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?
If you’ve been following my blog and Twitter you’ll know I recently got a new car a Mitsubishi Airtrek Turbo and from the state of the tyres it hadn’t been driven for a while.
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:
Tyre Price List [V2] – At Lowyat Forum.
Tire discussion thread V1~ – At Lowyat Forum.
Tyre Price List 3 – Autoworld Forums (The original source of the price list)
ZTH Tyre Section
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 https://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.
Interesting read…I must admit I don’t pay attention to tires at all. The rotating every 10,000 km part is informative, didn’t know that! 🙂
ST, during halfway reading your post I was just about to curse you for using Falken tyres but eventually I held my horses because you ended up with S2000. Good choice.
That’s a lot of information about tyres. Where is the “like” button? 😀
What’s so bad about Falken tires? Reviews that I have read are mostly positive..
Huai Bin: Tyres are very important, might keep you out of the drain next time.
blink4blog: I would have got the FK452 if I had the choice la, but no size. They are great tyres. Maybe next time will consider Hankook S1 Evo as well.
Bryan: Share on Facebook and Twitter if you like loh 😛
deriku: Depends which ones, ST115 for example are terrible tyres. But ZE-912 and FK452 are good, I’ve heard nothing but positive about FK-452. UHP tyres for a good price.
yeah… another airtrek update… love it… but for me tire treat life is everything!! my shoe now is primacy LC… thinking next would be HP.. hoping to see more updates from u…
I think Goodyear make great tyres. They are actually extremely good in the wet and are good value too.
Currently running 235s in the front and 265s at the back on PS2s, like it much much better than the Bridgestone Potenza’s which were basically slicks and dont work well with wet weather. However when its time for me to change them ill possibly go for Pirellis next time round or even Goodyear HP compounds. And i think this post is excellent. The 4 pieces of rubber attached to your wheels are the only things keeping you from flying across the tarmac and into the drain. So they are a necessary investment!
lets catch up and go ‘running!’
Ming >> Only the top-of-the-range Pirellis seem to be good (and very pricey) – and suitable if you have a powerful car. The lower end ones doesn’t seem value for money, ie, can get same performance for much cheaper with other makes.
235 and 265 – fatties. Is that a Porsche??
Are you sure Hup Shun Sunway has good prices and services? Found a thread from ZTH which says otherwise.
That’s the way to go, welcome to the 3 propeller club! If I’m not mistaken, the Enkei should be 17X8. You can safely mount a 235/45/17 on those and it will still match the OEM specs.
I would stay away from the FK452 but if you could get your hands on the Azenis RT-615 that will be better.
You should also consider Toyo T1-R, Dunlop star spec, Yokohama AD08 or Bridgestones RE-11. The Toyo’s sure are sweet on my 4G63.
Well have fun and Driven to Thrill!
when are we doing a skid pad test?
Falkens are cheap but they wear out really fast (errr, less than six months for regular town driving?). They almost cost me my live when my Airtrek spun three times one rainy morning last year. (Read https://theyogainstructordiaries.blogspot.com/2008/12/day-it-was-almost-end-of-me.html)
Right after I got my car back, I changed all four tyres to Michelin Pilot (each cost me RM625), although it was a bitch for 215s, 225s and 235s are RM300+ difference! And many tyre makers just don’t produce 225 & 235. Let’s see how long these will last me.
Enjoy Airtrek (I had so much fun when I first got it – I drove from Singapore to KL in exactly 2 hours. TWICE!)
ah loon: Primacy is a great comfort tyre, Goodyear have some very long lasting tyres now can check them out.
Ming: I find PP2 and PS2 both very good tyres. Am not so fond of Pirelli any more, the only one I really like is the P-Zero. I think for your size you can consider Toyo R1R too.
ogolong: Agree, Pirelli in Malaysia are extremely overpriced but the P-Zero are VERY good (Porsche and Maserati standard tyres). He’s driving Lexus IS-F (M3 killa!).
John: Yah I read that thread before, they have good and bad. Thing was I didn’t have much time to change and I called around a few shops, their price was decent and they had a lot of range in my size to choose from.
evo8FnF: Yah I did consider T1-R as well but they only started at 225, wanted to stick with 215 for now. Will have the rims checked properly next time and see what I can mount. Would prefer to go for 225/50. Might be a problem too as most start at 45 profile. I might consider Hankook S1 Evo too.
KY: Soon soon!
Ninie Ahmad: Yah I heard they are quite soft compound, tends to wear out fast. Glad to read you’re ok, looks quite serious (snapped axel/lower arm). Well once you reach 225 and 235 you are entering performance tyre territory, normal tyres don’t go that wide (more towards 175-205). There is a lot of choice, just tends to be more expensive. Michelin Pilot series are very good though. Am driving to Hat Yai tonight, so will test it out.
to make u go faster, u just need to accelerate and no need to stop (brake) like terence no rear mirror cos no need to look back when u go forward. LOL
fully agree tyres are the most important item for safety.
goodyear is a good choice. dont go with falken’s. for a normal drive and occasion pushes, something in the mid range will work especially if it is your daily ride. you will get sick of road noise after awhile.
toyo’s and pirelli’s are pricey especially those low profiles and it dents the rims when you are in pot hole heaven. haha..
Myhorng: Not so worried about going faster, worried about slowing down haha.
CraSH: Yah agree, that’s why I went for high performance but not UHP tyre, more into comfort nowdays. Actually Toyo price is not bad, not too expensive. Only Pirelli is really expensive.
You’re surely very thorough as far as buying tyres goes. My personal choice is Pirelli, I stick with them for quite some time and am nothing but satisfied. All in all everything comes down to a particular model not a company. You may well come across a faulty model from a respected company.
Preaching the importance of tyres when you yourself wore them down to the nylon bits and punctured them too. Talk about the devil advocating for peace. Blek!
PPPKia: Camber was too negative (so outside looked fine but inside was worn totally) plus I was selling off the car so didn’t want to change tyres unless absolutely necessary. Can’t people learn from their mistakes 😀