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



  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I know when to back off or simply give up up unlike some others.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    Some here are looking at PAX through rose-colored spectacles. Any counterpointing of the disadvantages of PAX--and there are many-- isn't necessarily arguing.
  • Who said anything about Grad AM? Poor assumption on your part. Do you have something bigger than Odyssey sitting in your garage? I don't think so. A6 is a lot smaller and less safe than Odyssey, not to mention that midsize Audi's have a history of relatively poor safety (no, not "inadverent acclearation" but historically poor crash results).


    Based on our common experience with TRX, we should know first-hand that tire technology advances very fast at inflection points. Propretary tires simply can not keep up with standard-sized tires in terms of traction and safety, in a very short time span, even if you don't care one wit about price.
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    heywood1 - Do you have the Bridgestone Blizzak runflat snowtires? If so, how do they perform. I am thinking of buying the Blizzaks and mounting/dismounting them on my original wheels. I have not found set of 17 inch Sienna wheels on ebay to mount the snow tires on. Other than from ebay, an extra set of wheels would be very expensive.
  • Since we've both agreed I won't be renting a Grand Am, what do you suggest I will put the family unit in that constitutes an "Unsafe" vehicle? My wife has pretty high standards in cars, luckily not in husbands.


    By the way, the 97 A6 got 5 star safety results from the feds doing head on crash testing. Maybe IIHS downgraded them, I don't know.


    You are correct, I don't have something bigger than an Ody sitting in my garage, but size doesn't always equate with safety, as seen by the crash results of any number of big iron cars.


     However, I do have an A8, which has an excellent safety record, 5 star ratings. Historically very impressive crash results, though I luckily haven't experienced the results first hand. You will find that the IIHS gives it low marks for loss claims as the repair costs are very high because the aluminum frame is expensive to repair.


    I would expect you would also think I am loony for buying the A8, what with it's Aluminum Space Frame, which means you have to have specialized equipment to repair in case of accidents. However, it is lightweight, and strong as heck, therefore, I get great gas mileage out of a 310 horsepower V8, and splendid crashtest results. Again, decent tradeoff from my perspective.


    Besides our joint experience with TRX, since you bought a BMW, you also get to share with me the joys and cost associated with maintaining a German car.


    Honestly, doesn't the technology associated with PAX, the "donut" if you will, seem much more solid and failsafe than simply a rigid sidewall? Again, maybe the future holds PAX in standard sizes. Neither you or I know that.


    I still say during my 3 to 4 yrs of ownership, I will have no worries regarding the effectiveness of my tires. I'm happy, and the Ody is an awesome van.
  • You're right, 2 sides to the discussion. Your Dunlops sound like good tires.


    By the way, how do you like your Toyota? Seemed like a very comfortable ride.


    I've owned a number of Toyota products, including a 1971 Corolla with a 1.2 liter engine and a 71 or 72 Corona with an engine that wouldn't die. It is amazing how far Toyota has come since then!
  • daedae Posts: 143
    >My point (and that of some others here) is that
    >PAX offers no unique advantage over conventional
    >run-flats but, at least as of now, has a couple
    >of distinct disadvantages:


    Your point is incorrect. Distinct advantages are:


    1) Lower possibility that bead will go off rim on a flat tire. Current rim design is badly flawed - it uses air pressure to hold the tire to the bead. It is an artifact of pre-radial tire design and it is time to change it. PAX bead is safer for an underinflated tire, runflat, or not.


    2) Much lower weight and much lower rolling resistance then thick-sidewall runflats and even conventional tires.


    That improves gas mileage, handling and noise.


    I think PAX is a brilliant technical solution and I wish it to do well. Though many good solutions failed to displace entrenched technology.


    The best thing Michelin can do is to license this technology broadly and cheaply. PAX are actually cheaper to produce, and they do simplify car design (no need for a spare). Manufacturers will be able to charge a premium for a cheaper to make product, sounds like a good idea.


    And another thing that can help PAX - mandatory tire pressure monitoring.


    But, personally - I would not be a guinea pig for the new technology introduction.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Points 1 and 2 well taken, dae.


    I, too, hope that PAX (or one its developmental offshoots) is a great success.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    Yes, I bought the RFT Blizzaks from the Tire Rack. They were $134 each. Performance in the snow--and especially ice--is tremendous. Combined with AWD, the van absolutely sticks to the road. Braking performance is also outstanding. We drove from GA to PA through some very bad weather on the Sunday after Christmas with confidence, while others were stuck in the median of the interstate.


    I've had several sets of Blizzaks on other vehicles I've owned. These are my first RFT's, and I've noticed no difference between the two. I was going to buy non-RFT's, but they were only a few dollars cheaper.


    If you want sportier handling, I'd recommend the Dunlop Wintersports. I have them on my Volvo S80 T-6, and they're much better handling on dry pavement. But you'll have to buy a slightly different size.


    Look for some 17" rims on the TireRack website, or check Ebay's listing of non-OEM 17" rims.


    I'd really recommend an extra set of rims, as the RFTs cost more to mount.
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    Thanks for the info, heywood1. I noticed that that many of the aftermarket rims on TireRack are 17"X7", while the original equipment rims are 17"X6.5". Would the .5" make any difference?
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    I can't say for sure. It may depend on the off-set of the rim. Call the TireRack and ask a rep. They are very knowledgeable.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    If you're gonna buy, call this rep:


    Ask Connor at The Tire Rack


    Steve, Host
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    Heywood 1 - For my 2005 Sienna XLE AWD model I checked with TireRack about the fact that the wheel they suggested for the mounting of Bridgestone Blizzack LM-50 RFT winter tire is 17"X7" ($99.) while the original wheel is 17X6.5". He said the .5" would not make any difference, even after I mentioned the offset problem. However, he brought up the problem of the "sensor" for the tire, for the low-tire- pressure warning system. He said that TireRack does not have the sensor, and I would have to obtain the sensor from a dealer. As a result, TireRack would have to ship me the tires unmounted. Did you run into, or worry about, this "sensor" problem when you mounted the Blizzacks you bought for your Sienna?
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    You've brought up a good point, and I don't know the answer. My extra set of 17" rims are OEM-- in other words, they came from another '04 Sienna (either an XLE or LTD), so I'm HOPING they had the sensors in/on them already. To be honest with you, I don't even know what the sensor looks like. I'll ask about this next time I'm in the service department.


    Still, I'm not worried. I check my tire pressure often; I'll be checking it more often now.

    And I wouldn't let this stop you from buying your Blizzaks w/rims from the TireRack. The snow & ice performance is worth it.
  • ewtewt Posts: 127
    Siennas don't have a sensor in the wheel. It uses the ABS sensors to detect underinflated/flat tires, so any wheel will work.
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    Thanks, ewt, for clearing this up. I called a Toyota service department yesterday try to get an answer. The service advisor thought there is a sensor in the wheel, but admitted he has not faced this question before. He referred me to parts. The parts man could not find any sensors for the Sienna in his computer listing. He did find sensors for the Sequoia and Tundra, at $140. each. But, he was not sure there are no sensors for the Sienna wheel, and intended to call Toyota.


    I guess the TireRack advisor (it was not Connor) was misinformed about the need for a sensor in the Sienna wheel.
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    EWT's explanation makes sense. My previous Sienna (an '03) had the tire pressure warning system as well. I purchased an extra set of Blizzaks (non-RFT) and rims from the Tire Rack, and I do recall being alerted to low pressure in one of those tires once.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Yes, ewt is correct. The Sienna does NOT utilize individual sensors in each wheel to determine an ABSOLUTE pressure for each tire. It utilizes the ABS sensors to detect differences in wheel rpm (an underinflated tire has a smaller diameter; therefore it will have to spin slightly faster than the other tires. The ABS sensors detect this slightly faster rpm and infer an underinflated tire).


    Cheap, ingenious means to detect a low tire. The downside is the system CAN'T detect a problem if ALL tires are underinflated (or overinflated) since it only measures inflation DIFFERENCES rather than the actual pressure.
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    After you put your winter Blizzaks on your new Sienna, did you have to reset tie "low tire pressure warning system?" According to the manual, this reset is supposed to be done when putting winter tires on?


    Also, did you keep track of the positions of the conventional tires you took off to put the winter tires on. In other words, when you replace the winter tires with the conventional tires at the end of the snow season, will you put the conventional tires in the same previous positions?


    I just ordered the winter Blizzaks and wheels from TireRack. I hope your glowing reports about these tires are true. It was 65 degrees in Northern VA today, but God only knows what February will bring?
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    As far as I know, re setting the system is only necessary after a low-pressure warning light is received. No need to do so unless the light is on.


    And, yes, I did mark the summer RFT's when I removed them, but only because I intend to rotate them when I re-mount.


    You will love the Blizzaks. I bought my first set for my (then new) '93 Camry V-6, because they received rave reviews in a 'Car and Driver' test on the same vehicle. I've had four sets since. I honestly don't understand why more people don't buy snow tires. They're cheap insurance, and a set lasts for several seasons--even with the soft rubber compound.
  • Hi,

    I'm considering purchasing snow tires for a Sienna LTD that I will be picking up later this month. Would it be possible to purchase 16" wheels and tires? What would be the consequences? I ask this simply because there are a lot more options available for the 16" size. Excuse my idiocy. I've really very little experience with this stuff.


    Thanks, LH
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    16" rims and tires will work fine. All that is important is to try to keep the OVERALL outside diameter of the replacement tires roughly the same as the original tires (so your speedometer/odometer is still accurate).


    To figure (roughly) the outside diameter of a tire, take the tire width (in mm) x the aspect ratio, convert to inches, double the answer and add it to the rim diameter.


    Example: your Sienna LTD. has 225/60R17 tires. Take the width (225mm) x the aspect ratio (60%) = 135mm. Convert to inches (divide by 25.4) = 5.3" Double the answer (2x5.3" = 10.6") and add to rim diameter (17") = rough outside tire dimension of 27.6".


    Standard Siennas have a 215/65R16 tire. This equates to roughly a 27.0" outside diameter. Close enough.


    The only possible reason why you wouldn't be able to use a smaller rim would be if there was interference between the brake calipers and the smaller rims (since the brake rotor/caliper fits inside the back of the rim). Since most Siennas with the rear disk brakes (part of the traction/stability control package) use 16" rims, you should also be able to use 16" rims.
  • Rorr,


    Thanks for the thoughtful response.


    Best, LH
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    However, with 16" rims the speedometer, odometer, and calculated MPG will be somewhat off....
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Not if the tire outside diameter is essentially the same. A 27" OD tire will roll a smidge over 7' in one complete revolution, whether it is mounted on a 16" rim or a 17" rim.
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    Just got my Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires from TireRack today for my 05 Sienna XLE AWD. It only took one day to get the tires via UPS! They are mounted on TireRack Sport D5 wheels. Everything worked out well so far. They certainly look aggressive. Thanks for your help.


    The low tire pressure warning light has not come on, so as you suggest, I will not bother resetting it. I also put 35 psi tire pressure, the same as I used for the OEM tires. Are you using 35 psi for your Blizzaks? Do you have an opinion regarding these tires resistance to hydroplaning? How many miles should I expect to get out of these tires. I figure I'll leave them on for 4 months (Dec-Mar) per year, about 4-5 thousand miles per year.


    Thanks again!
  • heywood1heywood1 Posts: 850
    The Blizzaks--and most winter tires--have a relatively soft rubber compound, so I would expect four seasons, or about 25,000 miles out of a set of these. For that matter, that's about all the more mileage you can expect from the Dunlop RFT's that came on the van.


    As you can see, the tread pattern is rather aggressive, so no hydroplaning worries-- at least not until they're well-worn. Remember, these tires are great, but they won't defy the laws of physics.


    I think I keep my tire pressure on the Sienna around 35 psi, Blizzaks or not. Whatever the label inside the door jamb says...
  • Did I make a mistake? Just bought my 05 Odyssey touring and now I see all of the controversy over the Pax tires. They have been out a few months now. Does anybody have more info? Specifically, can I mount snow tires on their own wheels? Will it void any warranty? Will the TPMS report a malfunction and cause the VSA to "lock on"? Has anyone done it? What tires did you get? How are they working? Thanks for your reports.
  • ncguy1ncguy1 Posts: 9
    bigmouth, I've been researching this pretty extensively lately, trying to evaluate purchase options. Here's what I've found...


    - No snow tires available, as far as I can tell. Michelin has approved a set of chains for the tire. Since the Touring wheels are made to accept only one specific tire, any snow tire would probably have to be special made to fit by Michelin.


    - Warranty is full replacement of WHEEL and TIRE at your Honda dealer for 24 months or 50% of tread life. Prorated up to six years after that period.


    - Spoke to Customer Relations at Honda about tire replacement recently. I was specifically asking about cost and service availability once the tires need to be replaced due to wear. I was told that Honda dealers would be able to replace the tires. The rep looked up the tire in the parts catalogue - cost right now is $159/tire. Labor figures to be slightly higher than average. I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 to change all 4 tires.


    - Your Honda dealer has the choice of purchasing the equipment to service these tires (or any tires, for that matter). You may find that you have to call around to find a dealership that services the tires. All dealerships can do the warranty replacement.
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