Need New Tires - Please Help!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by canesfan, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. canesfan

    canesfan Culture shocked...

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    My apologies for any incorrect terms. I have a 2008 Touring. It seems that the tires are supposed to have a "V" rating. Shop says I don't have to get tires with a "V" rating. What say you? Explanations in plain English, please. Also looking for tire recommendations. I live in coastal NC and rarely have to deal with snow or ice, but we do get a good bit of rain. Thank you! :)
     
  2. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Do you have Costco membership? I always get tires from there; total price near impossible to beat (install, disposal, 5yr road hazzard warranty, TPMS o-ring kit reseal).

    Read this to become educated about tires (numbers, load index, speed rating).
    Tire Tech Information - How to Read Speed Rating, Load Index & Service Descriptions

    Speed rating of V means the tire is rated to handle speeds upto 149MPH. You will likley never hit that speed, unless on a long downhill descent. Why do they put such fast tires on non-sport cars? Its alll about Performance/traction. Generally speaking, the better performing tires in terms of grip, always have a higher speed rating.

    You know how fast you usually drive and the weather conditions the car will most likley be driven in. There may not be much of a price difference in maintaining V speed rated tires or downgrading to a lower slower speed rated tire.
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  4. Paul Schenck

    Paul Schenck Active Member

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    With over 450,000 miles on my 2005 Prius I have gone through many sets of tires. My best tires have been Goodyear integrity series and the Bridgestone Ecopia from Costco
    The V rating is The speed that they are rated to operate at , in the case of the VA rating it is 149 mph. Tire code - Wikipedia
    The Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 has a V rating.
    The Goodyear integrity series as an S rating making its max speed 112 mph. Which I have exceeded only twice


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  5. canesfan

    canesfan Culture shocked...

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    I do know that the V rating refers to speed, and that my Prius will never go that fast. :cool: Toyota must be recommending that rating for some reason...
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Try entering you car's info on TireRack site. The have all the tire specs for various cars. The spec's also in the Owner's Manual, but yeah, just go straight to TireRack. You can "window shop" there, read the reviews, take notes, and then head into your local tire place armed with more info.

    You can also look up rating explanations on the site. FYI, many tire places, Costco for example, will only install tires that meet the specifications set out by the car manufacturers. Not a bad policy.
     
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  7. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    As I said in post #2, faster rated tires have better performance (traction/grip/handling).

    Toyota feels slower rated tires (likely based on testing) are not able to give the performance that a V rated tire does.
     
  8. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    If you compare two tires that are rated otherwise identical except for a difference in speed rating, you'll usually find the only difference is that the higher rated tire has additional cap plies, which are extra layers of polyester fabric (or occasionally other material) to help hold everything in place. This difference will have a marginal effect on the car handling, but far more important is the tread pattern, material, and rest of the construction of the tire. I would not spend the extra money to get higher speed rated tires unless I was actually going to take the car near to the maximum speed. The outside tread will be no different, so the tires will wear at the same rate. One thing to note is that you will occasionally see higher speed rated tires ~1lb heavier than their lower speed rated counter-parts due to the extra material.

    The stock tire on the 2nd gen (non-touring) is the Goodyear Integrity P185/65R15 86S. So it makes no sense to me Costco is telling you you need V rated tires. Perhaps the touring model came with V rated tires? I still don't see why V rated tires would be needed.
     
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  9. Paul Schenck

    Paul Schenck Active Member

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    Tires made with higher mileage ratings often use a harder polymer resin. Increasing the number of miles like having harder souls on your shoes with the Prius we depend on great traction not only for acceleration but also breaking. The harder rubber, though lasting longer and slipping more reduces the overall MPG.
    This is why the Goodyear was selected in the US as the stock tire. That being said, I find the Ecopia tires Bridgestone makes to actually improve gas mileage and wear characteristics. Since I have two Pri I have had Goodyear integrity on one and Ecopia on the other. I couldn’t believe the difference so I swapped tires and the mileage improvement moved to the Prius with the Ecopia’s.
    I was so fascinated with the results I put Good Years on the back of the Prius and left the Bridgestone Ecopia on the front and I drove 5,000miles and then switched the front and rear tires and proved to myself they handle and perform the best ( Sorry, Toyo, Pirelli, michlin, and Firestone.)


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  10. canesfan

    canesfan Culture shocked...

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    My Prius takes 195/55R16 tires with a V rating as specified in my owner's manual. Costco didn't tell me anything, I haven't even been to Costco.
     
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  11. M in KC

    M in KC Member

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    IMO you have two great options for high mileage LRR tires based on availability from Tire Rack. The Bridgestone Ecopia 422Plus and the Michelin Energy Saver. I've had both and honestly, regarding bang for your buck the Bridgestones are the better deal. And if you are hung up on the V rating, they have you covered there as well regarding both tire variants.

    .02
     
  12. canesfan

    canesfan Culture shocked...

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    I appreciate the recommendations so far. I'm just really curious as to why Toyota specifies tires with a V rating for my car. Anyone have any insight there?
     
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  13. Mochabuzz

    Mochabuzz Junior Member

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    I really like the Bridgestone Ecopia 422's for my 07 Touring. I have put 60k on them and they still have some tread left. The guy I bought the car from had cheap Falken tires on it and I averaged 42mpg. With the Bridgestones I am up to 45-47mpg. I wish I had the non-touring because its gets a few more MPG, but I didn't know at the time that the mileage was worse on the touring model.

    I usually buy my tires from Costco.
     
  14. M in KC

    M in KC Member

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    On a recently calculated mpg rate with our newish 422's I calc'ed 54 mpg (non-touring '05). Normal mpg's are now in the 47-49 range. Mind you the 47-49 range is with someone who drives this car like they are qualifying for the Daytona 500 and who has no concept of hyper-miling, pulse and glide etc. Just point it and go.
     
  15. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Since the Touring has lower-profile 17” wheels, the tires are sportier and the V rating is part of that. From a max speed perspective an S rating is adequate.
     
  16. HPrimeAdvanced

    HPrimeAdvanced Senior Member

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    I've found that the V rated tires also have higher heat rating/tolerance than do lesser tires. My Prime probably won't hit 149mph (damn!!), but it has recently seen unearthly hot temperatures. I would be sure to look at heat & traction ratings. Remember heat damage is cumulative, so this is important for us southwesterners in particular. I've hit 109° in Azusa the other day, which didn't give me much margin for safety. You want A/A ratings. I got suckered into A/B rated tires when I was blinking!!. The second letter is the heat rating.


    .
     
  17. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Sporty Touring performance was in the mind of the Toyota engineers when they chose the V rated tires. (If it makes you feel better the v 17" tires on ours are W rated). They not only happen to perform better and up to those high speeds, they are also better performing at the lower speeds that apply to everyday driving. This leads to better maneuverability, improved stopping distances, and increased traction in accelerating/flooring it. Sometimes this tends to decreased lifespan (read as Treadwear rating lower).

    If you have been happy with the handling of the Prius then I would stick with the V rating, or find even higher if you find it lacking.

    The higher the speed rating, usually means a shift in performance (poorer) in inclement weather, ie. snow/ice, so if that is a concern where you live, it should be taken into consideration...
     
    #17 jzchen, Oct 27, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  18. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    wow that's fantastic Paul!
     
  19. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

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    Tire speed ratings alphabetically higher than "T" are WELL above speeds that most Prii can attain, so no, you do NOT need "V speed rated" tires, they are safe up to 149MPH... LOL>

    https://www.toyotires.com/safety-info
    [​IMG]
     
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