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Discussion Starter #1
All,

It is raining hard here outside Washington DC. Perfect day to take the new sneakers out for a ride.

Wife and I took Tideland Pearl out to a nice flooded part of Route 7. Got up to 60 and slammed on the brakes in a big puddle. Car stopped like it was glued to the road. In fact car rides like the road is dry. The Goodyear Integrity did not feel like they were on dry roads even when the road was dry.

Several years ago I was in a really bad car wreck when my Firestone 721 radials hydroplaned. My car spun out and I was T-Boned by an oncomming car, passenger side. I walked out of the wreck but car was literally U shaped. This is why I am paranoid about tires. After todays tire demo, wife has yanked my tire budget...(wife) and will drive Pearl herself if he puts noise ahead of performance (end wife)! So here is what we know so far:

1) Hydroedge fits car fine
2) Really needs to have 42psi front and 40 psi rear
3) Significant improvement in handling
4) Amazing, Unbelievable wet road performance
5) Some tire whine, but as an engineer I have to quantify this somehow. Perhaps with a laptop and microphone.... taking the time to do this would indicate I have no life, but curiosity may get me on this one.
5A) FYI, No tire noise on wet roads, whine is definitely the tires.
6) Not sure if it is impacting fuel economy yet. My first tank I got 45mpg. This one I am getting 42, but it is hot and sticky this weekend and this may be attributed to the AC. I also only have 60 miles on this tank of gas...
 

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Michelin HydroEdge Tires

Just a quick comment:

I have about 15,000 miles on a set of HydroEdges. Before I bought them, I read reports that they whine. They seemed a little noisy at first, but the trade-off in increased tread life and wet weather performance far outweighs any slight increase in tire noise.

There is no comparison to the OEM Bridgestones that came on the classic Prius. The wandering and vagueness in the steering is gone, and I have yet to feel any unintentional drift or looseness when driving on wet or snowy roads.

These are the best all-around tires I have owned, including high performance tires on sports cars.
 
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Noise compared to OEM tires

I almost bought these tires but could not find them in stock anywhere. Can anyone who has these compare the noise of these to the stock Goodyears? I am VERY sensitive to noisey tires. Drives me crazy!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Reply to Mark Prius:

I bought my tires on-line from Costco. They came in in a few days. I had them installed by my Toyota dealer.

As far as noise goes, they are a "little" louder than the stock tires. As I mentioned before I want to try and quantify this term "little". I also consider myself sensitive to tire whine, but feel that the added noise level is only noticeable if you are listening for it. I think you will find you can deal with the added noise once you experience the magnificent road handling, especially in the rain.

As far as gas mileage, we are not sure the Hydroedge have changed it by much, if at all. So far I am down by about 2 mpg, but this could be due to:

1) AC running all the time as it is hot and sticky here

2) I am getting used to driving the car.

3) The new tires make the car so much more agile that I may be driving more agressively than I would with the stock wooden tires.

I hope this helps, will update this thread as I get more data.
 

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Michelin HydroEdge Tires

If you are really sensitive to noisy tires, you are probably not going to like these. Like most high void-to-rubber tread designs, these sound kind of like snow tires.

Check out reader comments on these at http://www.tirerack.com. Also, depending on the area of the USA you live in, you can see them at Discount Tire, Sears, and some Costco tire centers.
 
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Hydroedge

Thanks for the feedback. When I first got my car I gave away my tires to someone on yahoo. I purchased Firestone (yup!) LH30 tires based on the tirerack feedback. They were VERY reasonably priced and I really do like them. They are excellent in rain and very good in snow. They employ the same technology that Bridgestone uses (same company now). They are also wearing extremely well.
 

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I've only got 264 miles on my set of Hydroedge tires now.

The first 111 miles were with the PSI at 35/33. The ride was very nice and the handling was great (on both dry & wet roads), so I'm at a loss what your "Really needs to have 42psi front and 40 psi rear" comment means.

I have since bumped the PSI up to 44/42. So now the MPG is "absolutely outstanding", rather than just "really impressive". In terms of numbers, I'm getting about 54 MPG in suburb driving (and a few short highway runs) with the temperture in the 70's.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
John,

I am at a loss as to why you are attacking me while answering your own question. As you noticed, your fuel economy greatly improved with the higher pressure. I found my car was sluggish at 35/33.

I do appreciate you taking the time to read my thread and hope you enjoy your tires as much as I do.

I have spoken with the engineers at Michelin and these tires do apparently have a break-in period of 1000 miles or so. I have 500 miles on my Hydroedge now an we perceive that they are quieting down, though they were never very loud to start with.

Sam
 

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Your comment made it sound as if the tires didn't handle well at the lower tire pressure. (Including details would have avoided the confusion.) So I asked you to elaborate on what "really needs" meant. Now I know you were referring to only MPG... which I consider a want, not a need.

Sorry. But I've been through this entire scenerio 2 years ago, and in extreme detail. We were searching for alternate tires for the classic Prius. Switching from LRR and changing sizes caused all kinds of confusion. So it is best to prevent the same with this model Prius.

I purchased these tires knowing it would cause a MPG drop. So for me, the improved traction was a worthwhile trade-off for efficiency. And when splashing through rather deep puddles yesterday, I got strong confirmation that it was a good choice.

In short, we shouldn't summarize.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
John,

We are in violent agreement!
I could have used the term "seemed to improve" instead of "need"

Have you found that your tires ride differently over time?
How are they wearing?

Thanks,

Sam
 

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I'm just a tad under 500 miles with them now. They are beginning to smooth out. So there is definitely a minor break-in. I'm not sure what kind of effect that has on MPG, but feel & sound are softened a bit.

Also, keep in mind that you'll have to go through it again when the tires are rotated (back-forth pattern, no crossing because these have uni-directional tread), since the front tires wear faster than the rear. Fortunately, it doesn't take as long that second time.

An interesting observation today happened when I made a rather tight turn quickly into a parking space. I left rubber marks on the hot tar. That wasn't expected with tires that have a treadwear rating of 760. That's really hard rubber. But I suppose it could be just part of break-in or the heat. And with tread so deep, all the way to the edge of the tire, it's no concern anyway.

The traction on both wet & dry roads is fantastic. I'm very pleased with the choice I made. And I will definitely recommend them to others, despite the expected 2 MPG drop. This is one of those odd years where I will actually welcome the snow when it falls, rather than the usual denial that the warm weather won't return for several months. I expect the grip of the tires will be impressive under those conditions too.

Stay tuned.
 

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If any of you guys ever decides to go to a 17 inch wheel - You'll be very impressed by the Falken Ziex tires - they were rated top pick by Consumer Reports - I love'em.
 

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john1701a said:
This is one of those odd years where I will actually welcome the snow when it falls, rather than the usual denial that the warm weather won't return for several months. I expect the grip of the tires will be impressive under those conditions too.
Hmm, good luck with that. Many reviewers at http://www.tirerack.com say they have poor traction in snow.
 

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Re: Michelin HydroEdge Tires

I just had the tires rotated as part of the 35,000 maintenance. These tires are wearing so evenly, or rather, so slowly, that I had to really look hard to tell if they actually swapped them around. The only way I could tell for sure was that the right front tire tire that I had scuffed on a curb a few weeks ago, was now on the right rear.

After 15,000+ miles, the tires still have the little nubs and mold flash on the sides of the tread where they would normally have rubbed off by now. The tread is still as deep as when they were new and only shows a little wear in the sipes and on the edges. (The Bridgestones were 2/3's gone by now.) I am running 44/40, and tire wear is really even -- not like the Bridgestones which were really worn on the shoulders.

I have only driven in light snow, but the HydroEdges seemed to grip the same as other all-weather tires I have had previously -- no worse. I have not driven in deep snow, though. Don't see much of that in AZ.
 

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Here's today's entry in my personal logs...

Upgraded Tires: 1200 Miles

Data collection is a mess. I started this most recent tank with a highway trip. There was no wind on the way there, but the way back provided a nasty headwind. And since I was hot from the 26 miles of biking, I desired the A/C. The result after the total 112 miles (70 of which were at 65 MPH) was 48.7 MPG on the Multi-Display. Eeek! Fortunately, the temperature is ideal (low 80's). So the remainder of the tank, consisting of the usual driving mix, I got to watch the MPG slowly climb. And to my surprise, it made it all the way up to 54.1 MPG. Yeah! Unfortunately, I didn't stop at the usual gas station. So the odds of the pump not stopping at the same time the normal one I use does was quite high. Being off by just a 0.25 gallon results in a 1.5 MPG error. That means I am basing this report solely on instinct in combination with what I observed as the miles went by. The verdict is that break-in has finally occurred. The ultra-thin initial layer of rubber has now worn off, both on the surface and along the edges of the tread. That means this next tank should reveal a sense of what the increased traction from these tires really does to efficiency. My guess is that a 2.5 MPG loss is a realistic expectation... and a fair price to pay for such an improvement on wet & dry roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
John,

I have noticed the same "smoothing and quieting" of the ride at about 1000 miles. I must say that I am observing a much more dramatic influence of fuel octane on my mileage than the tires had. I have repeated the following experiment twice with same result.

Use 89 octane MPG 45 (first fillup)
Use 87 octane MPG 43 2nd fill
Use 89 octane MPG 47 3rd fill
Use 87 octane MPG 45 4th fill

From what I have read, the silica in the tires are what give them low rolling resistance. The Hydroedge are a high silica content tire. I am not convinced that they have much more rolling resistance than the wooden integrity tires, but this is opinion in absence of fact. I could not wait to get the goodyears off my car. Felt like I was going to fly into a ditch every time I went around a curve....

I don't know what kind of terrain you drive on, but Tideland pearl has to go up and down hills on the way to work every morning. I think that is why I am having trouble breaking past 47mpg.

Sam
 

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SLowen said:
I don't know what kind of terrain you drive on, but Tideland pearl has to go up and down hills on the way to work every morning. I think that is why I am having trouble breaking past 47mpg.
You too, eh? I don't have any "large" hills to climb (except one ramp and an overpass), but some of the streets I drive aren't geographically "level". What wheel size, tire pressure, engine oil are you using? For comparison, I've got 17", 44F/42R and "regular" (haven't switched to synthetic yet). Also just drained the "excess" oil out of mine this weekend; currently at 47.8 mpg on this tank.

P.S. I can avoid the ramp, but choose not to; I'd otherwise pick up too many additional stop lights. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have factory wheels and tire size.
42psi front, 40 psi rear.

Wish I had bigger wheels, but was all I could do just to get budget for pkg #9 from CFO (wife).

Will be running Mobil 1 at first oil change in a few weeks.

Currently getting 46 mpg on regular. Will go back to 89 octane next fillup. Car seems sluggish with 87, but maybe I am kooky.
 

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I'm using 87, I think; whatever the normal "base grade" is for the area. We're using that in both cars. Haven't noticed any performance issues, but then I haven't used higher octane in either car, either. Just put Penzoil synthetic in the 2003 last weekend; will probably switch mine to the same on my first change (or whatever I can get by the case at Costco). :)
 

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Yeah, me too, Mage...except I'm a Sam's Club and BJ's member!

That reminds me, my first oil change is coming up rather quickly. Hmmmm.....time to start shopping.
 
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