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Kodak 08-25-2011 11:38 PM

Tires: Do you trust CR and TireRack?
 
When buying tires, how much consideration do you give to Consumer Reports and Tire Rack reviews? I know that the 'surveys' section of TR is actually just customer feedback - not specific testing results. (Although some tires are tested and graded by TR for certain criteria).

Right now I am reading reviews with caution, because consumers have varying expectations for tires and different conditions of use.

Some reviewers have made FE claims - good and bad - that were simply too great to have been attributed to rolling resistance alone.

Anyway, I'm curious what resources you use when researching tires.

Thanks for reading.

Peter7307 08-26-2011 12:18 AM

Kodak,
A couple of places I use when I am chasing tyres.
One is a local consumer magazine (Compare products and find independent product reviews with Choice.com.au - CHOICE) which has tyre tests but has some odd priorities when deciding which is the "best buy" in any category.

Another is online forums both for general performance and vehicle specific topics. There is usually someone willing to post an opinion about their favourite brand.

Finally any other person owning the same car as I do.
Supermarket car park meetings or friends and relatives all provide objective feedback most of the time.

Peter.
P

mcrews 08-26-2011 02:01 AM

i PURCHASED Kuhmos ecsta 4 yrs ago for my 02 Infiniti Q45 based on researching Tireracks data. I had never heard of Kuhmo and took a great deal of grief from the 'experts' at the infiniti forum.
I am on my 4 th set!!!! I get about 35,000 a set and I spend 1/2 of what the factory Michelin tire would cost.
I have been completely satisfied with the information, and the pricing.

Daox 08-26-2011 08:07 AM

I think user reviews are helpful, but I always take them with a grain... well more than a grain of salt. If there is any technical info I do not assume they know what they're talking about and generally just use them to get the general vibe that most reviews give off.

SentraSE-R 08-26-2011 11:07 AM

IMO, user anecdotes are useless, and CR tests are nearly so.

gone-ot 08-26-2011 11:57 AM

...I apply the '80% Rule,' ie: 80% of what they say is profit driven, but the other 80% is actually useful, but only to a 20% degree (wink,wink).

slowmover 08-27-2011 03:50 PM

I use TR this way:

User must have above 20k on tires.

Tire itself must have 10m reported miles.

Tire must rate highly/highest in sub-category (with exceptions that one may find on vehicle-specific enthusiast boards).

I also compare tires based on tire temp ratings, etc.

LRR is nice, but longest life is nicest (70k plus).

Once I make my choice I get DISCOUNT TIRE to come within 10-12% or so when complete TR prices (warranty, shipping, balancing, mounting included) are compared.

I go out of my way to find the best DT shop around. There are always differences between stores as to managerial quality.

.

Kodak 08-29-2011 12:12 PM

Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm probably going to wait until Consumer Reports reviews new All Seasons (I heard they may post an update in September). They've never reviewed the BFG Long trail T/A Tour (read: not the radial) and that's up there is my options list with the Continental CrossContact LX (LRR).

I'll read reviews with some skepticism.

Slowmover, good call on the tread life. I had a somewhat obvious light bulb moment the other day. It occurred to me that tread life not only means how long one will keep a set of tires, but also how long a tire will retain its best qualities. So a tire with excellent wet traction, but poor tread life will deteriorate (and be less grippy) more quickly and be bald sooner.

I'm imagining a graph in my mind where two lines intersect:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...dlifegraph.jpg

As an aside, I'm starting to think that UTQG ratings are not terribly useful when comparing from brand to brand (only within a given brand).

CapriRacer 08-30-2011 06:27 AM

The UTQG treadwear rating test has a lot of built in variability, so using small incremental differences is probably futile. However, if you see a 100 difference, it's significant.

slowmover 08-30-2011 10:14 AM

So a tire with excellent wet traction, but poor tread life will deteriorate (and be less grippy) more quickly and be bald sooner.

I wouldn't always bet on it, but it's why I like the TR reviews to verify. There are vehicles where the best wet traction may be the best choice, and a sub-50k life worth the trade-off.

The tires on my truck rate poorly in terms of dynamic performance on the TR survey results. But I don't expect tires to make up for sloppy driving habits (not slowing in rain), having grown up on 10-12k mile average bias-ply tires. I just slow down for bad surfaces with these tires. The factory set was replaced at 120k with 4/32's remaining. The first replacement set might -- meaning but two sets of tires -- take the truck to 250k miles. This is not an uncommon experience with this tire line and this particular truck (and spec). One has to dig through an enthusiast site to find the good/bad.

I take it for granted that all tires hydroplane at 55-mph in the rain, but that some recover almost immediately compared to others. Not "scientific" by any means, but meant to be respectful of road, load, conditions, weather, etc.

.

Thymeclock 08-31-2011 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kodak (Post 258585)
Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm probably going to wait until Consumer Reports reviews new All Seasons (I heard they may post an update in September). They've never reviewed the BFG Long trail T/A Tour (read: not the radial) and that's up there is my options list with the Continental CrossContact LX (LRR).

I'll read reviews with some skepticism.

That's always a good idea. Here's my experience with reviews. IMHO, Consumer Reports is worthless - it's an outdated publication with a limited scope of models of merchandise with opinions provided by professional reviewers.

OTOH, I've bought all my tires in the past 25 years from Tire Rack. Their website is an excellent resource for making comparisons of tires. The cumulative user reviews are accurate, if you take everything that is said about a particular model into account and weigh it for yourself. I've not been the least bit disappointed in the tires I've bought. They have all been entirely accurate as evaluated, both in their positive and marginally negative attributes.

topcat 09-07-2011 01:47 PM

Simplifying things a bit:
You can have a tyre which is fantastic but lasts 6 months (e.g. Toyo)
A tyre which is OK which lasts 2 years (Uniroyal, Continental, etc)
Or a tyre which is crap for ever (Falken).

Most people will want the middle of the pack. Personally, I have found Uniroyal to be a good compromise between price, lifetime, and grip, prioritising wet grip.
Uniroyal have just come out with a new tyre, RainExpert, which lists fuel economy as one of its features. I have just purchased these, but not yet fitted them, so I cannot pass judgement yet.

HighMPG 09-13-2011 03:39 AM

I been getting my tires from TireRack for the last 10 years and have been satisfied with every tire I have gotten from them. I mainly base my judgement on my favorite brands and buy the top or second tier sets for Max summer performance. I don't think sacrificing tire performance is on my list for MPG mods due to safety issues when hard braking or evasive maneuvers comes into play.
I may just tone down on the tire compounds and use something harder.
These are my favorite brands for them but I have yet to buy a ECO tire from any of them.
Yokohama
Bridgestone Potenza
Dunlops
Kumho

euromodder 09-13-2011 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HighMPG (Post 260787)
I don't think sacrificing tire performance is on my list for MPG mods due to safety issues when hard braking or evasive maneuvers comes into play.

I've had that dilemma as well, but it's been a non-issue.

I used to run tires that would be fine for something with twice or more the HP - Michelin's Pilot series, Conti SportContact3 - for the same reason : superior braking and handling.

Changing to the Michelin Energy Saver sure felt like going backwards.
But if you change your attitude towards driving as well, good eco tires will be OK, and you'll find you don't really need the superior handling and braking power.

Quite often, I still find myself gaining on lots of people in the corners, despite the eco-tires.

If the worst comes to the worst, I know the eco-tires won't stop me as fast.
But then, you can carry this into the absurd, as there's always a better tire, as any tire is a compromise / sacrifice.

Quote:

I may just tone down on the tire compounds and use something harder.
These are my favorite brands for them but I have yet to buy a ECO tire from any of them.
Is the '90 Corolla SR5 Coupé anything fancy, performance wise ?

Our 1987 1.6L Corolla (105 HP ?) would overpower Michelin's MXT - an eco tyre of the early 90s. But today's Michelin Energy Savers would have no trouble at all with the old Corolla.

HighMPG 09-14-2011 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by euromodder (Post 260893)
I've had that dilemma as well, but it's been a non-issue.

I used to run tires that would be fine for something with twice or more the HP - Michelin's Pilot series, Conti SportContact3 - for the same reason : superior braking and handling.

Changing to the Michelin Energy Saver sure felt like going backwards.
But if you change your attitude towards driving as well, good eco tires will be OK, and you'll find you don't really need the superior handling and braking power.

Quite often, I still find myself gaining on lots of people in the corners, despite the eco-tires.

If the worst comes to the worst, I know the eco-tires won't stop me as fast.
But then, you can carry this into the absurd, as there's always a better tire, as any tire is a compromise / sacrifice.


Is the '90 Corolla SR5 Coupé anything fancy, performance wise ?

Our 1987 1.6L Corolla (105 HP ?) would overpower Michelin's MXT - an eco tyre of the early 90s. But today's Michelin Energy Savers would have no trouble at all with the old Corolla.

You do have a lot of good "MPG" points and yes, I am so used to buying performance tires and I do love hugging the turns but I may have to convert completely. I used to race and was going over 100mph everyday in my rotary so when I am in the corolla it feels, well you know, so slow but it's actually a great handler.Now I have changed my driving attitude from "Speed Racer" to Eco Mode" I may have to try out those Energy Saver tires, I know I have some Michelin's on there right now from costco. I just checked and they are 175/70/14 Michilen "Radial X" I guess they are pretty skinny shall I go skinnier? haha I know on dry pavement if I throttle hard I can chirp the tires a little & my car is automatic 4Speed. lol
btw these tires came with the car.


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