Choosing tyres for your car is a very important thing, for most people (who care about their safety) the two MOST important parts of a car are the tyres and the brakes.
Because together those two components are totally responsible for keeping you on the road and coming safely to a stop. A lot of people upgrade their cars with power mods but they don’t improve the handling and most totally ignore the brakes which is just silly. If you can go fast that’s great, but how do you plan to stop?
One tyre was quite bald and they were all hardened and starting to crack, they were so old the tyres on the car aren’t even manufactured any more. I don’t remember what they were something G2 I think.
Anyway it was the most urgent thing for me to get the tyres changed ASAP so I did it the day after I got the car. I did a lot of research first, but I wasn’t totally sure of the tyre size because I didn’t have the car in hand yet, standard it runs on 215/60R16.
I knew the car was running on larger rims tho, Enkei Bortex RPM2 at 17″ but wasn’t sure of the width.
Using the tyre size calculator I worked out I could go for 225/50/R17 and be within 1% of the original tyre size (recommended is stay within 3%).
On my Satria I was using Pirelli Dragon tyres, and changed to cheaper tyres just before I sold it (Goodyear Eagle NCT5) which were rather noisy. Sayang though, only changed the tyres for 3 months then sell the car, oh well.
You can find some great info on tyres and prices here:
The lists also include recommended shops, and the shops which have the best prices for certain tyres. It turns out most tyres are cheapest in Klang, but well I didn’t want to be bothered going to Klang and I didn’t know if the hardened tyres would last so long. I also checked out specialist Airtrek forums to see what the members were using.
After my research I decided on the Falken FK452 an Ultra High Performance tyre with great reviews at a reasonable price. Universally loved by performance folk, the only complaint is they don’t last that long. I can live with that!
There are a lot of choices out there in this segment like Goodyear Eagle F1, Hankook S1 Evo, Michelin PP2, Bridgestone Adrenalin RE001 or RE050, Yokohoma S-Drive, C-Drive or A-Drive, Toyo T1-R and so on.
It turned out however, the rims aren’t very wide, as I wanted to move up to 225 but they were already a bit stretched with 215 tyres and guess what, Falken don’t make my size! Calculating again I found the best size was 215/55/R17 – only 0.6% different from the stock rims. I could get the lower end Falken Ziex ZE-912 but I didn’t really want to go for those, mixed reviews.
The slightly odd size limited my choice somewhat as most performance tyres start at 225 width or 40 profile, I had a few choices and could have got a RE001 for really cheap but it was a 2007 tyre (50% discount).
I called a few shops from those recommended on the forums and Hup Shun in Sunway had the most range in my size and seemed to give generally good prices and good service.
Hup Shun Tyres Auto Car Care Sdn. Bhd.
11, Jln. PJS11/7, Bandar Sunway
46150 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-5632 9926 , 5637 2275
So I headed down there on a Saturday afternoon to check out what they had, I looked at a LOT of tyres and did some Googling on my phone at the same time checking prices and reviews. I find a great place to check out fair reviews is http://www.tirerack.com/.
One thing to bear in mind when buying higher end tyres is where they are made, you can get the exact same tyre made in Japan or made in Thailand and they will be different prices. Make sure you get the Japan made tyre if possible because it’s worth the difference. Also check the date code and make sure it was manufactured within the last 6 months.
In the end I went for Goodyear Eagle LS2000 Hybrid II, a very new tyre but an update of a well loved existing tyre (The first gen LS2000).
As you can see on the left it’s the last series before the Ultra high performance tyres, I did consider the Eagle F1 Asymmetric but the newer ones honestly seem to suck – a lot of complaints. Revspec 02 looked decent too, but a bit hard.
So I went for something with high performance but also comfort, so far so good. The tyres are quiet, smooth and handle well and it has generally good reviews. Seems to be long lasting too, which is always a bonus!
I haven’t really pushed them yet though as they aren’t worn in, bear in mind it takes 2-3000km to get your tyres into optimum condition and make sure you keep them correctly inflated.
You should also rotate your tyres every 10,000km to ensure even wear.
Depending on the hardness of the sidewall you may also pump the pressure higher than the recommended level, you can experiment a bit and see what gives you the best comfort/performance. The recommended tyre pressure for your car is just an estimate and it’s based on stock tyres so don’t be scared to try out some different pressures.
When shopping for tyres you really need to narrow down to what you need/want as there are so many types. The first constraint is obviously the rim/arch size, remember use the tyre size calculator and stay within 3% deviance from the stock size.
Then you need to choose comfort or performance and which is more important (because you can get something in between).
Then of course you have a budget so set your budget for all 4 tyres and installation/balancing/alignment, then go shopping!
I set my budget at RM2000 for the tyres and it came in just below that (RM480 per piece including everything).
Airtrek power! You can find all posts about this car under Project Airtrek.