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Discussion Starter #1
My OEM tires have 36000 miles on them, and are showing some serious wear. I will need to replace them real soon (like in the next month).

Can I get any brand and kind of tires (Goodyear, Firestone, BF Goodrich, etc), or do I need a special kind of hard-rubber tire that is only available from the dealer? I want to stick with the original size (P165/65R14) and rims.
 

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You can get any brand in the original size and use the original wheels, but you will likely not see the same gas mileage with a tire of different brand/tread compound. You can find/order the same tires as the originals from a tire dealer, you don't have to go to Honda to get the same tires. Basically Bridgestone worked with Honda to develop the tires for low rolling resistance, so it is conceivable that other brands may make a tire of similar attributes that would not change gas mileage that much. I didn't do too much research, I just went to a local tire dealer and asked them to order the same tires as the originals, and had them installed for right about $70 per tire. The car will operate fine with any tires on the original wheels, its only a matter of how much the gas mileage will suffer and to that I have no idea. I don't even know how much a Honda dealer would charge to do a tire install, but my guess would be more than a tire shop.
 

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Hey Rick,
When did Tirerack.com start selling our OEM tires? I was looking there like half a year ago and they were not selling them...
~Martin
2000 5 Spd MT
 

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I dunno know, the first time I looked for them was maybe in November December. Tire Rack is the cheapest I've been able to find on these so far. Although, discount tire is pretty reasonable at about $70 each mounted and balanced. I've only got 14,000 miles on my Insight, but heck, I drive the thing relatively hard, especially in corners. I've come to terms with the fact that I'll probably be replacing tires around 25 30 thousand so I figure I'll do my homework now and make sure I know where to get em when the time comes.
 

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One bad sidewall

When I had about 16,000 miles on my 2000 Honda Insight, one of the rear tires blew out while I was on Interstate. I was somewhat amused because it was the same kind of sidewall failure that was killing so many SUV drivers, but in the Insight, I was doing about 65-70 when I became aware of an unusual noise. Otherwise, I had no idea that I had a flat tire.

I remember looking around to see if the noise was coming from some other vehicle. It was a loud and strange, rumbling sound, like a decellerating 18-wheeler, except that there weren't any of those anywhere near me. I wondered if it was the engine or transmission. I checked to make sure I had a wide safety buffer around the car, then pushed down the clutch to let the engine rev down. The noise didn't change frequency with the engine. It changed frequency with vehicle speed.

That's when I noticed that my rear view was aimed lower than usual. I gave a signal, slowed down and pulled off to the side. The tire looked really ugly. It was remarkable how stable the car drove with a flat tire. Likely, it would be less stable with a flat on the front.

The part that sucked was that the profit-driven dealer would not give me any money back on the remarkably premature flat, saying that there were signs of abuse on the tire.

Well, I guess driving 70 mph on a flat tire IS abuse, right? :roll:

I'm pretty sure I kept the old tire, just in case there was ever a class action lawsuit. Meanwhile, nobody is bombing my house, and I'm not starving to death, so I decided to just suck up and pay for a new tire and not experience the stress of being an angry consumer.

Oh, and while I was changing the tire, a wind picked up the fender skirt and threw it a couple dozen yards. When I found it, the special carbon-fiber screw that holds it on was lost in the grass. It cost something like $15 to replace that one screw. I got two. Figured it was worth it to have a spare.
 

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Maybe the dealer said that they would not give you money back due to signs of abuse on the tire from the way they were worn. What did you keep your tires inflated to?
~Martin
2000 5 Spd
 

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Motty82 said:
Maybe the dealer said that they would not give you money back due to signs of abuse on the tire from the way they were worn. What did you keep your tires inflated to?
~Martin
2000 5 Spd
I wasn't as careful then as I've been since then, but that wasn't the comment. They said that the sidewalls looked like I'd rubbed up against curbs too much. This is not true. The sidewalls were a mess on the one tire because I had driven a couple miles at high speed after the blowout because I didn't know I had a flat. The other tires were fine at 45,000 miles when the car was hit by a Toyota Pathfinder and subsequently destroyed by a quick-triggered rescue worker with the Jaws of Life.

Note that this was a back tire. The rear tires track quite a bit narrower than the front. I'd expect to rub the front tires more, and the dealer never commented about tire wear when they rotated the tires.
 
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