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1990LS400

Michelin Primacy Mxv4 -- H Or V Speed Rated?

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Yes, I know the H vs. V speed rated tire buying decision has been discussed ad nauseum, but do I really want to buy the H-rated version of the all-season Primacy MXV4 when the V-rated ones are essentially the same price and have the same treadwear, traction, temperature and 60,000 mile ratings?

I'm looking at the 225/60-16 size that was standard on my 2000 LS400 and all other LS cars from 1993 through 2002 to replace the Bridgestone RE750 Z-rated directional summer tires I've used the past three years. I'm still on Blizzaks in winter.

Here's the deal ... until January 31st, Costco has both the H and V speed rated all-season Primacy MXV4 tires on "special".

$124.49 each for the H-rated Primacy MXV4 -- $497.96 for a set of 4 tires

$131.49 each for the V-rated Primacy MXV4 -- $525.96 for a set of 4 tires

The price difference between the H-rated and V-rated tires is a "nit". Regardless of which I choose, I'll even get a bit of the purchase price back at the end of the year in my annual Costco rebate check.

My brain is telling me buy the H-rated tires ....you know ... something "age appropriate" .... but, would the H-rated MXV4 tires really last any longer, or be any quieter or more comfortable than the V-rated ones?

And would the V-rated MXV4 provide any real safety margin or noticably better handling during my occasional transformations from "Dr Jekyll" into "Mr Hyde"? It's not like I'm driving over the speed limit except for an occasional punch up to 85 mph or so when someone speeds up on a downhill grade while I am passing. I have, however, been known to occasionally drive near and sometimes past the limits of tire adhesion when I'm feeling a little randy (no jokes, landar!).

Interestingly, Costco has the H-rated MXV4 in their computer system as having an "H/V" speed rating ... maybe to bless putting H-rated tires on a car like mine that came with V-rated tires. I specifically asked and they have no problem in installing the H-rated MXV4 on a car that came with V-rated tires.

I might have the Lexus dealer install the Michelins on my summer chrome wheels since they have chrome wheel weights and nobody else seems to. I thought the dealer might balk at putting H-rated tires on my car but I checked and they don't care either.

Does anybody have any comments on which tires to buy? Am I obsessing? Thanks in advance for any comments or abuse!

On a side note, my Bridgestone Potenza RE750 Z-rated summer (not all-season) directional tires are already down to 3/32" of remaining tread after 22,334 miles of mainly geezer-like driving over three years and with careful monitoring of tire pressures. They have been reasonably quiet (i.e. quieter than the Bridgestone 4000 tires they replaced), a little harsh on rough pavement, and have provided the most fun and secure handling of any tire I've used on an LS. A big reason I'm moving back to using all-season tires in the summer is that the selection and supply of high performance summer tires in size 225/60-16 is drying up -- they exist but tire discounters seem to be focusing on tire sizes commonly used on more recent cars.

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For that price difference I'd buy the Vs, but probably no difference.

You obsess like me ;)

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Buy the H's. They will last a bit longer, ride softer ( a bit ) and be perfectly safe. You simply have to avoid cruising speeds past 125 mph......

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They're not going to last any longer. My H rated Primacy's have lasted about the same as my V rated MXV4+, nowhere near the treadwear warranty by the way. Not all that surprised...

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I might have the Lexus dealer install the Michelins on my summer chrome wheels since they have chrome wheel weights and nobody else seems to.

[/quote

Its been a while since I bought tire but doesn't Costco bundle in installation in the price. If so you're forgoing that value and will have to pay dealer a fee to install (and balance). Also Costco offers lifetime free rebalancing so if they don't install you'd likely lose that service too. No deal breakers here, but I find the lifetime rebalance nice.

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They're not going to last any longer. My H rated Primacy's have lasted about the same as my V rated MXV4+, nowhere near the treadwear warranty by the way. Not all that surprised...

The so=called UTQC (or is it UTQG?) rating determines the 'duration' of use of the tires. Particularly if provided by the same manufacturer (presumably thus providing a strong likelihood of similar test conditions), the UTQC/G rating will provide a fair comparison of how long they will last. Often, the "V" tire has a lower rating than the "H" tire. In other than top speed allowance, the chances are that dry/wet performance is similar in similar tires rated "H" or "V", with the UTQC/G showing some difference.

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They're not going to last any longer. My H rated Primacy's have lasted about the same as my V rated MXV4+, nowhere near the treadwear warranty by the way. Not all that surprised...

Thanks for the feedback Steve and SRK. I'd be thrilled to get 40K miles from a set of tires, let alone 50K or 60K. What has me baffled is that both the V and H rated MXV4 has the same very high 620 tread wear rating -- how can they do that on a V-rated tire? My Bridgestone RE750 Z-rated summer tires have a treadwear rating of only 340.

Its been a while since I bought tire but doesn't Costco bundle in installation in the price. If so you're forgoing that value and will have to pay dealer a fee to install (and balance). Also Costco offers lifetime free rebalancing so if they don't install you'd likely lose that service too. No deal breakers here, but I find the lifetime rebalance nice.

Thanks for reminding me about the Costco lifetime balancing. Costco charges $14 per tire for installation including lifetime rebalancing, flat repair and even nitrogen. The dealer charges a little more per wheel (and no lifetime balancing/repair) but I tend to trust the Lexus dealer with my chrome wheels -- at least they haven't screwed them up yet. The Lexus dealer replaced the wheels in 2003 under warranty and they still look flawless -- I'd like to keep them that way.

I'd rather have Costco mount and balance the new tires if I could depend on them to not mess up my wheels -- Costco is only 8 blocks from my house and the Lexus dealer is 10 miles away. It's a running joke with some of the Costco employees that I'm in there every day or two and I'm on a first name basis with some of them.

I'll stick one of my summer chrome wheels in the trunk and have the Costco tire department manager look at it. I also want to verify that Costco has decent balancing weights that the fit the rim well -- chrome weights like the Lexus dealer uses would be nice but that's probably asking too much.

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If you do not need good cornering performance or wet traction and just want a super quiet, bump smothering ride and good fuel economy then inexpensive Goodyear Integrity tires will be better than the Michelins. The Integrity's are low rated at tirerack.com due to major bias's in tireracks rating system (biases that favor expensive tires and help boost tirerack's profitability).

You should also get the factory original P205/65R15 size for the smoothest ride or slightly taller and narrower P215/70R/15 size for even more sidewall flex and road shock absorption.

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On my 1998 LS, I switched from H rated Michelin Energy tires to the V rated Michelin Primacy tires last year, and I felt the the difference was not substantial. Granted that I'm not a very aggressive driver, the new V rated tires delivered a quieter ride than the worn H tires. Sharp handling manuvers with the V rated Primacys occasionally produce tire squeal, but I did not notice any increases in handing ability despite the difference in speed rating. From your driving habits, it sounds like either tire would be a good choice for your LS. :)

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If you do not need good cornering performance or wet traction and just want a super quiet, bump smothering ride and good fuel economy then inexpensive Goodyear Integrity tires will be better than the Michelins. The Integrity's are low rated at tirerack.com due to major bias's in tireracks rating system (biases that favor expensive tires and help boost tirerack's profitability).

Wow! Those Goodyear Integrity tires were really trashed in Tire Rack's survey by the 1,600 people who purchased them and responded -- there near the bottom of the ranking in the all season tire category. The owner comments make them sound a little scary.

I would hope that some Goodyear tire models are good. I haven't had a Goodyear tire on a car since the disastrous Eagle GA tires that came on my 90 LS. When I got the class action lawsuit settlement check from Goodyear, I did NOT buy another set of Goodyear tires.

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On my 1998 LS, I switched from H rated Michelin Energy tires to the V rated Michelin Primacy tires last year, and I felt the the difference was not substantial. Granted that I'm not a very aggressive driver, the new V rated tires delivered a quieter ride than the worn H tires. Sharp handling manuvers with the V rated Primacys occasionally produce tire squeal, but I did not notice any increases in handing ability despite the difference in speed rating. From your driving habits, it sounds like either tire would be a good choice for your LS. :)

Thanks for the feedback. It's hard to ignor that the Primacy MXV4 was rated #1 by purchasers in the Grand Touring All Season category in the Tire Rack Survey. I'm almost going to feel like I am "cheating" on Tire Rack when I buy the Michelins from Costco in the next few days. Except for one set, all the tires I've bought since Tire Rack went national in the early 1980's have been from them.

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They're not going to last any longer. My H rated Primacy's have lasted about the same as my V rated MXV4+, nowhere near the treadwear warranty by the way. Not all that surprised...

Thanks for the feedback Steve and SRK. I'd be thrilled to get 40K miles from a set of tires, let alone 50K or 60K. What has me baffled is that both the V and H rated MXV4 has the same very high 620 tread wear rating -- how can they do that on a V-rated tire? My Bridgestone RE750 Z-rated summer tires have a treadwear rating of only 340.

Its been a while since I bought tire but doesn't Costco bundle in installation in the price. If so you're forgoing that value and will have to pay dealer a fee to install (and balance). Also Costco offers lifetime free rebalancing so if they don't install you'd likely lose that service too. No deal breakers here, but I find the lifetime rebalance nice.

Thanks for reminding me about the Costco lifetime balancing. Costco charges $14 per tire for installation including lifetime rebalancing, flat repair and even nitrogen. The dealer charges a little more per wheel (and no lifetime balancing/repair) but I tend to trust the Lexus dealer with my chrome wheels -- at least they haven't screwed them up yet. The Lexus dealer replaced the wheels in 2003 under warranty and they still look flawless -- I'd like to keep them that way.

I'd rather have Costco mount and balance the new tires if I could depend on them to not mess up my wheels -- Costco is only 8 blocks from my house and the Lexus dealer is 10 miles away. It's a running joke with some of the Costco employees that I'm in there every day or two and I'm on a first name basis with some of them.

I'll stick one of my summer chrome wheels in the trunk and have the Costco tire department manager look at it. I also want to verify that Costco has decent balancing weights that the fit the rim well -- chrome weights like the Lexus dealer uses would be nice but that's probably asking too much.

Actually I have pretty high regard for Costco's tire department. They're big enough to have good policies. For instance I know at the ones around here they are maniacal about using a torque wrench to do final tighten of wheel nuts. That to me indicates some solid policies and procedures that are trained and followed. Some tire stores give a 16 year old testosterone ravaged youth a 150ftlb impact gun and let him loose.

I have used the rebalance option and they didn’t flinch or put me in the waiting room for 4 hours. So I give them a pretty good grade. You case may be slightly more challenging with the more exotic wheels but ask them how they handle that, maybe have them do one for your inspection before the do all four.

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The deed has been done. I bought the H-rated Michelin MXV4 tires instead of the V-rated ones. I did not purchase Costco's installation package and lifetime balancing/repair service -- reasons below.

Costco didn't have any V-rated MXV4 tires in stock. I could have ordered V-rated tires but instead bought four of the seven H-rated ones they had left in stock. All were manufactured in the last half of 2009 except for one made the third week of 2009.

The price was lower than advertised -- ended up paying $122.47 per tire. Saving an additional $8.08 will make my CPA wife happy -- really, she's that nuts about money. The Costco employee that sold me the H-rated tires required that I sign a release ... the Costco employee I spoke with last week didn't mention that.

The reason I did not purchase the Costco installation/service package ($14 per tire) was that Costco has "gone green" and is using steel balancing weights (instead of lead) that would be unusually noticable on my chrome rims. Since steel is apparently lighter than lead, the steel weights are HUGE and take up a substantially greater length of space along the outside wheel rim than lead weights do.

I'm hoping that the Lexus dealer is still using chrome balancing weights even if they have gone to using steel. My wheels are really nothing special -- same as the optional 16" chrome wheels on the 01-02 LS430. The Costco tire guy suggested using low profile stick-on balancing weights, but "been there, done that" -- not enough clearance between the front brake rotors and the inside of the wheel rim for even the thinnest stick-on weights that have been tried.

I checked my current Bridgestone RE750 summer tires again today and found that all four have exactly 4/32" tread left -- good for a couple of months use in the Spring before I have the Michelins mounted. For now, the new Michelins are stacked in the basement and are making excellent cat toys.

Attached are the current Tire Rack survey results showing the Primacy MXV4 at the top of the ratings and a photo of the car/wheels the tires will go on this Spring. When my next door neighbor saw me unloading the tires, he told me that he had just bought new Michelins for his Mini Cooper S at Costco under the same $70-off special: Y-rated/186 mph tires for 4 cylinder Mini Cooper? Go figure.

Thanks, everyone, for your advice. Really, I appreciate it.

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Good purchase! Mine have the 620 treadwear rating too and they are pretty worn out at 30k miles, probably have another 10k in them, 5 at the worst. Same as the 440 rated MXV4+. I'm happy with that life too...

Sorry to be blunt but the Goodyear Integrity tires suck. We had them on the Prius and they are awful, terrible ride and noise, zero wet weather traction, really soft sidewalls affording sloppy turn in etc. It would be a crime to put those tires on an LS IMHO. I would never even buy another set for the Prius.

You should also get the factory original P205/65R15 size for the smoothest ride or slightly taller and narrower P215/70R/15 size for even more sidewall flex and road shock absorption.

That would be inadvisable since the OEM tire size for his 2000 LS400 is 225 60R16.

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If you do not need good cornering performance or wet traction and just want a super quiet, bump smothering ride and good fuel economy then inexpensive Goodyear Integrity tires will be better than the Michelins. The Integrity's are low rated at tirerack.com due to major bias's in tireracks rating system (biases that favor expensive tires and help boost tirerack's profitability).

Wow! Those Goodyear Integrity tires were really trashed in Tire Rack's survey by the 1,600 people who purchased them and responded -- there near the bottom of the ranking in the all season tire category. The owner comments make them sound a little scary.

I would hope that some Goodyear tire models are good. I haven't had a Goodyear tire on a car since the disastrous Eagle GA tires that came on my 90 LS. When I got the class action lawsuit settlement check from Goodyear, I did NOT buy another set of Goodyear tires.

to be honest, the first tires i put on my ls400(1992) were goodyear assurance COMFORTtreads, and i loved them, they do have a high rolling resistance, gas mileage did suffer a bit when they were new, they were very smooth and reliable...4+ years later i still have 2 of the originals on the car in the rear, the front wore out quicker, bit that is because my suspension is tired and worn...however the comforttreads did cover up a great deal of the suspensions "weariness"...i recommend them, and i dont work for goodyear

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The deed has been done. I bought the H-rated Michelin MXV4 tires instead of the V-rated ones. I did not purchase Costco's installation package and lifetime balancing/repair service -- reasons below.

Costco didn't have any V-rated MXV4 tires in stock. I could have ordered V-rated tires but instead bought four of the seven H-rated ones they had left in stock. All were manufactured in the last half of 2009 except for one made the third week of 2009.

The price was lower than advertised -- ended up paying $122.47 per tire. Saving an additional $8.08 will make my CPA wife happy -- really, she's that nuts about money. The Costco employee that sold me the H-rated tires required that I sign a release ... the Costco employee I spoke with last week didn't mention that.

The reason I did not purchase the Costco installation/service package ($14 per tire) was that Costco has "gone green" and is using steel balancing weights (instead of lead) that would be unusually noticable on my chrome rims. Since steel is apparently lighter than lead, the steel weights are HUGE and take up a substantially greater length of space along the outside wheel rim than lead weights do.

I'm hoping that the Lexus dealer is still using chrome balancing weights even if they have gone to using steel. My wheels are really nothing special -- same as the optional 16" chrome wheels on the 01-02 LS430. The Costco tire guy suggested using low profile stick-on balancing weights, but "been there, done that" -- not enough clearance between the front brake rotors and the inside of the wheel rim for even the thinnest stick-on weights that have been tried.

I checked my current Bridgestone RE750 summer tires again today and found that all four have exactly 4/32" tread left -- good for a couple of months use in the Spring before I have the Michelins mounted. For now, the new Michelins are stacked in the basement and are making excellent cat toys.

Attached are the current Tire Rack survey results showing the Primacy MXV4 at the top of the ratings and a photo of the car/wheels the tires will go on this Spring. When my next door neighbor saw me unloading the tires, he told me that he had just bought new Michelins for his Mini Cooper S at Costco under the same $70-off special: Y-rated/186 mph tires for 4 cylinder Mini Cooper? Go figure.

Thanks, everyone, for your advice. Really, I appreciate it.

I also have chrome wheels on my LS430 and have my Lexus dealer re-balance them every 10K miles. They use stick-on weights that go inside the wheel so I have no ugly weights showing. They also have special rubber adapters they put on the machine so the wheels are protected when the tire is being installed on the chrome wheel.

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I also have chrome wheels on my LS430 and have my Lexus dealer re-balance them every 10K miles. They use stick-on weights that go inside the wheel so I have no ugly weights showing. They also have special rubber adapters they put on the machine so the wheels are protected when the tire is being installed on the chrome wheel.

Very interesting. There were two chrome wheel options for the 2001 LS430: 16" chrome wheels like I have on my 2000 LS400 and 17" chrome wheels of a different style.

The 2001 LS430 17" chrome wheel option has plenty of clearance to use stick-on balancing weights inside the wheel rim while doing a dynamic balance.

The 2001 LS430 16" chrome wheel option like I have does not have enough clearance for even the thinest stick-on balancing weights that anyone has tried. The Lexus dealer instead uses chrome plated hammer-on metal balancing weights on the outside rim lip to achieve a dynamic balance.

So, PCW ... my questions are:

1) Do you have the 16" chrome wheels like mine? (shown in a photo above.)

2) If you do, is the Lexus dealer doing a dynamic balance that requires that the stick-on weights fit between the inner wheel rim and the brake calipers?

If your answer is "Yes" to these questions, I'd love to have a closeup photo of one of your wheels mounted on your car. Could you upload one to this thread? I could take it to my local Lexus dealer. And could you tell me which Lexus dealer is balancing your wheels so I can call them to find where they are buying super-thin stick-on balancing weights?

Your help would be appreciated!

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post-17917-1264798051_thumb.jpgpost-17917-1264798072_thumb.jpg

I also have chrome wheels on my LS430 and have my Lexus dealer re-balance them every 10K miles. They use stick-on weights that go inside the wheel so I have no ugly weights showing. They also have special rubber adapters they put on the machine so the wheels are protected when the tire is being installed on the chrome wheel.

Very interesting. There were two chrome wheel options for the 2001 LS430: 16" chrome wheels like I have on my 2000 LS400 and 17" chrome wheels of a different style.

The 2001 LS430 17" chrome wheel option has plenty of clearance to use stick-on balancing weights inside the wheel rim while doing a dynamic balance.

The 2001 LS430 16" chrome wheel option like I have does not have enough clearance for even the thinest stick-on balancing weights that anyone has tried. The Lexus dealer instead uses chrome plated hammer-on metal balancing weights on the outside rim lip to achieve a dynamic balance.

So, PCW ... my questions are:

1) Do you have the 16" chrome wheels like mine? (shown in a photo above.)

2) If you do, is the Lexus dealer doing a dynamic balance that requires that the stick-on weights fit between the inner wheel rim and the brake calipers?

If your answer is "Yes" to these questions, I'd love to have a closeup photo of one of your wheels mounted on your car. Could you upload one to this thread? I could take it to my local Lexus dealer. And could you tell me which Lexus dealer is balancing your wheels so I can call them to find where they are buying super-thin stick-on balancing weights?

Your help would be appreciated!

1990LS400;

I have the 17" wheels, but have included photos of one of the wheels and a closeup of the weights within the wheel. My dealer is Pohanka Lexus in Chantilly, Virginia.

The service Dept number is 703-502-3722. I hope this is helpful as these weights are very thin.

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1990LS400;

I have the 17" wheels, but have included photos of one of the wheels and a closeup of the weights within the wheel. My dealer is Pohanka Lexus in Chantilly, Virginia.

The service Dept number is 703-502-3722. I hope this is helpful as these weights are very thin.

Wow! That was fast. Thank you very much for the photos. I wish there was that much clearance between the inside of the rims and the brake calipers on my 16" wheels. Looks like it wasn't necessary to use low profile stick-on balancing weights on your 17" wheels.

I noticed as I was buying my tires in Costco that someone was buying a set of 245/50-17 Michelin Pilots. They would make a perfect "plus zero" on your 17" wheels to replace your 225/55-17 tires and would keep your speedometer accurate --- but gosh were those Pilots in that size expensive. They would likely make for a bit bumpier ride but might improve handling/brake performance a bit. But I would wonder how much the unspung weight would increase -- particular on heavier chrome wheels like you have. Attached is a comparison between the standard 16" tire size, your 17" inch tire size and the "plus zero" 245 set up I'm talking about.

post-2157-1264801140_thumb.png

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1990LS400;

I have the 17" wheels, but have included photos of one of the wheels and a closeup of the weights within the wheel. My dealer is Pohanka Lexus in Chantilly, Virginia.

The service Dept number is 703-502-3722. I hope this is helpful as these weights are very thin.

Wow! That was fast. Thank you very much for the photos. I wish there was that much clearance between the inside of the rims and the brake calipers on my 16" wheels. Looks like it wasn't necessary to use low profile stick-on balancing weights on your 17" wheels.

I noticed as I was buying my tires in Costco that someone was buying a set of 245/50-17 Michelin Pilots. They would make a perfect "plus zero" on your 17" wheels to replace your 225/55-17 tires and would keep your speedometer accurate --- but gosh were those Pilots in that size expensive. They would likely make for a bit bumpier ride but might improve handling/brake performance a bit. But I would wonder how much the unspung weight would increase -- particular on heavier chrome wheels like you have. Attached is a comparison between the standard 16" tire size, your 17" inch tire size and the "plus zero" 245 set up I'm talking about.

1990LS400

Interesting comparison. I have enjoyed the Primacy MXV4's. Very smooth and quiet. Pohanka Lexus' Parts Dept. has a sign that they will match all Costco tire price. I think that's a result of having a Costco within a mile of this location.

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