This site has been on my lurk list for some time. I've been drooling over a high mileage, low emissions hybrid for some time and now the time may have come. I test drove a 2006 Civic Hybrid today and hot **** was it ever sweet. I remember giggling like a little schoolgirl when (after the car had warmed up) the Auto Stop kicked in at a stoplight. On a city-ish driving loop, I averaged 50.1 MPG on the test drive (and this is a car with only 20 miles on it!). For the price, the dealer says MSRP for an HCH w/ Navigation, but he's kicking in free foglights ($530 installed at this dealership).
At any rate, my question is about tires. My current Honda, a 2001 Civic EX, came originally equipped with the most useless pieces of rubber to ever grace a 15" steel wheel, the Firestone FR690. In heavy rain, you might as well have waterskis installed. In snow and ice, a ballet toeshoe coated in teflon has more traction. I have had far too many close calls in bad weather driving because of those "tires". Last year I sent them to the dump and replaced them with Nokian WR's. The WR's are the only all-season radials with the severe snow service emblem (in other words, they're snow tires you can drive on all year long - BTW I live in mid-Michigan so good snow/ice traction is a must for tires IMHO). My fuel economy stayed the same and my traction in all conditions improved greatly. The winter traction is so good, I can safely pass people on the highway in deep snow. To this day I am still puzzled why Honda would put such craptacular rubber on an economy car (or maybe I just answered my question )?
After I finished the test drive, I knelt down next to the wheel and read the sidewall: Dunlop SP31. A quick Googling and I see they are available for sale at TireRack.com but there is little information about the tire. You can't even get anything at Dunlop's own corporate website (www.dunloptires.com ). It's like they've disowned them.
So tell me what the deal is with this rubber? Is it LRR? What can I expect in rain or snow? I ask because a set of Nokian WR 195/65R15 91T's will run me $400 + sales tax. Not a big deal for me, but I need to order them soon, because Nokian tires usually sell out quickly when winter starts.
Snow? Bah humbug! Where's global warming when I need it?
To answer a few questions, the Dunlop SP31 is a new tire in Dunlop's line. It has a special tred pattern, very different indeed, to create low rolling resistance to help increase gas mileage. A lower rolling resistance, helps the car by putting less of a load so to speak on the engine. So far, the tires seems to be good tires. They do well in rain and fairly well when cornering. I haven't seen any reviews yet and I have only been driving on them for almost 1,700 miles but the seem to be good tires, and I think they def. help FE. I suffered a flat tire a couple hundred miles ago, here is the link to the thread which might help a little more: http://www.greenhybrid.com/discuss/f...-hch.5033.html
I hope this helps.
So far, the tires seems to be good tires. They do well in rain and fairly well when cornering. I haven't seen any reviews yet and I have only been driving on them for almost 1,700 miles but the seem to be good tires, and I think they def. help FE.
I had a feeling there would be no reviews yet. Meh.
Nokian claims the WR has a low rolling resistance due to the tread using silica mixed in with the rubber. They do not specifically say that this would be a good tire for a high mileage vehicle.
If I pull the trigger on the car, I may just leave the OEM tires on for one winter to see how they do, then replace them next winter if I am dissatisfied.
I just got a response from Goodyear. I had no idea Goodyear owned Dunlop. Anyway, the individual was not very helpful. He mailed me a screenshot of an internal website that only companies can log into. All it had was ratings for treadwear, traction, and temperature. I could've gotten that from Tire Rack. And he said that he would assume it was a low rolling resistance tire because it was on a hybrid.
Meh. I smell another Firestone FR690. I think I'm going to get the Nokians
I own 2 Honda Hybrids, a 2008 Civic, and a 2010 Insight. The 2008 Civic had the Dunlop SP31 tires and had poor traction in heavy rain, not to mention a 10 MPG reduction in fuel use.
With 37K miles and the rainy season approaching, I decided to purchase a new set of tires. I made the mistake of taking a recommendation form a big box retailer and purchased a set of Bridgeport Potenza RE960 tires. All specifications were positive according to Bridgestone and the retailer.
Driving home via Interstate 40, a 19-mile trip, the ride was very good, lower road noise, but the mileage dropped to 37 MPG, down from 48 MPG for the same trip out to the retailer.
I was so concerned that I drove the 38-mile circuit yesterday morning and achieved 37 MPG overall never once seeing the familiar 40 plus MPG. Actually, on this trip I am accustomed to pulling into the retailer with a 50 MPG reading on the onboard computer.
For the three years that we have owned the vehicle since new, we have averaged 44 MPG at fill up. Last year we drove a roundtrip from Memphis to Snowshoe, West Virginia, 1700 miles roundtrip, and averaged 39 MPG.
I have ordered a new set of Dunlop’s from Sam’s Club and will never make this MPG mistake in the future.
Just wanted to note that my Dunlop SP31's are fading fast at 25000 miles. I hope to nurse them to at least 30000, then upgrade. I get the feeling it would be pretty difficult to downgrade!
As to the rolling resistance, according to Consumer Reports that accounts for about 4% of your mileage. So eliminating it completely would only add about 1/2 mile per gallon. I notice that my mileage varies from about 32 to 50 mpg depending on speed, trip length, temperature, precip, load, air conditioning (recycle, outside air, none), type of driving (city, suburban, rural, highway), and whether I'm late, on time, or early. All this without any tire or pressure change. When I change tires, I'll try to see if I can detect any change in mileage which might be due to rolling resistance or rolling radius.
Location: Coquitlam BC, Canada (Greater Vancouver area)
Hybrids: 2010 Toyota Prius Touring (& former HCHII owner)
Re: What's a Dunlop SP31?
When I change tires, I'll try to see if I can detect any change in mileage
If you put on a "regular" tire, not Low Rolling Resistance tire, I'm sure you will see a difference, a significant difference. We have the (similar) Bridgestone Insignia SE200_02 as OEM tire on ours. When I swap them for Nokian WRG2 (an all weather tire we use for winter months), I see the mileage go from 5.7~6.0 liters per 100 kilometer, to 6.5 and higher. Same weather, same driving conditions, etcetera.
I currently have 38K miles on my 2010 Insight and the tread wear bars are about to hit. Wondering if I should replace the tires with the same OEM or look for alternatives. I have had no trouble with them but wonder if that is a reasonable amount of miles on these tires.