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Tires, tires, tires

I'm looking for some quality tires with good wet
weather traction for my VW Cabriolet. They're 185
60 series 14's and I'm looking for the same. I
really like Pirelli's, the P4000's are nice and
also inexpensive. But the P6000's have a very nice
aquachannel and look more attractive. But they're
$100 more. ANyn\body know if it's it worth it to
pay more for the aquachannel? I live in L.A., and
although it doesn't rain much during the summer,
winter can be hell on wheels with very slick


  • shabutshabut Posts: 1
    I have a sunfire GT and they have p205 55 R16 tire size what is a good tire for this car?
  • shabut,

    It depends on what you are looking for. Performance, winter traction, all-season traction, quiet ride, high treadwear, etc.

    WHat are you looking for???
  • I just bought a new Toyota van. The dealer upgraded the tires to Michelin X-ones. The tires are whitewalls mounted black-side out. The problem is that there is a plastic UPC code on the blackwall side. Can I tear this UPC code off or will it damage the tire? SHould I go back and demand backwall tires so I dno't have to look at the sticker?

    Thanks for suggestions/opinions.
  • vac23vac23 Posts: 118
    You should be able to remove the sticker from the tire. They are only on the tire to help keep inventory etc... If it was meant to be on the tire permanantly, they would've embedded it into the tire instead of using a sticker.
  • Just purchased 4 new studded snows yesterday. I ended up with 4 Gislaved Nord Frost II snows. The guy at the store told me these were great tires and I've seen some similar comments on the net in a few places. Anyone have any experience with these Swedish made tires? Also, please advise of any good web sites that might be able to give me more insight. Thanks.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    your car at speeds of 120+ MPH., dg?

    Sounds like a good deal...Alignment included too.. Those gov't ratings for wear, temperature, and traction may help you. I've not heard or read any negative comments about their tires.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    Just had set put on Toyota Camry...they track nicely and balance up nice too. NTB was vendor. They are a little more expensive thanTire Rack....The old lady likes em...If she's happy then I'm happy.
  • Pep Boys Tires used to be manufactured by Kelly Springfield. Don't know if they still are or not. Ask one of their tire guys, they know. Comparison shop at your local Kelly/Springfield Tire store for additional info. I used Pep Boys tires on my commuter car for years, held up OK.
  • mmcbride1mmcbride1 Posts: 861
    They will match/beat anyones prices, you can get the roadside warranty for as long as you own the tires (not just 3 years, like Big O does), and I have had very pleasant experiences with them. I haven't heard anything, good or bad, about Pep Boys tires.
  • 300michael300michael Posts: 1,815
    Has one of the best warranties on the market. I was driving a rental vehicle when it developed a flat. Discount Tire fixed it at no charge. It seems that if you buy a tire from them, your name is in their computer, and any vehicle you drive, the tires are covered. They made me, a customer for life.
  • Several years back, I bought a set of four tires from Discount Tires Store. A month later, one of my tires developed a bubble on the side wall. Discount Tires Store replace it alright, BUT THEY CHARGED ME FOR A NEW HAZZARD WARRANTY, A NEW BALANCE ON THE REPLACEMENT TIRE. What was good was the hazzard warranty on the original purchase? Since then, I bought my tires from SAM's wholesale club. At SAMS's if you bought the hazzard warranty and the tire develops a defect - any defect including puncture by road debris, as long as your old tire has measureable tread life remaining, your new replacement tire is pro rated and the ENTIRE COST OF A NEW HAZZARD WARRANTY AND TIRE BALANCE IS FULLY TRANSFERRED TO THE REPLACEMENT TIRE AT NO COST TO YOU! I've had this warranty replacement done about four times already and each time the same thing happens. I only buy my tires from SAM's Wholesale club since the first incident. I've never been back to Discount Tires ever again.
  • I used Discount Tires a few times with new problems. Then I needed to buy new tires and called them for a quote. They gave me one, and I then got a quote from Tire Kingdom, who many of my friends recommended. It was much lower than Discount. When I called Discount back to tell them that, they said they would meet Tire Kingdom's price. I went to Discount Tires (several miles PAST Tire Kingdom) and they said no way they would meet that price, no matter who told me they would on the phone. That was it for me. Never again.
  • mcgreenxmcgreenx Posts: 179
    I belong to Sam's but never bought tires (or other car stuff) there. How do they handle installation, balance, alignment, rotation, or do they? If they do some or all of those things, is there an extra charge or included in the tire price?
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    If you're a member of Sam's and you don't buy tires there you are missing out on the best part of your membership. Most clubs don't do alignments, but the mounting, balancing, rotation (with rebalancing), road hazard warranty, new stems, and disposal fee is all included in their installation fee which is usually $6-$8 depending on the venue. The funny thing about this road hazard warranty: it covers everything, including slashed sidewalls. If they can't patch the tire (as they do for free) they'll give you a pro-rata refund toward a new tire. Here's the kicker--Sam's sells tires from in-stock $20 13" to special order $600 20". Whereas most tire shops will either charge $20+ or a significant percentage of the cost of the tire for road hazard protection, Sam's charges the same flat fee, regardless of the price of the tire. Paying $7.50 for full road hazard protection on a $20 is a decent deal, but on a $100, $200... paying that nominal fee can save you a few Franklins.
    They rotate and balance the tires for free every 7K miles. The computerized balancers they use are mostly top-notch, FMC 7 and 8 series, which, in the hands of a trained technician, accurately balance your tires to .10 oz.
    Yeah, I work at Sam's :-)
    One final thought: Buy Michelins.
    Okay, two final thoughts: if you have locking lug nuts, please don't make the guy dig through your glove box/trunk/etc. to find it. We really hate that.
    email me if you have any other questions
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    Oh, and just to let everyone know I'm not soliciting or advertising for Sam's Club, I'm just being completely honest. Sam's is the cheapest place to buy tires. Now, to continue with the honesty... after working there for four years I've learned that most of the shops across the country are staffed with either people who don't plan on staying there for more than six months or people who have been there for ten years becuase they don't have the intelligence to pass the ASE exam and become real mechanics. I would never take my car to Sam's to get tires. They'll probably smash your muffler lifting it and tighten your lugs either too much or too little. Play it safe. Put your car up on jack stands in the driveway, throw the rims in the back of your station wagon and hand over four hard-to-screw-up wheels rather than your $20,000 automobile.
    However, chances are your car will be handled in a professional manner, but this is just what I'd do. In some shops they actually hold themselves to a higher standard than a Lexus dealership, using coated weights and balancing wheels better than they were off the assembly line. In a company as large as that, you get all kinds.
    But this doesn't only go for Sam's, it goes for every retail tire shop where they hire guys off the street with little or no experience, where a "good" applicant is a human being who has held less than four jobs in the past year, has had no felony convictions, and is willing to work Sundays. Buyer beware.
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100

    I have Michelin XGT V-4 tires, 225-60 R16.. What would you recommend that would give a smoother and quieter ride?

  • hengheng Posts: 411
    I bet you'll find out that your Buick ends up eating those tires. I doubt the suspension has enough control built in to prevent rolling onto the outside corners and chewing them up.

    I also live in the northeast and that size rubber is worthless is any kind of snow.
  • fredlyfredly Posts: 201
    dgemini, your getting ripped at those prices,
    I just bought 4 G Force KDW, for 103 a piece. But
    its a much better tire than what come on it stock.
    if you want a stock tire, get the BF goodrich VR4 you can get them at 69 a piece from TireRack.

    Additional Comments on Sam's Club. If they don't have a tire you want, "They Can Order it for you!"
    My brother wanted a certain tire for his BMW, and they said sure we can order any tire you want, you don't have to take their discount tires. And the price on those BMW tires he was looking for was better than he saw anywhere else.
  • olegphilolegphil Posts: 30
    Are they any good? How do they compare to the
    cheapest Michelins that are available at SAM's
  • olegphilolegphil Posts: 30
    I'm looking for tires for my wife's Corolla and it appeares that my choices in 13" are singnificantly limited, even comparing to '96 when I bought the current set of Michelin X-Radials. Any suggestions?
  • loyolaloyola Posts: 26
    The comp T/A ZR tires are highly recommended...
    quiet, outstanding dry/wet traction, but expensive
    and wears fast (200 treadwear rating, please correct me if I'm wrong). Believe me,I"ve been using them on my 92 Camry with 17" Fittipaldi Polaris wheels since 1996. I tried 225/45ZR17 and 235/45ZR17 with both oustanding results but I will say again,,, EXPENSIVE! Discount Tire charges me
    around $170 per on the 235's. For a pair, installed, balanced, tax...totals almost $380.

    If you want the same ultra-hi performance as the
    comp T/A try the FALKEN ZE-502 (300 treadwear!)
    they only 117 each and total job costs for a pair
    is (drum roll!!) ....$270 down here in San Diego.
    A savings of $100.

    Try them at
  • akashinoakashino Posts: 36
    I'm rebuilding a 1979 Suzuki LJ80 4x4. Sucker has a .8 litre (Yes, a POINT EIGHT Litre) 4 cylinder, but even weirder is the tire size.

    The tire size is FR78-15. I think the 15 is the rim size, but what the heck is the FR78????

    Can anybody tell me what replacement size I need????

    Thanks in advance !!!!
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    Man that brings back memories! FR78-15s, I doubt those were the originals on that Suzuki because that is what I had on a '78 Olds Omega (same as Chevy Nova) and it was a 3500 lb car.

    15 is the rim size as you figured out, 78 is the sidewall ratio (like 70, 60, 65, etc), F is the load rating and R means its a radial. Any tire dealer can give you the translation to modern tire sizing. But somewhere in your car should be a sticker giving the tire size the mfgr put on.
  • akashinoakashino Posts: 36
    The Suzuki Service Manual mentions that the 1979 model came with FR78-15's and the 1980 model came with 165SR15's.

    What does your memory tell you (or anyone for that matter) what a 165SR15 means??????

    Thanx in advance.
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    The 165 is the width (ie 205), 15 is the rim, S is the speed rating, R means radial. It probably is an 80 aspect ratio (ie 78 on the FRs).

    Akashino - you shouldn't calculate the diameters since 2 manufacturers of the same size tire would have different diameters. You need the mfgr's number for the specific tire. But if you just want to estimate the difference, I also estimate less than a .25 inch difference in tire diameters which is a 1% difference. It doesn't matter.

    I agree with the rec to use 215/70s.
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    Heng is correct in everything he told you. But the FR78-15 is actually closer in size to a 195/75R15. Heng is also correct that you can't accurately calculate the dimensions of a specific size because production dimensions vary among manufacturers. For example, stand a General G4S next to a Michelin X-One of the same size. The Michelin will look as though it is a whole size larger. Consult the data sheets available at most websites for exact dimensions of specific tires. If you can't find one, ask to see it at the tire dealer. In addition to dimensions, it will also show load capacities and acceptable rim widths. This is an issue if your stock rims are less than 6 inches wide.
    I don't know how precise you want this rebuild/restoration to be, but if you are seeking the original 165SR15s, you will have no problem finding them becuase this tire size was O.E. on the ubiquitous old Beetle. However, it would behoove you to purchase a larger, more driveable tire, such as a 205/70R15. I wouldn't recommend anything as large as the 215/70R15, since this is 25% larger than the original 165. If you think your .8 liter is puny with the stock tires, imagine how it will perform with larger tires. If you don't care if it takes you half an hour to go from 0-60mph (if it even goes that fast), most 15" SUV type tires start at size 205/75R15.
  • akashinoakashino Posts: 36
    Thanks for the info!

    My model year came with the Bridgestone FR78-15's (1979) which are still on the trucklet after 21 years. I wouldn't dare take them on the road though. The following model year(1980) came with 165SR15's. I'd like to keep it original so should I go with the 195's? Do they come in a truck tire? If not, will the 205's seriously affect (joke) performance?

    I remember when I drove the beast 16 to 21 years ago, I could go 65 mph with a good tail wind and hit 70 if I had a good tail wind and a cliff.
  • xorbtantxorbtant Posts: 37
    Loyola: you got ripped off! and Falken? Why don't you just go buy a set of k mart tires while you are at it.
    Projectzx3: I totally agree with you.
    caprirooster: Michelins are good and the MXV4's will do just fine. I got 70k off my michelin MXV4's.
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    Let me first give a brief MXV4 history lesson to clear up any confusion at the tire shop. The MXV4 was first produced around 1990 and is now old news. You won't find it in tire stores. The Energy MXV4 was the next generation which incorporated the XSE Technology (utilized a silica compound which offered reduced reduced rolling resistance, better flexibility at low temperatures, etc.). It's still available, but is being replaced by the Energy MXV4 Plus. This is basically the same tire with a slightly different tread pattern which is supposed to be lighter (giving better braking and acceleration) without sacrificing treadwear.
    Back to the original topic: the MXV4 and the X-one are two substantially different tires made for different applications. The current MXV4 is designed for "Luxury Performance Touring." It is most commonly fitted on import cars with MacPherson Struts, twin cam engines, etc. The X-One (also XSE technology) is also touted by Michelin as being a "Performance Touring Tire," but designed more for domestic cars with less precise suspension. It is heavily siped (fine cuts) for outstanding wet and snow traction.
    As far as the construction goes, the biggest difference is that in addition to the two steel belts and two nylon plies in the tread, the MXV4 employs a circumfrentially wrapped polyamide belt which helps resist centrifugal force at highway speeds. This is an H rated tire (130mph), as your car requires. It is not a high performance tire like the Pilot, but you will notice the stability advantage even at normal highway speeds.
    The X-One is available in the 185/60R14, but more common in the 185/65R14. It is a T rated tire (one step below H). Installing this tire would actually downgrade the performance of your car, BUT... that doesn't mean you can go with it. The 96-up Civics actually come with a 185/65R14 with a speed rating of S (even lower).
    Few--who know what they are talking about--will argue that Michelin makes the quietest, softest riding tires out there. These two models represent that company's greatest efforts in this aspect. The difference being that the MXV4 is designed to provide a cloud-like ride for zippy performance sedans which spend a lot of time at way-up-there speeds, whereas the X-One does the same for domestic sedans at a slight sacrifice of performance. The most obvious difference to the consumer is the milieage warranty. The MXV4 carries a 40,000 mile warranty, with a UTQG just over 300. The X-One has a UTQG of 620. Remember that these numbers mean nothing when comparing different manufacturers' tires, but apply to comparisons within the same company. This basically means Michelin expectes the X-Ones to last twice as long as the MXV4s. Tired of reading yet? I type quickly; I can't help it. Anyway, the mileage warranties are set by the retailer--most set the MXV4 at 40K miles, the X-One at 80K. The X-One originally carried a 6 year unlimited mileage warranty, but I haven't seen that advertised recently. However... The X-Radial Plus, marketed by wholesale dealers (Sam's Club, BJ's, Kostco) still carries the unlimited warranty. Under this warranty, if you can burn up the tires in under 3 years, you get a brand new set for absolutely no charge--as long as the treadwear is even, you've had the rotations documented at reasonable intervals, and they show no signs of neglect or abuse. It's prorated for the remaining 6 years.
    Final word: MXV4= smooth at very high speeds, better handling, eerily quiet, good rain traction. X-One= smooth at high speeds, good handling, quiet, excellent rain and snow traction.
    PS- If you feel too much road shock in your steering wheel, try lowering your pressure a few pounds. Note that if you lower it too much the shoulders will wear excessively (especially if you corner like I do). Don't go below 26 psi.

    Ed12- Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Easy one: go with the MXV4 in the V rating.
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