Once again, TPMS has saved me; and tire shopping?

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Da Swamp
Once again in the City That Forgot to Pick Up After Itself, I've picked up what the Brits call a puncture. My evening commute home was fine, but suddenly the TPMS flashed at me that my LR tire was down to 22 (and I'd checked the air, 36 lbs., just last week). I pumped it up to 34, but it took so long I knew I had to get it repaired and now. It was reading 25 when I got to Firestone about a mile away.

Diagnosis: Something had punctured the tire, all right, but then had worked itself out, so there was nothing to hold the air in for long. They patched it without issue. But . . . There is also a nail in the RR tire, in the tread proper, but pushed in at an angle. They warned me that they wouldn't know if the tire was damaged internally until they extracted it. (The tire is not leaking.)

The clerk, an old-time guy, urged me to look into new tires anyway. These Goodyears, he said (though I have not checked the date code), are 5 years old -- which makes sense, as the car is 5 and has 45K miles on it. He quoted Bridgestone Turanzas at something like $225/ea. Before I spend close to $1000 on anything, I want a second opinion, and will check with my regular mechanic.

Is it time for me to tire shop? If so, I may go with General Altimax RT43s again. They were comfortable and smooth on the '11 Regal, and cost 1/2 what the OEM Michelins would have. Any ideas?
 
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2,299
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While I am not advocating the price of those Turanza's (I'm assuming Turanza Serenity Plus?), I will say that I had a set on my 2009 Accord a couple of years ago and loved them. I loved them almost as much as I loved the Michelin Primacy MXV4 that I also had on that car. I needed tires pronto that day and had weeks of driving coming up and at the time didn't care about price.

Again, they're not cheap but a good tire.
 
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NE,Ohio
how much tread is left on the tires?

I would probably start looking for a deal unless they are at 4/32 or less..

that would make it a more immediate need.
 

Benzadmiral

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how much tread is left on the tires?

I would probably start looking for a deal unless they are at 4/32 or less..

that would make it a more immediate need.
I'll do the penny test tomorrow. The tire store guy said they were starting to show cracks, and took me to look at them, but they didn't look obviously cracked. Worn a little on the edges, but there is good even tread still.

As for the nail thing, I may have them try to repair it. If they can't, then they can put on the donut spare, which will last me for a couple of months' driving at my usual mileage.
 

Benzadmiral

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While I am not advocating the price of those Turanza's (I'm assuming Turanza Serenity Plus?), I will say that I had a set on my 2009 Accord a couple of years ago and loved them. I loved them almost as much as I loved the Michelin Primacy MXV4 that I also had on that car. I needed tires pronto that day and had weeks of driving coming up and at the time didn't care about price.

Again, they're not cheap but a good tire.
Reviews I've seen here and on Tire Rack indicate that a lot of people complain of how hard-riding and noisy the Bridgestones are. I'd be willing to spend the near $1000, though, if I'm going to be happy with them in day-to-day driving. Comfort, which includes low noise, is very important to me, followed by wet performance, followed by tread wear.
 
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The tire store guy said they were starting to show cracks, and took me to look at them, but they didn't look obviously cracked.
Umm, it's a tire store. There job is to sell you tires, just like a dealer service department is there to sell often unneeded power steering flushes and other high profit low value services. Saying you need to replace your 5 year old tires because they are 5 years old makes used car salesman look like saints in comparison.
 
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Benzadmiral, 6 years old is the earlies that I have herd of for considering tires to be too old.

And as for using the doughnut spare for a couple of months, be sure it has the proper inflation pressure which should be written on it. Usually doughnut spare tires should be inflated to 60 psi. I have seen people using doughnuts with only the same pressure the other tires have. It is a much smaller tire with a much smaller contact surface area and therefore requires much more pressure in it to not flex too much when it supports so much weight with less contact area.

Also, most doughnut tires have a top speed limit that is less then your normal top speed. Usually 50 MPH.

And doughnuts are meant for limited use and not many miles.

And once you use a doughnut you wear away the outer protection and they begin to age faster than if they were never used.
 
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Central Maryland
Is it time for me to tire shop? If so, I may go with General Altimax RT43s again. They were comfortable and smooth on the '11 Regal, and cost 1/2 what the OEM Michelins would have. Any ideas?
It is time to tire shop, but YOU decide when to buy... I think you were wise to hold off a bit.

Is this for the 2016 Buick LaCrosse Premium? I would put a set of REAL nice tires on that bad boy, Continental PureContact's like I have on my V6 Camry. The RT43 is a good VALUE tire. The PC is a great PREMIUM tire.
 
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MA
I'll do the penny test tomorrow. The tire store guy said they were starting to show cracks, and took me to look at them, but they didn't look obviously cracked. Worn a little on the edges, but there is good even tread still.

As for the nail thing, I may have them try to repair it. If they can't, then they can put on the donut spare, which will last me for a couple of months' driving at my usual mileage.

Why does everyone do the penny test when you can just buy a tread depth gauge for just a couple dollars and it'll be much more accurate?



I would just get the tire repaired and wait til next year if the tread is more than 4 or 5/32s.
 

Benzadmiral

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Thanks for the replies, all,

Oh, I could hear the tire store's ax being ground out back when they were trying to talk me into new tires. I'm not in a critical situation, and whenever I'm told I "need" a big car repair, I get a second opinion. I'll try another tire place, or my regular mechanic, to see about extracting that nail in the RR tire. If it can be repaired, I won't need to use the donut as a short-term solution. (I checked it 2 weeks ago and aired it up to 60 psi.) Once I put on the donut, then I have to buy at least one tire, or a pair. I'd prefer to do a whole set at once.

Yes, this is the '16 Buick Premium. My only experience with Continentals were those on the BMW in 2019. Oddly, for run-flats, they rode very comfortably. If their 235/ 50-18s will provide as good a ride as the Goodyears do now or the Generals did on the Regal, I'm willing to consider them. The consumer reviews on TR look good. Are they fairly soft-riding? Remember that I live in a city with the finest of Third World roads.

Since I have various fluid replacements planned for later this year, I'd be just as happy to wait on buying tires.
 
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Benzadmiral

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Update, all,

I checked the tire code on my Goodyears: 0616 -- second week of February, 2016. So while they are not yet 5 years old, they are nearing it. The penny test indicates there is plenty of tread left. (I'll buy a gauge this week.)

I'll have my mechanic look at that RR tire today. If it isn't permanently pluggable, perhaps he'll have a tire I can use for a few months; or I could pick up one Continental at a dealer here.
 
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11,211
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MA
Update, all,

I checked the tire code on my Goodyears: 0616 -- second week of February, 2016. So while they are not yet 5 years old, they are nearing it. The penny test indicates there is plenty of tread left. (I'll buy a gauge this week.)

I'll have my mechanic look at that RR tire today. If it isn't permanently pluggable, perhaps he'll have a tire I can use for a few months; or I could pick up one Continental at a dealer here.

Where exactly is the hole in the RR tire? Basically if there are 5 ribs, you can't fix them if they're in the outer or inner rib, but anywhere in the inner 3 ribs should be fixable by anyone. Some individual shops will fix it if it's in the outer or inner rib, but they're not supposed to. If you go to Goodyear, they fix flats for free, and I mean totally free. I had them fix one once and they didn't even charge for it to be balanced. I used to go to the local Town Fair Tire and they'd fix it for free but charge me like $4 for balancing which was still a good deal.

I like Costco for tires, you get a 5 year free road hazard warranty so those flats would have been covered.
 

Benzadmiral

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5,762
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Where exactly is the hole in the RR tire? Basically if there are 5 ribs, you can't fix them if they're in the outer or inner rib, but anywhere in the inner 3 ribs should be fixable by anyone. Some individual shops will fix it if it's in the outer or inner rib, but they're not supposed to. If you go to Goodyear, they fix flats for free, and I mean totally free. I had them fix one once and they didn't even charge for it to be balanced. I used to go to the local Town Fair Tire and they'd fix it for free but charge me like $4 for balancing which was still a good deal.

I like Costco for tires, you get a 5 year free road hazard warranty so those flats would have been covered.
It was in the inner 3. My regular shop was able to extract it and plug the tire, no charge as I'm a long-time customer. He did confirm what the Firestone shop said, that my tires are exhibiting some dry rot. Time to shop, and TR will ship the new tires to him to install. Looks like the Continentals are in my future!
 
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TPMS saved me today as well. Going out with the Nissan Versa I drove fine yesterday but this morning the light is on. Check with my gauge and the right rear is at 9 psi. Looks a little low if I just glance at it but wouldn't have bothered to check pressure if the light wasn't on. Took another car and patched it in the afternoon. Drywall screw in the tread. Tires are from 2011 btw.
 

Benzadmiral

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One super nice thing about the Buick Regal and LaCrosse donut spares: They are stored with the valve stem uppermost. You can actually reach the wheel and air it up without lifting the tire out of its recess in the trunk. The Park Avenue was like that.
 

Benzadmiral

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Yes, the PureContacts LS have a smooth ride, they hold great in corners but if you want something very firm and sporty, it may not be the best tire for you.
The last thing I want, living here, is a very firm and sporty ride! The streets are terrible. If I am going, or move, somewhere with good smooth roads, I can always put a couple more lbs. in each tire.
 
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24,449
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CA
Yes, the PureContacts LS have a smooth ride, they hold great in corners but if you want something very firm and sporty, it may not be the best tire for you.
I think the Premier's still have a better feel and a slightly cushier ride than the Continentals. Considering how little the OP drives, I think either tire should still last him 5-6 years.
 
i would go with the conti pure contact. $100 each at discount tire in mid november just by telling them my budget was just that. they were oem on my 2013 passat s and lasted to 42k. i replaced them with gy kelly edge at $65 each that were a step down in mpg (minus 2-3mpg) and performance. at 92k im happy to return to conti. d.t. gave me following additional discounts: $100 conti rebate, $40 d.t. credit card opening rebate (already paid off), $25 military veteran’s discount.
 
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