Piston Slap: A Scion's Ideal All Season Tire?
TTAC Commentator Sam Hell Jr. writes:
The first car I bought for myself was a 2011 Scion tC. Compared with some other decisions I made three years ago (cough, cough, career in human resources, cough), this one’s turned out okay — to date, I’ve put 40k on the odo with no repair costs but regular maintenance, and the hatchback utility and decent fuel economy have both matched up well with my needs. I’ll probably have the tC paid off this year, and I’m looking forward to debt-free living, so the car and I are stuck with each other for some time to come.
My biggest complaint is with the car’s interstate manners. I take a handful of significant road trips every year, and at freeway speeds on anything but pristine pavement (of the kind one does not often traverse on I-80), the ride gets jittery, and the tire noise is, well, tiresome.
I’m still running the stock 225/45R18 high-performance Toyos; based on the treadwear, I’ll be shopping for tires sometime in the next 12 months. I’m willing to trade some responsiveness for a little more comfort and quiet.
Would moving over to a grand touring tire like a Michelin Primacy be a reasonable option for me? Or would I just turn my noisy econohatch into a noisy econohatch with less-capable handling? (All-seasons are my only option — I live in northwest Ohio, and I don’t have anywhere to store a second set of tires.)
Follow-up question — are there some other reasonable steps I’m overlooking which might make this car a little less Celica and a little more Solara?
Thanks so much for your time — I’m a big fan of your columns!
You don’t like being in command of people’s careers as An Almighty HR Professional? I enjoy blackmailing certain super-cheaty racers as a judge in The 24 Hours of LeMons. You can do that too!
Just get the dirt on key executives, or middle managers hot-to-trot up the corporate ladder. Think about it: you could be bribing your way to a 2-car garage with ultra-plush Mercury Grand Marquis levels of comfort in a matter of months. After a year, LSX-FTW swap on both vehicles! Problem solved!
Oh that’s just lovely advice, you are such a wise man. No wonder everyone wants ME to answer their letters, even with YOUR mindless rantings in tow. My friends: listen to Sanjeev. Sanjeev knows Toyotas.
Sanjeev knows that your tires are old enough to need replacement, no matter their tread life. Their noise level is tiresome, quite common for worn-out high performance rubber. You can probably downsize to a Scion/Corolla 16 or 17″ wheel for maximum effect, maybe you’ll regret the lack of coolness in your cool Scion-branded Toyota. Why is Sanjeev right about this? Because he did a mere tire change after Sajeev failed in his choice for his mother’s Lexus GS430.
Sajeev put a “high performance” all season tire, they drove everyone nuts after 3 years. So Sanjeev wisely installed a less aggressive “touring” all season tire. Now everyone is happy. Because now it’s a proper V8-powered Lexus, with tires that will last longer, ride better (probably) and stay quieter. So, with Sanjeev’s blessings, switch to a more conservative all season tire!
Send your queries to email@example.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.
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Buy 16 inch steelies with Bridgestone blizzaks for the winter and put the tires in the closet or pay Belle tire. In the summer put on some nice Michelin summer tires and continue to enjoy your Scion
The OP lives in NW Ohio and I live in NE Indiana, which is pretty much same-same as far as snow and ice go: plenty. Unless you hibernate at home for the cold third of the year you should get 4-wheel snows on cheap rims. Figure out the storage issue — friends, family, U-store, under your bed, whatever — and just do it. Having dedicated snows frees you up to get the tires that work best for you the rest of the year.