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Ferret II

Tire Choices (All Season)

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Hi.  I have Michelin Pilot Exaltos on the Contour, purchased about 6-1/2 years ago at Discount Tire.  They only have about 18K miles on them, but a couple have sidewall checking and one has a slow leak Discount couldn't find at my last rotation. 

 

While some think the checking isn’t of much concern, I tend to play it very safe when it comes to tires, so will likely move on, especially given Discount recently offered $55 trade-in per tire, for all four tires.  While I don’t drive a lot these days, I still like to buy the safest tires I can, but if I can have the fun factor all the better, which is why I loved the Exaltos (now discontinued).

 

I’ve narrowed choices at Discount to Yokohama YK580s and Michelin Premium A/S.

 

The Yokos attract me as more of a performance tire.  However, I’m pretty sure they’re Discount proprietary, meaning the only reviews I can find are from Discount customers.  Also, they’re asymmetrical, and I currently prefer no rotation restrictions.    

 

The Michelin Premier A/S gets high reviews in Tire Rack and Consumer Reports (grand touring category) and are likely safer driving, especially in rain.  I have Michelin Primacys (now discontinued) on the Mystique, and while they aren’t as sporty feeling as the Exaltos, they do stick like glue.  The Michelin Premier is their replacement. 

 

I’m leaning toward the Michelin Premiers, which would only run about $80 more, but am interested to hear what others think about these - or other - tire choices.  I’ll probably make a decision in the next couple days, before the latest advertised rebates expire. 

 

(Side note: I’d love to get tires at Les Schwab – we have one very close to home that I like a lot - but with their limited tire choices and no discounts, I’m pretty sure I’ll again go with Discount Tire.)

 

Thanks!

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Hello Ferret!! Hey, I am very proud of my tire knowledge, ni general, and specifically when $$$ matters. I put in excess of 24k miles a year on my 'Tour and the Falken Azenis PT-722
225/50R16 92V BLT have been the best by far over Dunlops, Yoko's, Generals and others.
I run these on the SVT E0 wheels.

Contact Steve Wysack at Discount Tire Direct and tell him you are with the FCO group and he will shave a few $$ off the web site price for you. Customer Service "over the top"!!

Steve Wysack

Customer Service Specialist

1-800-589-6789 ext 51881

 

Steve.Wysack@discounttireco.com

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Hi Mondeoman!  

 

Thanks for the input.  I think I'm going to stick to the 215/60R-15 size, though, which is standard for my '95 SE.  In that size, Discount carries the Falken Pro G4 A/S (not the Azenis PT-722).  My brother put the Pro G4's on his older model Nissan Maxima, and loves them. I believe it's another Discount proprietary tire, and fairly new, so not a lot of info out on that model.  Any thoughts on that Falken?

 

Thanks for the info on the Discount Tire Direct and Steve!  I'll look into that, though to get the trade-in $ I'd have to buy at the bricks and mortar store.

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Hello Ferret!! Yes, I have the 16" SVT wheels. Please do contact Steve W. and listen to what he has to say. Now that DTC is in the PNW, he may have "something up his sleeve".

 

I am a Falken believer, obviously. Major bang for the $$, IMHO. I have the Pro G4's on my older GTI (yes, there is something older than my '95 Tour).

 

Keep us posted and glad to hear from you as it got very quiet for too many months ;-)

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Thanks Mondeoman!

 

Well, that's three people I highly respect recommending the Falken Pro G4s:  You, Steve, and my little brother :) 

 

I called Steve and he was very helpful, and does offer a great discount for FCO folks on Discount Tire Direct.  Well worth looking into.  I did find out that warranty issues are only handled through local stores, though, so I still need to check more into that. Steve agreed the three replacement options I"m considering - size 205-60-15 - are what he'd have recommended, with Falken Pro G4 A/S first, Michelin Premier A/S second, and Yoko YK 580 third.

 

Money aside, do you think you'd still go for the Falken Pro G4 over the Michelin Premium A/S?  Especially when safety is factored in?  Thought I'd ask in case the local Discount offers a killer deal on the Michelins - warranty $ off + rebate.

 

Still a couple posts I've been meaning to make about a lengthy - but ultimately successful - A/C repair on the Contour, and UIM/LIM and fuel injector maintenance on the Mystique... just haven't gotten to them - been lurking though!

Edited by Ferret II

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Michelin makes a fine tire, no doubt about it. For me the choice between Michelin and Falkin comes down to $$$ and Falkin wins, hands down.

 

A/C repair on the Contour - speak to me Ferret, as I have "been there, done that' on two 'Tours to date. Feeling confident...can you tell ;-)

 

UIM/LIM....Zetec exclusion.....sorry, I am of no help there ;-) ;-) Luckily BOTH engines have Fuel Injectors!!!

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Maybe look at the treadwear rating too if your keeping them long enough to age before wear, the softer tire might not be as hard over time..beyond that,I'm running Michelin on everything I own..I have some Super Sports on one of my non-Ford  cars and they're the stickiest, most round and smooth high speed tire I've ever had. they (Michelin) sold me on their stuff after trying two other sets on one car that rated well, but fell on their face...transformed the car completely and worth the extra fee and maybe its just me, but zero defects from them so far..ill separate some tread now I'm sure..lol

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Maybe look at the treadwear rating too if your keeping them long enough to age before wear, the softer tire might not be as hard over time..beyond that,I'm running Michelin on everything I own..I have some Super Sports on one of my non-Ford  cars and they're the stickiest, most round and smooth high speed tire I've ever had. they (Michelin) sold me on their stuff after trying two other sets on one car that rated well, but fell on their face...transformed the car completely and worth the extra fee and maybe its just me, but zero defects from them so far..ill separate some tread now I'm sure..lol

 I agree that Michelin makes a fine tire. But the cost is prohibative for many owners (me) and the Falken has very high treadwear numbers. I have hit over 50k miles on these Falkens' on my 'Tour before replacement. Unbelievable ROI - much lower cost per mile than the Michelins.

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A tire discussion... love it.

 

I'm really not sure what the factory tire size on my Contour is supposed to be, but it's sitting on 185/65/14 right now, with what appear to be factory hubcaps (just 3). All major retailers' websites report my factory tire size as 205/60/15. I will look around and see if there is a better selection of tires for the 215mm tire.

 

I have decided on the Falken Ziex ZE612 from America's Tire (what they call Discount Tire in my area). Can't go wrong at $58 a piece with a 65K mile warranty. FYI this is still more cost effective than the most affordable set of tires at Pepboys, even with their current buy 3 get 1 promotion.

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My '95 'Tour window sticker showed 185/70R14 as stock. Of course I now have 225/50R16 Falkins installed. 195/65R14 retain the same rolling radius as the 185/70R14. Your's are slightly smaller in radius due to the lower aspect ration (185/65R14 vs 185/70R14). See the following tire calc - http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html

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My '95 'Tour window sticker showed 185/70R14 as stock. of course I now have 225/50R16 Falkins installed. 195/65R14 retain the same rolling radius as the 185/70R14. Your's are slightly smaller in radius due to the lower aspect ration (185/65R14 vs 185/70R14). See the following tire calc - http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html

 

Correction: my current tire size is 195/65/14, less than 1% difference from the OEM 14" tire according to the calculator.

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My stock size is 205/60/R15 on both cars.  Pretty sure the originals were H rated, though not sure how much that matters.

 

I haven't decided yet but I really appreciate the input, and am leaning toward Michelins.  If I can get them with the usual $70 rebate and $30 CompleteCare card discount, they're not that much more than the Falkens, which run $80/tire for my size with no discounts.  The Michelins in  my size are $120, but would come down to $95 each with the rebates.  My brother got the Falkens for $58 each, though, for his Maxima, and that's a pretty significant difference - and he loves them, too!

 

I quizzed a few Discount employees about my three top choices, and three or so recommended the Falkens above the Toyos, even though the Toyos are priced $20 more each than the Falkens (some of the employees did some test drives in Las Vegas and were quite impressed with the Falkens).  Most, though, thought - money aside - that the Michelins would be better overall, especially in rain and snow.  Since I live hear in the Northwest where traffic and rain are frequent I may go with the Michelins.  I don't put on a lot of miles so it just comes down to what I will feel safest in.  I'll post when I decide, though.

 

Of course I'd love to get something more along the line of Michelin Super Sports!  But even if Michelin still made them in my size, I imagine they'd be very pricey.

 

Oh, and Mondeoman, the two AC repairs and the UIM/LIM and fuel injector maintenance are things we've already done and I've been meaning to post about, but haven't gotten to.  My husband took some pics during the UIM/LIM work of a walnut blasting technique he used.  He loved it, though I was a bit worried Merlina would never start again, but she roared right to life after all his work.  I should have more faith! 

Edited by Ferret II

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Ferret, your thinking makes perfect sense. Of course the fact that I live in the SAME PNW as you, and drive 72 miles a day, and my Falkins giv eme super confidence. In my size tire, I amplify any negatives in tires design/construciton. None found!

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Mondeoman, I wouldn't mind saving a hundred bucks and you're making those Falkens sound awfully tempting!  Please enlighten me how tire size can amplify negatives?  I don't know a lot about tires but am all ears :)  

 

Thanks again for your input, and also thks MarcD and XtraGassy (I chuckle every time I read that handle!).

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Well suspension geometry is where it all starts. Any and all settings, either within or outside design/alignment specs, will be amplified when using tires sizes substantially different than OEM sizes. The Plus 1 and Plus 2 elements come into play. Read the following, as I could easily write a book here on what happens to our 'Tours when you go with Plus sizing on top of already tightening up the suspension with poly bushings, lowering springs, progressively valved struts, etc: http://tires.about.com/od/understanding_tires/a/Plus-And-Minus-Sizing.htm

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Gee I have 205.55.r16's on my tours where did all of those other sizes from????     :wink:

 

AF

 

PS I picked up Radar's on my 95 that I got from Sears on a very good deal they aren't Z rated but still ok for the 4 banger. Installed they were something like $350 (IIRC) I priced them on line then found the store that had them near me. Once there I let them tell me what they could do for me at around $600 that's when I showed them the internet pricing and they quit talking and installed them. No more up selling and it was fun. :D

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Hey Aussie - just plus sizing is all that is going on here ;-)

 

I am very impressed with your suspension and tires, after driving your '95 for a period of time. Those Sears tires have no bad manners that I could unearth - loads of value for the $$. I recall my Falkens being under $400 for all 4, via discounttiredirect.com, once mounting and balancing are factored in.

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Oops, I had a typo in an earlier post!  I’m rolling standard for my ’95 SE, at 205-60-R15.  Also, per the sticker on my door, T rating is standard, but Discount always says standard for my cars is H rated, and I generally get tires with the slightly higher rating.

 

Well, I ended up getting the Michelin Premium A/S.  With a $300 credit Discount gave me for bad weather checking in my old Michelins (Pilot Exaltos that were at about half tread), and $120 in Discount/Michelin rebates, I ended up paying $220 total for tires, installation, and the added Discount warranty.  Discount definitely did me right on this one!   With rebates, the Michelins were only about $100-120 more, total, than the Yoko YK 580’s or Falken Pro G4’s I’d been considering, and in the end I went with the Michelins, thinking they might be a bit safer in rain, and possibly snow, though I might have liked driveability in the performance tires more.

 

As for the tires, there are many positive reviews for the Michelin Premier A/S, but also some complaints that include noise, feeling like a “jelly doughnut” was installed on your steering wheel.  I would say I’ve experienced those complaints, plus more sensitivity to road crest, and some resistance to turning.  The tires do stick like glue – maybe they’re too sticky? - and are great in the rain; also, they’re very stable at 70+, so no balance issues I can discern.  However, when I first drove away on the tires my first thought was, “what’s wrong with my car?” due to a lack of steering responsiveness and increased play in the steering wheel. 

 

Given the steering issues, and noise, I’ve pondered taking these tires back, but now that I’ve messed with the air pressure a bit, I probably won’t.  Per my direction, Discount had inflated the tires to 32 (fr) and 33 (rr) at installation – the pressure I liked in the Michelin Pilot Exaltos, and in the Michelin Primacy’s on my Mystique. With the cold weather over the past three weeks I’ve lost a couple pounds during my test drives of the tires, so I decided to up the air pressure yesterday, and a Discount guy ended up putting in 35 all round.  What a difference!  I feel a bit “buoyant”, but steering response is back.  On Dec. 10 the 30-day trial is up, so in all likelihood I’ll keep these tires, but I do think it’s odd that adding air pressure makes such a difference, so I’ll do a little more test driving.

 

In terms of noise, they do whine at certain speeds on certain roads, but I compared them to the Michelin Primacy’s, on the Mystique, and those “sing”, too, so I decided not to worry about it.  (I’ve got a developing hole in my muffler that’s more worrisome – lol!)

 

I may have been happier with the Falkens, but who knows.  I know my brother loves his, and when you add Mondeoman’s endorsement I probably couldn’t have gone wrong.  A few Discount guys recommended the Falken Pro-G4’s over the Yoko YK-580’s, too, which I found interesting.

 

Here’s one of the more interesting comments I came across on the Premier A/S:

“Those Michelin Premier A/S tires go at it a different way - almost like two different tires in one.  Lots of sipes, almost continuous center rib for smooth, straight driving.  But those sipes also allow for a significant amount of tread compliance - great for light snow, wet roads - but tends to wander and pull, especially on uneven roads.  Again - their ride might have been improved with playing with tire pressures - though Michelins generally don't tolerate higher pressure like other manufacturers.”

http://www.corolland.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25417-tire-selection-for-2011-corolla-le-all-season/

 

I thought of swapping the tires on my two cars, to check if I had the same issues with the Premiers on the Mercury, but that’s way too much work, and given the difference running them at 35psi I think I’ll settle in with the Premiers and be fine with them.

 

That’s my rather windy tire review of the day!

Edited by Ferret II

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Ferret - I like your reviews - you always give me "food for thought". Even My Falkens love 35 psi all the way around. I have enough padding "back there" that a trade off for increase response is well warranted IMHO.

 

I have yet to own a pair of Falkens that haven't delivered superior "bang for the buck". This requirement is near the top of my pri's, at least until I win the Lotto!!!!

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Hey Mondeoman!  Thank you for your compliment, though I think I have plenty of padding in my reviews, too, despite laughable attempts to be brief.  

 

Given the monsoons this winter I'm loving the Michelin Premier A/S, now they're at 35 psi.  Just fantastic in the rain.  I don't mind feeling a little road, and the tires have extra padding (and I'm not lacking in it, either!) so the added air works fine for me, too. The only way I can remotely afford Michelins is at Discount when the timing is right and I get both the tire and the CareCard rebates (although I'm hoping to win the lotto, too!)  Plus this time the money back for the weather checking problem.  Still, it's great to know there's a decent affordable performance tire available by Falken, and I know my brother will be happy to hear of the good reviews here, as he loves his new Falkens his older model Maxima.

 

I've always vaguely wondered why 31 f, 35 r is recommended for both my cars, and my husband has also wondered, given the heavy engine up front.  In the past I've compromised and run closer to 33, with an extra pound in the back when I hit it right, but for now am keeping the Premiers even.

 

Wishing everyone warm holidays, full of health and love.

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This thread was very useful with recent purchase of new tires. I have 2 95 SE's, acquired both of them in the last 2yrs. One came with Toyo's, the other with Michelins. The Toyo's were due for replacement, Michelins were new- both came with the cars. I had always run Toyo Proxies with my original 95, so they were my first choice. Found that Toyo no longer makes a size for a 95 SE-- I turned to this site for advise and opinion. Settled in on the Falken's. I've had them about a month now, and cannot find any fault-- they are simply outstanding! Dry, Wet- grip grip grip, smooth and stable, even on ribbed pavement. Thanks for the thread, count me in as a Falken convert.

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