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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched the forum for tire info and couldn't find this question answered:

At Costco, the tire guy told me that my Prius (which will need new tires soon) required special-order "high load" tires. The brand he carries is Bridgestone. He said that "regular" tires would wear out prematurely.

I bought the car used. The current tires are Dunlop, 195-60R14. They are in rather poor shape. The car has just under 40,000 miles on it and I don't know at what mileage the former owner replaced the factory standard tires. Unless he popped 'em off immediately, this looks like a lot of wear for, say, 20,000-30,000 miles.

I've noted the recommendations for Goodyear ComforTred and will look into those with my Goodyear dealer.

But does anyone know anything about that "high load" business?

Thanks!

Jan
 

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Is your Prius a 2004+ or is it a 2003 or earlier. If it is 2003 or earlier than the high load tires are what you want to go for. The 2004 rides on standard rubber. The tires on the 03- were kind of small, and for the weight of the vehicle Toyota had to put a stronger tire on the car, relative to the tire size and normal load limits on tires of that size.

I'd avoid Bridgestone tires. I've never liked their performance. They are not that wonderful and what your Costco tire guy is trying to sell you is probably the OEM tire for the vehicle. So avoid Bridgestone and avoid OEM tires. You should look for an increased load tire of the size needed for the car, but not from Bridgestone. Prefferably from Michellin or Goodyear. Keep in mind the above comments are for 2003 or earlier vehicles.

Now, on 2004+ vehicle, just purchase the tire of your choice that is the correct size for the vehicle. Tires on 2004+ vehicles are standard in all respects.
 

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Sounds like they were half-right.

When I replaced the tires on my classic Prius for the first time, what the tire company told me was that they could not guarantee the tires for the full mileage advertised because the Prius weighs more for its size than other cars that use the same size tire. So, though they installed "guaranteed 50,000 mile" tires on the car, they told me that if I came back 40,000 miles later with a blowout that was obviously from tire wear and not a road hazard (which I also purchased, given the state of the highways around here), they couldn't replace it for free under the warranty, and this was stated in the contract I signed for the repair.

My guess is that "high load" tires fix this discrepancy and guarantee the mileage no matter what kind of car you put it on.

If you don't want to wait, you could ask the dealer to lower the mileage guarantee and they might work with you. OTOH, they might have to go strictly by paperwork where the Prius is concerned.
 

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Since the tires you say you have on your used Prius are R14, it sounds like you have a Classic 2001-2003 Prius. a lot of the talk you hear these days is for the 2004-? Prius, which in the US is an R15 size tire, with standard load ratings.

US 2001-2003 OEM Prius tire:
Bridgestone Potenza RE92 XL (Extra Load)
P175/65 R14
84S
Treadwear 160
Temperature A
Traction A
50psi max. cold pressure

US/Canada 2004-2005 OEM Prius tire:
Goodyear Integrity (Standard Load)
P185/65 R15
86S
Treadwear 460
Traction A
Temperature B
44psi max. cold pressure

Yes, you'll want to find a new tire that has the same or better load rating, and you'll definitely want to keep an eye on tire pressure. You may also want to have an alignment done to make sure that that's not causing you any more troubles.

some more tire info:
http://john1701a.com/prius/prius-tires_classic.htm

The problem with the OEM Bridgestone Potenza RE92 XL tires is that they have a really low treadwear rating of only 160. Although they are warranteed by Bridgestone for 40,000 miles, most owners seem to average in the 20,000 mile range. (Although I have heard of anywhere from 8,000-36,000 miles, depending on alignment, attention to tire pressure, and driving style).

Be careful that you don't get the non-XL version of the Bridgestone Potenza RE92 tires (which I think fit the Echo). You can notice them by their lower weight rating, and that they only will take a max. cold pressure of 35psi.
 

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Comfortred deal

As it happens, today I spent some time looking for a deal on Good year Comfortreds.

Calls to two Goodyear dealers yielded about the same quote (this one from a good year store): $95 per tire + $15 for mounting, balancing,
and valve stems. Total: about $440.

When I told them that tirerack wanted only $69 per tire + $32 shipping
(yielding a total of $308 without mounting or stems), he said he would do the whole schebang for $410.

I suspect I could save about $50 bucks by getting them at Tirerack and having them mounted at the local service station, but since I have a trip this weekend, this sounds like a good enough deal.. (right?? :roll: :shock: :roll: )
 

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It really just boils down to preferred tire-pressure.

"High Load" tires are only needed if you run the PSI at 35/33 (front/back), since the tires do have some extra weight to support.

They are *NOT* needed if you run the PSI higher than that. We have overwhelming proven that ordinary "standard load" tires work great on a Classic Prius when at 42/40.
 

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mrv said:
The problem with the OEM Bridgestone Potenza RE92 XL tires is that they have a really low treadwear rating of only 160. Although they are warranteed by Bridgestone for 40,000 miles, most owners seem to average in the 20,000 mile range. (Although I have heard of anywhere from 8,000-36,000 miles, depending on alignment, attention to tire pressure, and driving style).
Just a reminder: Treadwear ratings can only be compared within a particular brand, not between brands. The manufacturer gets to assign the number and there is no standard, 160 for one manufacturer might be 260 for another. The only thing you can say with certainty is that a Bridgestone rated at 320 is expected to last twice as long as a Bridgestone rated at 160.

Nevertheless, 160 is pretty low and indicates a tire that won't last very long regardless of the manufacturer.
 

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Issabelle; I just put on Comfortreads and paid $387 including mounting, balancing, and chrome valve stems. This was at our local Western Auto store. I like to do business with the locals when I can.

Tom
 

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john1701a said:
It really just boils down to preferred tire-pressure.

"High Load" tires are only needed if you run the PSI at 35/33 (front/back), since the tires do have some extra weight to support.

They are *NOT* needed if you run the PSI higher than that. We have overwhelming proven that ordinary "standard load" tires work great on a Classic Prius when at 42/40.

The problem there is, most standard tires only have a max. cold tire pressure rating of 35psi... So on those tires you cannot go up to pressures around 40psi (with a +2psi bias for the front).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice! I've assimilated it, checked John's site, wrangled with the Goodyear store, etc. etc. and bought some tires. They are Bridgestone Potenza RE930i, 185/60R14.

I decided to stick close to the OEM tires, and these are rated up to 40 psi, so I've got 'em pumped up to 40/38.

If this is a really bad buy, I can take them back, but I got the runaround on the ComforTreds and don't really want to go up to 190s. I could, however, get something heftier if the RE930i's are too wimpy.

BTW, those Dunlop tires...I see from the records that the previous owner of this 2002 Prius replaced the OEM tires around 13,500 miles. So the Dunlops wore out at more-or-less 25,000 miles.

Jan
 

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Tomandbecky,

Thanks. Nice to know that I came within $23 of the best deal out there.

-Did your price include disposal of old tires?
-How do you like the Comfortreds?

I.
 

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Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:00 pm Post subject:

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Issabelle; I just put on Comfortreads and paid $387 including mounting, balancing, and chrome valve stems. This was at our local Western Auto store. I like to do business with the locals when I can.

Tom

Hi Tom,

I had the comfortreads on a 2001 SAAB 9/5 and loved them.What an awesome tire in snow and what a Quiet ride! But noticed a loss in gas milage.Could you keep us posted on any gas milage changes?

Thanks,Ed
 
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