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Old 10-02-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
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Unhappy Tires and Alignment

I purchased my 2000 base Boxster 14 months ago. The back tires were OK and the fronts were shot due to bad alignment. I have been buying tires at Big-O for years and the guys in my local shop are friends. So I went there. I had it aligned and new tires on the front. Left the backs alone. (It had Falkens all around) They recommended Nito Motivo 205/50ZR17's for the front. After 13 months and 14K miles of combined city and highway, I was very happy with the handling and wear on the fronts. I am a "Spirited" driver and never waste a chance to take a corner or on/off ramp at the limit. My Boxster was stuck like glue. I was a happy camper. Now for the bad news. By now the rears were shot and so back to Big-O for alignment and a set of Nito Motivo 255/40ZR17's for the rear. After a couple of corners I was literally scared. I thought the back end was coming out from under me. Those ramps that I was taking at 80 were now down to 50 and I was loosing it. I went back and they told me it would be like that for a while due to "tread squwish". So I forced myself to slow down and hold on. I checked my pressures and made sure I was at factory specs 36 rear and 29 front. Even bought a new gauge. Same handling. Now 2 months and a couple of thousand mile later, same thing. The question is, "Where is my car and when can I have it back". I need help.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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Sounds like there's nothing for it but to bite the bullet and get some new tires. There's lots of threads here on tire selection that will give you many happy hours of reading, the end result will be a whole new level of confusion.

I'll start, not with what I'm running because it wouldn't apply in this case, but with what I've decided to get next spring based on those many hours of happy reading.

Hankook Ventus V12 225/45/17 front and 255/40/17 rear

Supposed to be quiet and sticky and not brutally expensive. I'll find out about the longevity.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
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There's a great review in those Hankooks on Road & Track or Car and Driver. Do a search.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Were the Falkens summer tires? Sounds like you should be driving Summer High Performance all around if you are pushing the car hard.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_T View Post

Hankook Ventus V12 225/45/17 front and 255/40/17 rear

Supposed to be quiet and sticky and not brutally expensive. I'll find out about the longevity.
Right now I am running Sumitomo HTR-Z III in the stock 17" sizes and have been very happy with them. I am thinking of going to the V12 with the 225/45 in the front; I have heard a lot of good things about them. I may stay with the Sumitomo too I have never experienced what you describe in my car (2000 S)

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Old 10-03-2013, 04:26 AM   #6
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go with the Hankooks.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
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The Nitto Motivo is an all-season high performance tire that is meant to maximize a smooth ride, quietness, and wet handling (at the expense of the other criteria). So, your tire shop is probably correct saying you're experiencing "tread squish" on new tires on dry pavement at the limit. It makes them feel like they are on ice. Very slippery slidey. This condition will probably continue to exist until the tire is about half worn, then they will start to feel like your "old" tires. The alternative is going to a high performance summer tire which will have better dry grip when brand new but may not be as good in the wet (or may be louder or ride harder or cost more money). Tires are all about the tradeoffs.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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When I first got the Michelin all-seasons they felt 'squirmy" through the corners but they didn't actually break loose, they just felt like they would. They felt much better through the 2nd and 3rd seasons, and then went over the cliff about halfway through the 4th. Now, at the end of the 5th season, with 40k km on them, they break loose with almost no effort at all. They aren't going to see a 6th season.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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Where do you go for alignment's? Dealer? Chain? Specialty?
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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thstone;
Thanks, this is very helpful. You are right, the ride is great, the noise is really low. I will probably really love them once the California wet season comes on us. I think I'll look for another set of rims and get some good summer HP tires for the spring. As you know, we don't see a drop of rain up here in the Sacramento valley from the 1st of May until the 1st of November. You make perfect sense. Thanks.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #11
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Thanks Mark, this is helpful
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:44 PM   #12
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BDBoxster;
I have gone to Big-O tires for a long time. They have always done me right and they are my friends. I'm sure they would replace the tires if I asked, with no penalty. But as thstone said above, I'll probably love them when it starts raining in November.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:11 AM   #13
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Pastor T, I am curious how much you pay for an alignment? I am looking into getting an alignment and not sure where to go, other than a dealer? They say the alignment is specific and delicate and not like a regular 4 door sedan car???
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:35 PM   #14
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I pay around $100 at Big-O. But perhaps that's part of my problem with looseness. The back tires seem to be tilted way in at the top. You can see it with your eye when looking from the back. What do they call that, caster, camber? I think is called negative camber. Either way, I put a level on it and it was about a full bubble tilted in at the top. I know they are supposed to have some of this, like about negative 1-3 degrees or so. I don't know what a dealer charges. Long answer short; I used to think is wasn't such a big deal. But now I'm wondering since my car handles so poorly now.
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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I got my dealer down from $450 to $350 and I hear that good indy's charge anywhere from $180 - $275. I think it's important to have the right alignment or you might as well put on the cheapest tires every few months. It's not a typical alignment so check your local PCA sources.

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