Goodyear Aquatread, the best tires ever made!

I loved Goodyear Aquatreads, in my opinion they were the best tires ever made. I cruised down rain soaked highways at speeds suited for dry roads without the slightest hydroplaning, I cruised dry roads with unsurpassed grip and comfort.

Yes despite all this the most magnificent tires ever made were discontinued almost 20 years ago. Yes we perfected the tire and it was subsequently killed off. Long wearing, great performance, wet or dry, and good looks. Lets discontinue them!

Please share your memories of the most wonderful tires ever made, did you have a set?

I don’t remember which line I always bought, I think vector or something, but one year I got 110.000 on them when I replaced them. Good all weather tire. My last two sets replacing Michelins on my acuras, have been the gy
weather ready. Great tire in snow and rain and quit. $1400 or so for a set though.

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I have a different opinion of the most wonderful tire ever made. I worked out of the Buffalo terminal of a Canadian trucking company that had a deliberate policy of overloading the rigs. They bought Michelin radial tires in size 11:00 x22 when the standard tractor trailer tire was 10:00 x 20.

Our equipment was so heavy that the heaviest legal load we could carry was between 40,000 and 42,000 pounds.

I started there in the middle 1960s and in the first year I saw 5 loads leave the terminal with over 100,000 pounds. I am not saying that was all the loads they sent like that, just the ones I had personal knowledge of.

We broke the scale at the peace bridge with a trailer that had 143000 pounds on it. They would not let us across the bridge with that load. They were not concerned about the legality, but we exceeded the single span design weight of the bridge.

We had very few tire failures compared to other trucking companies and those tires had great winter traction.

I once was caught by a NY state police scale car when I as driving a single axle city tractor and had over 80,000 pounds on the tandem trailer. He spent several hours trying to weigh me but the first time he weighed me I pointed out to the trooper that the inside tires on my tractor were still on the ground so the weigh was not legal. He put a set of blocks under the scale and a wood ramp to get up om the scale. inside tire still on the ground. He tried twos sets of blocks and my tractor could not climb the ramp.

The trooper then thought my tires must be soft (they were not) and pulled me into a gas station on Sheridan drive and tried to forcr more air into my tires. The compressor could not do it and all the overloaded dump trucks were running up and down Sheridan drive grinning at the trooper. He finally let me go.

Those were great tires.

In the late 70s, Goodyear convinced the owners that they could provide as good a tire at a lower price. They equipped some of our rigs with their tires and had technicians at our larger terminals taking tire temps when they arrived. The trial was cit short when the Goodyears started failing.

We used the Michelin radials on everything but the steering axles. Those had bias ply tires. No power steering on our road tractors and you would not have been able to turn the wheel with radials.

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I strongly suspect that today’s tires are better. Tire technology is continually improving. Perhaps CapriRacer will be along to give an informed opinion here.

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I had the michelin LTX/ms on my trailblazer excellent, but no longer made, long trail TA not so happy with but adequate. Michelin defenders were fine. Acadia Bridgestone dueler solid as a rock on the Acadia, Michelin Latitude on the Rav4 I have experienced hydroplane. Car weight may factor in. Both Acadia and Rav4 factory equipped tires.

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Can you please explain this??? I don’t understand why radial tires would be a problem on the steering axle in the absence of power steering. (Time to add further to my education here, please. :slightly_smiling_face:)

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Goodyear Assurance is a better tire, get a set for your tractor trailer.

Every tire I have owned, with the exception of some cheap “off-brand” tires that came on newly-purchased used cars, has performed well for me. The only really bad tires I have ever had were Chinese-made Powertread tires that came on my Daewoo Lanos. They were not original equipment, being that the car was 17 years old at the time, and were most likely installed by the previous owner in anticipation of selling the car. Even though the tires looked nearly new, the handling and traction was poor enough that I got rid of them after owning the car for less than 2 months. I replaced them with Ohtsu tires from Discount Tire, and so far they have been great.

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Radials have significantly more “grip” than Bias Ply tires.
Great overall and not a significant issue on smaller vehicles or if the tires are rolling but if you’re trying to steer while stationary in a heavy vehicle w/o power steering (say lining up to a tight loading dock) it’s going to take some muscle.

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GY assurance are loudest whining tires I’ve ever had. Love to sell them to some rube.

The absolute best tires I ever owned were the OEM Michelin-X tires on my '74 Volvo. They rode well, gave good grip in all weather conditions, and–what amazed me the most at the time–was that there was no side-to-side wandering on metal bridge grating, as I had experienced with all of my previous (bias ply) tires.

The rest of the car was a complete POS, but when I dumped that lemon at ~77k miles, the Michelins still had an incredible amount of tread left. I estimated that they were probably good for 100k miles.

I’ve owned many Goodyear tires over the years. Never had good luck with them. I was lucky to get 30k miles out of any set I bought. The Coopers or Michelins easily lasted twice as long.

Me thinks your memory is making them better then they actually were . Yes , great for the period but tires have evolved that even lower priced tires can give excellent service .

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I became a fan of the Goodrich All Terrain T/A design when I first had them installed on my truck more than 20 years ago. They still make them today in the same design so that says something about standing the test of time. They had superior traction in slippery conditions. I used to plow with them in 2 wheel drive. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a set if I still had a pickup truck to put them on.

I also prefer the Yokohama Geolander and Avid series tires on the vehicles I have today. Been using AVIDs for at least 15 years and the Geolanders for almost as long.

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The original Aquatred was 30 years ago. There have been 2 more versions marketed later.

I was working for a competitor when the 1st version came out. We tested it and found that if you reversed the direction of this directional tire, you lost 10% - meaning it was only better than a non-directional tire by 5% - a level that only a trained driver could feel and take advantage of.

It was also this 1st version that made me realize Goodyear’s marketing technique. Every February they introduced something and hyped the heck out of it - particularly during the Daytona 500! . The Aquatred was a tire that no one really asked for, but it was so different it really stood out.

The reason I said no one asked for this tire is that wet traction wasn’t the highest priority to the average consumer when it came to all season tires - it was wear!

It turned out the tire had issues. While it did deliver good wet traction, it suffered from wear issues and had susceptibility to irregular wear. Subsequent versions tried to address those issues, but by then the name had been tarnished.

Between then and now, lots of research has been done and irregular wear in particular is better understood. If the original Aquatred was designed today, it would be better in almost every aspect.


I have driven on a lot of tire brands and styles. Never Aquatreads. I did have 3 sets of Firestone Destination LEs on my Avalanche. Best all around tire for that vehicle I’ve used. 50k out of each set. Good on dry, rain, snow and they rode pretty well.

I’ve had others I liked… the BFG Trail T/As on my 2wd Suburban. Darn fine off road and snow tire yet quiet on the road. Sold the Subby before I wore them out.

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Thank you, Beancounter, for the explanation. :+1:

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I have OE Goodyear Assurance all season radials on my 2017 Accord. There is still lots of tread left at 50,000 miles and I have no problems at 70 on wet roads. They are noisy though. When I get new tires I’ll get grand touring tires that are top rated in tire tests and with a low noise rating. At this point I could easily go well into 2024 (7 years) without replacing them.

Dunlap Radial Rovers on my 1994 Jeep Cherokee Country (all wheel drive four wheel drive and anti-lock brakes). The Dunlap tires went on after the OEMs wore (out at 30,000 miles). The Dunlap tires were early mud and snow rated all weather tires suitable for off road and higher loads, like heavy trailer towing. They were a little louder, but traction on dry, wet and snow was fantastic. They were not cheap. They lasted 60,000 miles and when the Jeep had 90,000 miles, another set went on. When I went to replace the tires at 150,000, they were no longer made.

Have you ever thought of starting your own podcast called “Those Were the Good Old Days” where you just reminisce about how wonderful things were 30, 40, 50 years ago?

Goodyear made a sister tire to the Aquatred called the Intrepid. I sold a ton of those tires, they were great in the rainy Pacific Northwest. They rode smooth and quiet, did quite well in the rain, and you were lucky to get 35,000 miles out of them. I believe I put a set on the Taurus my wife drove at the time. Too bad they quit making them.

I have no love lost for Michelin tires. I have never been happy with a set. Earlier this year I put a set of Goodyear Assurance on my wife’s car to replace the Michelins it came with. They were smooth as a playground ball at 42,000 miles. The Goodyears will last longer.

But as far as the most wonderful tires ever made? My vote is for Goodyear Custom Polysteel Radial.