Getting a Smooth Ride!

Time for new tires on a 2000 Corolla with 184K miles. What can I do to insure I get a relatively vibration free, smooth ride. Something I haven’t had for a while.

At 184k miles the entire front suspension should be inspected. This includes ball joints, tie rods, tie rod ends, and struts; although determining whether a strut is good or bad can be very difficult at times unless it’s just flat gone.

Borderline struts are often a guess and may require disassembly of the strut to determine this. At that point it’s replacement time as it makes no sense to reassemble a used part.

In addition to ok4450’s suggestions, purchase quality tires, have them mounted and balanced by a reputable tire shop, and make sure the wheel alignment is correct.

If you still have the original struts/shocks at 184k miles, I’d get new ones, if you plan to keep the car for a while. They deteriorate slowly over time, so you may not realize the shape they’re in.

I’ve had balancing problems with cheap Korean made tires. I have never had a vibration problem with Michelin tires and have purchased 5 sets by now.

As others point out, have the suspension gone over by a good shop, and buy Michelins at Costco who will do free balancing and free lifetime rotation.

Your Corolla deserves a good pair of shoes!

Check out Goodyear Comfortred or Tripletred tires. Not cheap but smooth, quiet, and 80,000 mile warranty.

Thanks guys for the quick responses. I plan to keep the car till the wheels fall off so I guess I’ll look into replacing the struts and having everything checked out. Thanks again.

Our Goodyear Comfortread and Tripletred tires didn’t last anywhere close to that long. I just replaced then with Yokohama Avid Touring tires. They ride nicely and are quiet. I replaced the tires on another car over a year ago with these tires and they have been a good fit for that car, too. I might put them on my Honda in a few months.

Did you get money back from the 80,000 mile warranty then?

The “wear rating” is based on a laboratory test where the tire is put on a stationary machine and rotated against a “road surface” for a given number of miles. In real life, of course, tires STEER, hit bad bumps, and scrape curbs.

My Michelin Xs have a wear rating of 90,000 miles. The actual mileage I achieved has been about 70,000. Good enough to buy a second set.

The wear rating is a good comparison shopping tool. Performance tires with softer rubber usually have a wear rating of no more than 40,000 miles.

P.S. The warranty on a tire is not for wearout so much as for cord breaking, sidewall spitting, or belts separating. The replacement is normally pro-rated, so you don’t get much back as the tire wears out.

Road hazard warranty is not pro-rated and is like insurance; if the tire is destroyed somehow, you get another one free.

I picked up a set of Yokohama Avid Touring S tires for my wife’s 06 Sienna. Quiet, smooth ride, and reasonably priced.

Ed B.

Try to find struts that come with a lifetime warranty of some kind. and both have good consumer feedback sections for tires.