gel go onto the ring, or onto the inner surface of the tire, with the ring inside the tire? Not a lot of clearance for a big fat hand or a tool to get in there, and how to see inside to be sure of getting even distribution?

    And what is the importance of even distribution? Whatever amount of gel is in there has to be significant for wheel and tire balance. Even if only a few ounces, how much do balancing weights weigh? Only a few ounces? And the gel is located further out from the center of rotation - more torque per ounce than balancing weights due to the longer distance from the center of rotation.

    If the gel is not evenly distributed when the tire is first mounted and balanced, it will be eventually move around and become evenly distributed due to the rotational forces. This will cause the wheel and tire assembly to go out of balance over time resulting in? Vibration at higher speeds? Quicker tire wear? Do we ever hear of Odyssey Touring owners complaining of such things?

    These things are speculation on my part, but it would not surprise me if proper tire preparation is critical, not the easiest thing to accomplish, and time consuming to get done right. Especially for the inexperienced. And it would not surprise me if poor tire preparation, due to inexperience or trying to do the job too quickly, is a contributor to some of the things that PAX owners complain about.

    I'll be needing new tires before the snow comes - I've got 38,000 miles on them now and am just reaching the wear indicators. I'll try to watch what goes on and see if I can learn what the PAX tire prep involves.

    Regards, JEff
  • Yea, that would be interesting to watch them and find out what it really takes. Hope yu can do it.

    I think the gel is applied to the inside of the tire, not the ring. It's just there to reduce heat from friction. I would think you just "paint" it on with a brush or some similar technique.

    You also said something that's important. It probably IS a pain and takes extra time for the inexperienced. But once you've done a few sets it's probably no big deal. Maybe that's why the prices are falling so quick now. Someone on another site said his wife just got a cut tire this week and brought it in their local Honda dealership. The tire was replaced for $190 OTD. He said the whole thing was done quickly while she waited. Very uneventful. That was encouraging to hear.
  • "My understanding is that a conventional tire machine needs to be able to accept special rollers to break the bead of a PAX tire, as illustrated in the video that spiceymike provided. Not all conventional machines, except perhaps some of the newer ones, can accept special rollers designed for PAX tires? "

    I took another look at my PAX tires last night, and noticed that the tire sidewall actually sticks out over the rim by a small amount where the tire meets the wheel. The sidewall comes straight down, and the tire is as wide where it meets the rim as it is back up at the center of the sidewall. A conventional tire has a sidewall that curves around, like a doughnut, and is inside the rim where tire and wheel meet, leaving a good size v-shape circumferential groove. A PAX tire and wheel does not have this groove at the point of contact. The sidewal sits tight against the top of the wheel rim.

    When off the wheel, the edge of the PAX tire sidewall is actually bending out, away from plane of the tire. The PAX sidewall is wider at the mounting edges than it is further up along the sidewall or where the sidewall meets the tread, and wider than the wheel is. When mounted, this puts creates greater sideways pressure betweeen the tire and the wheel rim than a conventional tire would have. This is probably part of what keeps the tire more firmly on the rim in the event of a flat.

    I can see why the PAX tire needs the special rollers that press strictly in the inward direction to push the tire off the 'shoulder' of the wheel.

    Regards, JEff
  • Hey Mikey,

    One thing that may affect the recommended driving distance (and speed) on a doughnut spare has nothing to do with the strength and durability of the tire - it's the tire's size. The small diameter means that the spare is going to be spinning a lot more RPMs than a standard tire. It's going to put quite a strain on the drive train when the spare is a powered wheel.

    Regards, JEff
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    FWIW, I've only had three or four cars with a donut spare, however, they all had the same overall diameter as the factory set of rubber. Said another way, they don't put any undue strain on the drive train should they happen to be mounted on that axle. That said, when a PAX tire (and to a lesser degree a conventional RFT) loses pressure, my bet is that the effective diameter of the tire drops significantly, and that would negatively affect the drive train.

    Best Regards,
  • The doughnut spares on my cars have all been signifcantly smaller in diameter than my regular tires. (If I could have fit a full-size spare in the storage compartments I would have replaced the doughnuts.) For my curent car (a Chrysler Sebring) the difference is ~21.5" v ~24.625" (rough measurement with a foot-long ruler), or 15%.

    I don't know how much diameter a PAX tire loses when flat. I don't know if I want to deliberately flatten one to find out!

    Regards, JEff
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Okay, so I lied. :blush: I just went out and got the sizing off the donut spares that came on our two Grand Caravans, and sure enough, the donut spare is smaller by seven tenths of an inch. That said, 0.7" isn't all that significant, even to the point that it would be difficult to discern the difference unless a back-to-back comparison was being made.

    Funny thing though, after calculating the tire diameter, the donut spares (now retired in favor of full sized wheels and tires) that we have split the difference between the two different tire sizes that were available for our vans. Consider the following:

    215/65 R15 -- Diameter: 26.0" -- Standard tire
    145/90 D16 -- Diameter: 26.3" -- Both of our donut spares
    215/65 R16 -- Diameter: 27.0" -- The optional tires on both of our vans

    Hmmm, I wonder why your Sebring has such a small donut. :confuse:

    Best Regards,
  • "Hmmm, I wonder why your Sebring has such a small donut."

    Don't know. I wonder why your Caravan's have such big ones! I agree that in your case the size difference is not significant.

    I used to have a Chrysler Town & Country. I always thought that was a full-size spare hanging under there. In fact, I'm sure it was - it just had a plain steel wheel instead of the fancy aluminum wheels. It was a 1996, if I recall correctly.

    Regards, JEff
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, the T&Cs and DGCs had a "Full Sized Spare" option, however, I opted not to order them in both cases as I felt the price premium was a bit ridiculous (in the two to three hundred dollar range IIRC). In the end I managed to buy new steel wheels from TireRack for something like $40 per wheel, and then had our local tire shop mount the best of the used tires on the steelie at the first tire change (hence the fact that I still have the spares as spares for our spares, errr, if that makes any sense). ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • Its official. Honda has made the PAX OPTIONAL on the '08 Ody. The Standard type Touring rims look fantastic imho. I hope they are reasonably priced since I think Ill do a straight swap for my PAX when they wear out (should be in about 3 months).

    Would be nice if Honda offered an exchange program.
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    ...I just got my Sienna 08 AWD lImited and they come with run flat tires,since I do have a concern about this tires wne th dealer offered an additional insurance for $290 that covers the wheel and tires for 36,00 miles...I took it..I hope that I never have to use because I don't trust these "insurances"....but I figured it is better than nothing...any thoughts?
  • You're right, these tires are more expensive to replace. The Sienna runflats are the self supporting kind (SST's) so you won't have the issue that PAX owners have finding a service center with the equipment. Those SST tires fit on regular wheels and use regular tire changers.

    The only thing I'd suggest is to double check with the tire manufacturer to make sure they are not already offerign you an extended or enhanced warranty. Michelin offers 2 year road hazard insurance with the tires. Of course, the Finance guy still tried to sell me tire insurance eventhough it was written right in the tire warranty that I already had the coverage.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm thinking that you would have been better off buying a spare tire and a jack and pocketing the difference. Then when tire replacement time comes around, simply opt for a less expensive (and most likely better performing) set of GFTs.

    Best Regards,
  • lyle44lyle44 Posts: 3
    Honda uses a metric wheel. You have buy new rims to use standard tires.added expense of $100 to $200 per tire..
  • rv65rv65 Posts: 1,076
    Dont forget to buy 08 Touring non PAX TPM Sensors. You will need them since the touring has TPMS.
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    That is a sound advice if one owns rather than lease,but since I lease your sound suggestion is out of the question. I have to return the Sienna with original equipment as far as tires are concern.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The trick that RFT shod BMW drivers are using when they have a lease is to yank the factory tires before they get to minimum tread, and store them until lease end. Granted that isn't quiet as practical for the Odyssey lessees, however, it isn't all that different from what I did with my leased 530i. I bought a set of winter wheels and tires for that car that happened to cost less than a new set of OEM tires. Turns out that the factory tires were still above minimum tread depth at lease end, and that meant that that I didn't have to buy a replacement set, saving me about $100. But wait! There's more, I was able to sell the winter wheel/tire set for another $400.

    Regarding your Odyssey, a new set of wheels and tires should cost a bit less than a new set of PAX skins (installed), and you should easily be able to peddle those at lease end, so I still think you'd be ahead of the game if you bought a new set.

    Best Regards,
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