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Discussion Starter #1
I called the Tire Rack and asked them the price of the original equipment tire on the IS300, which are Bridgetone REO40's 215/45-17. They are not available for sale at Tire Rack because they car hasn't been released yet. The original equipment tire on the my GS400 were Bridgetone REO30's 235/45-17 which are $248 a tire.... Considering this fact, I imagine the price of the IS300's REO40's won't be much cheaper... My tires only lasted 12K miles due to the soft rubber compound. I replaced them with Bridgetone SO2 Pole Positions ($209 a tire).. Those tires are fantastic... They perform better, last longer, and are cheaper. I reccomend them to IS300 buyers after about 12-15K miles when your tires are balding... If I stuck with the Original equipment tire, I would have to be $1,000 every 12K miles....

Eric.....
 

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DAYAM...$248 a tire?!!? I've had Yokohama A520's they lasted me 15K miles and they were about $100 a tire. They were ok, worked well in normal driving and and in but it doesn't snow in CA so I wouldn't know how they would hold up. Cool thing about my tires is that the store I bought it from has a protection plan for my tires. If I hit a nail, pothole, or something else that damages the tire they will replace it for free! I have about 10K miles left to go before i "accidentally" run over some nails. I also hear that Nitto tires wear down a lot faster than normal tires do.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think Michelin tires are nice tires but WAY overpriced ($241 Michelin Pilot Sport)... I don't like Pirelli tires because of their uneven tirewear (and short life). My all time favorite are the Bridgetone S02 Pole Positions (excellent traction in both wet and dry weather). I also like Dunlop's SP Sport 8000 series. I haven't tried the SP Sport 9000's but I imagine they are very nice....
Eric....
 

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From my own experience, Pirelli P600 and P6000 are good tires but not on Lexus ES300 nor Toyota Camry. They are more tuned for European car suspensions which damp out bumps nicely. For the current Lexus models (ES300, GS, LS and RX, not sure for LX), the suspension are comparably sensitive to big bumps and hence for IS300 I will probably go for Bridgestone S04 or Michelin Pilot or similar model..

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
AndyL
In 1988 my father bought a BMW 735i which came with Pirelli P600's. He had big problems with uneven tire wear. Then in 1990 he bought a BMW 750iL which also came with Pirelli's P600 tires. The problems with uneven tire wear was even more extreme.... Since then, my father has continued to buy BMW's, but non of them came with Pirelli tires. If you'll notice, BMW mostly uses Michelin tires on their cars. (mostly Michelin energies and Michelin Pilots). With the Michelin tires he's never had problems with uneven tire wear. My father got the BMW 18inch wheel package on his 2000 740iL.. Tire size is 235/50-18's in the front and 255/45-18's in the rear and those tires are Michelin Pilot SX. They are excellent tires and wear nicely, but are VERY expensive... As I said earlier, stick to the Bridgestone S02 Pole Positions and you can't go wrong. With those tires, my GS400 is now VERY forgiving if you go into a corner too fast...
Eric....
 

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Hey Eric,

thanks for your advice. Pirelli has other problems as well especially the old P6. When my Toyota dealer heard about Pirelli, they immediately asked if it's a P6.

Besides, Pirelli tires are too sensitive to the accuracy of tire balancing. In other words, you have to have a perfect tire balancing for them.

Michelin tires are better products with less vibration and uneven wear problems, as my tire shop said it before. They are much easier to balance.

Andy
 

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AndyL, EricK. We had the P6000 summer tires for 2 summers and I agree absolutely that they don't last. By the end of the second summer, they were pretty much bald! Like AndyL said, they are quite sensative tire balancing and wheel alignments. Although they were pretty good in both wet and dry...while they last.
Although, it also depends on how you drive your cars.
 

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Any of the BMW nuts that I have ever talked to used to call the Pirelli tire..."Sliderelli's "cuz they would get goofy if the temp was not just right. It wasn't really the choice of the autocrossers that I have talked to. Lexus is using a high performance soft as hell tire for the IS300, and all season tires will eventually be around but not initially. Its show and go until the snow flies...anybody ever have the enjoyment of traversing the snowbarrened land in a GS400 with the 17" performancr tire upgrade???!! ( Its only fun if you don't own the car...and can toast it without too much guilt...)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ISBLAIN,
My GS400 (with 17inch wheel package) hibernates for the winter. Even in "SNOW" mode and the VSC, that car would be absolutely horrible in the snow due to its extremely responsive throttle. You can spin the tires by just touching the accelerator in the rain... I couldn't even imagine driving it in the snow, nor would I want to......

Eric......
 

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On the Lexus Mailing List I subscribe to, several people said to turn off the TRAC or VSC when you're driving in the snow. I think the same thing was mentioned in the owner's manual, but I'm not sure. I can look up the archive of posts though.

Originally posted by EricK:
ISBLAIN,
My GS400 (with 17inch wheel package) hibernates for the winter. Even in "SNOW" mode and the VSC, that car would be absolutely horrible in the snow due to its extremely responsive throttle. You can spin the tires by just touching the accelerator in the rain... I couldn't even imagine driving it in the snow, nor would I want to......

Eric......
 

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Can someone explain why you would turn off traction control in the snow? I would think that it would be very helpful for those conditions. Usually when the tires start spinning too fast (on snow) is when they "dig a trench" and get you stuck.

I don't drive on snow much so I am no expert...
 

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JW: I'm interested to know the logic behind turning off traction control or VSC when driving in the snow too. I thought those systems are suppose to help in situations where the car is losing control.
But even with all those advance vehicle controls, the prudent thing is still to slow down and keep a longer distance between each other. I especially hate those SUVs driving at high speed even in a blinding snow storm thinking they are invincible or impervious to the laws of nature.
 

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Okay, folks, I'm looking at the archives right now...so bear with me for a bit. I may be mistaken about the VSC thing, but I'll check to make sure.
 

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Okay, I found the posts, so here we go...
(I apologize if this is too long).

P.S.-dial-up connections suck.

1.) The first person describes how the dealer suggested using the ECT-Snow, but VSC off:

Date: Jan 27 2000 12:50:34 EST
From: [email protected]
Subject: Snow woes

I can relate to the RWD woes mentioned in earlier posts. My '98 GS300's problems tend to be hills (even slight hills) where I'm stopped in traffic. Even in "snow mode" with VSC on, the wheels spin tremendously. Even more alarming, the car's rear wants to kick over into the right lane. I'm still trying to find the right combination of ECT and VSC off/on. A Lexus salesman suggested using snow mode but taking VSC off (especially when on poorly plowed roads). As someone here mentioned earlier, at least one tire needs to see traction for the VSC system to work properly. So far, that combination (Snow mode on/ VSC off) seems to be better.

[rest of the message is irrelevant]

Darryl Johnson
'98 GS300, Cinnabar


2.) Regarding VSC:


Date: Jan 27 2000 00:12:12 EST
From: "Ashraf Mohsen, AF Motors" <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: GS400 in snow

You have to remember that any traction improving system (like ABS or VSC) will only work if there is traction in at least one tire, if not then you are out of luck. That is why the trac light was working so hard, because it kept on looking for a tire with traction. This is the same for any vehicle with these options. The only thing that could improve this situation are snow tires. I would recomend them is you live in the snow belt. But if you have an Explorer let it do the dirty work. The snow position on the transmission just starts the car on 2nd gear (for lower torque).


3.) Testimony:

Date: Jan 31 2000 17:16:29 EST
From: [email protected]
Subject: ECT SNOW on, VSC off

I had another opportunity to drive my LS in the snow today. I tried the ECT SNOW on, VSC off trick. I did much better, thanks guys.

Stephen Withrow
98 LS400, Silver
 

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One tire that I would highly reccomend if you want 'High Performance' tires are the Sumitomo HTR Z IIs.. They are Z rated tires, and stick to the road like glue. I run these tires for track (SCCA) and street. I am very very pleased with how they do in the rain, its almost as if driving on dry road. They also have a GREAT tread life. I'm coming up on 10k miles with these tires, and probably are good for another 20k as long as I rotate them after my track events. Best of all... the tires in my current size (225/40/18) are only $165 bucks each. Oh yeah, Sumitomo is the parent company of Dunlap, so they aren't just some generic tire company. I'd highly reccomend these to anyone


------------------
Zerin Dube
http://www.gtivr6.com
 

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Thanks for looking up the info JW. It will be fun experiementing when winter comes. Glad that's still 6 months away.
 

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I've never had any luck with OE Bridgestones. The ones on my Miata were like rocks. I replaced those the first time with Sumitomo HTH/R/Z or something, I can't remember - those were good tires for the money. The next set were Dunlop SP8000's (205/50/15). Those were great, but won't get them again. Wet weather traction was not the greatest and they get hard and brittle after 12k miles or so with plenty of tread left. The Miata currently has Toyo Proxes T1S (215/45/15) and I love them!

As for the IS, chances are I'll go Toyo for the first replacement set. But I see that Tirerack has the Dunlop SP9000 in the IS's size for $139 each right now...y'all might want to stock up on those.


The 235/40/17 size is only 0.9% smaller than the stock size (negligible difference) and will satisfy some of you wanting wider tires - as long as they fit well on the stock rims (17x7 or 17x8?) The Toyo Proxes T1S do come that size, so I might try and price those out.
 
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