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OEM Tire Replacement for AWD RX400h

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Old 02-23-08, 08:01 PM   #1
chaitov52
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Question OEM Tire Replacement for AWD RX400h

Can't get the search engine to work for me on this site, so I apologize if this has already been asked/answered:

I know I just got my 08 RX 400h AWD yesterday, but I just saw today that it didn't come with Michelin tires like the FWD I test drove. It came with Goodyear Eagle RS-A and I'm not familiar with Goodyear tires. We have to have an AWD vehicle that performs quasi-well with all season tires due to the snow in the mountains. But, but, but, most of our driving is in warmer climates and highway driving . . . so, I'm looking for quiet, smooth, control with the ability to pass the Highway Patrol's inspection when we go up the hill when it is snowing and everyone else is putting on their snow chains?

Anyone have any suggestions for what you have found to be a really good tire for this vehicle? Our Lexus tech told us to expect no more than 22K miles outta these tires on this vehicle and that is okay with us.

Thanks for any suggestions/observations.

Cheers,
Brandywine52
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Old 02-24-08, 10:28 AM   #2
herbvdh
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chaitov52:
Please read the link below.
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/show...ood+year+tires

Also check this link out:
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/hybrid-technology/290380-good-year-tire-wear-alignment-issue-resolved-somewhat.html

I had these on a 2004 Prius trashed the tires at 17,000 miles due to no traction front end wander etc. I would go to the dealer and advise them that you want Michelin Tires installed ASAP Thankfully my RX400h had Michelin tires that was one item I looked at the day I made the deal on this vehicle.

Last edited by herbvdh; 02-24-08 at 10:45 AM..
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Old 02-24-08, 11:21 AM   #3
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An '08 with the RSA's? That seems really strange. I've been following this "Goodyear RSA saga" for well over a year and checking my dealer's stock. Practically all the '07's and CERTAINLY all the '08's (including mine) came thru with the Michelins.

I'm not accusing your dealer of anything, but I wonder if maybe you got wheels and/or tires that were "swapped out" from another customer who was aware of the "Goodyear RSA controversy" and insisted on Michelins being part of their "deal." Having the Michelins was most definitely part of MY deal.

This is precisely why message boards are such an invaluable resource. You'd never hear about this kind of thing reading car mags or brochures.
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Old 02-25-08, 08:53 AM   #4
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Default Thanks BobBass!

I've done exactly as you suggested. Our RX was transferred from another dealer and I think what happened is as you stated, because the FWD we test drove and all the other RXs on our dealer's lot wore Michelins. In the meantime, I've called America's Tires/Discount Tires and they suggest Yokohama tires for replacement when the time comes. Any thoughts on Yokos? We have a pair on our 07 GS350 and they seem to be noisier than what we would have expected but they certainly look good and perform well. Anyway, you are correct about these message boards and I appreciate your guidance on this matter. Still waiting from my service agent about swapping the tires when they put my chrome wheels on.

Cheers.
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Old 02-25-08, 12:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chaitov52 View Post
I've done exactly as you suggested. Our RX was transferred from another dealer and I think what happened is as you stated, because the FWD we test drove and all the other RXs on our dealer's lot wore Michelins. In the meantime, I've called America's Tires/Discount Tires and they suggest Yokohama tires for replacement when the time comes. Any thoughts on Yokos? We have a pair on our 07 GS350 and they seem to be noisier than what we would have expected but they certainly look good and perform well. Anyway, you are correct about these message boards and I appreciate your guidance on this matter. Still waiting from my service agent about swapping the tires when they put my chrome wheels on.

Cheers.
I'm running the Bridgestone Alenza's. Same size as OEM, 235-55-18. I had the Michelins and got rid of them at 16k miles. They are nice tires, but not in the snow. Customer reviews on Tire Rack bear this fact out. They get poor snow ratings. The Alenza's are very good in the snow and just as quiet on dry pavement, etc... in my opinion. The sidewall on the Michelin is softer than the Alenza. If you like that really cushy ride that the Michelin gives, you can compensate for this somewhat by adjusting the tire pressure down a bit on the Alenza's. The Alenza's feel much more sure footed than the Michelin's. They corner much better. They also come with a 60k mile tread warranty. I don't think the Michelin's have a tread warranty at all...
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Old 02-25-08, 02:29 PM   #6
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Default Thanks Again To "The Board"

First, I just got my RX back from Lexus without an appointment and they changed out the RS-As with the Michelins, no problem. Here's what Lexus told me regarding tire selection on the RX:

1. Toyota has deals with Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin for the RX;
2. Lexus runs 1,000 RXs through assembly with the first tire OEM, then the next 1,000 Rxs through assembly with the second tire OEM and then the next run of 1,000 RXs through assembly with the third tire OEM; and then, they repeat the same process over and over a thousand at a time . . . ;
3. Reason given me: If Lexus encounters a problem with one of the tire OEMs, then only 1/3 of their sold/unsold fleet of RXs has a problem; or if two OEMs then only 2/3. I thought that made sense.

Second, JimGX's info on the Bridgestone Alenzas, is much appreciated especially concerning snow traction as we have this vehicle specifically for winter traveling in the mountains. That's something to keep in the back of my mind over the next 16K miles if my Michelins last as long.

Third, I just bought the tire replacement warranty at Discount Tires and they highly recommended the new Yokohama YK-520s. They said they are squarer and handle better and are much smoother riding and quieter than the old 420s. Their customer feedback is 4-1/2 stars as well. So, I'm going to wait and see what happens with the Michelins but if you are getting great snow traction, JimGX, I can't discount your experience with the Alenzas, although, I haven't had good luck in the past with Bridgestones in the other categories of smoothness of ride and quietness. What's your experience in those areas?

Thanks,

Cheers
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Old 02-25-08, 03:08 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=JimGX, I can't discount your experience with the Alenzas, although, I haven't had good luck in the past with Bridgestones in the other categories of smoothness of ride and quietness. What's your experience in those areas?

Thanks,

Cheers[/QUOTE]

I've always been partial to Michelin tires. I've had good and bad experiences with most of the major tire brands though, including Michelin's. I had some Michelin's on a Saab before that had great dry traction, but were horrible in the rain. Prior to the RX400h, I had a 2004 GX470 that had Bridgestone Dueller's (17") on it and I hated them. I swapped them out for some Michelin Cross Terrain's (the other OEM for the GX) and they were great. I had the Cross Terrain's on a Toyota 4Runner back in 2002 when they were first released, and they were great on that vehicle too... My wife had a VW Passat with Goodyear's on it and they held up well. One of my daughters had a VW with Goodyears on it and she hated them.

I think the moral of the story is that every manufacturer has good and bad tires/designs and each tire has to be considered independent of the manufacturer. I was somewhat hesitant to try the Alenza's after my past experience with the Dueller's on the GX but I'm glad I didn't let that stop me.

I think the OEM Michelin tires on the 400h are actually made for passenger vehicles and not SUV's. None of Michelin's advertising for these tires mentions SUV's, only passenger cars. I think Lexus put them on the 400h because they have a very soft sidewall that gives the nice cushy ride that Lexus vehicles are known for. But like most tires, they're a compromise.

My wife just got an 08' ES350 and it has the same Michelin Energy MXV4 S8tires on it as my 07' 400h came with (17" opposed to the 18" on the RX). Hopefully she'll have better luck with them than I did.

Jim
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Old 02-25-08, 03:29 PM   #8
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Default Will not rule out the Alenzas :)

Thanks Jim, it is hard to overcome past experiences sometimes but it helps when you have someone giving real feedback who drives the same vehicle.

Your additional comments support what the tech at Discount Tires had to say about the Michelins. The good (yeah I want better tires sooner)/bad (shucks, more money outta the pocket sooner) thing about these Michelins is that the soft sidewalls will cause the outer edge of these tires to get eaten alive this summer as we go up and down Big Bear Mountain. We literally ascend 3,500 feet to an elevation of 7,500 feet in a matter of, oh, twenty minutes, having to do some 270 degree turns a couple of times never mind the other curves and then we have to descend to an even 6,750 feet taking aggresive curves to our destination. I'm going to ask the Discount tire guy what he thinks about the Alenzas for our driving conditions out here in the desert/mountains.

Appreciate your inputs.

Cheers
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Old 02-26-08, 07:27 AM   #9
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Default Going with the Alenzas

TireRack.com had 56 Lexus RX owners who rated this tire so high it was unbelievable. A guy from Chicago posted on 2/18 that Chicago had the 9th worst snow storm this winter and his Alenzas stuck to the snow and ice like glue. Just what I need, and he also had good reviews on handling, ride and quietness. Just what the doctor ordered.

Thanks Jim for that great lead.

Cheers
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Old 03-01-08, 06:48 AM   #10
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Just now needing to replace the OEM Michelins on our 2006 400h at 50,000 miles of mostly highway driving. I was satisfied with the performance of these tires and am considering replacing them with the same. The dealer has a xeroxed copy of the 3 tires (Bridgestone Alenzas, Michelins, and Goodyear GSAs) and recommended we stay away from the GSAs. The Bridgestones and Michelins were fairly equal according to them, with the Bridgestones offering better traction at the expense of a noisier ride. The Bridgestones did seem to be higher rated on almost everything except the ride noise metric on the sheet they handed out (not sure where that came from, but the info seems consistent with what I'm reading on this forum).

I'm leaning very much towards going with the Alenzas even though I almost always replace with the tires that the car came with when new. The Kumho Road Venture APTs also present an interesting option given the ratings at TireRack.com, but I think I'd rather stick with a more widely reviewed brand.
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Old 03-01-08, 04:34 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Got the Alenzas today

Hey Jim, thanks again for the recommendation and comments on the Alenzas. They are definitely more aggressive looking than the Micks and they are just as quiet as you said. The only thing I detected (and I drove to Americas Tires without the radio on, without the A/C on, with the windows up with the Micks and back home the same way with the Alenzas) was the Alenzas give a little feedback, not in road noise, but when the tires go over "uneven" pavement. The feedback is no more bothersome than my Yokohamas on our 07 GS350. In fact, I prefer a little feedback since the AWD is so awesomely like a V8 and can perform like heck at a moment's notice.

I didn't find the A's to reduce the lean/roll in turns that I thought they would; ehhh, maybe a little improvement. But what I'm happiest about is that these tires will last the life of my lease and I won't have to shell out another $1,000 for tires just before I have to turn the car back into Lexus!!!! That 65K warranty is a first that I've come across in the X-over/SUV arena.

We are going up to Big Bear Lake next week . . . that will be the test to see how well she behaves on those crooked turns and twists.

Again, thanks to everyone for your help in making it easier for me to try Bridgestone tires again.

Cheers
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Old 03-01-08, 11:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by chaitov52 View Post
Hey Jim, thanks again for the recommendation and comments on the Alenzas. They are definitely more aggressive looking than the Micks and they are just as quiet as you said. The only thing I detected (and I drove to Americas Tires without the radio on, without the A/C on, with the windows up with the Micks and back home the same way with the Alenzas) was the Alenzas give a little feedback, not in road noise, but when the tires go over "uneven" pavement. The feedback is no more bothersome than my Yokohamas on our 07 GS350. In fact, I prefer a little feedback since the AWD is so awesomely like a V8 and can perform like heck at a moment's notice.

I didn't find the A's to reduce the lean/roll in turns that I thought they would; ehhh, maybe a little improvement. But what I'm happiest about is that these tires will last the life of my lease and I won't have to shell out another $1,000 for tires just before I have to turn the car back into Lexus!!!! That 65K warranty is a first that I've come across in the X-over/SUV arena.

We are going up to Big Bear Lake next week . . . that will be the test to see how well she behaves on those crooked turns and twists.

Again, thanks to everyone for your help in making it easier for me to try Bridgestone tires again.

Cheers
Hi,

I know exactly what you mean about the road feedback. I believe it comes from the stiffer sidewall. This can be adjusted for somewhat by lowering the air pressure. When I had mine mounted, they put 36psi in them. I've dropped them as low as 30psi, and right now I'm running them at 31.5psi...

Bridgestone's website says to refer to the manufacturers recommendation for PSI when filling the tires. In this case, Lexus recommends 30psi... I don't know of anyone who has been intentionally running their Michelin's at 30psi though, they were very mushy and unresponsive at that psi... I've seen a lot of discussion about tire pressures. Everyone is all over the chart with what they're running...

I think the lean/roll is more related to the suspension design. I didn't see an improvement in mine after installing the tires either. I do feel more confident in cornering with these though. I attribute that to the stiffer sidewall, plus the more aggressive tread pattern and sipes.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 03-02-08, 06:52 AM   #13
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Thumbs up Haven't checked tire pressure

but I'm okay with the feedback I'm getting. However, the worst highway in the world is only 30 minutes from my house--a stretch of the I-10 in Beaumont, CA--that I understand all the auto mfgs use to test out their cars' supsension, etc. I can tell you that in our IS250, it nearly drove us crazy driving that 15 minute stretch of mileage in that car, and our GS's Yokohamas handle it well but we do get more feedback than I'd like every time the wheels go over the seams between the concrete pavement they laid. If we encounter more noise than the Yokos with these tires, I'll give your 31.5 psi a try because the dogs can't stand it.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-02-08, 07:27 AM   #14
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Do you know what they set the pressure at when they installed them?

I know what you mean about the IS250 too... We recently bought my wife an ES350, but she took an IS250 for a couple days to see if she liked it. There's a stretch of road I drive every day with my RX400h that we drove over in the IS that has the same expansion joints. We felt and heard every joint for miles in the IS. Very annoying. With my RX, ES, and LS, I don't think twice about it when I go over those same joints.

Jim
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Old 03-02-08, 12:13 PM   #15
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Hey Jim. Americas/Discount Tires put 34 psi all around. I bought the tire insurance program which includes rotating and balancing the tires as well as replacing a destroyed tire(s) over the life of these tires. They want me to come in every 4,000 miles to insure the tires wear evenly for the 65,000 mile warranty because of our trips up and down the mountain to Big Bear Lake.

I'm happy with the way these tires are performing at 34 psi. We actually saw our average city mpg go up from 25.7 mpg to 26.1 mpg with these new tires. Don't know if it is the way we are driving or if it the new tires, but there may be less resistance with a higher psi. The Michelins were set at 30 psi. But as I said earlier, I'll have to see how that stretch of I-10 does, because those dogs I was talking about are real dogs . . . two wire fox terriers, and they definitely didn't like the feedback from IS250's Michelins!!!

Cheers
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Old 03-02-08, 12:13 PM
 
 
 
 
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