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5124Re: New and Old Tires Review

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  • Todd Martin
    Apr 3, 2009
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      Hi Joshua,

      Let me give you an update.

      The original tire installer (Discount Tires) inflated the Sumitomo's to 32psi and I had poor efficiency numbers. In February, I increased the tire pressure to the maximum recommended on the tire sidewall: 55psi. This made a BIG difference, and I now have efficiency numbers just as good as my former completely bald (with steel belt showing) Dunlops.

      Regarding the tire sizes, I did not have any problems in switching from P155/80 R13 to P175/70 R13. The original rims worked just fine.

      I drove the car in Chicago area winter (February on) with the Sumitomo's at 55psi without any complaints. Yes, I did get stuck in the driveway once with 6 inches of snow. I won't blame the tires on that though.

      I like the new tires and now recommend them.

      Best regards,
      Todd Martin
      '97 Force
      Elgin, IL

      --- In solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com, "Joshua Goldstein" <jg@...> wrote:
      > Thanks to Todd for his tire info. I have some other tire questions. My '99
      > Force has worn through its tires way too quickly (from overinflating?
      > misalignment?) and I'm looking for replacements. (We do almost all
      > around-town and country-road driving.) The originals were P155/80 R13's but
      > people on this list seem to have been replacing those with P175/70 R13's.
      > Does anyone think that's a good/bad idea? (There aren't that many P155/80's
      > out there.)
      > Also, the Sumitomos that Todd and others have bought are summer tires and
      > I live in New England so does anyone have an idea for an all-weather tire?
      > Presumably that would increase rolling resistance but then again it's nice
      > not to go sliding into snow banks as happened this winter (no harm done this
      > time).
      > This leads to the more philosophical question -- how to reduce rolling
      > resistance other than overinflating the tires or having them get bald (both
      > of which reduce control). Someone posted a link to the Consumer Reports
      > article on rolling resistance, but the recommended tires were all R14 and
      > up.
      > Wondering how others have dealt with these tire issues...
      > Joshua Goldstein
      > '99 Force
      > Amherst, MA
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Todd Martin" <larsthelean@...>
      > To: <solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2009 5:44 PM
      > Subject: [solectria_ev] New and Old Tires Review
      > > In April 2006, I bought my 1997 Solectria Force with 9500 miles on it.
      > > It came with Dunlop SP40 A/S tires (P155/80 R13 79S). The previous
      > > owner explained that the original Force tires had died of old age (tire
      > > rot). I kept the tire pressure at 44psi instead of the recommended
      > > 35psi for better rolling efficiency. Over 2 years and 8 months, and
      > > 21000 miles, the Dunlop tires wore down to the steel belt. My
      > > efficiency numbers had gradually improved with the very smooth tires
      > > gliding down the road.
      > >
      > > In December 2008, I bought Sumitomo HTR200 tires (P175/70 R13 82H)
      > > which fit on the same original rims, even though the tires are a
      > > slightly different size. Discount Tire charged me $85.56 to install
      > > the tires with "computer spin balance" and I paid $43.40 per tire
      > > ($231.90 total including shipping etc) from www.tires-easy.com. Total
      > > expense was $317.46 I chose these tires since they were recommended by
      > > the Green Seal report for low rolling resistance.
      > >
      > > So far, my efficiency has been pretty poor, with a loss of 15-20%.
      > > Some of this is because Discount Tires inflated my new tires to 32psi,
      > > and I haven't increased that yet (it's been cold outside). A lot of
      > > this is because these are new tires instead of bald tires.
      > >
      > > Todd Martin
      > > '97 Force
      > > Elgin IL
      > >
      > >
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