Getting New Tires For 99 Corolla

Emily

New member
My 99 Corolla is (over)due for new tires. I've started doing a bit of research, but am somewhat overwhelmed by the options and would appreciate any advice or direction. Thus far, it has been suggested I lookup mastercraft, toyo and yokohama brand tires. (Also "hifly" was syggested by a tire salesman who I'm pretty sure thought I was an easy mark; I am not finding positive things about them on researching.)

Needs are all-weather, and (of course) as inexpensive as possible without being crappy tires (which I know are competing needs). I'm in New England, so these are going to be dealing with lousy weather conditions. Safety (and therefore handling) matters more to me than fuel economy (it's a corolla, I've already achieved that one).

As googling generally brings me here anyway (I've been thinking of making an account here for about 2 years now), I figured I'd outright ask:

Any thoughts on brand?

Any thoughts on 175 vs. 185 width?

Any other things I should know or consider?

Thanks!

 
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fishexpo101

I know Karate, Kung Fu, and 47 other dangerous wor
I understand where you are coming from - tires being a safety related item - I tend to spend as much as I can afford on them. But given the dozens to hundreds of possible choices - which one is the best. Unfortunately, without a crystal ball - hard to say with any certainty.

Width wise - doesn't really matter 175 or 185 treadwidth - both were OEM sizes on the 8th gen Corolla. I prefer something a bit wider - 195/60-14 on my Corolla - as it suits my driving style. Width will likely be dictated by available tire sizes - may only find a 175 or 185 width, but not both for a particular tire.

Brand wise - for consistent performance and build quality, I tend to stick with the major brand names - Bridgestone, Yokohama, Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, Dunlop, and Pirelli. Never tried Cooper tires, though Cooper makes Mastercraft tires.

Hifly, as you suspected, is a chinese knock-off tire - given their spotty "quality" issues, I would stay far away from them. Same with Aeolus and Ling Long - well know Chinese tire manufacturers that make almost identical knock-offs of popular Michelin and Yokohama tires (tread patterns, stamping, etc) - so you have to be very careful as you are shopping out there.

Tips

- note where the tire is manufactured, best to have all the tires match in this regard. Many of your top tier tire manufacturer's have manufacturing plants all over the world - their process is pretty solid, but I found that the most consistent wear and overall performance came from "matched sets" - make sure all the tires come from the same plant.

- check the manufacturing date on the tire, want to have a tire that as "fresh" as possible. Look at the DOT code on the tire - the last 4 digits are the manufactured date. Ex. (from Tirerack website) DOT U2LL LMLR 5107 - lat 4 digits are "5107" - that means the tires were made on the "51st" week of the year "2007". You want this date to be as new as possible. I've seen some shops have tires that are new, but sitting on the shelf for three years. Problem is, there are additives that keep the rubber material soft and pliable - as the tires ages, those additives break down and the tire can start to rot out. What's worse - sometimes the warranty goes by the manufactured date - not the date of service - so read the fine print.

- note that all-season tires are a compromise tire - the Jack-of-all-trades, Master of none. Will be able to get you through some light snow - but with any ice or heavy snow, doesn't even compare to a dedicated snow tire. Same with the dry and wet weather performance - A/S are OK, but not optimized for either situation.

Tires I have right now and very pleased with - Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position in a 195/60-14 size. Night and day better than the Goodyear Integrity GLs that came with the car. When that ice storm a few years ago - I was still able to claw my way home where more potentially capable cars were stranded by maintaining enough distance to allow momentum to keep be rolling. Once you come to a dead stop, with an open diff - spin city, just getting stuck worse.

 

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