Installed Yokohama dB Super E-Spec tires

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by F8L, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I swapped out my Nokian i3 (185/65/15 T-rated 16.3lbs.) tires yesterday due to one of them having an unrepairable flat. I plan on trying to find a used replacement for future use as these tires are not even worn down half way and they have over 40k miles on them.

    My initial impression of the E-Spec tires (185/65/15 H-rated 17.5lbs.) was rather disappointing. I expected them to be a bit more nimble than the Nokians even at the manufacture specified pressure. I drove away from the tire dealer feeling like I was walking on a waterbed. How the heck people can drive a Prius with the tires at 35psi is beyond me. It flat out feels unsafe! The car dips and sways and just doesn't feel stable. To be fair to Nokian, I remember stating that at 35psi they felt like riding on marshmallows....

    I stopped at the nearest filling station and set the air pressure to 50/48psi which is what I ran in the Nokians in hopes of doing a fair comparison. The result was a much more stable feeling and the car wandered less at high speed (80mph). I plan on reducing tire pressure to the max sidewall pressure of 44psi to see if that has a positive effect on any of my negative opinions. :)

    Noise: The E-Specs seem quieter on smooth surfaces but louder when they come in contact with harsh bumps like cracks small holes. The Nokians would produce a more noticeable low howl which is not present in the E-Spec. So it's kind of a wash in terms of noise. *Update* After putting some miles on these tires (over 5k) I feel they are quieter than the Nokians and at 44/42psi probably the least noisy tire I have every driven on in any of my previous cars.

    Handling: The Nokians may win this battle. In regular driving situations the Nokian feels more stable and less "wishy washy". It almost feels like the E-Spec is running with less pressure or something. In spirited driving the E-Spec feels pretty predictable and the wishy-washy feeling goes away. I have not been able to push them real hard yet due to low temperatures this morning and the fear of ice as well as slow traffic on my favorite testing grounds. Grrr I'll take the same route home today when it is warmer out and push them in a corner and see how they stack up to the Nokian i3. *update* With some miles on the tires now I would say the handling is great and I can indeed push them pretty hard in corners. At this point I think it is my high mileage shocks/struts that are limiting me.


    Traction: I've recently been having traction issues with the Nokians in straight line take-offs and especially if making right turns with high throttle input. In these situations my overly aggressive traction control (2005 Prius) would kick in. I tried some heavy footed take-offs this morning in 36deg temps and I couldn't get traction control to kick in while riding on the E-Spec tires but I plan to do more testing today. It's also not really fair to compare a brand new tire with one that has 40+ miles. I'll add more to this section as I break them in.

    Mileage: *update* Mileage seems comparable to the Nokian I3 and maybe a tad better but since I cannot perform and real test due to my variable commute I cannot be certain of this. I can say that I am not suffering any loss of MPG with the tires. On the freeway at 70mph I have no problem achieving 51mpg in 50deg temps. That is pretty good for my driving style and comparable to my Nokians and the stock Integritys. On relatively flat (minimal elevation changes) trips I can see as high as 54mpg over a full tank with a little bit of effort.

    Appearance: The E-Specs are not a pretty tire. The Nokians look much nicer IMO.

    Price: The Nokian i3 and the E-Spec are fairly close in price. Depending on your source, the Nokian may end up costing more due to shipping charges and the fact that not many dealers carry the brand. BadBoyTires.com has the Nokian at $96/ea. but their shipping charges KILL ($70ish in my case)! TireRack.com has the E-Spec for $105/ea ($36 shipping). The Ecopia EP100 is the king of the price battle, especially if you catch a Costco tire sale!

    Summary: After putting over 5,000 miles on these tires I can say I am very happy with the purchase. For the more fiscally responsible consumer the Ecopia EP100 would be a better choice but for those who want to do everything they can to reduce fossil fuel use, the Super E-Spec is the natural choice.

    "Yokohama Tire Corp have came out with a way of extracting oil from orange peel as a substitute to petroleum in manufacturing tires. dB Super E-spec is the world's first tire that is made using orange peel oil extract. According to Yokohama, nearly 20 gallons of petroleum go into a set of tires, meaning that about 5 million barrels of oil annually are consumed by a 10 million-vehicle market. By infusing oil extracted from orange peels into natural rubber, Yokohama has cut the amount of petroleum in its dB Super E-spec tires by 80 percent."

    Nokian i3 all season tire
    [​IMG]

    Yokohama dB Super E-Spec grand touring tire

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I repaired my i3s two times. The third screw was not long enough and it did not puncture. I have the worse luck with these tires or it is not as resistance on picking up screw.

    It wears very well as I still have 6+ thread out of 8. How about yours?

    Back to the dB Super E-Spec topic.... do update on the MPG and more after you put more miles.
     
  3. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I've been lucky with regards to nails and screws up until now. :)

    My Nokians are just wearing down the #7 on two tires, at #6 on one, and was at #5 on another. You purchased your a short time before I did so we must be putting on a similar amount of miles. :) My #5 was on the passenger side front where I tend to push into corners pretty hard. :D
     
  4. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I just checked... #6 is starting to wear. I have 45k miles on this set! When I am down to #2, I would have gone 135k miles at this rate. Wow!
     
  5. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    They do seem to wear really well! I think 80k on the i3s would be a piece of cake! If the dB E-Specs don't seriously improve my mileage then I will likely go back to the Nokian. We'll see.
     
  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Might be time to rotate buddy :p
     
  7. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Yeah, that kinda snuck up on me haha. I wish that #5 was the one with the nail in it. Ugg
     
  8. PeterPrius

    PeterPrius Hers is a 2009 Prius, non-SKS

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    I won't ever use air in tires again as long as I live somewhere where I have Nitrogen options.

    My wife's car uses air in the HP Altimax tires. Great tires but in our cold climate and its wild temp fluctuations it's not good for the life of the tire.

    Maybe nitogen would have made a difference on the E-Spec experience?
     
  9. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Doubtful since air is already comprised of 78% nitrogen. An extra 22% should not have any noticeable effect on handling or overall performance. The benefit to the lifetime wear on the tire could be argued though. :)

    My experience is not a bad one overall. These appear to be great tires. The wandering feeling is much reduced now but the noise over harsh bumps has stayed the same. The next few weeks are supposed to be very wet and stormy due to a strong El Nino force hitting us on the west coast, according to NASA anyway. This will be a good time to see how they handle rain. :)
     
  10. orange4boy

    orange4boy Member

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    Just put on a set of Nokian WRG2s on my 2003 and I love them. Quiet and grippy with great tracking and at 50 psi they roll very nicely.

    Thinking about the i3s for the summer so I'm interested in your mileage comparisons with the Yokas. Love the Nokians for sure. LRR and non toxic.

    I'm up right now riding out the storm you were talking about. Windy, dry and warm. With the mild weather we are getting here, I may not get to try the snow grip with these tires. Not that I'm complaining.
     
  11. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I am getting pretty bad mileage for no reason right now and I noticed last night that the car is pulling pretty hard to the left. So much so that my left hand was actually sore from keeping pressure on the wheel to make it go straight. I'm going to have my alignment checked this morning. I hope nothing broke because I had it done less than a year ago and it was fine.
     
  12. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    -UPDATE-

    Tire noise has dropped with break-in. So now I think they are quieter overall than my Nokian i3s.

    MPG is on par with the Nokian i3 or even slightly better. With all of the rain we have been having I have only had a couple opportunities to test MPG on long trips. So far even with 40-50deg temps my MPG easily stays in the 50-52mpg range if I drive mostly freeway (flat) and keep speeds at about 65mph avg.. That is pretty good for my driving style and having the stereo system. :) On my normal commute though the MPG drops to 44ish.

    I'm starting to like these tires!
     
  13. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    According to this great article
    When Round and Black Becomes Lean and Green

    Up here in Montreal, choices are limited, and EXPENSIVE. I was unable to find/get the Michelin's (zero stock Montreal & Toronto), and getting the Yokohama's was difficult - apparently I got the only 4 ever delivered this year to Motnreal. My favorite garage managed to find four yesterday, installing tomorrow. 194$ each. With the Yoko 50$/per rebate (in the US it's 40$/per rebate).

    Being only a 2 hour drive to Plattsburgh, where the list US price is 109$ each, thought I'd share.

    I'm hoping these tires will get me below the 4.8l/100 range in mixed driving I always get.
     
  14. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    After putting a few thousand miles on the tires I would say that overall I like them. If I could find the Nokian i3 for a cheaper price I might go back to them though. The db Super E-Spec tire is uglier and if the tires are equal in all other ways then I want the better looking tire. :rolleyes:

    Last week I got another flat near the shoulder of the tire so this one may not be fixable much like my Nokian i3. This is the reason I bought the new Yokohamas in the first place. Grrrr So I will likely just run the Nokians on the rear and the Yoks up front since I now have 3 good tires from each brand. lol

    Interestingly, when I swapped to my old 17" wheels with Kumho Ecsta 215/45/17 I dropped from about 45mpg to 38mpg over the last 2 tanks (driving 75-80mpg freeway). These 17s look amazing on the car but god the MPG sucks!
     
  15. CaptainMatt

    CaptainMatt Junior Member

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    I just put a set of Yokohama db Super E-Specs (195/55 R16) on my '07 Touring ($153 each from Tire Kingdom). I have noticed a drastic reduction in noise from the OEM Bridgestone's I replaced (45K miles). Will have to start tweaking the PSI to get optimum mileage and decide whether to go Nitro or not. Ride and handling seem very smooth thus far.
     
  16. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Thanks for adding your experience, Matt. :)
     
  17. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    I'm getting EASY 4.7l/100km after the break in of the tires, and the new Prius.
    Also they are quite silent on cement highways.

    I haven't tweaked the air pressure at all! They are at 35 psi.
     
  18. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Ok, after driving on the 17"s for awhile then swapping back to the Yokohamas I can say i really like these tires. Getting stuck in traffic and averaging 2 tanks over 54mpg help sway me as did the quiet ride with these tires.

    Any updates for you Mark? :)
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my daughter had i3's on her 04. one went bad and i couldn't get a replacement. so i put 2 new tires on the rear and kept the good i-3 in case one of the front ones go bad. if you're still looking in the fall /spring, i can probably send it to you. it has about 20,000 on it.
     
  20. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Wow, that would be very helpful since the I3s I have are only down to number 5 on one tire and just wearing down to 6 on the others. If you don't need it by then I would be willing to pay for shipping and such. :)
     
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