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Toyota Prius Tire/Wheel Questions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
Discuss tire & wheel questions for the Prius here

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  • kevregkevreg Posts: 11
    I just bought some new tires for my '05. They are all Season tires with alot deeper tread than the original tires. Since the new tires were put on, I have noticed a significant drop in MPG. Can anyone give some comments on this based on their experiences?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Your original OEM tires are classifed as "low rolling resistance" tires. That means they roll more freely and do not allow the road to slow them down as quickly as tires not classifed as LRR tires.

    What this means is that if you move to another type of tire, you will lose MPG because of more tire and more rubber on the road. This means more friction and more work for the engine to "push" the car down the road, which means more fuel used.

    My suggestion is to air those new tires up as high as you are comfortable with and be happy you are driving a high mileage car.... :shades:
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I've heard some say the Integreties are LRRs, and some say they are not. There isn't much info on Goodyear's site.

    What is certain from many other owners reports, is that new tires must be "broken in" before you see the mileage return. It can take a few thousand miles before this happens.

    I don't like "airing up for mileage". Too much pressure in the tire for the load it's carrying will cause the center to wear faster than the sides of the tread. It seems to me this alone could cause more friction and lower mileage a bit (unless the pressure is so high the sides of the tread aren't in good contact with the road - in which case you have just lowered your braking and handling capabilities).

    If there is any question, proper inflation can be determined by using tire chalk across the tread. Drive a short distance and check for even loss of chalk. If the center wears faster than the sides, lower pressure, in the sides wear faster, raise the pressure.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I personally do like "airing up for mileage" and that's why my advice was "air up to as high as you are comfortable with" which gives the receiver of the advice two options:

    1. Air to mfg specs, or
    2. Air higher.

    He or she may be "comfortable" with either option. :shades:
  • mtuftsmtufts Posts: 12
    The tire pressure light in our 2006 Prius (2 months old) keeps coming on. I figure it is because the weather is cold in the evenings and mornings now and heats up in the afternoon (I live in West Texas.) I'm going to go to the dealer next week and have them look at it. The only OTHER problem I've had is the fuel guage. The other day it showed that I was quite low on fuel--and then when we went to fill up the tank, it only took six bucks! My husband thought it was the pump--because the fuel indicator wouldn't budge from it's "almost empty" state. Then we bought the optional car wash--got the car washed and VOILA--the fuel guage shows FULL! Was that a dirty sensor that was cleaned in the wash? Weird! We're getting about 50mpg by the way--not bad! :shades:
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Here's a new option we are being offered. Nitrogen in replacement of air for all 5 tires. This day/night expansion/contraction disappears.
  • Hello - I was shocked yesterday when my Prius would not pass inspection because of the tires. I was told it needed all new tires. I have 20,000 miles on the car and have owned it one year. Just wondering, have any of you had tires wear that quickly? These were the tires that came with the vehicle one year ago. At the toyota shop, I was told the tires wear a lot quicker than usual because the Prius is such a heavy vehicle, comparable to some SUV's, however, it has tires that are made for the weight of a car. Does this seem like a reasonable explanation? I really don't know and am now wondering if I will be buying 4 new tires every year. That sure will take away from the money I have been saving on gas.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I notice that on THIS SITE there are many complaints about the Prius tires wearing early, but one admits to under inflation. What have you kept your tires at? Have you checked them at least monthly :confuse:

    24,000 to 30,000 would be normal mileage for TWO YEARS on average, so you are running the heck out of those tires. :sick:

    Prius Chat also has THIS THREAD about what some consider unusual wear.

    From YET ANOTHER FORUM a user wrote:

    "I use the Goodyear Integrity on my 2002 Prius. It's wearing much better than the stock Bridgestones. My first set of Potenzas wore out at 16,000 miles; the second at 30,000 (14,000 miles later). My Integrities are looking good with 45,000 on the odometer (15,000 miles of wear), and they cost half as much. I keep them inflated to 42/40 PSI.

    Mind you, when I go into the Toyota dealer, they yell at me saying that I'm using a tire that is not rated for that weight, 42/40 is over-inflating the tire, blah blah. But Goodyear still recommends the Integrity for the Prius Classic. So yes, you're doing this at your own risk.

    My MPG has not changed, but the ride is more rough with the Integrities, because of the higher tire pressure."
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    First, whoever told you the Prius was heavy is nuts. I wouldn't go there ever again. The Prius has a curb weight under 3000 lbs. Most SUVs are around 4000 lbs. Yup, he's nuts!

    My experience is Toyota vehicle wheels may not be aligned correctly from the factory or they take a beating during shipping. That may have had an effect. Also, if you were not watching the tire pressure closely you could have worn the tires faster than normal. Toyota's recommended pressure seems to be right at the lower limit. Many have been running the Integrities at 42PSI front and 40PSI rear and report even wear. Note also that the Integrities are just about the least expensive tires Goodyear makes, so rapid wear should be expected.

    Get new tires, have a "four wheel alignment" done (the front can be adjusted, but they usually just check the rear - to correct it shims are needed - not a "normal" job according to Toyota). You may want to try a little higher pressure in the tires. Never exceed the "max pressure" indicated on the sidewall. If you try a higher pressure, watch the wear of the tread. If the centre wears faster than the sides of the tread, lower the pressure, but never lower than the placard on the door jamb indicates.

    Most owners get 40,000 to 60,000 mi. on tires.
  • seekoseeko Posts: 33
    question? you hear this question come up many times i suppose! to the people who have driven in a lot of snow in all climates. if you were to let one set of tires on your prius all year round what would they be? considering ride handling rolling resistance snow traction etc.? what would be the tires for the prius? thank you for your answers. ;) pete
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    I've moved the post asking about year-round tires to the Toyota Prius Tire/Wheel Questions discussion.

    Please remember to check the discussion list for the appropriate discussion for your comments and questions. You'll get a better and faster response by posting in a discussion that's about the subject or problem you're interested in.

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  • I finally upgraded my standard Toyota Prius tires, which are 185/60R15, and the cheapest Goodyear offers for these kind of cars. I chose the Goodyear Assurance Triple Tread high performing tire in a larger size, 195/60R15, and the difference in handling, safety on wet/snowy roads, and road feel is immediately noticeable and terrific. the 195 size is an approved alternate size by Toyota, and is the size they now put on their vehicles sold in Europe. Cornering, braking, and straight line driving is now a solid feel. and the tires give the car a great sporty look. Hope this is useful to other owners.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Any replacement tires available for the Prius other than the OEM Bridgestone Turanza? Only ones I could find were very expensive run flat tires.
  • My car is a 2002 prius. I had one rear wheel blow out, then I had another set go bad. I have bought firestone RE 92 Potenzas. They said top of the line. I rotated once in 5,000 miles, then I went 10,000 between rotations. I got to buy 2 more tires. Outer tire, they were almost worn through. Since I did not rotate in the 5 k mile limit, they were not covered. This time I am going to watch those miles like a maniac and keep them aired up to 40 lbs, even though they said that 35 lbs is better. I am really getting scared about this tire crap. I am not one of these upper management people who want to try an experiment, I spent a good portion of my income and gambled that I would save gas in the long run. I also had a computer and a fuel pump replaced, thank god it was covered. But I had to argue like a b.... Should I just bail out now and get a toyota corolla? I think I made a big mistake buying this. Has anybody else here bailed out and went back to the old fashioned cars?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    No, don't bail out. Bridgestone Potenza RE 92s are known for wearing out fast. I don't have a Prius, but my '05 Camry came with them. I now have about 19K miles, and even with regular rotations, including the full-service spare, I can see they're not going to last more than about 30K miles.

    Others have reported much faster wear. Check out the Tire Rack here for recommendations -- including user reviews. You can mail-order the tires from them, at typically much lower prices than your local tire store, and they have a network of installers nationwide.
  • please send me any more info to my email at
    This damn web site does not even let me sign in half the time. This technology stuff is way overrated.
  • I recently replaced my OEM Goodyears after 28,000 miles with four Michelin HydroEdge tires. The results were disappointing as far as traction on the snow in Central New York State.The Prius with it's quirky traction control,which protects the electric motor, is still a DANGEROUS vehicle on snow and ice. Loved the car though but I finally gave up on it. I traded it in on a 2007 RAV4 4 banger.I will really miss the 48.6 mpg 3 year average, but I will not get "T-boned" trying to exit a parking lot as the Prius just sits there. It has been fun! But it's over!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I traded it in on a 2007 RAV4 4 banger.I will really miss the 48.6 mpg 3 year average, but I will not get "T-boned" trying to exit a parking lot as the Prius just sits there. It has been fun! But it's over!"

    I believe that newer Prius models will allow the Traction Control to be turned off, or they modified the computer to allow more wheel slippage in icy conditions. Not sure which one was done, but the newer models are apparently better than 2005 and before.
  • sunny9sunny9 Posts: 4
    Need immediate help with suggestion for replacement tires and tire chain.

    Just over 41K miles on '05 Prius and two tires need replacing despite dealer rotation(or so they claim) every 5K, along with every other servicing recommended. After an earlier servicing, I had pressures checked a mile from dealer and it ranged from 25-32psi among the four tires, which also had not been rotated. Went back of course and dealer assured it would not happen again.
    On Monday's servicing this week, service rep at dealership wanted in excess of $560 for a set of ?didn't say what brand? including installation and balancing. I have to think that there is a better price and value out there through a tire dealer, and would appreciate a suggestion on that too.

    Since the remaining two tires are not in great shape tread-wise either, I will be going for 4 new ones.
    Service rep said it was "due to cornering"--hello, 75% of driving done on daily freeway commute between Pasadena to Santa Monica-- one is lucky to travel at speeds as much as 30mph for even a small portion of the distance!
    Car came with Goodyear P185/65/R15. Bought pkg. #4 for VSC(Toyota patented Anti-skid Control System (

    Live in southern CA.
    Please do not recommend I buy another size tires as I just went through an EXHAUSTING process to buy required (by Highway Patrol)tire cables, non-refundable even though not used, when I had a scheduled meeting in Yosemite Valley in early March.

    Love the Prius. Thanks for reading through.
    Sunny 9
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Check tire rack to order the tires. 41K miles isn't bad, and if you had no complaints, just get the same brand (Goodyear Integrity). Also if you don't have a tire gauge, you should get one and check the tires at least once a month -- don't wait for the dealer's tire rotations.

    Tire Rack has a list of recommended installers -- I'm sure there are many in your area.
  • Prius nightmare is over. Had 2002 prius. New computer, new fuel pump/ gas tank. Oh hell yeesss, they are all one piece on prius! Then the "hybrid" part all went bad within the past year. This was all covered. But I'm done. Got a corolla no problems since.
  • Our '05 Prius with 37,000 miles just got a new set of plain-jane all weather tires. The tire shop filled them with nitrogen. We ran them at spec pressure on a cross-state trip, then upped the psi in all four tires by 2 psi. Either way, we got significantly lower mpg with the new tires. Driving was on interstate highways in eastern oregon and so. Idaho. We drove very conservatively at had to really be careful to break into the sub-40 mpg range. On similar trips we've averaged 51-53. Could it be the nitrogen, or the newness of the treads? The Toyota dealership couldn't find anything wrong. But somethings wrong. Any ideas?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    It's not the nitrogen, and adding 2 psi isn't going to make any measurable difference. The tires may have higher rolling resistance than the originals. What brand and line of tires did you get?

    But try a few more tankfuls before you give up. Was there a headwind on this one trip?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    There are many posts over on Priuschat and Priusonline about new tires dropping mileage. It's normal. Should improve after 5000 mi. or so. I guess new tires are very "sticky", just like in NASCAR. ;)

    Many owners use 42 PSI front and 40 PSI rear for better mileage. Do check the tire sidewall for the max. inflation pressure, and do set the tire pressure when the tires are "cold" (not driven on for 5 hrs.).
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Just adding that most passenger car tires now list a maximum inflation pressure of 44 psi, so running with 42 front and 40 rear will be fine. But some tires still have a max pressure of only 35 psi, in which case, you don't want to put in more than this.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 859
    I'm going to address several issues, not just the one in the post I a replying to.

    1) It is a little known fact that new tires have more RR than worn out tires, even if they are otherwise identical.

    2) Tires designed for hybrids generally have less RR than other OE tires.

    3) OE tires generally have lower RR than tires designed for the replacement market.

    The above means that if you buy new tires for your hybrid, you should expect redictions in fuel economy, and the amount could be significant if you selected a different tire.

    4) If the pressure listed on the sidewall says 35 psi max, then the tire can be safely inflated to 44 psi. However, there is a risk associated with using pressures significantly higher than what the vehicle manufacturer specifies. I consider anything more than than 5 psi as significant and the risk is that the tire will be more prone to impact type failures and punctures.
  • I do not see replies to this post (on either Forum) and have the same question: what replacement tires are recommended for Classic Prius? I'm trying to balance traction (which the originals lack in rain and snow) with the gas mileage that I want to attain. I realize there will be a trade-off but would like to minimize it, obviously. Any recommendations are appreciated.
  • pinkopinko Posts: 2
    One of my rear tires blew out yesterday. Nothing lit up on the dash, since it was pouring rain, I hardly noticed anything, but the tire is toast.

    Any suggestions re: replacing just one tire? The current tires are the originals that came with the car, which has 26,000 miles. I think they are Goodyear Integrity. Can I just get another one?

    This is my first car, and my first tire issue, so any advice would be helpful.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I put Nokian WR tires on my 2007 Prius and had -NO- loss of fuel economy, but a great increase in traction. They are "true" all season tires. They have the snowflake symbol on the sidewall, meaning you don't usually have to put on chains when it's required on interstate highways. They wear well in the summer, work well in rain, in snow, and on ice. The current version is the WR G2.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    You have three options. I'll list worst first, best last.

    You can get one stock tire to replace the destroyed one. You should ensure it is placed on the rear, and never rotated to the front, as it will be larger in diameter, and will put more wear on the differential if used on the front with a 26,000 mi worn tire. It's not a big issue, just recommended to keep wear at normal levels.

    Next best option would be to purchase two tires, and keep them on the same "axle", front or rear. This would allow standard directional tire rotation, front to rear, but never side to side.

    Your best option would be four new tires.

    Choose based on what you can afford. Safety improves as the option is "better", but all would be acceptable safety wise.
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