Steel wheels for 2021 Prius Prime

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by raspberrybrain, Sep 1, 2021.

  1. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
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    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    Most people who do DIY car maintenance prefer to have the winter tires on their own rims, that way winter tire change-up can be performed at home. The benefit is that even though you pay the upfront cost of the rims (either new or used), the tire change cost is $0 if you DIY. Also, you can change the tires at your will not at mercy of the tire shop appointment. This can be critical if you wait too long and an imminent winter storm is approaching in the forecast but there is no shop to take you in. The rims in OEM size of 15-inch costs anywhere from $50-$200/pc depending on you go with a cheap steel or alloy or used rims to more expensive OEM or aftermarket rims. If you have to buy a separate set of lug nuts for $20-$80, and you will still have to pay for the initial installing of the tires and balancing ~$60 (this may be included in the purchase price of a set of new tires). So, the cost would be anywhere from $280 for cheap wheels to close to $1000 for expensive wheels and other costs. Also, you need to know that if you have a separate set of rims for winter and want to keep the TPMS functioning, then the cost will jump by at least $400 for a set of TPMS sensors plus the TPMS relearn tool. If you don't have your TPMS tool, then you will have to pay to have it reset each tire swap.

    Compared to this, if you just buy OEM size tires and take them to a tire shop to unmount, mount, re-balance, then one benefit is that TPMS relearn is not needed for the same OEM rims with two sets of tires. It would cost ~$15/tire or $60 per change-up. This may cost more at a dealer, but if you have a good relationship with the dealer and use the Free Toyota Care tire rotation for the first 5 tire changes, it may be about the same as at a shop. So for two tire changes, it would cost ~$120/yr. For the 3 years lease, it is not much more than the cheapest option with separate wheels without TPMS.

    I use to not have the skill/knowledge and tools to do DIY tire swap. For many years, I just brought the tires to the shop to have them swap twice a year on the same OEM rims. The tire shop did the tire change for free as long as I buy a set of tires from them. It was cheaper than buying a set of wheels even after 10+ years.
     
    #21 Salamander_King, Sep 8, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  2. raspberrybrain

    raspberrybrain New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2021
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    Location:
    Connecticut
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    XLE
    After much deliberation, we decided to follow your advice and buy a new set of 195/65 R15 X-ice tires and steel wheels. I’m really interested in your plastic cap idea, but I’m wondering exactly what type of “inner tube rubber band” you used. Do you know the specific size of that rubber band? Is it different than just a regular rubber band? And do you also recommend putting some 3-in-1 oil on the center hub before putting that cap on? Thanks for all your advice!
     
    AldoON likes this.
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