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Should I replace these tires (pics included)? If so, what do you think about the tires I researched?

I’m proud to announce the sale of my 07 Explorer Sport trac and the purchase of a 2009 Subaru Forester X Limited. The only issue I need to address is the tires- should they stay or go? I’m leaning towards replacing them, but I could just be fussing over nothing.

Should I replace the tires (all are in the pictured condition), and if so, what do you think about these tire choices?

-Pirelli Cinturato p7 All Season Plus (Unlimited time/ 70k miles w/o flat warranty)
-Continental Pure Contact Ecoplus (6yr/70k miles)
-Michelin Primacy MXM4 (6yr/55 k miles w/ 3 yr flat changing)
-Michelin Primacy MXV4 (6yr/60k miles w/ 3yr flat changing)

Here’s an imgur link (in addition to the posted upload) since I’ve had trouble in the past with photo uploads-

If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head when a penny is inserted into the tread, the tire requires replacement.


The possible tread separation,and dry rot is makes this a safety issue. You might even consider getting it towed for new tires as I might classify those as unsafe to drive on. Get an alignment at the same time. If you can afford Michelin, that would be my choice, but read reviews and recommended tires at tire rack for more info.

Thanks for the point of reference Tester. I knew enough to use a penny, but never knew exactly what to look for.

Barkydog- I came up with this tire list from tire rack. They are written above in the rank on the website. While the Pirelli’s were by FAR the most popular and highly rated in all categories (8.6 was the lowest), they had 275k reported miles compared to the Michelin’s 15 million. How reliable to you think the rank is?

Those tires are used up and dry rotted

I prefer Michelin tires. They are pricey, but in my opinion, they wear very well and go the distance

My last set of Michelins wore perfectly and I replaced them after 80K miles. I should note that I replaced them because they were dry rotted, not worn out. They still had a fair amount of tread.

Folks here seem to have good comments about the Michelin “Defender” tire. Might want to consider that one too.

I’d suggest you replace the tires immediately and, as Barkydog suggested, get an alignment. You should also have the shocks and front end examined.
I’ve bought two sets of tires based on Tirerack reviews and were very disappointed. It may be that tires are car-specific and I’ve had good results from our dealer’s suggestions although a Subaru will probably be pretty forgiving over your tire choices and it is unlikely to make a big difference on performance. Tire recommendations from individuals are largely anecdotal. The warranty is not as big a deal as you might think because they normally pro-rate them. I’d go for the second-cheapest tires, based on the high-low end rule of thumb.

I bought my last set of tires based on seller recommendation, I really wanted to spring for michelin but chose middle of the road TA, I lost 2 mpg immediately, but have gotten that back, the ride is rougher, and probably need new stabilizer links again soon. Any new tire will probably serve you better than what you have, ie a disaster waiting to happen. Chances are any tire will make it through the next 50k how many miles are you looking for? As I said previously Michelin is great, but other tires are acceptable.

Well, almost any make of new tire would be safer than what you now have on the car. I got about 50,000 miles out of the Goodyear tires that were the original equipment on the 2006 Chevrolet Uplander I used to own. On the other hand, the Firestone tires that were original equipment on my 2011 Toyota Sienna were only good for about 35,000 miles. I did cheap out once and bought two Sumatoma tires for the Uplander. I think they were good for about 35,000 miles.
My wife replaced the original equipment Dunlop tires on the 2003 Toyota 4Runner she drives with Michelin tires I think the Dunlop tires had about 45,000 miles at the time. My son, who has to watch his pennies, bought my Uplander from me and when he needed new tires, he bought Michelin. So that I wouldn’t be the only cheapskate in the family, I replaced the Firestone tires on the Sienna with Michelin.

For truck tires…look at Cooper. Their car tires are ok…but you can get better. I’ve been using Cooper truck tires now for over 20 years. Use to buy Michelin…but then all of a sudden Michelin started getting real pricey. I can buy 4 Coopers for the price of 3 Michelins…They ride as good or better…and they last almost as long.

I’ve driven many miles on Cooper tires. Cooper was the main tire sold by the independent tire dealer where I have done business for a long time. This independent tire store now handles Michelin as well and the price break they give me has made the Michelin attractive. They do cost more than the Cooper, but it isn’t enough to make me rule out the Michelin.
One brand that used to give me good service for the price was called Duralon and was sold by the Quality Farm and Fleet store. These tires were made by Dayton. I ran these tires on my 1971 Ford Maverick and my 1978 Oldsmobile. The Oldsmobile came with Firestone 721 radials. I had problems with tread separation and couldn’t get a decent warranty adjustment from Firestone, so I bought the Duralon tires and had much better service. Quality Farm and Fleet stores are long gone and I haven’t seen a Duralon or Dayton brand tire for years.

I’ve also used Cooper and Duralon branded tires along with Bridgestones with no problems at all.

The local farm and ranch where I used to buy Duralon tires threw in the towel on their tire department about 10 years ago but I don’t think it was due to faulty tires.
It was more a matter of shaving the intensive man hours of employees and the looming shutdown of the OK City Dayton tire plant (owned by Bridgestone) rather than retool to make larger size tires.

Can’t say I’ve looked into Cooper, or that I’ve seen Duralon and Dayton. I’m leaning towards the Pirellis because of the cost/rating online, but the Michelin MXV4’s are a real possibility. In the end, I believe it is going to boil down to what I can get for the money.

As a side note- these are the original Yokohamas I believe, or the previous owner replaced the original tires with the same tire, and at a very low mileage. They have 86k on them, so I’m not entirely sure which of the above scenarios is the case, thought the degree of dry rot has me inclined to believe they are the original set.

I guess I’d replace them too but before you decide, why not talk to the local tire dealer for their opinion on what works well in your climate. I found ten minutes at the tire shop got me a lot more information than the customer ratings on TR. The test results are something different though and to me more reliable.

I have Michelin Primacy MKV4 tires on my car, purchased last November. They are excellent tires and I’m very pleased with them. Possibly the best set of tires I’ve ever owned. I would recommend them to anyone. They replaced a set of General “Altimax” tires, which I would say were about the worst tires I’ve had on a car.

The only caveat with the Primacy tires is my mileage went down slightly, though I guess that’s not too unexpected, as the Generals didn’t grip anything and can’t be said to have been contributing any friction.