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Old 08-13-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
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Trying To Pick Out Tires

Hello all,

I'm relatively new to the forum, I've lurked around a bit reading articles and trying to learn a few things but only recently joined.

I'm in the market for new tires. The last couple of years I've been using aggressive all seasons for the winter, and performance tires during the summer on my 15" wheels. Starting in September, I'll be commuting approximately 3,000mi per month so I'm looking for a long lasting touring tire that will help me achieve better fuel economy.

I'll be purchasing these for 14" Civic HX wheels I've had for a while but haven't been using. OEM spec is 185/65/14 - I plan on going 175/65/14 for something a little thinner.

I've been looking at what's available in the size I want, and I've narrowed it down to these two tires:

Pirelli P4 Seasons with a treadwear of 760 and great reviews:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....rtnum=765TR4P4

Kumho Eco Solus HM KR22 - Treadwear 740. Fairly new, not many reviews, but designated as a low rolling resistance tire:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....num=765TR4KR22

I like the reviews I'm seeing from the Pirellis, and judging by some of the more detailed specs (actual tread with, total height, etc) It almost seems as if the Pirelli would be just as low in resistance. The Kumhos are a bit cheaper and designated as LRR, but there aren't any reviews with a significant amount of mileage on them.

Ok, enough rambling. So, what do you guys think? Any experience with either of these tires? Any advice/insight is very much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

The Kumhos also have a 100,000 mile warranty. The Pirellis are warrantied for 85,000 or 65,000 depending on speed rating.

As much of a fan of reducing rolling resistance as I am, I cannot ignore the quantifiable, known benefit of a longer wearing tire. While treadwear warranties don't assure you that the tire will actually wear for that long, they generally are a good indicator of relative tread life - more so than the UTQG, which is anything but U (every document about it cautions that each manufacturer sets their own standards).

Also, why didn't you run winter tires instead of all-season since you were switching them out anyway?

Personally, I'd go for the LRR, longer-wearing tires in a heartbeat, especially since they're priced lower too.

Edit: Check a tire size calculator before changing sizes as you propose. Not only will it be a little narrower (a strategy that I question), but if you get the same aspect ratio then diameter/circumference will be reduced also.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:52 PM   #3
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

Thanks, I appreciate your insight

In terms of wear:

The Pirelli has a shorter warranty, but the treadwear is 760 vs Kumho's longer warranty but a lower treadwear of 740. Are you saying the warranty is better to go by than the UTQG?

In that case, I agree, I'd much rather spend less on a tire that will last longer. Just plain common sense haha. I only see small differences (as per spec sheet) in potential rolling resistance, not enough to outweigh wear/cost factors. The only thing holding me really was the treadwear numbers.

The reason I ran all seasons as opposed to winter tires was because I got them free from a friend who no longer needed them. They did pretty well in the snow - I've actually never driven on snow tires. I've been out in every bad snowstorm NY has had since I started driving and have never really had any issues.

Thanks for the tip - I checked a tire size calculator, and if I go with the smaller tire, I'll end up with 879 revs/mile vs 859 revs/mile on the 185. For a trip up to school and back, which I'll be doing daily, that's an extra 3,340 revolutions per trip. 16,700 more revs per week!

With that in mind, would it make more sense to get the regular size? Sounds like it would last longer if it's revolving less, no? That to me would outweigh having a thinner tire. And if I end up with the 185, I could go with a higher sidewall, further reducing revs/mile. hmmm
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=48
Typically, comparing the Treadwear Grades of tire lines within a single brand is somewhat helpful, while attempting to compare the grades between different brands is not as helpful.

Your reasoning is sound...go with it.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:07 AM   #5
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

since they are both really high treadwear id consider them equal on that fact. the next thing id look at is the tread itself. some of those hard tires are aweful in snow or rain. id sacrifice a little mpg to be safer on those bad days but it also depends on were you live. in new england good tires are a must in the winter, not so much if you live in new mexico.
on a side note ive been playing the tire game for a while now and it seems the best benefit for a tires isnt treadware or profile its over inflating. ive gone from super aggresive winter tires to super hard tourign with barely a noticable difference. ive also swapped in narrower tires with the same results. putting 50psi of air in my tires has always yeilded immediate results. some times as much as a few mpg's.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

OP: Are you still going to run your performance tires in the summer? If so, then I suggest you look for a winter tire exclusively. If not, and you want a tire that will be effective throughout the year, then I would also suggest you consider the Nokian WRG2. They are an "All-Weather" tire (not "All-Season" - these are different). I settled on this tire after many, many hours of research, and balancing safety, fuel economy, price, environmental concerns, tread wear & guarantee.

I always use a winter tire when the season calls for it, and will continue to do so even after purchasing the WRG2s. I strongly recommend you do too, especially given your km's/month will be increasing drastically - even though you say you've never had problems before. You say you're in NY State? Well, you'll no doubt encounter some nasty weather in the winter months that you'll have to plow through to get to your classes. But, if you insist on getting just one tire set to get you through the year, then have a look at the WRG2.

FYI: My vehicle is a 1994 Civic Hatchback.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:10 PM   #7
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

I have the Pirelli P4 Four-Season tires on my Stratus, but its no longer the daily driver. So far, so good. I got mine locally with lifetime rotation and balancing included. It has the 85,000 mile warranty. Tt was certainly a jump for near bald front tires and rear Primewell's(40k warranty) that had worn really bad(only 15k) and cuffed terribly while on the rear. Next time, anything with a sub-50k I won't go more than 3k without rotating them.

For my use of the P4s, I'm going to be sure to rotate the tires every 6-7k at most. I'm no tire expert, though.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:44 PM   #8
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

I have to give my opinion here: Tire warranties are a marketing tool, and generally should not be used to gauge a tire's expected life either.

Although each manufacturer conducts their own tests with their own version of the method, I think that UTQG is a better indication of tire life. And in this case, I'd say that 740 = 760. No difference.

If you ever intend to try to take a manufacturer up on their tire wear warranty, you'd better save proof (i.e. receipts) that you rotated your tires every 6000 miles, that you had your alignment checked at least twice per year, and that you had your shocks / struts changed out every 60k miles, and so on. I just quit from a job at a tire shop (I've been doing tires since 1989), and I never once saw a manufacturer honor a wearout warranty (despite a few attempts). They squirm out of them with technicalities.

-BC
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

My experience as a tire salesman says that usually premium tire companies have a habit of under-rating their tires, and a bargain tire company has a habit of over-rating their tires.

Personally, with what information I could pull, and my own personal dealings with Kumho (Not the Solus KR22, but a few other tires of theirs) says that they are more of a bargain oriented tire company. I'd be hesitant of their warranty being that accurate. I haven't dealt with Pirelli at all, but I do know that they are one of the best tire companies on the market, right up there with (and often compared to in quality) Michelin. And I regularly see Michelin tires exceed their warranty.


I'd say go with the Pirelli's.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:55 PM   #10
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Re: Trying To Pick Out Tires

By the way, my favorite tire right now is the Yokohama TRZ. I think they ride great (they are on all my cars), and handle great too.

I have to admit that I don't know the rolling resistance numbers on them, however...

The Michelin Hydroedge are also a good tire IMO.

-Bob C.
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