1. Attachments are working again! Check out this thread for more details and to report any other bugs.

Trying to figure out what to do for wheels and tires - snows and all-seasons

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by bbrages, Sep 25, 2023.

  1. bbrages

    bbrages Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2023
    54
    12
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Hello all!

    I just bought a rather rough-looking 2010 Prius yesterday. My son has a 2005, so I joined the forum a few months ago.

    Anyway, this car looks bad because of peeling white paint - I'm hoping to get Toyota to step up and take care of that. But there's another issue with the wheels and tires.

    It's got a set of four Pirelli snow tires, not really ideal for St. Louis. We usually get one decent snow a year. The car came from Indianapolis, where I guess there's a bit more snow - and salt, although it kind of seems inappropriate for there, too.

    So I am going to replace the tires - I like the price of the Douglas tires from Wal-mart. But the other thing is, the wheels have a lot of bubbling under the paint. I am thinking... I could keep this set of snow tires - they have decent tread still - and just run them in the winter months. (Heck, winter is right around the corner, maybe I should wait till next spring to replace.)

    I was thinking I could get a new (used) set of wheels and mount the new tires onto them. Then I'd have a set of winter tires as well. But I've been living for decades at this latitude without snow tires.

    So maybe the sensible course of action is: repaint the wheels I have, toss out the snow tires and get some new all-seasons. And either do that now, or what the heck, it's almost October, run the snows for the winter and see what that's like. I don't know, what do you think?

    Also, I don't have the wheel covers. I think I like the 2013+ with the black wheels and the goofy covers. Am I weird?
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    16,442
    8,373
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Rough looking 2010, just that alone sounds like trouble, especially if this has high mileage and deferred maintenance.

    I would spend a little money as possible on this car until you can determine there is no big issue with the car after driving it 1000 miles
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  3. bbrages

    bbrages Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2023
    54
    12
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I'm pretty good at DIY mechanic stuff, so I'm not too worried about the problems I'm getting into. But I think that approach does make sense. I think I'll keep the snows through the winter and give the car time to reveal any major problems.

    Dr. Prius says the battery is at about 55%, which ain't great, but I guess it isn't horrible either. Head gasket will probably go eventually... I plan on DIYing it if that happens.
     
  4. bbrages

    bbrages Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2023
    54
    12
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Ok, now I'm at 1000 miles. No big issues so far. Battery seems a little weak, but we averaged a bit over 47 with mostly highway driving. I replaced the wipers and wiper motor and a wheel bearing.
     
  5. bbrages

    bbrages Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2023
    54
    12
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Ok, now I'm at 1000 miles. No big issues so far. Battery seems a little weak, but we averaged a bit over 47 with mostly highway driving. I replaced the wipers and wiper motor and a wheel bearing.
     
  6. bdc101

    bdc101 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2023
    249
    85
    0
    Location:
    usa
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    ----USA----
    Once you get snow tires I don't think you ever go back to driving on all-seasons in the winter. The confidence level is just night and day different. There are some all-season and all-terrain tires with the 3-peak snowflake rating, but in my experience (living in an area where it snows frequently) they are never as good as true studless snow tires, and as they age they become unsafe after only a year or two of use. I have an AWD BMW X5 with A/T tires, with the 3PMSF rating, and they were scary to drive on by the time they were only 15k miles old in the snow. I put a set of blizzaks on this car and it's night and day difference. The blizzaks give you a feeling of safety.

    The nice thing is that you can drive on studless snows as long as you want (no ticket if you forget to take them off) and your summer tires last twice as long as well. It's a no brainer. I've even seen road tests where they compare name-brand all-season tires to the same name-brand's studless snow tires on the same vehicle, both in snow and on wet pavement, and the studless snow tires significantly out-performed the all-season tires not just in the snow but also in the wet.

    I'm a believer since I started buying them about 10-12 years ago.
     
  7. black_jmyntrn

    black_jmyntrn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2020
    1,121
    318
    3
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    with all-terrain tires... the Prius has been a champ in the snow!

     
  8. bbrages

    bbrages Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2023
    54
    12
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    OK, made it to about 15,000 miles on the snow tires. Yesterday one of the tires had a flat, so I didn't drive the car.

    But my son did - he drove about 30 miles on a totally flat tire. So I guess that forces the issue - going to be putting on a set of Yokohama Avid S on Thursday.
     
  9. Danno5060

    Danno5060 Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2023
    68
    20
    0
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Base
    My old car (prior to a Prius) got along okay with studless snow tires, so that's what I put on mine. Something about the weight distribution (I think) and the studless didn't do so good with the Prius. I'd step on the gas at the green light and it would barely make it through the light by the time it changed. It also got a bit scary trying to get stopped a couple times. That's when I decided it needed studded snows in the winter.

    I'll have to look it up, but I found a tire with sipes like a studless snow tire, but would also accept the studs - those really work well - and they were on sale.

    It does eat some of the gas mileage during the winter, and I think it causes a bit more wear and tear on the wheel bearings too. I'm on my third set on the front for my Gen 2 and my second set on my Gen 3.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    54,034
    37,896
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    What's the miles on the car?

    Consider replacement with one of those compromise "all-weather", "4-season" or whatever they dream up for a name, basically a balance betweeen all-season and dedicated snow. They have the mountain/snowflake symbol, same as dedicated snow tires. A compromise tire. Michelin Cross-Climate is on example. Or the Nokian WR series.

    One dedicated snow tire that I'd propose as an all-weather stand-in: Michelin X-Ice. We're using those about 5 months out of the year, on the west coast, where we only rarely get snow, and on bare pavement they feel just like an all-season, very smooth. Get better mpg with them, in 195/65R15, than with our stock 17" wheel/tire combo (currently Michelin Primacy MXM4 215/45R17).

    Considering all the snow/salt factor: how's the underside look, suspension components, bolts/nuts. In particular the rear, around the solid axle?

    Oh, and have you ever heard of EGR cleaning? See first two links in my signature (on a phone turn it landscape to see signature). If it's got say 150K miles or more, and EGR never touched, I'd prep for head gasket letting go.

    Good to change the water pump out too; they tend to go bad around 150~200k. And do the thermostat, as long as you're there.
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, Jan 29, 2024
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2024
  11. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    5,695
    3,064
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    ???:eek::confused:(n) HOW did he drive 30 miles on a flat tire? How could he not know???

     
  12. bbrages

    bbrages Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2023
    54
    12
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    It's wild, isn't it? The good (?) news is the tire didn't tear apart and kept the rim protected. Pirelli Cinturato Winter tire. But it's clearly trash now. Two of the tires had OK tread and two were getting low. So it should be nice to get new, balanced tires.

    In other news, one of the rear wheel bearings went bad, opposite to the flat tire.
     
  13. bbrages

    bbrages Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2023
    54
    12
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    When I drove the car home on a spare, the mpg was at about 35, down from about 45 typical for us.

    So I don't know if my son was also driving really fast (that is scary to think of), or if the drag from the flat tire was enough to kill the mpg. I was surprised though.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    54,034
    37,896
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    When they grow up, you think you're out of the woods. Then the grandkids come of age...
     
    Danno5060 likes this.
  15. bdc101

    bdc101 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2023
    249
    85
    0
    Location:
    usa
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    ----USA----
    FWD cars will all exhibit this behavior either on studs or studless. An AWD or 4WD car on all-season tires will out-accelerate a FWD car on snow tires in most snow or ice conditions, every time. This is just a compromise you make with FWD. The problem people get into is thinking that this makes AWD or 4WD cars safe to drive in the snow and ice on all-season tires.

    Studded tires do help out a lot in the ice. And around here they don't salt roads (thank god) but it means many roads become packed snow after a couple of days, because the plow can't scrape it down to the pavement and it's too cold to melt. Those situations studs really are helpful. But the rest of the time studless is great. I don't personally buy them because I like the freedom of being able to put my snow tires on whenever it's convenient for me.

    One other thing I would suggest, living in an area that gets a lot of snow and having bought many sets of snow tires for all of my vehicles, is that you should throw away studless snow tires after 5 or 6 years, long before the tread is worn out. Even a good snow tire will feel pretty slick after several years of use, even if the tread looks OK. I did this once where I nicked a sharp curb and broke the sidewall in a studless tire that was maybe 6 years old, but had lots of tread left. These were Haakapeliitas, so they were top-dollar, name brand tires. After putting a new set of studless tires on it was a night and day difference in grip in the snow. I was actually quite surprised at how much better they were.