Curious ? about OEM tires

Messages
6
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Hi Ya Folks, Well just an update first, I bought the Toyo tires for my Ford Focus, and I just got back from a long drive through rainy weather. The tires were impressive, but they are brand new so we'll see how they hold up. I asked about Toyo tires in a past thread and alot of you really hate and stressed that there is a big difference with the quality of OEM tires. So my question is: Are the OEM tires on the more expensive cars ( Lexus, BMW, etc close to $30K) just as poor? Or is it just the entry level cars that they skimp on the tires to save costs. Thanks
 
Messages
40,717
Location
Great Lakes
It's a crapshoot really. When I was buying the A4 some time back, they used to come from the factory with two types of tires: Pirelli P6000 and Michelin Pilot Sport. The MPS is a pretty good tire. My car came with the Pirellis unfortunately, which are quite bad in terms of wet traction and noise (after they wear out a bit).
 
Messages
23,591
My '96 A4 quattro came with GY RSA A/S tires. While it wasn't a bad tire, but rather uninspired, it was not the type performer (underachiever) I'd put on any sporty car. I suppose Audi expected mostly folks living in a 4-season climate to buy a quattro, hence the A/S tire choice. Pricewise, the RSA was as expensive (retail ca $130 a piece) as a high performance summer tire, so stinginess by Audi wasn't the reason for their tire choice.
 
Messages
1,899
Location
Columbia, SC
I don't know about the rest of you guys but my thoughts on OEM are this: The cheaper the car (usually), the cheaper the tire (usually). The RSA's on a Focus are not the same RSA's on a patrol car. Once you get into the higher end vehicles, you will get a higher end tire (high/ultra high performance +) which is the same as the AEM tire you can replace it with. I think that the tire Mfgrs provide OEM tires with lower treadware ratings to provide a little better "sell" factor. This was atleast the case with a 95 Camry with some Bridgestones with a treadware of 100. The "same" AEM tires had a treadware around 360 I think. One real kicker are those car mfgrs that spec a tire size which is only made by one or two tire mfgrs...hmmmmm.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,959
Location
The Motor City
I was always told the best tires are the ones that come on the new cars. If you were to buy the same tires aftermarket, they wouldn't be as good. This is old information and I'm not sure whether to believe it.
 
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
I think wantin150 is right. I hate the GY RSA's that came on my 02 Cavalier LS, noisy and harsh riding, but did wear fairly well. I liked the GY Eagles that came on my 92 Grand AM GT. I might have gone with more if the local dealer hadn't shafted me on one that went bad. Best is in the seat of the beholder. A lot of the alternatives to the 205-55-16's that came on my car trade ride and wet traction for dry handling. Frankly the Goodyears provided much more capability than is responsible to use on the public highways.
 
Messages
3,939
Location
Somewhere in the US
May be I should try to add what information I can on OEM tires. It’s the vehicle manufacturer who decides what tires get applied to his vehicle. There is a “spec sheet” that outlines what is required. This sheet ranges from a minimum of info (size, tread pattern type) to a complete description of all performance parameters (wet traction, snow traction, rolling resistance, etc.) Vehicle manufacturers generally specify quite a bit of the performance envelope – some the entire envelope! – and this is what creates the impression that the tires are “cheap”, meaning low quality. To an engineer, quality has 3 components – consistency, compliance to design intent, and design intent. It’s this last one that seems to drive the impression of poor quality more than anything else in OEM tires. Let me give you an example: Some vehicle manufacturers really push the envelope on rolling resistance. Rolling resistance can be improved (on a given tire) by sacrificing tread wear and / or traction, especially wet traction. Most vehicle manufacturers couldn’t give a “hoot” about tread wear and this is usually the item that is compromised. Also, the road surfaces used to determine the wet traction level by the OEM are sometimes quite different than some locales, leading to a situation where the vehicle manufacturer thinks the tire has an acceptable level of wet traction, but a significant number of owners experience issues. Left to their own devices, tire manufacturers would sacrifice RR for wet traction. I think you’ll find very few complaints about wet traction on tires that are strictly aftermarket designs. So I think you’ll find that most complaints on OEM tires are about wet traction and treadwear. Let me talk about tread wear for a moment. Most new vehicle purchasers expect the vehicle to go a long distance (or time) before they have to perform maintenance. Some don’t even THINK about oil changes! Many folks aren’t aware of (or don’t want to be bothered with) tire rotations, so when 20,000 miles comes and the front tires are worn out (on their FWD), they are surprised. Sometimes the front tires have alignment wear and, of course, the vehicle dealer (who can’t get reimbursed for doing an alignment) blames the tires (which he doesn’t warranty!) and sends the owner to the tire dealer. The owner also looks on the internet for the mileage warranty for the tire and sees – say – 60,000 miles. Here’s what the owner doesn’t realize: 1) Their rear tires still have plenty of wear left, and if they had rotated their tires, they would have gotten 40,000 miles – which is a respectable number. 2) The 60,000 mile wear warranty doesn’t apply to OE tires. 3) The 60,000 mile wear is a marketing position, not a guarantee. I think the above situation occurs more often on inexpensive cars, and that’s why you hear more complaints about tires on these cars. To add to this many “expensive” cars are high performance cars and the tires are part of the performance package and they don’t wear very well BY DESIGN! Design intent can at least be explained. Another factor in this “low OEM quality” equation is the HUGE population a particular OEM tire represents compared to an aftermarket tire. A car factory can produce up to 250,000 cars a year – that’s a million (!!!) tires. A tire factory may produce 50 million tires a year spread out over 1,000 different size / design combinations. So even a big runner for a tire factory is small potatoes compared to what an OEM factory consumes. This means that even small problems get magnified in the marketplace. There’s quite a bit more I can add, but maybe it would be best if I let everyone chew on this for a while.
 
Messages
1,001
Location
Baltimore
The manufacturers used to put the cheapest thing on a car they could buy. Then they began to specify tires that enhanced ride or handling or that differed from standard production tires in some way. Recently they've begun putting premium tires on cheap cars - for example "H" rated Michelins on Hyundai Elantras - apparently with the notion that folks tend to buy what came on the car, so the tire manufacturers are priming the pump.
 
Messages
15,410
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
what capriracer said is all very true. so many people dont rotate their tires, then complain when people like me refuse to honor their warrenty. i had a customer buy tires from me in december and they are already worn down to nothing on the inside edges of the front tires. my shop couldnt align the car because we didnt have the specs for it at the time and i told him he had to go to the dealer to get it aligned. he never did and put 18000 miles on it since then. he is now blaming me for selling him bad tires.
 
Messages
3,939
Location
Somewhere in the US
quote:
Originally posted by Mickey_M: ....Recently they've begun putting premium tires on cheap cars - for example "H" rated Michelins on Hyundai Elantras - apparently with the notion that folks tend to buy what came on the car, so the tire manufacturers are priming the pump.....
I disagree. I think what is going on here is that the Firestone situation prompted the vehicle manufacturers to look at what speed ratings they were specifying. What they discovered was that many vehicle had S and T rated tires and were being sold in very hot climates - where H rated tires are sometimes considered the minimum. The net effect is that H rated tires are rapidly becoming the minimum standard tire. Since this is actually a more expensive tire (even for someone who buys millions of tires a year), I don't think it's the tire manufacturers who are driving this.
 
Messages
259
Location
WI
quote:
Originally posted by Zuke: So my question is: Are the OEM tires on the more expensive cars ( Lexus, BMW, etc close to $30K) just as poor? Or is it just the entry level cars that they skimp on the tires to save costs. Thanks
It depends. Some manufacturers put decent tires on their cars, while others just put whatever will get them the best EPA ratings. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the price of the car. For example, I've noticed that Acura puts crappy Michelins on most of their cars (RSX, TSX, TL and RL).
 
Messages
1,001
Location
Baltimore
I think what is going on here is that the Firestone situation prompted the vehicle manufacturers to look at what speed ratings they were specifying. What they discovered was that many vehicle had S and T rated tires and were being sold in very hot climates - where H rated tires are sometimes considered the minimum. Let's consider the Hyundia Elantra, which comes OEM with Michelin H rated 195/60-15 Energy MXV4 Plus tires. Our available speed ratings are: P - 93 MPH Q - 99 MPH S - 112 MPH T - 118 MPH U - 124 MPH H - 130 MPH V - 149 MPH The Hyundai Elantra, with a tailwind downhill, might just crack 100 mph. An "S" or "T" rated tire properly inflated could do that all day long with a full load. With a safety margin. The H-rated Michelin obtains that rating in part by decreasing sidewall rubber (the anti-scuff primarily) and tread depth, thus giving you a tire that will wear out in about 60% of the life a comparable S or T rated tire and which is more susceptible to curb damage. The Firestone problem involved an asinine inflation recommendation by Ford over Firestone's objections and drivers who failed to check tire pressure, overloaded their vehicles, drove at high speeds, and didn't know what to do when a blowout finally occured. I do note that Michelin retails the H-rated 195/60-15 Energy MXV4 Plus for over $100 each (Tire Rack, no mounting or balancing). Good S and T rated tires can be bought for 50-60% of that. Somehow I don't think safety is the issue here.
 
Messages
3,558
Location
SE Pa
It's the newer cars that are dictating the higher speed ratings. Cars are driven at much higher average speeds, and are capable of much higher top speeds, than they were just 10 years ago. Even the cheapest econoboxes fly along at 80+ MPH with ease. More and more vehicles can top 130+ MPH right off the showroom floor. You can't just slap S and T rated tires on these vehicles anymore, even if it is speeding. Many vehicles have fuel supply cutouts because of the tire limitations. The engine cutout on my R is 155 mph. And it will go even faster if the fuel cutout is disabled. So it comes OEM clad with Y rated tires. But that's the exception. H rated tires appear more and more the norm, and with good reason. Handling, traction and treadlife are entirely different factors, however, and here the OEMs still regularly cut corners compared to the best aftermarket rubber.
 
Messages
1,187
Location
Southern Vermont
Way back in the 1960s, I had a 1964 Corvette with a 365 hp 327 ci engine. Believe it or not, the car came with Firestone DeLuxe Champion 2 ply bias tires. More recently, GM put tires on the car, and then programmed the computer to limit top speed to the rating of the tires. So if you bought a car with S rated tires, the car was usually governed to something like 109 mph. If you got H rated tires, the car was programmed to a top speed of 130. We got a 1996 Olds Aurora, and got the "Autobahn" package with the higher speed rated tires because I did not like the idea of a 109 mph top speed. I have a 1991 Infiniti Q45 that came with V rated tires. The car's top speed is something like 150 mph. Now that I am an old man who can barely get out of his own way, I put H rated tires on the car.
 
Messages
1,357
Location
California, USA
Kestas, Ive heard that from people that worked for GM or Ford 30 years ago. They were talking about quality only in relation to factors like balance and roundness. A smooth ride and minimum of balance weights are very important in a new car. The same tire model from the same manufacturer sold in the aftermarket may not be as close tolerance as far as balance goes. What some people think of when you say quality is really tread wear, traction, etc. My new Toyota came with 180 B B S-speed-rated Bridgestones. I probably will not go for the same tire at replacement time. On the other hand, my BMW came with 180 A A H-speed-rated Pirelli's and I did replace with the same tire because I was totally satisfied with the performance for the price.
 
Messages
259
Location
WI
quote:
Originally posted by Volvohead: More and more vehicles can top 130+ MPH right off the showroom floor. You can't just slap S and T rated tires on these vehicles anymore, even if it is speeding. Many vehicles have fuel supply cutouts because of the tire limitations.
My '96 Acura Integra GS-R came with V-rated tires brand new. After those wore out, I went with H-rated tires. I currently am running S-rated tires. I have over 30k miles on these tires and haven't had any problems. I also set the cruise control at 80mph on the highway. My next set of tires will probably be either H or V-rated, as I like the stiffer sidewalls, but would not have a problem putting on S or T-rated tires. I've never heard that fuel cutoffs are because of tire limitations. Wouldn't the auto manufacturers just put on higher rated tires if that were the case?
 
Messages
487
Location
WI
quote:
Originally posted by Mickey_M: The manufacturers used to put the cheapest thing on a car they could buy. Then they began to specify tires that enhanced ride or handling or that differed from standard production tires in some way. Recently they've begun putting premium tires on cheap cars - for example "H" rated Michelins on Hyundai Elantras - apparently with the notion that folks tend to buy what came on the car, so the tire manufacturers are priming the pump.
they are kinda being forced by Tire Dealers to put on the same speed rated tire. Most companies will only put on what is specified by the dealer, if the customer doesn't want this then the shop will send the customer on his way down to the next place that usually says the same thing.
 
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