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2002 Camry Tire Replacement

Good Evening, I have read the reviews and am still not clear as to what is the best tire for my 2002 Toyota Camry 4-CYL with 150,000 miles (still running good). I live in Maryland, where snow is light, ice is light and I drive over 80 miles a day to work and back home again.



I plan on buying the tires from Costco and here are my choices:



Michelin - Energy MXV4 S8 $150 per tire | No Mileage Warranty

Michelin - Pilot Exalto A/S $135 per tire | 45K Mileage Warranty

BFGoodrich - Traction T/A $92 per tire | 60K Mileage Warranty



The MXV4 frightens me since it carries no Mileage Warranty. So, it is a toss up between the Pilot Exalto and the Traction T/A.



Obviously, the cost and mileage difference goes to the Traction T/A tire, but is it a good tire? Should I instead still pay for the Pilot Exalto and risk the lower mileage?



Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Thank you!

I wonder, if the Traction T/A has a warranty of 60K, what have you to loose? They are suppose to last 60K and if not they would still be under warranty would they not?

I bought the BFGoodrich for my pick-up truck and they have been doing fine, which no problems. The kind of roads that I have to drive on where I live sometimes seems that we are ready for WWIII, the trenches are already made.

I had similar questions with my wife’s Subaru about a year ago. We went with Traction T/A, primarily due to cost. From what I read, the Pilot Exalto will hold the road better in nearly all conditions than the T/A. That said, our T/A’s have gone in a fairly large snow in Wisconsin, so I expect it would do fine in your part of MD.

Also look at tirerack.com reviews, consumers and their staff provide reviews of the tires they sell, and the reviews are insightful even if you don’t purchase from them.

As a rule I stay away from no mileage warranty tires, since it lets the manufacturer off the hook for anything except the most obvious manufacturing defects.

It depends on what characteristics are most important to you. Performance in dry weather? Comfortable ride? And so forth. Take a look at this side-by-side comparison:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/CompareTires.jsp?sortValue=1&filterType=all&resultsNumberSelected=Y&displayResults=10&compare=true&autoMake=Toyota&autoModel=Camry+LE&autoYear=2002&autoModClar=&vehicleSearch=true&compareList=25&RunFlat=All&goWhere=%2Ftires%2FCompare1.jsp&minLoad=S&loadRank=2&minSpeedRating=T&sortCode=38600&width=205%2F&ratio=65&diameter=15&speed_rating=T&speed_rating=U&speed_rating=H&speed_rating=V&speed_rating=Z&speed_rating=W&speed_rating=Y&speed_rating=(Y)&startIndex=20

Thank you for this feedback - I really appreciate it.

That road sounds like DC driving - potholes, etc. Thank you for the feedback.

The Pilot A/S and Traction T/A both seem like an odd coupling to a non-performing car. They both have performance intentions. Traction T/A’s are decent tires but they do get noisy with mileage so your ears may not take the full life. My experience and two other car owners I know too. The price is decent and they offer decent snow/ice traction but it sound like you don’t need it much.

Most respected jayhawkroy,

I live in MD (DC suburbs), and I spent a winter-and-a-half in Wisconsin (Madison). The cold WI snow is much easier to drive in than is the freezing slush and ice we get here (until the WI snow gets up to the axles!). The dusting we had last week turned to ice. Walking down the driveway was like the hockey team trainer going out to check the injured player.

We locals got peeved at the non-natives (notably, the new President) again chiding us for freaking out over a “little” snow. “People here don’t know how to drive in snow!” Of course not – they are all from somewhere else, like Buffalo, Chicago, Minneapolis… (Note also that all those cities are flat.)

Just a little venting. Thanks for your time. Now, back to your topic. :)>

Check out tirerack’s web site. You should find a number of owner reviews as well as a lot of other information. You might find some additional choices as well.

I have always wondered about mileage warranties.  They all seem far too low to me.  All the tires I have ever had greatly outlasted the warranties.

The BG Goodrich are good tires, as long as you maintain other aspects of your car (alignment, shocks/struts, etc.). If not, they don’t last well.

I’ve never driven the Pilots.

Realize the warranty is only a marketing item mostly. Basically if your tire lasts 50k of 60k AND proper rotations can be proved + does not appear to have damage from improper alignment. Then you get 17%(1/6) of the purchase price of tire only(excludes mounting) since you used 5/6 of its “life”. Most makers typically require you to get a replacement tire in their tire brand family.

You use the words “Mileage Warranty”. Are they really warranties or are they relative comparisons of expected mileage for the tires based on a standard? I believe they’re the latter. As others have noted, use those figures only as a guide.

I found the information on tirerack.com to be quite helpful to learn more about the tires I’m interested in buying.

Costco may have good prices on tires, but make sure you check out local independent tire dealers. They can get you any tire you want, their prices often beat the Costco/Tireracks of the world, and they have great service - especially if something goes wrong with the tire.

Twinmom is correct about fearing the MXV4 (with no treadwear warranty). A friend of mine had these on his Honda, and they wore out in ~30k, despite proper inflation and alignments as necessary. When they were ready for replacement–against my advice–he bought another set of MXV4s, with the same poor result in terms of tread life.

I can tell you from personal experience that the Traction T/A is a good value for the money. My set of these tires will be ready for replacement in the spring, when I take off my winter tires, and I estimate that the Traction T/As will have gone about 50,000 miles by then.

The BF Goodrich Traction T/A is no more noisy than the car’s original tires (the ridiculous Bridgestone Potenza RE-92) were, and they have dry road, wet road, and winter road traction far superior to those Bridgestones. The only area where I might criticize the Traction T/As is in ride quality. I believe that the Bridgestones did ride a bit better than the Traction T/As, but other than ride, I cannot criticize anything about the Traction T/A tire.

Joe, this is a real, written BFG/Michelin mileage warranty, whether the tires come from Costco, Sears, or Walmart. I agree you should price around a variety of dealers before deciding, but the check I made yesterday indicates that Costco beat everyone else in my metro area by $10 or so a tire. I couldn’t find anyone cheaper, and my experience with Costco tire service has been very good.

Art, I can understand your pain and point. I spent quite a bit of time in DC, on business trips, in winter there. I got caught in the great Springfield mixing bowl disaster last year, and I don’t think that was even ice. For ice, studded tires and chains are all that work well, and most folks choose not to use them, so I try to stay off the roads.

The best ice show is the Dallas car skating that occurs when they get some ice, beating out DC for entertainment value, though!

I understand your clarification on the mileage warranty, but I still respectly disagree.

I originally thought you were referring to the tire “UTQG Treadwear” rating. I see now you meant the warranty from the tire manufacturer. The latter is primarily a marketing tool which is very difficult to collect on, and worded to make sure you never collect any amount of money worth your time to pursue.

Tirerack.com has a good article on these marketing warranties, and it describes how difficult it is for a consumer to actually collect on them.

Ill assume you were looking at tires at Costco cause all they carry is Michelin and BFG. I work at a Costco tire shop in the midwest. First thing is DON’T BUY THE TRACTION T/A. They are the worst tire you can get, they are cheap for a reason. I call them high maintainence. If you alignment is just a little off or run them under recommended air pressure they are toast. The exalto is a very good tire for bad weather conditions Ive tested them on a wet track at the Michelin plant in Greenville SC. An alternative to the Enery S8 is the Primacy MXV4 they come with a 60k millage warranty. Im not sure of your tire size but im pretty sure you can get the Primacys in your size at about the same cost.

The problem is the mileage warranty covers “normal” wearing tires. If the tire wear in an unusual pattern IE. both shoulders wearing or 1 shoulder wearing or if the rotations are speratic the warranty wont hold up

30k a set? That’s not terrible. I use BFG g-Force KDW2’s and I’m lucky to get 25k out of a set. At $800 a set they aren’t cheap, however their grip is outstanding and worth the tradeoffs IMO.