Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Shoes for the Jeep

I knew I needed tires, as the Goodyear Wrangler SR-A 245/65R17's that it came with were just about down to the tread wear indicators.

Then last Sunday, during the Great Battery Expedition, I was rounding a familiar turn in the rain, and the front end washed out and started to slide.

Yes, my Jeep has full-time AWD, but when the tires are turning, and applying power, and worn, they'll skid in the rain.

So, since I'd been researching tires for a few weeks, I decide on what brand and size to buy.

The OEM tires were 9.8" in section width, 65 in aspect ratio, and 29.5" tall. The rolling radius gave them 702 revolutions per mile.

I wanted a wider tire, with close to the same revs/mile, so I started looking at the tire manufacturer's websites to get the specs I needed.

A 275/60R17 would give me a tire about 10.8" wide, with close to the same revs/mile (697, a few less), and I settled on Bridgestone Dueller H/L Alenza tires.



The local tire place didn't have them, but they were in the warehouse, and they had them the next day bynoon.

I went in at 1pm, and was out by 1:45 with 4 new tires, mounted, spun balanced, with free rotation and balancing for the life of the tire.

I also spent an extra $23 per tire for a "certificate" that will replace the tire, for free, if it gets damaged in the shoulder or sidewall where it can't be repaired.

So far they seem to be pretty good tires. The ride is better, and they're a bit quieter than the Goodyears.
And they look great on the Jeep! Just enough extra width to make it look a bit more "serious", and with the 60 aspect ratio they're just as tall, filling up the wheel well nicely.

I do NOT cotton to those running around in SUV's with the 22" rims and the super low profile "rubber band" tires! The first curb they clobber will chew up the rim, and probably wipe out the sidewall.

And I always take it easy the first few hundred miles on new tires, checking the pressure, and retorquing the rims after a 100 miles or so.

3 comments :

  1. I've hardly ever gotten full mileage from a set of tires, mostly because of driving on gravel roads. By the time the tread starts getting a little thin, they start picking up nails like mad, and at some point the tire cannot be repaired without patching the patches, which the tire repair shops refuse to do. So, they'll have some usable tread left, but no way to wear it off.

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  2. I average only about 10,000 miles per year, with summer tires on for five months, and studded snow tires for the other seven months. The tires get old & cracked before they're worn out.

    But it sounds like you found good ones; there's something so satisfying about a full tank of gas and good tires. :^)

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  3. @Jeffro - Yeah, gravel roads will eat them up, along with your paint!

    @Rev - The ozone down here in LaLa land does the same thing. My wife's car has 75% of the tread left after 3 years on the replacement tires she bought, and the sidewalls are getting cracked.
    And my stepson's girlfriend has at least half her tread left, and she's almost scared to drive the car. I looked at them and don't think they're *quite* that bad, but she'll be getting some new ones after Christmas.

    I have a funny feeling I'll be spending some more time at America's Tire in the near future!

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Keep it down to a low boil, please!