Just bought my first car, and some slight concerns.

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2002 Grand Am GT Stock is 225/50/16 Bought from the dealer with XGT H4s on the front, and I think there's Pilot Sports on the back. However, those tires are 225/55/16, slightly taller than stock. I have no idea if the speedo and odometer were readjusted for these sizes. Frankly I really don't care either, since using a calculator I found in another post, at 75mph there's less than 3mph difference, and I'm not concerned about the accuracy of the odometer either. I was thinking of staying with the 55 sidewalls, simply because there's more of a tire selection there, and I'm assuming the taller sidewalls give a better ride. When these tires (which still look very new) finally go down, I'm planning on replacing them with Yoko Avid V4Ses, which are rated really high on tirerack and the high performance all season category coupled with the nice price really attract me to them. Opinions? Stick with the slightly larger size?
 

metallicaeg

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Hmm, it also seems those Yokos are available in the stock sizes. But then there's the BFG Traction T/As, which are rated even higher, though again those are available in the larger size. Decisions decisions.
 
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In a nutshell, looks like the BFG Traction T&As will give you the sharpest handling and great treadwear but prolly a crisper ride, whereas the Yoko Avid H4S/V4S or Bridgestone Potenza G009 will give you a nicer ride but slightly less-crisp handling; the Falken Ziex ZX-512 also seems to fit in this latter category, somewhat cheaper than the rest but also apparently tend to start wearing rapidly past a certain point. IMHO, V-rated tires are overrated. [Razz] Sure, they'll hold up at extremely illegal speeds that hardly anyone is ever going to realistically even approach, but you pay more for that capability you'll never use, which also tends to incur tradeoffs against real-world daily-driving benefits (handling, ride, noise, treadwear). Who ever really hits 150mph (V-rating) at all? How about 140mph (H-rating) or even 120mph (T-rating)? I've never had occasion to to top 100 in any car I've ever driven, and I tend to "drive'em like I stole'em"! I know for a fact that my current car can barely hit 100 if at all -- but it's a blast to drive at normal city-street speeds and stable on the highway -- so I see no inherent benefit in paying extra for V- or even H-rated tires, or in accepting the inherent tradeoffs of such tires for daily driving. Note in Tire Rack's surveys how the Traction T&A H-rated tire surveyed as better in every regard vs. the V-rated version of the same tire. Both of those versions have an excellent 440 treadwear rating; however, BFG is also rolling out the same tire in a T-rating with a phenomenal 660 treadwear rating and, they claim, slightly better real-world handling, all at a cheaper price (my size is scheduled for production in January'05 [Big Grin] ). Based on these differences in ratings and surveys, I infer that the faster-rated versions simply have a shorter/shallower tread pattern to keep them from flinging apart at those higher top speeds, and prolly have some extra internal structuring that keeps them together at speed but also makes the ride and handling response less forgiving. Are you willing to pay extra for high-speed integrity you'll prolly never need or use, and give up some real-world handling, ride and treadwear in the tradeoff? Or would you prefer to pay less for longer life with better daily handling and ride? Among tires with speed ratings above the fastest speed you're ever realistically going to drive (at least find out your car's stock max speed, prolly implied in the speed rating of OEM tires), the slower-rated ones will tend to give you better driveability on public streets and highways than the faster-rated ones would.
 
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Never fully believe a survey result on the tire rack. I would use the tire-racks own tests to compare tires. The pontiac grand-am gt came with a V rated goodyear on it. The higher speed rated tires come with stiffer sidewalls for improved cornering and better feel. I have learned that on the tire-rack, some tires are over rated by the purchasers. A perfect example would be the firestone firehawk SZ50EP. Top rated ultra high performance tire by consumers on the tire-rack, but not top rated according to the tire-racks own in house test comparisons. A good all-season ultra high performance replacement tire in my opinion would be the B.F.Goodwrench G-force kdws. There is not such a thing as a tire that can do it all the very best in every catagory. I have found that the tire-racks written tire test comparisons to be accurate of past tire purchases from them.
 

metallicaeg

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Well those Yokos seem to be the best bet. They're rated well, and they match the V rating which was originally on the car, and is on the car now. I double checked and the Michelins that are on it are the V4s instead of the H4s. One question still remains though. Should I stay with the current 55, or drop back down to the stock 50 size?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Tyson F Nuss: IMHO, V-rated tires are overrated. [Razz] Sure, they'll hold up at extremely illegal speeds that hardly anyone is ever going to realistically even approach, but you pay more for that capability you'll never use, which also tends to incur tradeoffs against real-world daily-driving benefits (handling, ride, noise, treadwear). Who ever really hits 150mph (V-rating) at all? How about 140mph (H-rating) or even 120mph (T-rating)? I've never had occasion to to top 100 in any car I've ever driven, and I tend to "drive'em like I stole'em"! (SNIP)
You are completely missing the point of the H, V, W, or Y speed ratings. A lot of people replace original H or V rated tires with S or T rated tires that look good to them and has an astronomical treadwear rating, thinking exactly what you are thinking - that they will never drive at those speeds so putting a H or V rated tire is a totally ridiculous idea and a waste of money. The manufacturer however did not equip them with such tires just for the purpose of driving at those speeds. You have one your listed tradeoffs backwards - the V rated Traction T/A will almost certainly handle better, not worse, than its T rated equivalent, usually at the expense of some ride quality and (sometimes) treadwear. This is because of the different construction and rubber compounds that happens to coincide with a high speed rating. THAT is why performance oriented cars are often equipped with high speed rated tires, and why you are better off replacing them with similar tires if you wish to preserve the car's handling and steering response. If the only difference was to be able to drive at super-legal speeds as you say, performance oriented high speed rated tires would be a dying breed.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by metallicaeg: One question still remains though. Should I stay with the current 55, or drop back down to the stock 50 size?
Stay with a V rated 225/55/16. You already said that the speedometer differeance doesn't bother you. The V rated tire will have a stiff enough side wall to keep the tire from feeling soft or squirmy, where I don't think an H rated tire would.
 
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