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#2599156 - 04/14/12 02:03 AM Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17783
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
I just had a set of Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires installed today. These tires replaced a 14,000 mile old set of Michelin Primacy MXV4 on the Prius. The reason for the replacement was the 5-10% loss in fuel economy with the Primacy MXV4 versus the original equipment Yokohama tires. Michelin truly went above and beyond to satisfy me as a customer, and made me an irresistible offer which allowed the swap to make financial sense.

As of now, I have 197 miles on the tires. I dropped by the tire shop after work, had the tires installed, then went on a 200 mile trip. During the first 75-100 miles of driving, the tires felt fairly greasy. But by the 100 mile mark, the tires felt nearly as grippy and stable as my old set of Primacys.

In detail, these are the things I have noticed so far.

The Good:

- Acceleration. Subjectively, it now requires noticeably less power to get the car moving and to maintain speed. I rarely need the HSI indicator to go into the PWR section in order to accelerate at a reasonable rate; previously this was a common occurrence. Clearly this shows that the drivetrain is not needing to work as much. These Energy Saver A/S tires being 18 lbs vs. 23 definitely has an effect.

- Ability to glide/coast. The car will now roll in traffic at low speeds for a very long time. Previously, with the Primacy MXV4, the car will begin to rapidly decelerate at the slightest incline or if you let go of the accelerator-- not the case anymore. Also, on slight downhill sections of the highway, I now see about 5-10 mpg higher on the instant mpg graph compared to the previous tires. I think this is directly attributed to the reduced rolling resistance.

- Handling. The car actually feels more nimble and turn-in is more responsive due to the lighter tires. You can feel the reduction in weight as evident by the lighter steering. Also, the sidewalls felt flimsy, but this is not noticeable once the tires are installed. I was expecting to have a mushy steering response, but this is not the case at all.

- Traction. I was expecting to take a significant reduction in traction, but these feel 85-90% of the Primacys....at least in dry weather so far. I hope this will hold true for wet.

- Fuel Economy. Incredible. I just finished a 197 mile trip with very strong crosswinds. 65-70 mph the entire way and the computer is indicating 52.0. Normally, with those speeds and weather conditions, I will average 46-48. I know this is not a fluke, as the trip from Salinas to Santa Cruz today resulted in 49-50 mpg. Never in the 20+ times I have made this trip, have I averaged more than 45-46.


The Bad:

- Straightline stability is a bit lacking. The car requires a bit more correction during highway driving than the Primacy MXV4 tires. This was getting better towards the end of trip, which is a good sign.

- Noise. Slightly noisier than the Primacy MXV4 tires, but not quite as noisy as the original equipment Yokohamas.

- Ride quality. Despite the tires being inflated to 38 psi front / 36 psi rear, the ride is much harsher than the Primacy at 40/38. Interestingly, on smooth roads the Energy Savers feel a bit "cushier," but the moment that you hit an imperfection, the feedback is much harsher than I would expect.

Overall, I am happy with this tire since it is allowing me to get the mpg that I was supposed to be getting with the Prius. I see this tire being a solid choice to anyone who is looking to maximize the mileage of their car.

Also, for comparison purposes, this tire was $123 in my 195/65-15 size. TireRack does sell it a bit cheaper at $109/tire shipped. Not outrageous, but definitely on the higher side for a tire of this size.

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#2599160 - 04/14/12 02:23 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: The Critic]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33778
Loc: New Jersey
Nice review! Keep us posted when the weather goes bad.

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#2599164 - 04/14/12 02:45 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: The Critic]
Indydriver Offline


Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 1297
Loc: Indiana
Critic, what is the UTOG on this tire?

I'm a Bridgestone guy and they are doing the same thing across their tire line. The new "space race" in tire design is to incorporate LRR characteristics across the product line without sacrificing other performance parameters such as wet grip, noise and ride comfort.
_________________________
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#2599188 - 04/14/12 06:29 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: The Critic]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 7293
Loc: Rochester NY
Very nice review for the first couple of hundred miles. A friend of mine with an '08 Prius, replaced the OE Integritys with Primacy MXV4's, has stated the same(some MPG drop). He bought the Michelin for his Prius based on the CR rating and that the Primacy MXV4's showed to be decent for rolling resistance.

I showed him the TR Video of the new LRR tires and he was on the fence about the LRR. In the video, the TR even used a Prius as the test car. I believe that he is dissapointed in the MXV4's but, not dissatisfied!
_________________________
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1980 Firebird FORMULA V8-NEW
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#2599204 - 04/14/12 07:34 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: Char Baby]
edwardh1 Offline


Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1645
Loc: Coastal South Carolina
why so much air pressure?

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#2599318 - 04/14/12 10:29 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: The Critic]
HTSS_TR Online   content


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 12902
Loc: Irvine, CA
First, it's good to hear Michelin has good customer services.

Second, LRR tire will never match performance/handling of high performance tire. You gain MPG and may be longer tread life then you will loose in other area.
_________________________
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'00 E430
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#2599926 - 04/15/12 01:24 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: JHZR2]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17783
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Nice review! Keep us posted when the weather goes bad.


I will advise you of the results in November. LOL

Originally Posted By: Indydriver
Critic, what is the UTOG on this tire?

I'm a Bridgestone guy and they are doing the same thing across their tire line. The new "space race" in tire design is to incorporate LRR characteristics across the product line without sacrificing other performance parameters such as wet grip, noise and ride comfort.

UTQG is 480 A B and the worthless treadwear warranty is 65,000 miles.

The recent TireRack test of the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 showed dismal dry and wet traction, which is unfortunate since the EP422 is available in far more sizes than the Energy Saver A/S.

Originally Posted By: Char Baby
Very nice review for the first couple of hundred miles. A friend of mine with an '08 Prius, replaced the OE Integritys with Primacy MXV4's, has stated the same(some MPG drop). He bought the Michelin for his Prius based on the CR rating and that the Primacy MXV4's showed to be decent for rolling resistance.


I have a feeling that all of the CR ratings are relative to the group of tires tested. The Primacy MXV4's rating of excellent for rolling resistance is likely relative to the class of Performance All-Season tires.

Originally Posted By: edwardh1
why so much air pressure?


The OEM recommended inflation is 35 psi front and 33 psi rear.

I am running 38 psi front and 36 psi rear. 3 psi over the OEM recommendations is not a large amount. There are many people on the priuschat forum who run the sidewall maximum without issues with irregular treadwear.

Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR

Second, LRR tire will never match performance/handling of high performance tire. You gain MPG and may be longer tread life then you will loose in other area.

That is true. The "technology triangle" that CapriRacer mentioned is definitely true, at least for now. It is a balance between treadlife, traction and fuel efficiency.

My friend and I took some 90 degree turns today at 30 mph with these tires. The car was definitely sliding more than I expected. Under the same conditions, the car would have been in better control if the Primacy MXV4 tires were still on. However, if the car is driven conservatively, I have no doubt that the driver would not notice the difference in traction between the two tires.

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#2599934 - 04/15/12 01:47 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: HTSS_TR]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17783
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
As an update on fuel economy, I have one tank of 48.5 (manually calculated) so far. This was 200 miles of highway driving at 70, with very strong winds. With the previous tires, I probably would have gotten 44-45.

Right now, I have 20 miles on this tank and the computer is showing 49.3. This tank so far has been comprised of only shorter city trips and stop and go. Normally this would result in a 45 mpg average per the computer.

So, it looks like the Energy Saver A/S are giving me a 10% improvement over the Primacy MXV4. That is significant.

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#2600035 - 04/15/12 08:09 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: The Critic]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 11407
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: The Critic
I have a feeling that all of the CR ratings are relative to the group of tires tested. The Primacy MXV4's rating of excellent for rolling resistance is likely relative to the class of Performance All-Season tires.


The test results are relative to the size of tires tested. In the last round of CR's passenger car tire tests (2009), the all season, performance all season, and high performance all season (S/T, H, and V) are all directly comparable to each other. They were all tested in the same size (P215/60R16), on the same vehicle (Chevy Malibu), and run through the same tests.

The reason that the Primacy MXV4 in that test showed such good rolling resistance data is because it's the OEM tire for the Nissan Altima Hybrid in that particular size. So the rolling resistance from that tire in that size is likely to be better than the rolling resistance from that tire in a different size. CR doesn't do a good enough job explaining that I don't think.

It used to be that you'd have complete tire lines pretty much dedicated to OEM use, like the Goodyear Integrity and Goodyear Invicta, and like the Bridgestone Insignia SE200, and like the Michelin Symmetry and Energy LX4. But now you're starting to see mainstream tire lines being used as OEM equipment (like the Michelin Primacy MXV4, the Goodyear Assurance ComforTread and FuelMax, etc). It just requires a little more context when looking at tire reviews.

As an aside, I'm glad to hear of Michelin's good customer service in this case.
_________________________
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Jason

2008 Honda CR-V EX-L (QSUD 5W-30)
2005 Acura MDX Touring (FMC 5W-20)

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#2600088 - 04/15/12 09:51 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: The Critic]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33778
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: The Critic

The recent TireRack test of the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 showed dismal dry and wet traction, which is unfortunate since the EP422 is available in far more sizes than the Energy Saver A/S.

...

My friend and I took some 90 degree turns today at 30 mph with these tires. The car was definitely sliding more than I expected. Under the same conditions, the car would have been in better control if the Primacy MXV4 tires were still on. However, if the car is driven conservatively, I have no doubt that the driver would not notice the difference in traction between the two tires.


Saw those TR reviews: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/chartDisplay.jsp?ttid=155

The spiders look bad, the bar charts not as much. The 422 tires look like a comfort tire, which is the kind of use that a prius should see. it is a high efficiency driving appliance, not a sports car.

The ecopia also gave the highest economy numbers in the test mix but the differences were only a few percent. Id be pretty surprised if you truly are seeing 10% difference, even against the primacy which isnt a purpose-made LRR tire. Seems a bit high to me.

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#2600618 - 04/15/12 10:12 PM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: JHZR2]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17783
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2

Saw those TR reviews: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/chartDisplay.jsp?ttid=155

The spiders look bad, the bar charts not as much. The 422 tires look like a comfort tire, which is the kind of use that a prius should see. it is a high efficiency driving appliance, not a sports car.

The ecopia also gave the highest economy numbers in the test mix but the differences were only a few percent. Id be pretty surprised if you truly are seeing 10% difference, even against the primacy which isnt a purpose-made LRR tire. Seems a bit high to me.


The EP422 test did not have the Energy Saver A/S as a competitor. The scary thing is, the EP422 delivers below-average traction compared to other LRR tires, which is not a good selling point.

The Primacy MXV4 likely reduced fuel economy about 5-7% from the OE tire. The Energy Saver A/S is likely delivering a few % better than the OE tires. That is how I would guess the 10% is breaking down.

Regardless, I made the 230 mile return trip today and averaged a manually calculated 53.4 mpg. I looked back at my fuel economy log and I have never exceeded 49 mpg on this particular route at any point during my 28,500 miles on this car.

Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd

As an aside, I'm glad to hear of Michelin's good customer service in this case.


Indeed, I was absolutely astounded that they credited 100% for the used Primacy MXV4. I had originally started the claim within the 30 day exchange window, but the Energy Saver A/S tires were on backorder until this month. Due to the amount of wear I had (8/32"), I was expecting a 75% credit. But they have definitely earned a loyal customer from what they did for me this time.

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#2600775 - 04/16/12 07:32 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: JHZR2]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 11407
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
The 422 tires look like a comfort tire, which is the kind of use that a prius should see. it is a high efficiency driving appliance, not a sports car.


No matter what you're driving, I believe in buying tires that deliver above-average traction. It can be a tremendous safety advantage, whether you have to pull down a full ABS stop in a Prius or in a Porsche.
_________________________
Cheers,
Jason

2008 Honda CR-V EX-L (QSUD 5W-30)
2005 Acura MDX Touring (FMC 5W-20)

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#2600896 - 04/16/12 11:05 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: Hokiefyd]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7754
Loc: Barberton,Ohio
The big elephant in the background is the extremely bad goodyear LRR tire in that test... EWW.

excuse me but I'll pay the extra 50-100$ in gas a year max and stop 10ft shorter.


That being said the oem yoko geo-squeelers on my subaru would have been ditched if I didnt have snow tires.

They are definitely OEM QUALITY... and not in a good way.
I'll probably go 1-2 more years on em then upgrade when i get down to 4/32nds.. of course I can always pray for a road hazard taking out a tire.. and with subarus you have to either replace all 4 or get the new tire shaved.. I WONT be buying another one of these.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Yokohama&tireModel=Geolandar+H%2FT+G95A
is the factory tire they are also the worst stone grabber/holder tires I have ever owned..


Edited by Rand (04/16/12 11:09 AM)
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#2600922 - 04/16/12 11:26 AM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: Rand]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7754
Loc: Barberton,Ohio
edit fail:

yokohama g95a

320 BA

Note the "high" UTOG of 320 (yokohama's utog is already inflated as they use a really low life reference tire)

Its also the first Traction "B" tire I've ever owned...

not to poop on your michelin thread.. with all this but
I wonder how the average "LRR" type tire would compare to the average OEM tire.

Why not take 3-4 OEM tires get an average.. take 3-4 older design LRR tires and 3-4 of the new LRR tires

and compare them.


Edited by Rand (04/16/12 11:36 AM)
_________________________
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#2600986 - 04/16/12 12:59 PM Re: Mostly Impressed With Michelin Energy Saver A/S [Re: The Critic]
CapriRacer Offline


Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 2540
Loc: Somewhere in the US
I am hoping everyone realizes the "LRR" means - and only means - that the tire has less rolling resistance compared to tires with the same UTQG Treadwear and Traction ratings.
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