'02 Impala 3.4L 196.5k: Need (4) Tires



'02 Impala 3.4L 196.5k: Need (4) Tires

Tire size is 225/60 R16. Originally came with Uniroyals from the factory brand new (Jun 2002). Here’s the car’s tire history:

1.) @70k miles (Dec 2005), (4) GoodYear Viva II’s (from Wal-Mart). Crappy tires. Won’t buy them again.

2.) @121k miles (Jun 2009), (4) BF Goodrich Advantage TA 98H. Good tires, I think.

3.) @172k miles (Aug 2013) and 176k miles (Dec 2013) (2)+(2) Douglas tires from Wal-Mart. Went cheap here.

Well, now the Douglas tires are rumbling up front. No side-to-side pulling, just up and down. My son started driving in 2014 and before that the car drove smooth as glass. He apparently hit a few curbs. Rotated front tires to back and it’s better, but still not right. Tires need to go. Still need to verify joints underneath, too, although there’s no clunking or looseness to indicate any problem there. I think it’s just the tires.

So car is in good shape, no accident history. What price point and brand would you recommend for a 14.5 year-old vehicle about to roll over 200k miles? This would primarily be a tire purchase, but I’d love to pick up a set of (4) OEM tires with wheels that someone took off a new vehicle (to upsize to something custom). Did that with my 2011 Equinox (purchasing a set of 17" OEM Michelin tires/wheels off a brand new 2015 Equinox to replace my OEM 18’s), and it worked out really well ! Was going to cost me $900+ for (4) 18" Michelin Latitude replacement tires, so for $700 I got (4) 17" Latitudes with OEM rims, sensors, and lug nuts to boot !

Does anybody know which current factory OEM rims would fit on my Impala. Pretty sure the current Impala rims are a different size and wouldn’t fit. I tried mounting my 17" Equinox tires/wheels on my Impala (figuring I’d buy new 18’s for the Equinox), but the studs - although they lined up - did not pass through the very centers of the mounting holes, and the rims jammed on the studs before fully seating.


Why would you want to change to a larger wheel size? That only increases the chance of damage from potholes or hitting a curb. And add to the cost of the tires.

Specially for a car that old.



Sorry if I misled. No - I’m not looking to change to a larger wheel size. I just happened to have that extra set of 17" tires/wheels for my Equinox and thought if they did also fit the Impala, then I would use them there and buy a new set of 18" tires for my OEM 18" Nox rims (the size that vehicle came with from the factory). The 17" tires now have about 10,000 miles on them - still good enough for the Impala, which is primarily an in-town car (12,000 miles per year).

But the 17’s didn’t fit the Impala, so that’s not an option.

I’m either buying (4) new tires for the Impala from a tire shop, or I’m finding a set of tires & wheels on Ebay or Craigslist (or a dealer) that are brand new for about the price of the tires alone (like I did with the Nox).

Why would I do this? The Impala has the standard steel wheels and hubcaps. A set of aluminum wheels would be a cosmetic upgrade for no real cost to me. Plus, I’d still have the steel wheels as spares in the winter if I move back north. I’m currently in the Southeast.


Your current tires only have 24k on them. Are you replacing them just because of vibration? The vibration might be as simple as re-balancing them. Or might be worn suspension/steering part.


You want to put alloy wheels and new tires on a car your son will probably destroy sooner or later. I doubt that the current tires are your problem. Maybe a bent wheel or just balancing will solve the vibration. Also by the time you might move back north this car may be history.


I was thinking “possible bent rim” also, based on the statement

I’d start by having the rims checked. I’d choose a shop that has a “road force balancer”, 'cause if they’re all true and unbent you may want to have road force balancing done. That can detect internal tire damage that a lesser balancing machine cannot.

Re: new tires; I always found BF Goodys to be great tires, but when I originally bought my current car I couldn’t get them in the necessary size. I’ve also been happy with Hankooks, but they wear out fast. It should be noted, however, that I use a high performance tire, and V and Z speed rating tires aren’t known for longevity.
www.tirerack.com and www.1010tires.com both have good rating and consumer feedback features. I recommend a visit.


Take a look at Kumho’s. They are good tires with decent mileage out of them.



Yeah, I know they only have 24k on them. They’re cheap tires. I’m replacing them because they look pretty worn out AND there’s a rumble up front (which lessened when I rotated the wheels front to back). I know I also have to check out the front-end, but regardless - the tires are shot.


No, I don’t want to put alloys on the car, I just said I’d welcome them if I could find a private sale from one of those people who like to blow all kinds of money “upgrading” their wheels (LOL!). As for the son, I shipped him out, so he won’t be driving this car anytime soon. And I really don’t think it’s a bent rim … it’s not that bad. You might be right about the car being history before I move back north, though - I’ve been down here “temporarily” since 1998 !!


“Road Force Balancing” sounds like something that wouldn’t be available around here, but I’ll check into it. As for replacement tires, I think I might very well go back to BF Goodrich. I like the shop that installed them, too. Good reputation, seemed to run a neat outfit. Think I paid $405 for that set, IIRC.


Thanks! I will now.


I consider Kumhos to be very average tires

Not outstanding in any way, at least the price isn’t high

I wouldn’t put them on a car I was planning to drive personally for several more years

However, I would theoretically consider putting them on a car I was planning to sell shortly


monkarl, db4690:

Do you guys remember which Kumho tires you (or someone you know) installed? Every line has their low end, right?


If you want to buy take-offs from another car, all the info you need is right here;

This site tells you the wheel size, diameter and width, the offset and the PCD or bolt pattern, the center bore and the correct tire size. You can check wheels from some other car so see if they fit by looking up that car and comparing for a match.

Later model Impala (2014 up) wheels have a different offset, center bore and bolt pattern 2013’s are close, the offset is a little bit different.



Thanks for that interesting link!

Punching in my rim numbers: 6.5" width, 16" diameter, 52 mm offset, 5x115 mm bolt pattern, M12x1.5mm thread size, and 70.3mm bore diameter, it shows only very old models matching (mostly 2000-2005 model years, but also a 2010 Buick in there).

But then if you select “Impala Limited” instead of just “Impala”, you can find the near match you’re referring to (with just the very tiny offset difference), all the way up to the 2017 model year! The difference between a 46 vs 52 mm offset is only 0.2 inches. Wonder if that really matters?

Also wonder if that information is correct, or if there are other models using the matching rim size? I’ll have to play around with it. Hard to believe only GM models use these rim specs.

Again, I’m not necessarily looking for new rims, but if the local dealer said - “hey, I’ve got these brand new factory rims/tires off a customer’s Chevy Cruze (for example). He wanted custom rims and tires on his new car ,”, then I would consider buying them if the price made sense relative to a new set of tires only.


Just my opinion but I’d forget buying tires at Walmart. Even the name brand ones are not the same as those you’d get at a tire store. I needed some cheap tires and got some from the local Goodyear dealer. They actually were very good. Good snow traction, quiet, etc. I never was able to figure out where they came from but the tire store had the options.


Small differences in offset are inconsequential on anything but the biggest wheel and tire combinations. 6 mm won’t affect anything. Most custom wheels vary this much. 12mm is pushing things a bit.

Keep in mind the center hole can be larger than yours if everything else is OK. I prefer the holes match up so it centers the wheel on the hub rather than the wheel studs.



Yeah, I kind of came to the same conclusion when I bought the BF Goodrich’s. The set before came from Wal-Mart (Goodyear Viva II’s), and I never liked them. Seemed like hard tires with bad tread design that never wore very well. Also wondered if maybe the tech either didn’t install them properly, or his equipment (or understanding of it) was lacking. What made me go there in the first place was price, of course, but also the feeling that I couldn’t possibly get an “old” tire since Wal-Mart must turn tires over like nobody else.


Where exactly is this “offset” measurement? It’s only 2", but where? I was thinking it was the depth from the backside of the lip of the rim to the flat surface that contacts the face of the hub, but that’s WAY MORE than 2".

Is it the clearance between the inside curved surface of the rim to the closest brake component?

Is it the distance from the front edge of the rim to the inside edge of the fender? And if it went beyond the fender that would be a negative offset?


Tire goes on and holds air so it is installed correctly and will not effect ride, traction or wear.
Mr. Colt you are really making this tire purchase difficult.


Perhaps the position of the white walls were mixed.


That is known as “backspace”

Offset is the distance from the mounting face of the wheel to the wheel centerline. Positive means outboard from the centerline and negative is inboard. If you measure from the inboard rim edge to mounting face and again from the outer rim edge and subtract outer from inner that gives the offset. So a positive 52mm means the mounting face is about 2 inches to the outside of the wheel.

Some wheel sellers list backspace because the strut or the inner wheel panel is the closest to hitting the tire and wider wheels often have more backspace or less positive offset to avoid that contact.


Does Goodyear also make cheaper tires, which it sells under a different name . . . ?


Goodyear makes a tire called “Viva” that is only sold through Walmart. If I were Goodyear I’d be embarrassed to have my name on that tire. They’re also selling tires called “Wrangler” that appear to have the old Wrangler tread design from the 80’s. The Douglas tires they sell are also in that league, what we in the industry call the “used car lot” line of products. You know, the lowest price available, with quality to match.