Tire Replacement Time: Cheap Sumitomo/Nexens to Integrity or FuelMax or EnergySaver

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by eblade, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. eblade

    eblade Junior Member

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    I know there are a ton of tire t(h)reads :) on here, but I wanted to make a post with some specifics about my situation, it's difficult to lose things among all the wonderful posts in here.

    2007 Prius that we picked up last September. It's way past time to replace the tires on it (one of them has sprung a slow leak, and the others are showing pretty nasty cracking and wear), so we're going to do that first thing this morning. We're in Michigan, so rain/snow performance is something we need to be mindful of, but we're pretty sure we can get some upgrades from the tires that were on it when we got it.

    In the front, we currently have "Sumitomo HTR A/s P01" 185/65R15 M+S 88H, 51 Max PSI, 1235 Max Load
    In the rear, we have "Nexen CP641" 185/65R15 M+S 88H, 44 Max PSI, 1235 Max Load

    Discount Tire has the Integrity (that's what these came with originally right?) the FuelMax, and the Energy Saver tires. The Integrities are $80/ea, FuelMax $90/ea and Energy Savers $120/ea. I'm probably leaning towards just spending the extra cash and doing the Energy Savers, as I've read the Integrity absolutely blows on wet roads, and we were really quite happy with the performance of the car during this past horrific winter, but it doesn't look like the existing tires were built with rolling resistance in mind.

    We currently get around about 45-47mpg, with some fill ups slightly below and some slightly above that. Trips are extremely widely varied from hundreds of miles on the highway at a time, to 2-mile city trips, to backroads (some even dirt or brick!)...

    We're hoping to get a noticeable increase in mpg, without too much of a noticeable decrease in other areas. Considering the condition of the tires, that might not be as difficult of a goal as it may sound -- they're pretty cracked up and tread worn, after a year of us banging on them, and who knows how long they were on there from the previous owner.

    If anyone wants to chip in with any advice on these, feel free, I'll check this thread before we make the final decision, but I think our minds are made up on one of these three sets, we just want to see them in person. I mostly am posting this thread so that I can report back on the difference that we get :)

    OH, at the same time, we're going to do the standard oil change maintenance thing, we're about 1500 over due on that right now. (we were going to do all this a month ago, about 700 miles or so, but decided since the car was going to be idle for the last 2 weeks, we'd just do it all in one after getting back from a trip)

    Thanks :)
    - Eric
     
  2. eblade

    eblade Junior Member

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    hmm. And the tire guy throws a wrench into my plans :) The sales guy says that his Continental ControlContact Tour A/S are probably the best bang for the buck in the around-$100 LRR price range .. http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/findTireDetail.do?c=5&rcz=48187&ar=65&rf=true&rd=15&rc=MIDINT&cs=185&dVeh=dVeh&ra=filterTireProducts.do&fl=&tc=CONPT3&yr=2007&pc=19660&vid=011196 .. I know that LusciousGarage recommends a Continental model that seems similar to those, but I'm not sure how they differ. Anyway, we're going to head up there in about 15 minutes to get a look at all 4 models.
     
  3. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    Buy Michelin Tires. They are the best. Maybe cost a little more but well worth it.
     
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  4. eblade

    eblade Junior Member

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    I'm really leaning towards the Michelin Energy Saver. That Discount Tire specific Conti model seems nice, but the only reviews of it I see anywhere just say "if you can't find it on the manufacturer's web site, don't buy it".. which is not really indicative of anything, other than people not wanting to try the unknown :) but I can certainly understand that. Few want to be a guinea pig when we're talking about the rubber meeting the road.

    They did say they'd have us in and out in about an hour, so as soon as the boss lady wakes up, we're going to get this done, and I'll report back on what comes of it :D
     
  5. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    When it comes to tyres I always buy the best I can afford.

    I have Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance in a 205/55/16. Better mpg, better wet performance and quieter.

    They cost me €90 which is approx us$120. Expensive, but worth it with the increased mpg
     
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  6. eblade

    eblade Junior Member

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    Well, sadly, contrary to their website, they didn't actually have the Michelin's in stock. But that's what i had them get for me. So, I'll report back tomorrow or Wednesday with some initial impression on the difference. Looks like if we get a 3mpg difference, we'll have the tires paid for in a year or two, and I'm definitely ok with that. :) The money we've saved just in 11 months of driving this car versus our old Focus has made it well worth the purchase, I'd say. With the purchase of these tires, we're about 8k into the car, and we've saved about 1k so far in gas and an uncountable sum in not having to worry about the car failing us at the worst possible time... buying this Prius has been one of the best things I've ever done :)
     
  7. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I will probably go with the new Continental True Contact soon.
    Rave reviews but its a new tire so not enough time for negatives to filter in.
    The Mich En Sav A/S are expensive and great MPG but less good in winter (some feel).
    If you look at Tire Rack.com the A/S do pretty good but a little weak in the "would you buy them again" rating.
    In the lack of a winter I would go with A/S.
     
  8. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    We like Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology.
     
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  9. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    It sounds like you may have already bought, but if you are interested in snow performance, being up North, I highly recommend the Hankook Optimo H727. It rolls very nicely too, but the snow performance is really impressive for a long-wearing, year-round tire. It doesn't come in the exact replacement size but in some very close sizes (I believe 195/60R15 is what I'm using).

    I don't believe it quite qualifies as an LRR but they do roll very nicely, especially at 44/42 psi. My fuel economy has stayed within 1-2 mpg of the Integrities but the snow performance is magnitudes better.
     
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  10. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Here's the latest Consumer Reports ratings for nonperformance all-season tires. In the past, I would have gone with the Hankook Optimo H727 because of its best in class snow traction and ice braking performance, and its overall high ratings (it used to be Consumer Reports' highest rated nonperformance all-season tire). But with the latest Consumer Reports ratings, I would go with the Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology. It, like the Hankook, has best in class snow traction and ice braking performance. But it outperforms the Hankook overall and in other key categories like rolling resistance and tread life. Also, it comes in the original equipment tire size of 185/65R15, so it matches up with the standard Prius' odometer/speedometer/mpg settings.
    Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 11.52.30 PM.png
     
    #10 Boo, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
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  11. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I agree -- the Contis are an excellent tyre.
    I am less enamored these days with really high tread-wear after I realized that cracking limits the tyre life, at least in the SW high desert where my cars live outside.
     
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  12. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I have the Cont ProCont EcoPlus up front right now...had 'em 2 yrs now...almost 30k miles
    ...not too bad as far as wear, which was a complaint some had. Sort of like OEM Integrity re: tread life.
    Guess I need to measure tread to gauge remaining life.
     
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  13. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Great info Boo! Chart says what needs to be known to make a educated decision on the choice of tires out there today!
     
  14. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    Okay, I can see the reasoning with the chart. I thought the Hankooks would have a price advantage but I guess not. An LRR that does that well in the snow sounds really good.
     
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  15. eblade

    eblade Junior Member

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    Well, the Contis didn't seem to be available in any local shops, except for that Discount Tire specific brand, and although the sales guy said "these tires have only been out for a couple of weeks", I could see people asking about them online for 8 months, with zero information given.

    SO, we went with the Michelin Energy Saver A/S. I talked with a few different shops, and they all agreed that the quality difference between a new Michelin of -any- A/S type versus the at least 2 year old Sumitomo/Nexen combination would be pretty sizeably in favor of the Michelins. (Although not documented on the Michelins, they do also have the M+S designation for mud/snow, so that's a plus)

    We had to have the shop order them in, so we didn't get them fitted until Wed afternoon, so I don't have a whole lot to report about them, but my initial feeling is quite good. Sadly, I can't compare them to any other new tires, as we've been driving the Prius on the theory that "we'll drive the used tires it came with until they're dead".

    My feeling from the passenger side alone (I don't drive currently) is that the car feels almost like it's much "stickier" when accelerating, especially over bumpy/pothole riddled roads (yay, Michigan). Probably a result of the tires being brand new, and the alignment being corrected. It's slightly quieter from inside, not as much as I expected, though. Seems it's made quite a difference in turning, as we almost hit a curb turning too sharply into a driveway, which she's not normally prone to doing.

    But, now for the real exciting part: She immediately took it to her roller derby practice, 20-ish miles away, and when she got back, we had 64 miles on the ticker, with an eye-popping (on the Prius display) 54mpg. The to-practice-and-back round trip on the highway it usually rates around 45mpg. I saw that and almost had to change my pants. I figure there has to be some anomaly with this particular trip, that's -too much- of an increase ... isn't it? or were those tires really that terrible to the mileage? perhaps we should've changed them up right when we got it, instead of waiting.. Time will tell, and I'll report back. I'm sure we can find something to get into this weekend that will put some good mileage on them :)
     
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  16. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    My guess is that once you have Michelins you will never be satisfied with anything else or that is my experience.
     
  17. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Sounds good eblade!

    Just a FYI regarding finding tires: One thing I've done in the past is order tires from Tire Rack and have them drop-shipped to and installed at a local approved installer. That's what I did with the current tires on my Prius (Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds). In the case of the Continental ProContact EcoPlus, you could have ordered 4 from Tire Rack for $252, and have them drop-shipped to the local approved installer in Plymouth, MI for $48.
     
    #17 Boo, Aug 10, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
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  18. eblade

    eblade Junior Member

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    Perhaps we will give that a shot on the next one. If we like these during winter, though, we'll probably just stick with these, or whatever is their equivalent at that time.

    After this weekend's fun, we were sitting at a more believable 49.8mpg on the MFD. She's out with the car right now, so I'll update with full stats when she gets back, but we went to a concert that was about 40 miles away, and involved a whole lot of sitting still or coasting while the main battery was drained while stuck in horrific traffic. SO, we burned a decent chunk of fuel keeping that battery at minimal charge. (seeing Motley Crue and Alice Cooper was well worth it though)
     
  19. eblade

    eblade Junior Member

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    50.1 on 320 now, and it's been raining all day. Says the rain handling is great. I think we're pretty happy with these :) If that holds at a 3-5mpg improvement gives us 30-50 per tank, saves us $2-3 per week or so, which is $100-$150 or so a year, cost of tires completely paid for in 4 years, but since we needed new tires anyway, i'll just count that against the difference between these and a cheapset .. so the $40 per tire difference between these and cheap ones is covered in one to one and a half years.
    Woo!
     
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  20. YAWP

    YAWP Junior Member

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    Based on Boo's recommendation (and that of Consumer Reports), I have just purchased 4 Continental ProContact (with EcoPlus) tires (shipping was $56 to Seattle instead of the $48 to Plymouth) from Tire Rack. Total was $308.56. I'm having them shipped to a recommended installer, who'll charge me about $20 a tire to mount and balance the tires. I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for all the info! Definitely a better deal than from the dealership.

    YAWP

    PS One thing I was worried about was that there was limited stock on this type of tire. Are they being discontinued?
     
    #20 YAWP, Aug 11, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
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