Help with tire selection.

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by JonNC, May 16, 2014.

  1. JonNC

    JonNC Driving Smarter Since 06/07/2011

    Hi guys,

    I'm finding myself in need of new tires here pretty soon.
    The stock Continental ContiProContacts are down to the wear bars @ 25,000 miles.

    I like the tires, I'm used to how they drive/handle/roll but I'm not married to them by any means.
    I'm also on a tight budget.

    Any recommendations for 215/45-17 with emphasis on wet/dry traction and rolling resistance?
    Stiffer sidewalls are a plus. :stickshift:


    One local dealer had ~ 70 different tires to choose from in this size.
    With that many choices, I'm libel to just freeze up and keep on rolling on what I have...

  2. GaryG

    GaryG Well-Known Member

    I look at the max sidewall pressure rating, the lightest tires, and if they are LRR tires. The Hankook tires on my Explorer went 52,000 miles on the front, and I expect 90,000 miles out of the rear tires. I don't rotate and I keep 55psi in them with a max 51psi on the sidewall. These are my first Hankooks that came stock on the car and I think they are the best tires over the Michelins I ever owned. The MPG is also great for such a large 20" rim.

  3. schuylkill

    schuylkill Well-Known Member

    Yokohama YK580. Get specs at Tirerack and then best price with rebates and free shipping at (Get a Carcare account if you don't have one for $30 rebate and get 6 months no interest payments.) I have never used the Yokohama tires but I am seriously considering the Avid Ascends for my car in 195/65-15 size.
  4. CapriRacer

    CapriRacer Well-Known Member

    The first thing you need to understand is that there is a 3 way relationship between Treadwear, Traction (especially wet traction), and Rolling Resistance. To get an improvement in one area, one of the others must be sacrificed (or both). That ought to narrow down the choices a bit.

    Exception: Tires labeled "LRR" will have slightly better RR compared to tires not so labeled - all other things being equal. The operative word here is "slightly". Remember: "LRR" is a relative term and not an absolute one, so a tire labeled LRR with a 700 A A rating will probably have a higher RR than a non-LRR one with a 300 A A rating.

    The other tire properties in opposition are ride and handling. Stiff tires handle better, but ride worse.

    And you should be aware that the OE tires on your car are probably the best RR tires you will find. Vehicle manufacturers specify low RR in order to get good fuel economy numbers (which are displayed on a new car's window). So expect some fuel economy loss.

    And light doesn't equal low RR. High sidewall pressures don't equal low RR. RR is mostly a function of the tread compound - which also affect treadwear and traction.
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I'm inclined to agree with that. Except, our Canadian "Touring" model Prius, which has 215/45R17 size, came with Michelin Pilot HX MXM4. When I look on TireRack they're not listed as LRR.

    They do seem to roll quite easily though. Either it's all I ever experienced on the vehicle, I just don't know any better, or there's an OEM iteration of the Pilot, with better rolling resistance?

    Anyway, if we ever need to replace them (we're quite low mileage users), I'm thinking either Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 or Michelin Primacy or the new Premier.
  6. CapriRacer

    CapriRacer Well-Known Member

    You should be aware that vehicle manufacturers set the specs for the tire on their vehicles - and RR is usually near the top of the list.

    But it is common that when the vehicle manufacturer is no longer sourcing that particular tire, for it to be changed back to specs more in line with what tire manufacturers find important - and RR is not one of those.

    Plus, Tire Rack will only label a tire LRR if the tire manufacturer indicates so - and if a line of tires is a mix of things (like the Michelin Pilot HP MXM4), they don't always get this right.
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  7. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I've got the YK580's on my Odyssey. After a LONG break-in period (a year :eek:), they're pulling mileage similar to the old Goodyear Fuel Max's. I'd get Fuel Max first, because they were good for mileage after only a month of break-in.

    Check out TireRack for comparison tests. They usually do an mpg test as well as handling. It's not worth anything outside of that test, but the head-to-head comparison is about the best we can get.
  8. JonNC

    JonNC Driving Smarter Since 06/07/2011

    Wow, thanks for the help everyone!

    I just checked Craig'sList again and found a lightly used set (I'll call to get some specifics) of Michelin Primacy MXM4, online reviews look good, so I may be able to save quite a bit.

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