Bought Ecopia EL422s for 08 w/ touring. SO SCARY ON HIGHWAY!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by chandleya, May 2, 2012.

  1. chandleya

    chandleya New Member

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    Just as the title says, i bought Bridgestone Ecopia EL422 195/55/16 tires a few days ago from Costco. Low speed even pavement experience is quite good, seems as though the steering is light. No big, right?

    Once you reach around 35 mph, you notice a certain "delayed response" from the wheel. Turn 10 degrees and the car "sweeps" into whatever manuever you're attempting - it no longer is pointed and direct.

    Then there's 70mph. This behavior is exponential, exaggerated if you will. It scares the crap out of me. Wind, inconsistencies in pavement; all things that a tough grip on the wheel used to all but completely compensate for. It now tosses the car all around, has me fearing that i might under/over compensate for the jittery nature and either flip it or slam into something unintentionally.


    Are other Ecopia buyers experiencing a significant degredation in "performance" as a result of these tires? I've also noticed a 5mpg hit - particularly with ICE at low speeds, sometimes a 10mpg hit.

    I've owned the prius for well over a year, has 43k miles. 2008 touring.
     
  2. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Right, the issues started as soon as you put these tyres on and they sound quite severe. Even the cheapo cr*p tyres you can buy allow the car to drive straight so for a branded tyre to perform badly makes me think something else is wrong.

    Are the wheels fitted on correctly - check every single wheel nut yourself to make sure that they are ALL tight. Then make sure the tyres are all correctly seated on the wheels, then check each wheel to make sure they used the correct stick on lead weights when they fitted the tyre. Some places might not have these in stock as they are just for certain types of alloy wheel. If they have used hammer on weights then you will be experiencing wobble - as well as a damaged or scratched alloy!

    If you're sure the wheels are fitted correctly and the tyres correctly balanced then double check the tyre pressures. They should be as per the sticker inside the drivers door (maybe passenger door on lhd cars?).

    If all the above is correct then I'd be tempted to get the tracking/allignment checked as it could be out (I started with the lease expensive checks first). I would also be tempted to get it checked somewhere else to where you've been as they should have checked it when you got new tyres. Whilst you're there, get them to double check that the wheels were balanced correctly too.

    Keep us all updated.
     
  3. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Check the tire pressure and have a proper thrust angle alignment performed. I have found that new tires can exacerbate symptoms of bad alignment.

    MB860 ? 2
     
  4. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    I was under the impression that when tires are manufactured they coat the molds with a releasing lubricant which remains on the tires and it takes a hundred or so miles for it to wear off and your tires to become broken in and you are advised to drive cautiously that first couple of weeks.

    keep in mind that as a tire ages and wears its dry performance increases slowly by slowly as lower tread means less tire squirm but its rain/snow performance decreases more drastically as less tread means it is less capable of removing rain/snow.

    many people here swear by those tires so I wouldn't run to costco for a refund just yet, can you tell us how much you paid and how much installation was? just curious we don't have costco here just sam's club they don't have much LRR selection, thanks
     
  5. northwichita

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    Along with above good comments , I did look up this tire, which is a branded as a fuel efficient tire, which lower rolling resistance but I would say would lessen stability as a tradeoff. Odd you have a mpg hit with the tire.
    More info on the Ecopia line
    Bridgestone Ecopia | Green tires for car, truck and SUV

    Edit; especially good advice to double check the air pressure, you really can't tell by looking, and pumping them up to the maximum pressure written on the sidewall should help stability. I personally know Sam's Club is inconsistent with airing tires to the full pressure,don't know about Costco, some people may like a 'softer' ride, maybe the tech just didn't check.
     
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Do you mean EP422?

    If so, I have two EP422 tires on my Prius and they're fine. I feel handling improved once I was finally rid of all the stock Goodyear Integrities (they came stock on all 04-09 US non-Touring Priuses). That's what the EP422 replaced.

    My car's tire progression: 4 Integrities (came stock) -> 2 Integrities and 2 Bridgestone RE960AS (1 Integrity had to be replaced w/another somewhere along the way due to an unrepairable puncture) - > 2 Bridgestone RE960AS and 2 Bridgestone Ecopia EP422.

    I even posted about it at http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...cement-tires-current-list-24.html#post1530379 and http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...cement-tires-current-list-25.html#post1532774.

    I've put at least 7K miles on my EP422s including a fair amount of highway. I wouldn't call them scary at all.
     
  7. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    New tires will always give an mpg hit. Then if it is out of alignment or balance, that can drop it too. Tire shops like to fill tires to 30psi or 32psi. I find when tires are at that pressure, it feels sloppy. Mushy, but sloppy.

    So first I would quickly check the pressures. You can use the air hose at gas stations to check without paying if you don't own a pressure gauge.

    Then kick the wheels, relatively hard, to make sure they are bolted on properly. If it moves at all, it is not.

    Then you can actually do the tests that costs money like alignment and so on.
     
  8. chandleya

    chandleya New Member

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    So sorry to be slow to respond, we went out of the country on vacation for 2 weeks.

    I will check the pressures this afternoon. Costco uses a Nitrogen set-it-and-forget-it filling system, but I was in a hurry and didn't think to monitor or dictate their behavior. 40PSI all-around or go by the sticker?

    I'll also go for a 4-wheel alignment as well. I had wondered previously if the alignment was just a bit knackered, but could never convince myself of it. Any suggestions for best-bang-for-buck lifetime alignments? My local firestone store charges 179.

    Speaking of them, i had a 15 minute chat with their shop manager 2 days after i bought the tires. Their guy, like many of you, suggested that the Ep422 has sold very well. He also acknowledged that the overall "end-user-experience" was not equal to the previous firm-sidewalled Turanza's, thus the floaty feeling.

    I'm a pkg5/touring car, which means i have 16" wheels instead of the usual 15. Could the 15" owners be a bit more "used" to somewhat dodgier performance? I have a hard time convincing myself of that - the behavior is just too odd.
     
  9. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    No, it is likely your pressure is too low. The tires in general are good and do not behave in the manner you suggest unless there is a problem like very low pressure or a defective tire. They are not an ultra high performance tire certainly but they are not dangerous either.

    Check your pressure and make the necessary adjustments and break them in. It could take 500+ miles.
     
  10. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

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    I bought those same tires this weekend. They "feel" fine to me. Any update on your issues?
     
  11. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Most of these types of complaints are resolved by checking the tire pressure. My friend called me after he had 2 Yokohama Avid Asecnds installed on the rear and complained of the serious wandering issues. A quick check of the tire pressures confirmed that the tire shop gorillas had put 31-32psi in each tire, as usual. Reinflating all tires to 38/36 solved the problem...
     
  12. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Additonally, new tires usually have a lot more tread than the tires they replaced and thus there will be much more tread squirm. The Ascends with their 12/32 tread depth could be especially prone to this feeling while they break in and the compounds cure.
     
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