Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Knock on wood (umm, formica? plastic? padded dash?), but I just bought 4 new tires for my '02 Prius. The original tires had 30K miles on them and the wear bars were showing, so it was time. I decided I wouldn't replace them with the same expensive, fast-wearing tires, so I began a search for appropriate alternative tires.

I studied the "alternate tire" info in the Prius User Guide from the http://john1701a.com website, and various tire mfr.'s websites, and then started calling local tire dealers (Berkeley, CA area.)

I discovered that tire buying involves a bewildering array of choices. Heck, I thought computer and video technology was confusing!

I decided to do "one stop shopping" with a local dealer, so if there problems I could deal with someone nearby. I was hoping to get the Nokian NRT2 "low rolling resistance" tires mentioned on John's site, but unfortunately their distributor in northern CA told me there's a 12 week backorder. I don't ever shop at WalMart, so the Goodyear Allegra they sell was not an option for me. I spoke with several dealers in the area, most of whom were not helpful or didn't stock tires appropriate for the Prius.

After much discussion with a dealer from whom I've purchased 3 sets of tires for other vehicles, we decided that the Kumho model #716 tires would be a good match for the Prius. Although I didn't find a Consumer Reports test on this exact model, CR has give other Kumho tires high marks.

The size I installed is P195/60R14. They are wider than the original tires, but the tire diameter is within a couple of tenths of an inch compared to the originals. They fit very well, with plenty of clearance in the wheel wells and around the struts, etc.

The Kumho #716 tires have a treadwear rating of 360 (compared to the original's 160), a max. weight rating of 85 (1135 lbs.), a speed rating of "H" (130 mph), traction rating "A", temperature rating "A", max. inflation pressure of 44 psi, and a 50,000 mile warranty.

I currently have 38 psi pressure in all 4 tires. I may experiment with increasing this to 40 psi all around.

I've only been driving with the new tires for 2 days, but they seem to work very well. I drove on local streets at slow speeds (including tight turns & up & over speed bumps, etc.), and on the highway at 65-70 mph. The new tires seem to perform & handle at least as well as the originals.

I did the 2 recalibrate options in my Prius' GPS navigation system and it seems to be working perfectly.

In approx. 50 miles of local & highway driving, the Prius LCD screen reports an average of 47 MPG, the same as what I was getting with the original tires.

The dealer charged me $323 for 4 tires including everything: Mounting (new stems), computer balancing, old tire disposal, CA environmental impact fee, and front wheel alignment, and sales tax. The price also includes free tire rotation every 7,500 miles for the life of the tires. Since my last Toyota complimentary tire rotation is at 30K miles, this last item is welcome.

The dealer is Larry's Tire Express, 31 Pitt Way, Richmond/El Sobrante, CA 510-222-1914. They're a longtime small business that I've had good luck with over 10 years.

I hope I made the right choice, and that the above info is helpful.

- Peter
CA "MO MPG"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I put 40 psi in all 4 new tires today and they seem to ride just fine. Next week I'm going on a 150 mile drive (mostly highway driving) so I'll report back on handling, MPG, etc.

John: Thanks again for all the great info about tires on your site. It was very helpful!

(I wish tire manufacturers would standardize information about their tire's rolling resistance! It's the one tire factoid that is essentially impossible to nail down out in the real world. Of course, given the general lack of interest in anything related to fuel economy in the US, I'm not surprised. Sigh.)

- Peter
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top