Excessive Tire Wear

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by tmattern, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. tmattern

    tmattern New Member

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    I own a 2005 Prius and have already had to replace the original Goodyear tires as a result of excessive wear due to apparent underinflation.

    I have been extremely careful about keeping the tires inflated to the factory-recommened pressure, so I know that wasn't the problem.

    I read a forum posting from 2004 that described my problem to a tee. The only response to that posting suggested a solution that tracks exactly with a suggestion made by a local whack-job mechanic in my village: Continuously test and adjust wheel allignment and over-inflate the tires to 42 PSI Front and 40 PSI Rear.

    I also heard from another Prius owner this Summer that tire wear on all Prius models up to 2006 is as a result of wheel diameter designed too small for gross weight.

    Has anybody 1) heard either or both of these responses or 2) have any insights about what to do to reduce the insane speed at which my tires are wearing?

    Thanks
     
  2. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tmattern @ Dec 12 2006, 01:12 PM) [snapback]361117[/snapback]</div>


    By most accounts here, factory recommended inflation is underinflated. Most people that (presumably) know what they're talking about recommend the 42/40 you indicate above.

    Dave M.
     
  3. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tmattern @ Dec 12 2006, 04:12 PM) [snapback]361117[/snapback]</div>


    I followed the concensus and inflated my tires to 42/40 which I'm told is still within spec. The car feels better and I'm hoping for a slight increase in mpg.
     
  4. Beryl Octet

    Beryl Octet New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tmattern @ Dec 12 2006, 04:12 PM) [snapback]361117[/snapback]</div>


    I don't understand the comments about the tires being too small for this car. My previous car was about 3600 lbs sitting at the curb, and came with 185/65-15s from the factory. I replaced these with 195/60-15s after they wore out at 35K, and always got around 40K to a set of tires. The Prius is quite a bit lighter, so these tires seem suited to the load. I now have 17K on my Prius, and have noticed no unusual wear, I rotate front to back every 5K and run them at 38/35. There are some things I don't like about the Integrities, but tread life isn't one of them, so far.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tmattern @ Dec 12 2006, 04:12 PM) [snapback]361117[/snapback]</div>


    Does that mean the outside tread of the tires are wearing away? Just how many miles did you get out of them? My driving impression is that 42/40 really makes wet traction issues more exciting than I'd like these days. It does feel better with the tires up a bit more than the suggested pressures, though.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tmattern @ Dec 12 2006, 01:12 PM) [snapback]361117[/snapback]</div>



    hmm, I have an 05 with 38,500kms on originals. I have them at 38/36 at the moment. The tread is getting shallow.
     
  6. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    You did not mention how many miles you have on your tires. However, if the wheels are properly aligned and tires are inflated to 40 to 44 psi the original Goodyears should go for 35K to 40K miles. Unfortunately the tire pressure recommendation from Toyota seems to be geared to offering a soft ride without much regard to fuel or tire mileage.

    I think what you were told about wheel size may be in error. 15 inch wheels are big enough for a car this size and weight at least as far as tire wear and safety are concerned. 16 or 17 inch wheels improve handling because they permit the use of lower profile wider tires of the same diameter.

    All of the North American Prius from 2004 to 2007 use 15 inch wheels, the touring edition introduced in 2006 uses 16 inch wheels.
     
  7. John in LB

    John in LB Life is good

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    I can confirm that tire wear is significant if you do not rotate your tires every 5000 miles. Based on the 10,000 miles I have on the car, here are the things that you need to do to maximize tire life:

    1- Check your alignment at your first service (for free - under warranty - see other posts about this).

    2- Keep your tires at the 40 / 42 PSI that is discussed here.

    3- Rotate tires every 5,000 miles. I do suggest Front straight to Back with Back crossed over to the Fronts. In this way, the tires will be exposed to all 4 positions over 20,000 miles. NOTE: this is the recommended proceedure by Michelin.

    I am definitely observing more wear in the fronts - as expected from a front wheel drive vehicle. I am also observing a slight wear on the outer edge of the front tires (rears seem to be very square). By following the above, all 4 tires will wear out relatively evenly and at the same time - thereby allowing you to buy 4 new tires each time.

    If I had to guess, I think I will get 30,000 + miles out of the original tires
     
  8. dalenag1

    dalenag1 New Member

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    Yesterday I had to put on my third set of tires. I have an '04. The original tires lasted (barely) 27,000 miles, the next set lasted 31,000. They were warrentied for 50,000, but Les Schwab said that they would not honor the warranty because I needed an alignment. This will be my second alignment, even though I have no signs or symptoms of needed another alignment. The first alignment was done when I replaced the original tires. I have 58,000 miles on my car and I am just appalled that I am blasting through tires like this. I drive like a little old lady, only on pavement, and considering the weight of this car, it just doesn't make sense.

    I would also love to hear other people's experiences. Is this a Prius issue?


    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(tmattern @ Dec 12 2006, 01:12 PM) [snapback]361117[/snapback]</div>
     
  9. seasalsa

    seasalsa Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dcg11 @ Jan 25 2007, 11:03 AM) [snapback]380697[/snapback]</div>
    You failed to mention the inflation and how often you check it. I am on my second set of OEM tires, the first set lasted 34,000 and I currently have 48,000 miles on the car. I keep the tires inflated to 42/40 and check it weekly.
     
  10. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Tires should be rotated only to keep the tires with the most tread remaining on the rear wheels. Rotating tires according to a schedule evens up the wear, true, but this is *less* safe because it increases the chances of fishtailing or spinning out.
     
  11. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    I know about keeping the best tires in the back, but in the winter I've always wanted the best in the front for snow. But this just made me think. If you really want to keep the best tires in the back then rotation wouldn't ever be required since it seems the fronts on the Prius always wear out first anyway, and I bet the money you saved not rotating the tires would help pay for new ones since the fronts may wear out just a little faster not rotating them. I just went 15k and the fronts were 4/10 and the rears were 5/10 this was without rotating them
     
  12. seasalsa

    seasalsa Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(richard schumacher @ Jan 26 2007, 01:28 PM) [snapback]381337[/snapback]</div>
    Sounds like an Urban Legend to me! Care to share the logic? Or provide some reference that substantiates this opinion.
     
  13. IsrAmeriPrius

    IsrAmeriPrius Progressive Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(seasalsa @ Jan 26 2007, 03:25 PM) [snapback]381402[/snapback]</div>
    I have always been taught that the tires with the most thread should be mounted in the back. There are plenty of references that support that practice.

    The Tire Rack - Where to Install New Pairs of Tires?

    Michelin - Where do I install new tires if I only buy two?

    Answerbagâ„¢ - If I only have 2 new tires should I have them mounted in the rear or front of the car? Why?
     
  14. seasalsa

    seasalsa Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(IsrAmeriPrius @ Jan 26 2007, 03:43 PM) [snapback]381410[/snapback]</div>
    That was not what I was questioning. Check the highlights.
    The comment "Rotating tires according to a schedule evens up the wear, true, but this is *less* safe because it increases the chances of fishtailing or spinning out. had to do with rotating tires, not where to put two new ones.

    It sounded like regulsr rotation was "LESS" safe.
     
  15. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(seasalsa @ Jan 26 2007, 09:11 PM) [snapback]381446[/snapback]</div>
    Same principle. You want the most tread in the rear, so two new tires always go on the rear.
     
  16. dalenag1

    dalenag1 New Member

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    I was back in Les Schwab today to get that MUCH needed alignment (they said that this was why they would not honor the warranty on my last set of 50,000 mile tires). Much to my surprise I was told that the car did not need an alignment. The service tech said that Toyota recommends the alignment be at -2 or something because they value mileage over tire wear. He said it was normal to get only 30,000 miles out of my tires.

    When I went back to the front counter to ask again why the warranty hadn't been honored on my old tires they then said it was because the tire pressure was too low. He said it needs to be 35 PSI and mine was much lower. Now, I'm quite sure that this is a complete lie since the Toyota mechanic checks my tire pressure every 5,000 miles when I get an oil change. There is no way I would have been driving around on flat tires without noticing something, like the mileage, for example. The Les Schwab guy also said, "it was that little green car, right?" Um, no, black Prius. I don't know how he could remember my PSI when he couldn't even remember the color of my car. I'm pretty steemed about the whole thing.

    So, my question is, is it true that the Toyota recommended alignment settings will cause excessive tire wear?



    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(seasalsa @ Jan 25 2007, 01:45 PM) [snapback]380817[/snapback]</div>
     
  17. kDB

    kDB New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dcg11 @ Jan 29 2007, 04:46 PM) [snapback]382495[/snapback]</div>
    I would think, if you getting better mileage, there is less friction. Less friction means less wear.

    So I don't think that is correct.
     
  18. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    the stock tires are cheap. upgrade when they are dead. your new tires (any tire ) will last longer.
     
  19. nwprius

    nwprius Member

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    " I'm quite sure that this is a complete lie since the Toyota mechanic checks my tire pressure every 5,000 miles when I get an oil change. "

    Do not trust mechanics to put correct air pressure in your tires. Usually your tires are at least warm or maybe hot when they check. The recommended pressure is for cold tires and the difference can be several pounds. Before you drive the car check the pressure in the morning and when the Sun is not shining on them they will have the correct pressure with a GOOD gauge. Also the pressure gauges attached to the air hoses are really very unreliable. If it is necessary to add air when the tires are hot then add 5 pounds over and you can let some air out, if it is necessary, at your morning check.
     
  20. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    My 30K checkup (I mean, on the Prius) was a few days ago and they recommended that I get new tires. They didn't rotate as the best were in the front. I told them I'll get them, but elsewhere. I have 42/40, and will probably get ComforTreads.
     
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