I returned my sucky Falken and got Potenza G-009s, thank God!

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Nov 3, 2002
After 3 tire shop balances(on a Hunter) and 1 at the Audi dealer (Hunter, out of my pocket) these Falken 512s shook the crap out of my car at speeds as low as 35. It started in the floorboard, moved up to the console and finally at 90 shook my steering wheel. Major waste of money and time. The shop treated me like an idiot, they had to move the weights back and forth and would not re-emburse my costs at the dealer, even though the Dealer had to re-do the rears (again). I used my 30 day test drive option, never have I returned a tire and I go through MANY of them. I am out $45 at the dealer, $20 the tire shop kept (for their crap-balance) plus TOLLS (yes, another $5) AND 5 days out of my life for their defective tires. Do you think Falken will repay the money I lost tracking down their bad tire? Probally no. On a lighter note, the G-009s went right into snow service, working really well with better handling and feel than the Falkens and the other cheap-o tire I use, Dunlop A2s. Vibration is gone. My Conti Extremes are the best I used, but these Potenza 205/60-16s were only $85 installed. The Bridgstone Dealer gave me a pretty big $ break, a good place for service and their tires are ALWAYS high quality. Much better in snow than the other Potenza I used, the RE950. The madness is over, thank God.
Audi Junkie, I'm really sorry to hear you had such a horrible experience with your Falken Ziex 512's. I've had a set of Falken Ziex 512's on my Subaru Impreza since last spring, and it has given me yeoman's service... in comparison to the horrible OEM Bridgestone tires Subaru fobs off on the unsuspecting driving public, these tires have been quiet, smooth, have incredible traction in wet and decent traction in the snow. As always, YMMV, but I hate to see someone trash these tires, as they have been fantastic for me so far.
Wow. That's a first. Hey, your Audi has the same tire size as my mother's Avalon. Is the Potenza quiet? Smooth? You gotta update me on treadwear. That's a concern right now.
205/55-16 is stock size. Most guys go wider and lower...whatever. My 1/2 bigger size rolls right over potholes and tracks with nill effect on handling. Wider is not better, lower is not better. I always though 205/55 was too low, now I know. Saved money with 60-series too.
Originally posted by Audi Junkie: 205/55-16 is stock size. Most guys go wider and lower...whatever. My 1/2 bigger size rolls right over potholes and tracks with nill effect on handling. Wider is not better, lower is not better. I always though 205/55 was too low, now I know. Saved money with 60-series too.
I don't particularly like low profile tires either, and did with same thing with my Jetta. Stock size is 205/50/15, and I upsized to 205/55/15. The taller profile absorbs bumps better, less likely to bend a rim, fills the wheel-wells better, and lowers the rpm slightly on the highway.
I can actually drive faster with the 60s than with the lo-pros. Kinda the opposite of what most Ricers think. PS my G-009s are smooth as silk up to 100. [Big Grin] Great recovery too....best I ever used.
I, too, am not impressed with the ZE512. They are wearing VERY fast, and are getting VERY noisy as they get older. These are 225/50R16 H-rated tires. Prior to these, I had Futura Ultra Z's... Much better handling, quieter, and they lasted about 30k miles, which is about all I'll get out of the ZE512. Next time, I WILL NOT be buying Falkens.
The 512s are the worst tires I've ever owned, no matter what pressure I set them at. The 512s have a nasty squirm/slow turn in (about half a second to feel any kind of steering response). After 3k miles, had them taken off as I felt unsafe when the car buffeted near trucks, wiggling all over the road. I tried raising the pressures up to 48 psi, but it never really solved the squirming. Wear would have been an issue as the outer blocks had already worn about 1.5/32s while the center and the inner portions of the tires had worn about 1/32 in just 3K miles (mostly city driving). Also, the balance was begining to go too as I could feel a slight vibration at highway speeds.
I'll never figure out why these tires get rave reviews. They were cheap relative to other tires, and I do feel I got my money's worth. However, I wouldn't buy 'em again, and they are NOT as good as people claim they are. A mediocre tire, IMO... not terrible, not great. I like My Futura Ultra Z's much better than the Falkens.
I have the 512s in 225/50/VR16 and have already put in 10,000 mi. No extra wear/noise. I also have the 512s in 185/60HR14 with about 10,000mi as well. No extra wear/noise. Obviously, the 16s still have more tread than the 14s due to # revolutions/mile. The compound appears about the same...oddly if I had to pick a softer the compound, it is the HRs.
People who want great touring-style handling (on the tight side) the G-009s are working great for the money. Limited snow abilities. Only my Conti Extremes seem to rival (exceed) them and I have had quite a few models of tire. RE950s were also good, but even worse snow traction. Mich XGT is always worth a look.
I put a set of the Falken 512's 225/60/vr16 on our Jaguar Xj12 a few weeks ago. It's early days, but so far I have no complaints with them.
I was very concerned about the shimmy/squirm on my last Corolla using the Goodyear Integrity's. On the turnpikes, being around the propwash of a trailer truck made me nervous, scared, and hyper. I did not opt for the Falkens, but got the Goodrich Traction T/A H rated tires and, voila, the 2 ply sidewalls and heavy overall construction tightened things up superbly for my travel on the speed highways. Easily the greatest tires I've ever had. All tires have compromises, but the great road feel of the Tractions has won me over bigtime. Buying tires can be a crapshoot, but the Tractions have been nothing short of marvelous fo me on the Corolla. Mike
Audi Junkie, I think your bigger problem is the technicians balancing the tires. With a Hunter 9000 or newer, the tech should be able to tell you if the tire shake is due to the wheel, the tire, or your car. I've had similar balance issues with my recently purchased Avon M500 summer tires. It was shaking heavy between 70-85mph. I found a shop through a friend’s recommendation and the technician said the last installer did not balance them properly and one of the tires was "out-of-round". I had tirerack replace the one tire under warranty and all is great now. I've got them up to 120mph and their grand touring like smooth.
Originally posted by Ken2: Good results from my Falken 512s so far. They do like more inflation pressure. Ken
Agreed. I have these in 195/65r-14 on my E30 BMW. They are nice tires, and have good wet and snow traction to boot (and the 318 is TERRIBLE in the snow without snow tires). The tiresn dont seem to be loud, at least compared to the dunlop D60A2's that I used to have on there. I have ot say that I will notice a random, intermittent shake with these tires. I dont know what it is, they tend to flat spot slightly, but a shake will come back long after ny flat spot issues have rolled away. JMH
I put these Falken ZE512s in the 245/50/16 size on my 1988 Mustang 5.0. They are mounted on 7.5" wide wheels. No problem, the ride is smooth up to 80MPH (I didn't go any faster), and it seems to take on-ramps much better than it did on 225/60/15 Continental ContiTouring tires.
I am sorry to hear that. At least for me it vindicates my opinion on getting what you pay for. The 512 is quirky, all customers have a love or hate relationship with them. I owe my life to premium tires, rather be broke a few days then think what could have happened otherwise.
I have the 512's on my Subaru and I love them, too. Good wet/dry and awesome snow traction. I highly recommend the cheap tire. Brian
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