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Tire Recommendation

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by czyfrme, Apr 5, 2010.

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  1. czyfrme

    czyfrme Junior Member

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    I'm sure there've been a million threads about Prius tires. I have a 2001 Prius (145K) and need a set of new tires. I was wondering if anyone can suggest a good set? A reasonable economy tire.

    Thanks for your time,

    Leslie :)
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    You're too far North, up in the snowy winter part of the country for me to be of any help. I've been very happy with Sumitomo T4s which are low rolling resistance tires with good life and handling but listed as poor in snow and ice. Living in North Alabama, that is like maybe one or two days per year and even then, it is called a "snow day" and we all stay home.

    You might search from the top forum looking for "Consumer Reports tires" and see if you can find where someone has listed their top picks for low rolling resistance tires.

    In my case, I just order the tires from "Tire Rack" and hire a local shop to mount and balance them. They arrive in 2-3 days and the problem is solved, efficiently and without the typical sales-critter blather.

    You might consider buying a spare wheel off of Ebay or other sources. Then have the best of the old tires mounted as a full-size spare. This means if you have a flat on trip, you change in the full-size spare and continue the trip. Then when it is a good time for you, have it repaired. With a full-size spare, you won't have speed or distance limits to worry about (Ok, maybe distances measured in 5,000 miles.)

    Bob Wilson
  4. czyfrme

    czyfrme Junior Member

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    Thank you for the info. The local shop here that just checked my brakes told me to go on Tire Rack and find a set of tires and they would put them on.

    & Bob, just 3 of my tires are bad so i'm going to keep the good one as a full-size spare. :)

    Thanks for your time,

    Leslie
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    You can probably have the tires shipped there directly and avoid having to lug them around.



    If you get a chance, it would great to see:

    • photos of each old tire - identify which wheel they came from
    • wheel alignment data - with the new wheels, post the alignment numbers, toe and camber, for each wheel. This may provide insights that could help you get maximum life from the new set.
    Bob Wilson
  6. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Leslie,

    Note that the original equipment tire size is an XL (Extra Load) size, so in theory you are not supposed to use SL (standard load) tires which have insufficient load capacity. However, when you go to TireRack and select 2001 Toyota Prius, you'll see their little message near the top of the screen that says they think SL tires will be OK.
  7. czyfrme

    czyfrme Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info. So my little Prius has to roll on XL tires, when it's lighter than a standard car? (I don't actually KNOW for a fact that it's lighter than a standard car, lol, I'm just making an assumption. ;):D)
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Well, the Prius is actually a heavy car from the perspective of the 175 section width tires that is the original equipment size. That's why Toyota spec'd the XL tires.

    The reason that narrow tires was used was to reduce rolling resistance, thus improving fuel economy.

    Some owners have installed wider tires, i.e. 185 width. The advantage to this is improved load carrying capacity and better road feel. The disadvantage is worsened fuel economy and potential speedometer/odometer inaccuracy.
  9. czyfrme

    czyfrme Junior Member

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    I see, I see. :) Thanks for the info. :thumb:
  10. orange4boy

    orange4boy Member

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    I bought a set of XL 185 65 14 Nokian WRg2 for my '03 Prius. They are pretty low rolling resistance and excellent in the snow. (snow rated all season) Nokians can be had from Tire Factory. They have a brand new all season LRR tire but so far only in 15" and 16" rim sizes so far.

    The extra width of a 185 tire increases frontal area negatively affecting aerodynamics slightly but improving cornering and ride. If you get good LRR tires, the disadvantage of the extra width disappears. People have had good results with Yokohama DB eSPEC and the Bridgestone RE92 is a pretty good tire which is one of the OE tires so you can get it in the exact size and XL.

    Another reason for the XL tire is they are usually rated for a higher pressure which gives lower rolling resistance and thus better fuel economy.
  11. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    FYI: Discount Tire Direct has free shipping to IL and the prices + selection are comparable to Tire Rack.
  12. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    I've been very happy with my decision to go with a wider tire. It's as much a safety issue as it is a performance issue - the car stops faster, doesn't wander in the wind, and steers out of trouble far better. The speedo inaccuracy isn't a problem if you're careful to match the tire diameter, measured in rotations per mile. Tire Rack lists this figure along with the tire specs - find out what stock is, and get something as close as you can.
  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    Interesting. I went to their web site and they had this page about heat treating performance tires:

    Heat Cycling - Discount Tire Direct

    One thing I didn't see was anything about low rolling resistance. I've been using Consumer Reports because nobody else has published anything. About three years ago (my how time flies,) California had tested about 600 different tires but never published their results. There has been a lot of 'buzz' but still no rolling resistance rating system.

    Bob Wilson
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