I just bought the third set of tires for my 2002 Prius which has about 64,000 miles on it. The tire dealer told me they is a problem with the alignment in older Priuses that ruins the tires and that my car needs a shim. Apparently Toyota has not acknowledged this problem. Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks!
My first suggestion is to consider the Toyota inflation suggestion (35 psi front 33 rear) as an absolute minimum. The max inflation on the tire sidewall (51 psi if you have stayed with the P92s) as the maximum. You will get much better tire life closer to the higher number than the lower. But probably you’ll want to keep the fronts 2 psi higher than the rears.
Next you need to have the computer printout of the alignment. We can discuss it at PriusChat or the Yahoo toyota prius group. There are several adjustments that can have a large effect on tire lifetime, but you’ll never know it if you run them at 35/33 or below.
Yes the rears can be shimmed in one axis, if necessary. Galaxee and Bob Wilson can explain that in great detail. Come to the groups…
The Prius does tend to run through tires a bit faster because it’s a lot heavier than a regular passenger car. First off, you have to be rotating the tires every 5000 miles. The life span you mention sounds about right for tires that aren’t getting rotated. Secondly, have you just been having the tires replaced with the same kind that came with it? I don’t know this for a fact on the Prius, but I know the tires that come with some other Toyota models are not the best in the world. Even doing rotations on-time I wore out the tires that came with our company xB (made by toyota) in about 25,000 miles. We replaced them with a mid-level tire from a local tire chain and I’ve put 40,000 more on there and they still have tons of tread left.