Traction problem

I have a 2 1/4 ton ‘mini’ van with a 4 liter engine. I can get on it and burn the tires from a standing start. This tells me that I either need more rubber on the road or the suspension is not set up correctly. Gas mileage around town is an embarrasing 9-11 MPG. Can you help me?

Apparently you don’t think it’s useful to tell us what tires you have on the car.

And tire size (is it stock size?).

It sounds to me that your mileage may well be expected with that car and your apparent driving style.

A few things. Your tires do not have enough grip for your driving style. Buy some performance tires that fit your minivan. Also most minivans have a traction control system, is yours working? Typically it will ease off the throttle so the vehicle can take off without undue wheel spin.

Your minivan is also front wheel drive. FWD is inherently flawed when it comes to getting a quick start as the weight transfers to the rear upon acceleration. Less force over the driving wheels the less traction there is for forward movement. Of course minivans aren’t really considered high performance machines and the suspension is going to set up for a soft ride more so than optimum drag racing performance.

Apparently I’m new enough at this question format that I didn’t give enough information. It is as follows, The van came equipped with P225 65 R17 Bridgestone tires. I don’t consider this a competitive vehicle as I understand it was set up for us old flatulents who just want a little more comfort. The car will topout at 125 MPH @ 6000 (redline) hen pushed (one time) THe problem was that I was almost rear ended and and I got on it to get out of the way. The traction controll was working as the right front tire burnred first, then the left, then the right and then the left again by this time the crisis had passed and I was at 50 MPH on a residential street and wiping away the sweat. I normally godownthe hiway at a reasonable pace and do not compete. Over the long haul it will get up to 2022 MPG. I’m jst disappointed tht it won’t do as well as my old '97 that was pretty consistent at 23-25 MPG. Any advivce appreciated…

Chances are those Bridgestone tires are the culprit, as they make some really good tires, and they also make some really bad ones. If those tires came from the factory, chances are they are part of the latter group.

Take the van to a tire shop, and tell them you want ultra sticky tires for your minivan.
After the guys stop laughing for 5 minutes, explain to them why.


After my experiences with Bridgestone Potenza RE-92 tires, I would believe virtually any negative information regarding tires made by that company.

However, in their defense, Bridgestone does make some really decent tires, but they also make some really crappy tires with virtually no wet road/winter road traction.

The key to the issue is that original equipment tires are sourced by the car manufacturer for a few key factors:
Low cost
A smooth ride
Low cost
Good fuel economy
Low cost

Oh–did I mention that the primary factor for specifying the OEM tires was low cost?

If you buy some replacement tires that are not bottom-of-the-barrel OEM tires, you will undoubtedly experience much better performance–including much better traction.

I don’t think you saw 125 MPH. The Chrysler minivans are electroniclly limited to 114 MPH as seen here

The tires are have a T speed rating. They are only good for 118 MPH. Your speedometer could just be optimistic.

Thank you for all the input guys. I’ll spend a day with my tire distributor and see what changes I can make. If you’re ever in my neighborhood, look out for fully loaded (three axles under the box) dump trucks with distracted drivers traveling over the posted speed.