seeking info on the original type of tire on a '09chevy hhr.
seeking to replace what is on now which in a non branded tire
which are very noisy and prone to flat spots.
help appreciated

Tire Rack has a feature tht allows you to see original equipment tires. For a 2009 HHR LT, the OE tires were: Firestone Affinity Touring (215/55R16) or Firestone Firehawk GTA-03 (215/50R17). It may be different for the LS or SS models.

Rather than go with the original equipment, I would recommend reading reviews of tires in Consumer Reports and going to The Tire Rack website. Both CR and Tire Rack will give you some idea of the quietness of the tires. I had to replace the tires on my 2011 Toyota Sienna after 36,000 miles. I kept the tires inflated to the proper pressure and did the rotation every 5000 miles. I decided I didn’t want to replace the tires with the original equipment Firestone and bought Michelin instead. The Michelin are just as quiet and I hope that they will last longer.

Also, be certain that it is tire noise that you are hearing. We replaced the Dunlop tires on our 2003 Toyota 4Runner with Michelin tires. I thought the new tires were noisy, but after checking, found that I had a noisy front wheel bearing. The bearing noise started coincidentallly right after we replaced the tires.

+1 to Triedaq’s comment.

When car makers select original equipment tires for their vehicles, their priorities are:
Low cost
Soft ride
Low cost
Good fuel economy
Low cost

Original equipment tires are never selected for durability/long tread life, and only rarely (on upscale “sport” models, for instance) are they selected for good handling qualities. Car makers want to be able to report the best possible gas mileage to The EPA, and they want those who are taking a test drive to experience a cushy ride.

And, in case I didn’t mention it, they want the absolute cheapest tires that will meet those 2 criteria.

Ergo…original equipment tires are rarely as good a quality as you would get if you selected tires based on your own criteria. If you use the Tire Rack website, after you enter your vehicle information, you can designate your priorities in rank order, and will get a list of the tires in your size that emphasize the qualities that are most important to you.

So true VDC… My new Kia came with what I thought were decent Michelin… Wore out in less then 40K…dealer mechanic told me they put the cheapest Michelins and any replacement ones would last twice that long

I have a slightly different take. Yes, tires are selected with cost in mind. But to think that a Lexus for example, or a Camry will be shod with the absolute cheapest tires regardless of performances just isn’t true. Maybe OE car tires are considered average at best overall, but you’re not going to put a cheaper noisy tire on a luxury designed to be quite for quiet. If your emphasis was on reliability, it wouldn’t pay the have tires last but 20 k either. I have had cars with pretty decent OE tires…though not better then you could buy yourself for less money. The cheapest tires and batteries are not good selling points if you want a customer to buy again.
The tires I have now for summer on my 4Runner are the tires found as OE on the Lexus version of my SUV. They have been excellent and very resonalbly priced.

Here is Tire Rack’s comments on OE tires.

“But to think that a Lexus for example, or a Camry will be shod with the absolute cheapest tires regardless of performances just isn’t true.”

When I realized just how bad the OEM tires on my '02 Outback were on snowy surfaces, I was shocked. However, I was even more shocked when I noticed that these same tires, the Bridgestone Potenza RE-92, were OEM equipment on Lexus ES sedans.

Those tires were–at best–average, with nothing outstanding about them, but in the winter they were downright hazardous. That is what led me to buy my first set of winter tires.

I 100% agree with you that there are new vehicles out there shod with OE tires that don’t perform well in some areas. And, I believe that the economy of a car manufacturer putting a tire on a car that tries to do all things, will be more expensive then they are willing to,pay. But, ALLL tires are compromises and if a car manufacturer does not treat the tires like ANY other part of the car he wishes to use to entice a new buyer, cheap tires are not their first concern. I would submit, first, 2002 is a long time ago in tire technology and the newSubbies I would expect have better traction for perhaps the same relative price per car. But, when you tried out the car, the tire couldn’t have been that bad in other areas, like handling, road noise etc. or you would not have bought the car. Car makers made a judgement that a good performing tire in other areas, esp. and winter traction is not as important as handling and quiet when a person actually buys the car.

Quiet operation and handling, does not necessarily make a good snow tire…and certainly not as a year round tire !! What all season does ? I rotate my tires like you, and would rather have an all season slanted toward handling and quiet operation. But you and I , drive with winter tires in the winter and that would not sell a Subaru back in 2002 who tried out a car in during prime car buying weather. If you don 't have winter tires, yours could be slanted toward snow traction at the expense of handling and quiet. That is unless, you have very, very expensive tires and plan on replacing them more then I do.

For any one who drives much in the winter, snow traction for an all season should be of secondary concern if handling is also a safety matter. . Car makers get that. We customers should put winter tires on and slow down.

I still agree with Tire Racks opinion on OE tires

I’ve had good success with OE tires on my recent cars (Honda, GM). The car companies buy so many of them that just about any tire will be inexpensive compared to what any of us would pay. The car companies come up with a list of technical requirements for a particular car or tire size and buy the least expensive one that meets their requirements.

This is what Capri Racer, this forum’s tire expert, has to say: