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Tire wear on 2001 Prius

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Posted by joneses7 on January 22, 2005, 1:56 pm
Hi group,

I own a 2001 Prius and I've been totally happy with it (although I'm envious
of 04 owners!). My only disappointment has been with the rate of wear and
tear on the tires. The car has about 40,000 miles on it, and I've had to
replace all four tires twice. When I asked the service guy about this last
week, he said that this was typical for the Prius, and said it's because
they have to keep the tires softer than normal for fuel efficiency. This
doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I'm no expert.

I'm curious whether other Prius owners have had similar experiences, and
whether anyone has suggestions on how to avoid coughing up $00 every 20,000
miles for new tires. It seems like this takes a bit of a bite out of the
fuel economy advantage of the Prius.

Thanks for any feedback,


Posted by Mike Rosenberg on January 22, 2005, 2:11 pm

I'm one of the 2004 owners you envy, but this doesn't make any sense to
me, either.  I've always heard that the higher the pressure the better
the fuel efficiency, at the tradeoff of a harder ride.  Meanwhile, if I
recall correctly, my owners manual calls for 35 PSI for the front tires,
32 PSI for the rear, and that is distinctly _not_ soft.

Mike Rosenberg
<http://www.macconsult.com>  Macintosh consulting services for NE Florida
<http://bogart-tribute.net>  Tribute to Humphrey Bogart
Toyota Prius fans: Check out alt.autos.toyota.prius

Posted by Kevin Kirkeby on January 23, 2005, 2:55 am
 What you're describing is unusually rapid wear. Questions to be asked of an
owner experiencing such wear would be:

Are you maintaining the recommended tire pressure? Another message mentions
32 rear and 35 front p.s.i. Personally, I keep it simple and run 35

Are you rotating and balancing your tires at 5000 miles with your oil
service? Although many cars don't need that frequent an interval for
rotation, the Prius is notoriously heavy in the ass (J-Lo effect from all
the batteries, no doubt.)

Finally, are you an extreme driver? Do you rapidly accelerate, decelerate,
high-g turns, etc? Do you haul alot of excess weight? Five heavy passengers?
Bunch of cargo?

As a last resort, try going to another tire dealer and see what they have in
catalog for high-efficiency tires in that size. Your dealership may be
selling you a softer compound tire. If you look at the sidewall you'll see a
wear rating (three digit number.) I've seen dealership tires with 360 wear
ratings (my Chrysler Concorde comes to mind.) Wear ratings can roughly be
translated to miles by multiplying the number by 100. A 600 rating is a good
long-life tire.


Posted by Bill on January 23, 2005, 3:19 am
 Prius weight distribution, F/R 59.2/40.8


Posted by Kevin Kirkeby on January 23, 2005, 2:03 pm
 I stand corrected. Instead of being the J-Lo effect, it's the Dolly Parton


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