Replacing tires on 2003 Honda Civic

Hello! I’m looking to replace my tires on my 2003 Honda Civic. I was recently living in Phoenix, AZ through the summer heat and I think that hot pavement really wore down the tires. Any suggestions for the best all-season tires to get? Thanks!

Consumer Reports seems to like the Michelin Defender. Not sure how it performs in really hot climates though. The speed rating for the tire is related to how well it holds up to heat, so if that’s a concern for you, maybe search out a tire with a higher speed rating than the normal tire.

Yes, the November CR is always their tire issue and is always informative. is more in-depth and extensive in tire comparisons. I have bought tires from them, or locally after making a decision with their help.

This year CR also reported their on-snow evaluations of AWD systems of the Toyota RAV 4, Honda CRV, and Subaru Forester. Subaru a distinct winner. Maybe that helps explain their ubiquity in MT, MN, New England, etc. Years ago they were the official car of the US Olympic Ski Team.

both have excellent consumer feedback sections. I recommend visiting them.

Look for tires with a high treadwear rating, over 400. Phoenix heat is not so much the killer of tires as is the incredibly coarse asphalt. The asphalt in AZ has all the tar burned off of it leaving the grippy but sharp gravelly surface to wear out tires.

Just read the thread & I also have been researching tires & Michelin although more expensive than most always gets a high rating . By the way , did Subaru ever get their notorious head gasket issue resolved . I really think they should have have repaired those vehicles at no cost to the owners .

An '03 is getting on in age. Does the OP expect to drive this car for another 60K miles? If so, Michelin tires last the best and I’d spend the extra money and get them. If the OP only thinks the Civic will last 25 to 30K more miles I’d just get the cheapest tires you can find. Cheap tires will last 25K on a Civic. I’m running a Cooper tire on my '03 Civic now. They aren’t going to last as long as a previous set of Michelin’s that went 70K. With the wear I’m seeing I think the Coopers will go about 40K and that’s it.

To the OP - has your Civic had a new head gasket yet? If you are closing in on 150K miles and you’ve not had a head gasket repair yet then you can expect it soon. This is an $1,100 repair. If you replaced the timing belt on schedule and have had a head gasket repair then I’d go for Michelin’s. If neither of these have been done, or you don’t know the maintenance history of the car I opt for cheap tires.

I agree that Michelin tires are a good choice and last a long time

I’ve bought a few sets over the years, and the money was well spent.

When my current set of tires wears out . . . they were apparently installed just before I bought my car, used . . . I plan on getting another set of Michelins

I use Grand Touring All Season tires on my 2005 Accord EX V6. I bought Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology tires about 6 months ago and they have worked well for me. They rate well at Tire Rack, and are not extremely expensive as Michelins are. This is not a knock on Michelin tires, just an acknowledgement that they are about the most expensive tires in the mainstream categories Michelin sell in. If you want Standard Touring All Season tires, I bought General AltiMAX RT43 tires for our van. The price is very attractive, they rate very well in the category at Tire Rack, and they work well for us. You will have to select a tire installer in your area if you buy through Tire Rack. TR provides installer names and you can call the installer for an appointment.

I have very mixed feelings about Contis

Sure, they cost less

But . . . according to my observations . . . they don’t wear as evenly or last as long

Bottom line . . . you pay less and get less

Or if you like this better . . . you get what you pay for :sunglasses:

Michelins are good tires, but costly. IMHO a premium is tacked on just for the name.
I’ve personally had problems with Contis. I couldn’t get them to run smooth no matter what I tried. I wouldn’t buy them again. I ended up replacing mine with BF Goody’s, and my smooth ride returned.

I still think a visit to tirerack and to 1010tires is time well spent.

Do you still live in Phoenix?? Maybe a “Touring” tire would be better than an “All Season”

There are hundreds of “brands” out there but they are all made by 6 or 7 multi-national companies… An online search will reveal who makes the private brand tires…I would look for a treadwear number over 600…I shy away from tires with a 1-ply sidewall and a 3-ply tread…2-ply sidewalls and 5 ply treads can be had if you look for them…

I’ve had excellent tire life out of the Yokohama tires I’ve used over the past 10 years, equivalent to the rated level. They were less expensive than the comparable Micheilin tires at the time, by around $30 per tire as I recall.

@db4690, maybe I should buy a C300 Benz for my next car. It’s the most expensive compact luxury car. Since I get what I pay for, it should also be the best, right?


I was talking about tires, and you know it

Why don’t we just say you disagree with me about Michelin tires, and leave it at that . . . ?

Here you go


@db4690, you can have a little fun and I can have a little fun. Why is that such a problem for you. in any case, I do disagree that I have to pay the most for tires to get tires that suit me well.

My 2 cents… I’ve had great experiences with Khumo all season car tires. 3 sets so far. Low cost, quiet ride, even wear, long life. Same for Firestone Destination LE’s but these are truck/SUV tires and not for a small car. I’ve used Michelins and think very highly of them even though they did not work on one of my cars, at all, even though they were OEM.

"Michelins are good tires, but costly. IMHO a premium is tacked on just for the name. I've personally had problems with Contis. I couldn't get them to run smooth no matter what I tried. I wouldn't buy them again. I ended up replacing mine with BF Goody's, and my smooth ride returned. "

I agree partially, and I disagree partially.
I have also had a bad experience with Contis. That brand was the OEM tire on my 2011 Outback, and they exhibited a high-speed imbalance problem that was only remedied with Road Force Balancing. However, even that “remedy” was temporary with those Contis. That was the only set of tires I ever had that needed to be re-balanced at least once a year because they wouldn’t seem to “hold” their balance.

I finally decided to dump the Contis when they still had ~5/32 of tread remaining, simply because I couldn’t stand them any longer, and because Costco had a particularly good sale price on Michelin Defenders. Even at a sale price, the Michelins were expensive, but they improved EVERY aspect of the drive with my car. IMHO, it was worthwhile to spend the extra $$ to get tires that are quieter, have a better ride quality, track straighter, handle better, have superior resistance to hydroplaning, have superior winter traction, and have a 90k treadwear warranty.

While I was a bit skeptical that these tires would last for 90k miles, Consumer Reports recently tested a variety of tires for treadwear, and–unlike many of their competitors–the Michelin Defenders were predicted to last for 90k miles, after extrapolating their test results.

I have also used BF Goody tires, and I found them to be good–as well as cheaper than their Michelin stable-mates. However, BF Goody tires also tend to have shorter tread life than Michelins, and to have poorer ride quality and higher noise levels. If I was going to get rid of a car within just a few years, I might opt for BF Goodys, but if I planned to keep a car for many years–as I do–I think that the extra cost for Michelins pays off in the long run.

When I had the misfortune to own a Volvo, the only good thing about that car was the OEM Michelin-X tires. When I dumped that POS Volvo at ~75k miles, I estimated that those Michelins still had at least 15k good miles left on the tread! I really think that you do get what you pay for with Michelins.

OP is vague. Obviously not the original tires? Any new tires will be fine. Are some tires better in hot climates? Silly question.