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Our Prius is hard on tires

Hey guys,

We own a 2006 Prius with 88,000 (or there abouts) miles on it. Firstly we live in Midcoast Maine and drive the car a lot (not city, not highway). The gas mileage is great (49 in the Summer, 46 in winter), no ccontrol isssues in Snow or Ice, but it is hard on tires. We are on our fourth set. The first lasted just shy of 25,000 and Toyota split the cost of the next set as the car was under 30,000 warranty. The second set lasted around 25,000 as well. The third set lasted around 38,000 but were much more expensive and worn down so far by the end that we really should have replaced them 5,000 miles earlier. The set on the car at the moment are winter tires (trying something new) which will be removed in the spring.

So two questions:

1. Is this kind of wear on Prius tires normal?

2. If it is, any recommendations as to brand and cost that might extend the life of the tires?

We rotate every 5,000 miles when we get the car serviced so wear is even.

I remain in awe of your so often spot on advice and await your sage council! :slight_smile:

Chris from Maine

Prii are really hard on tires because they weigh a lot more than a regular economy car, but still have the economy car type tires. They also come with low-rolling resistance tires which are designed to give somewhat better fuel economy, but they also wear down a lot faster.

For a recommendation, just try to find a tire with a high treadlife rating. has some pretty good tire reviews as well and you can search by make and model and find tires that other Prius drivers have rated highly.

Also one note about rotations is you have to make sure the rotations are being done in the way that the owner’s manual prescribes. A lot of shops, especially quick lubes and chain tire dealers, will just move the tires front-to-back and back-to-front leaving the tires on the same side of the car on every car so they don’t have to actually figure out what the correct rotation pattern is.

well, to be fair, there are a lot of directional tires out there. So them doing back to front to back is probably a good idea since you don’t want a right side tire only on the driver’s side

Besides getting the wheel alignment checked, consider the types of roads you drive on, and your actual (NOT, the posted) speeds. Newer road surfaces will wear tires quicker; as will high speed travel.

PS, English, including American English, plurals are formed by adding s or es to the end of the word. Latin is pluralized differently. (Don’t get confused by the few exceptions, such as: men, women, children, sheep, etc.).

manual says front to back only…no cross rotation. Has alignment been checked? OEM Goodyear Integrities are not known to have good treadware. Many owners have replaced them at around 25k. I did at 24k.

With The Low Price Of Gas And High Cost For Excessive Tire Replacement, Maybe A Conversion To Just Gas Is Feasible.

Is it possible to have all those batteries removed and just run on gas? I have not read of this, but as these kinds of cars age and need batteries replaced, I’m relatively sure conversions will be common place. Mileage and tire wear should improve with excess weight eliminated.

Thanks for the comment about speed and alignment. I generally drive around 55 as we live on back roads and the alignment has been checked. As the wear is even ( including the rear tires) I have to come to the conclusion that that is not the problem.
PS. Although I noticed some typos in my post, I didn’t come here for grammar lessons and am perfectly capable of correcting my own pluralisation. Indeed, and grammatical mistakes, including the use of the previous ‘s’ in ‘pluralisation’, or the over use of the comma, may well be deliberate on my part just to annoy people. I came here for car advise; if I want English advise (or American advise, because this version of the English language is about as far removed from English as you can be without it being a second language), I will post on and Education board or ask my sons teacher.
Many thanks.

Or, you might want to ask your son’s teacher for advice.


Mr. Or Ms. Brinnercw, I believe That Hello Kit Was Making Reference To Greasy Jack’s …

… use of the word Prii. Also, Greasy Jack may have done this in jest. This stuff goes on here, frequently. He may actually be a linguist and I am convinced that you have control over both our written and spoken language.

I apologize to Hello Kit and Greasy Jack both, if I am butting in where I don’t belong.

This costly premature tire wear-out issue is no laughing matter. It tends to negate the reason for buying one of these little “Green” machines. Both one’s personal economy and the Earth’s environment are negatively impacted by the additional manufacturing and consumption of all these tires. I understand your embarrassing predicament and you have my sympathy. This issue may eventually get worked out as did the erroneous MPG reporting for these vehicles in the beginning. If I can be of any more assistance, please let me know!

It sounds to me like either someone is driving the car hard (like a teenager) or someone is overinflating the tires (like a hypermiler). I could be wrong, but if you overinflate tires by about 5 PSI, you might not see a wear pattern that indicates overinflation, but the tires might suffer anyway.

When you say you drive the car a lot “not city, not highway,” I ask myself “what else is there?” Are you driving on dirt roads? That would explain at least some of it.

And you really think gas prices are going to stay low for HOW LONG??? Once the economy turns around and people can buy gas again…expect to see gas going back up to the $4 range…OR MORE.

hellokit, regarding your postscript, that is only the case for Latin words that have been bastardized. The plural of “virus” used to be “viri” until so many Americans got it wrong that the rule was changed for American English. However, the plural of “antenna” is still “antennae,” the plural of “syllabus” is still “syllabi” and the plural of “curriculum” is still “curricula.”

Thankfully, some Latin words used in American English retain their correct form.

brinnercw, I believe hellokit was addressing GreasyJack. Nonetheless, when I make a grammar or spelling mistake, I appreciate the correction so that I can be sure not to make the same mistake twice. If you don’t appreciate such help, you might have come to the wrong place. After all, Tom and Ray (the owners of this site) often discuss automotive-related grammar (such as the plural of Lexus) and some things that are not automotive at all on their radio show. That makes it fair game here, especially if it is debatable and in any way related to automobiles.

I’m going to take a slightly different tack here:

My parents put some Yokohama Avid H4S tires on their Prius. They’re a bit less comfortable than the original tires, but they’ve lasted quite a while now.

I have the same tires on my 1996 Maxima. I think this tire might be a better choice for a Maxima, because they’re the best tires I’ve ever had on that car. So they’re great on the Maxima (extremely smooth and quiet, too), and long-lasting, if a bit harsh, on the Prius.

Shop carefully. See what other Prius owners are putting on their cars. That’s my thinking.

I guess that explains why conservatives complain about “the liberal news media,” and not “the liberal news mediums.”

The problem here is usually UNDERINFLATION. The original Prius tires (Goodyear Integrity) have very soft sidewalls and tend to scrub the edges in turns (especially if inflated to the Toyota suggested 35/33 psi or less). They last a long time if you drive only in a straight line.

Get better tires and the tread wear will be similar to other cars.


A Prius cannot run at all without power from the 200 volt traction battery (it weighs less than 200 lbs.). The battery replacement rate on the current model Prius (2004+) is less than 0.003% (mine is at 138,000 miles and the battery is fine.


The plural of “virus” used to be “viri” until so many Americans got it wrong that the rule was changed for American English.

Wrong. “Virus” is an oddball irregular noun in Latin, and does not have a plural (it means “toxin” or “poison”). It is not properly pluralized to “viri” or (worse) “virii”, but in English is pluralized to “viruses”.

Is “Prius” a made-up word? If so, the plural would properly be “Priuses”.

But if you want to go to have a chat with your dead uncle, the facilitators are “mediums”, not “media”! English does not hold fast to the pluralization rules of other languages.

I have had 5 RAV4’s and 3 of them in mid-coast Maine…the original tires on Toyoya’s seem to last only 20-25K miles at best and I have always upgraded to tireracks top tires when replacing them and these tires showed no appreciable wear at 25K. I do rotate every 5K complements of my local tire dealer.