Some Tires I've Owned...

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I've had the fortune (misfortune really...) of having quite a few different tires on my cars. I've also gotten to hear/see results from some friends, and figured my opinion and outcomes from those might be useful to some people looking to buy tires. My first car came with Goodyear Eagle RS-As on it, my 1996 Grand Prix. They were at about half tread when I got the car...and I wasn't even remotely impressed by them. The noise! Holy [censored] the noise! It sounded like I had bad wheel bearings on all four corners. I have to admit the drive traction was pretty good, I could throw the car around turns and it wouldn't squeak at all. But thats about all that was good on those tires sadly. The wet traction was ok...had to be very careful in very heavy rain as they would slip and slide fairly easy. I maintained them properly, kept pressures on spec, and rotated on time. They didn't last a whole lot longer. They were pretty much done for after they had about 40-45k miles on them. I would NOT buy them. Next set were BFGoodrich Traction T/As. They were great in the snow, they were quiet, didn't mind water. It was whole new world from the Eagles. It was comfortable to drive again. I should also note the car was aligned right after these were installed. I was very pleased with the traction. And the ability to go through snow was excellent. During one bad storm, I remember driving very slowly home through snow that was deep enough, my bumper was making a path. I made it home just fine. Again rotated on time. I rotated them at 6k miles and to my surprise, the inside was wearing out badly, like I pressures pumped to the max. I did not. I was very religious on checking tire pressures, using multiple gauges to be sure they were on spec (30PSI). I was very disappointed in treadlife. The centers were worn smooth in 12-15k miles. If it was just a track car I might buy them again, if they were super cheap or something, but otherwise, pass. Next I decided to get alittle bit cheap and just buy two tires to replace the smooth TAs. My grandma just got a set of Bridgestone Insignia SE 200s and kept telling me how quiet they are, and how well they stuck to the road. My grandma being anywhere from average to spirited driver, I felt her opinion would be good to follow. They were great for about 3k miles. Then they wouldn't hold balance. Noisy as [censored]. They'd only hold balance for a short time, then go to [censored]. Wet traction was pathetic too. Bad choice for sure. I lived with them for about 5k miles or so then gave up. Sold them for 50 bucks. Her driving less had the same outcome as me. After 3k miles almost to the dot, they did the same thing. She figured it was time for a new car so just traded hers off for a new Impala. (She had a 97 Olds Cutlass Supreme...that thing was immaculate) Now I needed 4 tires...and decided to do a little more research before having trouble again. This time my results were finally good. A set of 4 General Altimax RT tires were installed and my car was back to normal. Quiet, great dry traction, great wet traction (even in a pour down rain), no slips or skids. Snow traction was great too. I would say the dry traction was almost as good at the Traction TAs, which were better than the Eagles. These were my go to from then on when friends would ask for new tires on their car. No one came back disappointed. I have a set on my mom's car (If that shows how much I trust them). She is terrible on maintenance, so they have not been rotated like they should. She has 30k miles on them and they're still wearing very well. I drive more than her so mine were done for around 40-50k miles which I was perfectly happy with. I put a couple Altimax HPs on the car to replace two worn out RTs and more of the same results. Very pleased. I'd say the best snow and dry traction out of the bunch with the same results as the RTs in the rain. Very good tires. They wore faster, which was to be expected. I got about 25k miles on them before I decided to replace all four tires again. They still had more life left for sure, but I wanted four new tires for going into winter. I heard such good reviews on the Cooper CS4 Touring tire that I couldn't pass it up. Plus after rebate they came in cheaper than the RTs or HPs. This brings us to the present. I currently have a set of 4 of these on my car and I am very pleased. They show almost no wear after 8k miles. Perfectly holding balance. First rotate/balance at 6k miles showed they didn't even need to be rebalanced. They were right on the mark still. I would say these are as good or better than anything I've had in the rain and snow. Dry traction through turns is just a little less the HPs, but still quite good. These are the T rated version, so I would expect an H or higher to maybe feel a little more confident through the turns (less sidewall flex). If someone needs tires for awhile, these or the RTs are my go to. Again no complaints from either through the years. I also have a set of the Altimax HPs on my 07 Grand Prix. They're doing quite well. I'm expecting to get about 35k miles on them from the way they're wearing, which doesn't disappoint me too much. The car had some loose tie rod ends they killed wear over the course of one rotate that I didn't notice. Had I noticed the excessive wear, I expect I would have had another 10k miles or so of life out of them. Now if you're on a budget, I've found the Starfire SF-340s to actually be a decent tire. They're responsibly quiet (not as quiet as CS4s or the HPs/RTs). They do not drone. They are decent in the dry and wet. Even snow/slush they do decent. Certainly not as good as a more expensive tire, but they're far from being unsafe. With proper rotates and pressure they do seem to last 30-40k miles which is pretty good in my opinion for as cheap as they are. I've driven several cars with these tires and even just put a set on my girlfriends car as she doesn't plan to have it for more than another year. Seemed wasteful to spent an extra ~150 bucks for tire life we'll never get to use. Trucks tires. I've worked on a number of farmer/construction trucks and have gotten some opinions from them on preferred tires. I've also had some first hand experience with friends vehicles so I feel these opinions are fairly accurate. Yokohama Geolander AT/S tires. They can be had for a decent price, especially when caught on sale. I've seen several farmers trucks and some road construction guys come in with these tires. These were also on my dads truck. They do very well in the snow, my dad rarely had to use 4x4 in the snow and ice. Once in 4x4, they're very good and get a good bite. Worked well to help pull people out of ditches. They were quiet even, did well in the mud from fields. Rain and dry traction were both great. The one thing these have a downfall on is if you don't rotate properly, they will wear badly. They will chop badly. 6k mile rotates and they will wear great, stay quiet, and give you 50-60k miles of good service. 12k mile rotates will leave you wishing you'd done it sooner. Noisy, poor wear, half the life. It's strange how quickly after 6k miles they will fall apart. Just rotate on time and no problems. The Geolander HT/S tires are also good. Alittle quieter with a little less grip. I wouldn't use them in the mud ever, but on the highway, no problems. They're also a little more forgiving on lack of maintenance. General Grabber AT2. From what I've seen, very close to the BFGoodrich AT tires. Similar wear, noise, and traction, just a bit cheaper. I would run a set on a truck if I had one (again). I've seen others but these are the ones that stuck out in my mind. Hopefully my opinion can help some people out when looking for some new treads. Some other notes for how to take my opinion on tires. I've fairly picky when it comes to tires. I don't like tire noise at all. I want a tire that will handle bad weather with ease and leave me feeling confident I can get somewhere even in poor conditions. Overall, I'm pretty picky on maintenance...as in I ran Mobil 1 5w-30 for 3k OCI for awhile just to be sure to clean out any gunk from my car before I even stretched it to 5-6k miles. My 96 Grand Prix's paint is still shiny enough to be used as a mirror too! Hopefully that gives an idea of the kind of person I am, and what it takes for me to give good praise.
 
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I really enjoyed the story...im a long winded sort myself...wish I could have a beer with you and discuss the Altimax HP's...best tire ever except for two drawbacks...directional and they pick up every nail ever! I've got one with like 3 patches in it...still going strong with 32000 on it... Even though my nasty little Focus eats tires these Altimax have stood up well...but I got a set of Hankook Optimos 727s on the front and they are my new recommendation...the car came with 725's which were replaced at 34000 and I hated them...I was leery of the Hankook 727's as they have the same tread pattern as the 725 but they have really stepped it up with this tire!
 
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Universal truths about tires: 1) You get what you pay for in tire construction and performance. If you buy el cheapo discount tires, don't complain about noise, low grip or other deficiencies. 2) Today's tires are the best ever made for safety and performance. 3) Every tire design is a compromise. Understand which performance characteristics are most important to you, then seek out tires that are optimized for your priorities. Of course Tire Rack is a wealth of information. Some manufacturers actually have useful selection tools on their websites such as the excellent Bridgestone Tire Advisor. http://www.bridgestonetire.com/TireAdvisor/TireAdvisorMain.aspx 4) Today's winter tires are a revelation. If you live in the snow belt and can afford them, get a set. I will never send my wife and a carloads of kids out into the snow again without them on her car. 5) Please, please, please, buy yourself a $100 air compressor and a good tire gauge and check the pressure in all your vehicles at least once a month. Don't forget the spare. Fill them to the pressure specified on your door sill. I like to add one psf to give me a little cushion against under inflation.
 
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My Wife's 97 Camry could use 4 tires before the snow. I want: - Comfortable & quiet. - Excellent snow traction - Does NOT need to be a long wearing tire So, which tire? smile
 

jjcom

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From tires I've had first hand experience with, I'd say General Altimax HP would fit the bill. They ride nice and smooth, do great in snow, and should last around 40k miles or more with proper maintenance. The RTs would also do a good job. Which ever you can get a good deal on.
 
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Originally Posted By: tpitcher
My Wife's 97 Camry could use 4 tires before the snow. I want: - Comfortable & quiet. - Excellent snow traction - Does NOT need to be a long wearing tire So, which tire? smile
Given your location, there really is no choice but Blizzaks. You can buy a tire/wheel package from Tire Rack for <$1000 and swap them out yourself or go buy a set at your local dealer and see if you can negotiate free change overs fall and spring. You'll never go back. Guaranteed! Are you going to go cheap with your wife and kids safety at stake?
 
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Originally Posted By: Indydriver
Originally Posted By: tpitcher
My Wife's 97 Camry could use 4 tires before the snow. I want: - Comfortable & quiet. - Excellent snow traction - Does NOT need to be a long wearing tire So, which tire? smile
Given your location, there really is no choice but Blizzaks. You can buy a tire/wheel package from Tire Rack for <$1000 and swap them out yourself or go buy a set at your local dealer and see if you can negotiate free change overs fall and spring. You'll never go back. Guaranteed! Are you going to go cheap with your wife and kids safety at stake?
I agree on the Blizzaks, but don't have room for 4 tires to be sitting around all the time... That's why I don't need long lasting tires; I'd like to pay for the exrta all season M+S tire, without having to go to Blizzaks. smile
 
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Something to consider: In general, A/S tires are designed to performance standards at 45 F and above. Below that temp, performance deteriorates rapidly. Winter tires are designed for temps below 45 F. Think about how much better a job a tire designer can do when you narrow the temperature range like this. It makes a huge difference.
 
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Originally Posted By: jjcom
From tires I've had first hand experience with, I'd say General Altimax HP would fit the bill. They ride nice and smooth, do great in snow, and should last around 40k miles or more with proper maintenance. The RTs would also do a good job. Which ever you can get a good deal on.
Thanks - I'll check into those bad boys.
 
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I had the insignia se200 on my Taurus. They lasted maybe 15000 miles, however, the front end on that car was messed up reallllllllllllllllll bad and couldn't be aligned. They'd be an okay summer ONLY tire if they were at walmart or something. They are definitely not worth 600 dollars. They were decent enough in the rain. In the snow, they were horrible! You can turn great ... you just cant stop or go. The tread design made me think of a steer tire on an 18 wheeler, its onlypurpose is to turn.
 
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Also, I'm not sure when this was, but I believe woke grand pride used the same 215/60-16 size ... for a while it was impossible to get tires in this size! I wanted the bfg radial a/t ... but they weren't available in that size. Now it seems every car out there uses that size.
 
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Originally Posted By: tpitcher
Originally Posted By: Indydriver
Originally Posted By: tpitcher
My Wife's 97 Camry could use 4 tires before the snow. I want: - Comfortable & quiet. - Excellent snow traction - Does NOT need to be a long wearing tire So, which tire? smile
Given your location, there really is no choice but Blizzaks. You can buy a tire/wheel package from Tire Rack for <$1000 and swap them out yourself or go buy a set at your local dealer and see if you can negotiate free change overs fall and spring. You'll never go back. Guaranteed! Are you going to go cheap with your wife and kids safety at stake?
I agree on the Blizzaks, but don't have room for 4 tires to be sitting around all the time... That's why I don't need long lasting tires; I'd like to pay for the exrta all season M+S tire, without having to go to Blizzaks. smile
Noian WR's? I had a set, didn't care for them -- but they are a compromise as you might figure. Good as a winter tire for maybe 20k or so. I found them to need replacement after 30k, mostly due to noise (but the tread was down there too). I've been tempted to go back to 'em, just buy a set every November, that would mean tossing them with some tire left (I drive about 25k/year) but then I'd have the best tread for winter. But in the end I run a set of winter tires, and a set of summer tires, as I have space in the shed.
 
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My Goodyear RS tires lasted 80,000 miles on my Impala. They didn't have best traction in the wet, traction control would often come on at the start. I had good service from several sets of B F Goodrich Traction T/A tires that I bought at Wholesale clubs. Good traction and good wear (50,000 to 60,000) miles.
 
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I put these on the taurus . They are better than the continental conti pros I took off and they are good expensive tires. They are as quiet as the Michelins i own. Very good in snow and the reviews say they last 80000 miles. Installed price was under $400. Tiger Paw® Touring Tire Tiger Paw® Touring Car & Minivan All-Season Tires High-performance handling and stability in all seasons. Solid shoulder tread block design Effective water evacuation to help improve wet traction. Wide, circumferential tread grooves Offers durability and reliability on the road. DuraShield® construction Helps deliver long, even treadwear by equilizing stress on the contact patch. TrU-Form technology
 
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Originally Posted By: tpitcher
My Wife's 97 Camry could use 4 tires before the snow. I want: - Comfortable & quiet. - Excellent snow traction - Does NOT need to be a long wearing tire So, which tire? smile
Have you been reasonably happy with your current choices for A/S tires? Or have you been using dedicated snow/ice tires for the winter? I have introduced others in our circle(friends/family) to the All-Season, Hankook Optimo H727 for their Camry's. And these tires have done fine in the Rochester, Buffalo, NiagraFalls winters. Many years of Camry's in fact, from '98-Present. Mostly 4 cylinder Camry's! Cooper CS4's are another nice option. Both tires do quite well in snow but again, both are A/S tires! We generaly have lots of snowfall here in Wensten NY State but, we also have quite good snow removal. I have never needed snow tires but, you may want them in MN, IDK! I have been cought in that "once every decade blizzrad" and a 30 minute drive home took 2 hours but, I still made it home! Snow tires would not have gotten me home sooner, just less white knuckled! Those whom I have spoken with in StPaul MN when I worked at 3M Co. here in Rochester claimed that, we in Rochester got more anual snowfall than they in The Twin Cities but, their temps were much colder. And what snow did fall in MN, stayed on the ground longer! I'm sure that there is good snow removal as well in MN? Plows running all day/night and lots of road salt. jjcom, Have you read any tire test/score results? Because your findings seem to mimic some of the tire test rusults and what others are saying in regards to the tires that you liked best. General AltiMax, BFG TA's, Cooper CS4's etc. all seem to score high in many areas from ConsumerReports Magazine and The Tire Rack test results from Customer Reviews. Many folks in our circle, have really liked their BFG Traction/Touring T/A's over the years but, they're falling in the test scores as newer tiers are eclipsing them in the ratings. Makes sence! Reviews still seem high though!
 
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I'm glad you liked the Generals. General is my go to brand. Cooper is not far behind. You do not have to get roped into buying the overpriced stuff like Michelin to get good tires. Will definitely think of your experiences when I tire shop for my Civic. I will likely end up with Generals though. I already know I like their tires.
 
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Originally Posted By: chad8
I put these on the taurus . They are better than the continental conti pros I took off and they are good expensive tires. They are as quiet as the Michelins i own. Very good in snow and the reviews say they last 80000 miles. Installed price was under $400. Tiger Paw® Touring Tire Tiger Paw® Touring Car & Minivan All-Season Tires High-performance handling and stability in all seasons. Solid shoulder tread block design Effective water evacuation to help improve wet traction. Wide, circumferential tread grooves Offers durability and reliability on the road. DuraShield® construction Helps deliver long, even treadwear by equilizing stress on the contact patch. TrU-Form technology
Michelin owns the US Royal (Uniroyal ) brand. I have found the Tiger Paw to be good on a Camry, but they are hard to find. "Tire Buyer" carries then. The latest BFG tires, also owned by Michelin, are clearly rebadged Michelins, especially those sold at Sam's Club and other like vendors. I put a set of Uniroyals on he back of a Camry with upgraded rims (15X7) with Touring Ta's on the front, and the car stayed neutral, just as though there were still TA's on the back.
 
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Originally Posted By: jjcom
I've had the fortune (misfortune really...) of having quite a few different tires on my cars. I've also gotten to hear/see results from some friends, and figured my opinion and outcomes from those might be useful to some people looking to buy tires. My first car came with Goodyear Eagle RS-As on it, my 1996 Grand Prix. They were at about half tread when I got the car...and I wasn't even remotely impressed by them. The noise! Holy [censored] the noise! It sounded like I had bad wheel bearings on all four corners. I have to admit the drive traction was pretty good, I could throw the car around turns and it wouldn't squeak at all. But thats about all that was good on those tires sadly. The wet traction was ok...had to be very careful in very heavy rain as they would slip and slide fairly easy. I maintained them properly, kept pressures on spec, and rotated on time. They didn't last a whole lot longer. They were pretty much done for after they had about 40-45k miles on them. I would NOT buy them.
I've had the displeasure of owning Goodyear Eagle RS-As twice. Dry traction was terrible. Wet traction was non-existant. Noise was abyssmal. How bad were they? We replaced the Eagle RS-As on our 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT with Kumho 711s. It was like getting a brand new car. Cheap Kumho 711s and far exceeded the Eagle RS-As in every aspect. The Eagle RS-As were downright dangerous on the PT Cruiser. You could not drive without the traction control on. Anything above 3000 rpm had the "TRAC" light illuminated on dry pavement. Wet weather was terrifying. We bought the car with 4000 miles on it so it's not like they were already worn and age hardened. At the time, only two cars used a 205/50R17. The Mazda3S and the PT Cruiser GT. Few of the tire shops had that size in stock. "You can get Rikens or you can get Linglong Super Happy funtime Hi-Way tire." Chrysler had the Eagle RS-As in stock but wanted more than $200 apiece for them. We settled for the Indonesian Michelin private label Riken Raptors. I cannot express to you how much of an improvement this was. Half throttle at 3000 rpm did not have the TRAC light flickering at me. I could go around corners at a speed that is reasonable for a FWD crossover/high-roof wagon. It was still noisy but it was the barely muffled 2.4 Turbo burbling and moaning instead of the tires. These are two notably mediocre at best tires and they far exceeded the RS-As at less than half the price Absolutely the worst tires I have ever owned. That's nothing against Goodyear. Based on price, the Fierce Instinct ZRs are among the best tires I have ever owned. If they had been just a little quieter, I would have bought another set. They are as good if not better than General Exclaims... but noisy.
 
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Nice read. I've had many as well. I can categorize them as those that were the "worst", and those that were the "best". There were many in-between. Worst (all OE): GY Eagle RSAs, Continental Contitrac, Michelin Symmetry, GY Wrangler SR-A Best: Firestone Destination A/T, GY Wrangler Silent Armor, Michelin LTX M/S, Michelin Latitude Tour (pretty early to judge, but seems OK for OE), General Altimax Artic (winter-only).
 
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Originally Posted By: chad8
I put these on the taurus . They are better than the continental conti pros I took off and they are good expensive tires. They are as quiet as the Michelins i own. Very good in snow and the reviews say they last 80000 miles. Installed price was under $400. Tiger Paw® Touring Tire Tiger Paw® Touring Car & Minivan All-Season Tires High-performance handling and stability in all seasons. Solid shoulder tread block design Effective water evacuation to help improve wet traction. Wide, circumferential tread grooves Offers durability and reliability on the road. DuraShield® construction Helps deliver long, even treadwear by equilizing stress on the contact patch. TrU-Form technology
Seems to be the go to tire for everybody locally...and getting good reviews as well. And, they just discontinued them in my size too. Figures....
 
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