Right now I've winter tires (Bridgestone) on my GLS 5 speed auto.
But in another 3 or 4 weeks have got to get a new set of premium tires for
spring summer autumn.
I checked into the nearest Costco and they claim my car requires V rated
tires and Costco WILL not install anything but recommended.
But I'm used to paying T rated on my mid-size family cars. Therefore can
anyone help me figure out what the advantages or disadvantages are to
installing, H, V, or T rated tires on my car? My GM's and Chryslers of
past I've always purchased T rated Yokohama or Michelins. V rated tires are
$40 per tire more around these parts. Manual says nothing but a Hyundai
part number and the sicker on the door says nothing about V rated. My
winter tires are currently t rated. The tires I got with the car were H
rated but I bought it used from a rental company.
My car drives 80% hiway, 20% urban. I want good braking, quieting,
steering handling and long life. I drive 100 km a day (60 miles). I'm
not interested in my tires getting fuel economy or silliness like that. I
have shares in a big oil company so don't want any eco options in my tires.
I don't mind settling for H rated pricing but why V??
Anyone have any thoughts?
I went to tirerack.com and they mostly recommend V rated for my Sonata also,
but there were a few H rated. The originals are V rated. I don't know if
it would be different on the other models, mine is a V-6 Limited and capable
of 140 mph.
If you have V now, my guess is Costco is taking no chances with anything
less. I'll stick with V rated myself when it comes time, probably in the
fall. While I never travel any long distance at 100+ mph, I want something
I can trust under me when I do. As for price, some of the H were more
expensnive than the V. Quite a variation.
I looked for some opinions about them and found this:
Since we are on the subject of speed rating, let's discuss those briefly, as
well. First, speed ratings are no longer called speed ratings. How they get
tested still remains the same, but there was so much negative feedback from
consumers about speed ratings and what they represented, they are now called
performance ratings. See, a car equipped with a V-rated tire will stop,
handle and steer better than a car not equipped with performance tires, even
at regular driving speeds. By changing a cars performance rated tires to a
lower, (or high) will dramatically alter the way the car drives and feels.
The average sedan owner might not think he "needs" performance tires, but he
does, even at regular driving speeds. High speed driving or racing has
nothing to do with it.
The truth is we are all performance drivers. Everyone benefits from
performance tires. They are safer, stop better, react quicker, steer better
and stand less of a chance blowing out on the highway. They react and work
much better with modern ABS systems and today's sensitive steering and
H-rated tires are rated for a maximum speed of 130 mph. The V rating is the
next rating faster, and V-rated tires are good to 149 mph. Both H- and
V-rated tires are considered to be performance-touring tires.
To support running at higher speeds, V-rated tires will have a stiffer
sidewall and slightly firmer ride than H-rated tires. For normal driving
conditions the H-rated tire will provide a more comfortable ride and the
V-rated should give slightly better handling.
While I cannot confirm everything Ed says, it sounds plausible. On
the other hand, I've been told so many untruths or lies by people
purporting to know about tires, it's ridiculous. To my knowledge, the
"speed" ratings still mean what they've always meant.
First, the tire/load label on your car indeed says nothing about speed
ratings. So there's no particular reason it's necessary for you to
meet a particular standard on this. I use this reference
frequently to review load ratings to be sure any tires I install will
be safe on the car they're being installed on. But it also has speed
I was told by a tire industry representative that we could only
install the rating of tire (or better) with which the car was
equipped, meaning that if the car were equipped with H-rated tires, we
could only install H, V, W, or Y -rated tires. My question at this
point was of course: Let's say we install V-rated tires on this car.
Is it now inappropriate to install H-rated tires even though it was
okay before? Indeed, this is basically what they were telling me. I
divined from this that the industry was basically interested in
selling more expensive tires. So far, I've found no actual guidelines
based on vehicle weight or any other factor that define in any sort of
way what type of tires should be put on a car.
As far as what's safe for your car, unless you're traveling at
sustained speeds of 112MPH or more, I have no reason to believe that
any tire you'd install with a speed rating of at least S should be
inherently unsafe (unless its load rating is so low as to not be more
than the front GAWR divided by two).
You're the best judge of how you drive your car. Use that in your
judgment of what you should buy.
It seems that we have entered an age in which the large tire
chains (and I'll include Costco) have gotten insane about litigation.
And now, a tire story:
My 2000 Sonata has its stock Michelin tires, which I assume were
replaced at least once before I owned the car. Having a minor
leak at the rim, I took the car into Big O for a repair ($20) and
went for a long walk. On my return, the car was still sitting there.
"We aren't allowed to repair your tire because it is expired."
"What do you mean 'expired.'"
"Your tire is more than five years old. We are not allowed to
repair it. Your tire is expired."
"What do you mean 'We are not allowed?' Who sets this policy: the
government or your lawyers?"
"It's company policy."
"I bought the tire a little over a year ago. How can you tell me
that it's expired? I've been driving on Michelins for most of my
life. None of them have ever died before."
"I'm not allowed to repair it. It's expired."
"That's horseshit! Give me my keys."
I then took the car to a small independent tire shop who has
repaired a tire once before for me: straightforward, ethical.
"How much do I owe you."
"That'll be $10. We usually charge $20, but I only had to break
one bead instead of two, so it's half price for you."
Soon after I bought the car, I took it into a different chain
tire shop to have the tires rotates and balanced. The workers did
the work at such a furious pace that I was almost frightened.
Later, when I wanted an alignment, after that experience, I took
the car to a fine body shop that I'd been involved with earlier,
where I watched the tech work slowly, carefully, and diligently.
And I had reason to believe that their machine was properly
A long time ago, the State went around and tested all the
alignment shops in the Bay Area. They didn't find a single
alignment machine that was in alignment.
There can come a time when getting the absolute best price on the
front end doesn't make sense any more. I think that this time may
have come. This independent shop cannot give me a great deal on
Michelins. But he can sell a competing brand at a decent price.
And the personal relationship will matter.
If my tires are wearing properly, I won't have it aligned "just because".
My Buick is wearing very even and has 127,000 miles, my last Sonata was the
same with 67000, this one is still good at 27000. I'm afraid they can do
more harm than good in the wrong shop.
That they'll only install the expensive tires probably means that you
have the V-6. You and I probably won't ever be going over 100+ MPH but
that policy seems sound to me. Your best bet is to have a friend in the
tire business that's willing to wager you're not ever going to go really
really fast on these tires and is game for installing the tires of your
choice. I'm in the same boat and I figure that it's going to cost me a
couple of hundred per for these low profile, V rated tires. Ah sucks,
all I wanted was just a nice family car.
My guess is that it's likely the these high performance tires won't last
that long since they're probably made of a softer compound. As an added
bonus, these tires are of a lighter construction to allow for faster
heat dissipation i.e., won't last that long. Well that's what I reckon
I'll probably have to install tires at Costco or Sam's Club so I'd be
interested in how your "quest for tire" pans out.
Costco won't sell you less than v because they don't want you to come
back and sue them if they put on a lower speed tire and you have a
blowout due to your cruising at a higher speed then the tire you have
installed is rated for. In other words, they are covering their ass.
Go talk to an independent tire shop and see what they say.
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