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· Registered
311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I expect that front tire wear will be much faster than rear tire wear and the frequent rotation just allows you to share the wear between front and rear tires. I think that since a significant portion of the braking force is on the front tires (regenerative braking is only on the front tires) and all of the "driving" force is applied to the road with the front tires, this "double duty" for the front tires plus the steering forces applied by the front tires, it should be no surprise that they wear significantly faster.

This in no way explains any of the reports of uneven wear. I would be curious to hear any explanations for the uneven wear.

Thanks in advance,

:D Pat :D

· Premium Member
2,439 Posts
the OEM tires on the US Prius for the
2001 and some 2002 Prius had "CHA"
on the sidewall. Toyota issued an
Supplemental Tire Warranty for these
tires, if unevenly wearing, for a
free set of replacements (expired
in April 2003). Rumor was that it
was made of a soft rubber, and that
the formula was changed to the "JDH"
style of tires. Note that this is
only for the Bridgestone Potenza
RE92 XL P175/64R14 tires on classic

Alignment (front or rear) could be
a base cause, but failing that it
could also be the recommended tire
pressures from Toyota of 35psi front,
33psi rear. Usually those running
their tires at higher pressures
around 40psi tend to see a bit longer
life out of the tires (less edge wear).

I'll note that the scheduled maintenance
guide for the classic Prius states
to rotate the tires at each oil change
interval (regular schedule is 6mo/7500miles),
but the Supplemental Tire Warranty
stated that the tires should be
rotated every 5000 miles...

· Registered
311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mrv, Thanks for thte insight (Note: lower case "I") into the tire thing as well as the excellent brake indicator lead.

I sure hope the population increase of Prii and its follow-on cousins gets the tire mfgs attention and we get some good choices with improved characteristics through competition.

:D Pat :D

I too thank you very much for the perspective on the forces that may be more concentrated on the front-end and thereby contribute to a more rapid deterioration of the front tires. Additionally, the comment on the tire rubber spec. is also acknowledged.

With these, however, the issue of the uneven tire ware that is particularly noticable and acute on the front driver's side tire may suggest that more than the type of rubber is at play. It may also suggest and unbalanced force in the front that stresses this side more than others.

It may be a workmanship problem but I would suspect that buy the time the 2003 model was being shipped, any workmanship issue should have been caught by this time. It may suggest to me that this is a design issue that may need a contemplated reaction. To this possible reality, according a consumer complementary maintenance on the misdesigned units, and factoring in a high issue disinterest level by government municipalities - an anticipated high percentage user of the vehicles would - would accord the company a managable risk.

The risk may therefore be to those who are unaware of the problem and find themselves spending time and money remedying tire wear, tire balancing, rack failure (due to what?... abnormal stress?, steering wander, and undergoing testy local-dealer relationships.

Sounds like the makings of a movie to me!

The love and persuit of the 04 model may be a home wrecker! It would be interesting to see if the "cant make them fast enough", and "I'll take anything" athmosphere causes other managable risks that the affected customers may ultimately find unbearable.

· Premium Member
2,439 Posts
steering rack

The original steering rack recall
(the only recall for the Prius) was
for <2000 units that were made for
the first 3 or so months of production.
Insufficient electrical contact to
a torque sensor, which meant that
the sensor would send bogus info, so
the power steering would shut itself
off for safety (making it then
difficult to steer without the
power steering). Replacement was a new steering rack. ... g%20Recall

Some later 2001/2002 units later
developed a steering rack shutter (wheel oscilates left/right).
Toyota issued a Limited Service Campaign
that replaces the EMPS ECU due to
some faulty control logic. (There
was some noise in the system, that
the ECU thought was actual info
from a sensor...) ... sage/59107
(unfortunately, it's easier to replace
the whole steering rack, than to just
replace the ECU due to its location...)

· Registered
311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
dissed said:
It may suggest to me that this is a design issue that may need a contemplated reaction. ... would accord the company a managable risk.
Shades of the GMC fuel-tanks-outside-the-frame-rails fiasco where GMC found it cheaper to defend suits than to remedy a known safety hazard documented to have burned folks to death.

:( Pat :(

· Registered
9 Posts
2001 tires

At 28,000 (actually 48,000KM) the dealer changed two tires and gave a wheel alignment. The complaint I had was that they seemed to lose air pressure!
Cost was $110CDN per tire plus alignment plus 15% tax...Ouch
They put the two new tires on the fron and the two old ones on the back: they had been on the same sides, the worn ones being on Port or the drivers side.
They rejected any warranty claim.
They also insisted on using the Bridgestone original tire specs. I have increased pressure by about 5 psi, and find the car is improvexd in handling.
For winter traction in Canada, I do not use a secomd set of tires or anything and have found the existing set just fine even in deep snow or black ice. One just has to practice how to drive in the stuff (it can be a little bit like handling grades and the brakes with stealth!).
I think the wear issue sucks! But love the Prius!

· Registered
311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jim, It sounds like you had a fairly typical dealer encounter as regards something that the mfg won't reimburse them for. Sad but true. "Stuff" flows downhill from the source.

Maybe with the large increse in Prius ownership worldwide there will be increased interest on the part of tire mfgs in competing for the LRR tire business. Who knows, maybe we'll have a selection of tires, including good mud and snow treads as well as more mainstream highway tread from among which to select.

:D Pat :D

· Registered
77 Posts
Seeing that there is accelerated wear on the fronts, would it be reasonable to adopt a "no rotation" stategy that would allow the rear tires to last maybe twice a long as the fronts? I've just ordered my Prius and have not owned a front wheel drive car in the past. I may be telling my age here, but memory seems to recall this being a possible strategy in the early days of front wheel drive.

· Registered
18 Posts
[Sorry to bring back old thread, I've been on hiatus from here for a bit...]

My 02 so far has been good service-wise. Three visits so far (I'm using the 4-month schedule since driving is harsher around here from bad roads). Paid nothing yet, and tires are perfectly fine. They have been topping off pressure at 44/42 though.

My service dealer in particular has good knowledge of Prius. They sold, and are servicing, a large number of them now owned by Port Athority of NY/NJ.

I'd recommend them in a second, if I ever saw an 04 there...

I am about to move on. Thanks to the good effort of the service representative at New Rochelle Toyota, I have received reimburement for one of my two sets of tires I had placed on my vehicle. It was information from the Yahoo sight that revealed a reimbursement campaign of some sort related to reimbursing tire expenses. (I understand Bridgestone maintains that there is nothing wrong with their tires. I strongly concur.)

This does not make cover the alignment expense, time and effort or other misgivings I have had dealing with the other toyota dealerships and factory service representative, and tghe unrfesponsive toyota motor corporation.

I love the Hybrid technolory but had to get the classic Prius out of my system. While I would support the some-what early adopter risk associated with this some-what pioneering efforts, the back-office approach to attending to some of my ongoing situations were too much for me to bear. This situations are now ripe - and ageing with the advent of the new Prius.

I am happy with my new vehicle. It is not a Hybrid but I do not drive it as much. It is a bit refreshing to feel the power, smoothness, and quiet once again. I have no doubts I will return to a Hybrid, but giving MY experiences, and the anticipated maturity of other makers, I doubt it will be a toyota product.

Enjoy yours.

I am have left the yahoo users's group (treading4) and am signing off of this group....
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