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I just bought a 2013 Lexus GS 350 AWD with Dunlop SP Sport 5100 tires, P235/45R18 (94V) with 25,000 miles on them. These are the noisiest tires I have ever owned, and I find the road noise fatiguing unless I am driving on very smooth asphalt.

I also have a 2005 Toyota Avalon Limited with Michelin Energy 215/55/R17 (94V) tires and a 1990 Lexus LS 400 with Michelin Primacy MXM4 205/65R15 (94V) tires. Both cars have much less road noise than the new GS with the Dunlop tires. I realize that the GS is a much more performance oriented vehicle and I love the handling, suspension, and growl of the full throttled engine. However, the road noise just spoils the experience and makes it feel cheap.

I see on Tire Rack that the Primacy MXM4 was another OEM tire that was used on the GS 350, and the reviews seem to indicate that they are quieter than the Dunlop tires. Has anyone else been bothered by the noise from the Dunlop tires? Has anyone else changed to the Michelin tires because of this problem and been satisfied with the results? I am not at all concerned about tread wear since my tires usually exceed recommended age before they wear out.

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I find this curious. My '13 gs350 awd came with the Michelins, and I find them pretty quiet. I would think factory spec tires would be fairly consistent across manufacturers -- noise, traction, tread design, rolling resistance, etc. Tire noise sometimes comes from aggressive tread design, with more aggressive treads generating more noise. So if tread design and other specs are fairly consistent, I guess I'd want to see what other variable might explain the noise.

With 25K on them, the tires are about half worn, presumably, and that might account for an increase in road noise. If tread wear is not equal across the tire, then maybe there's an alignment problem which might contribute to increased noise levels.

Any new tire that matches factory specs will likely be quieter than worn tires. Worth noting, though, that the Cont DWS I had on my Saab were extremely quiet, even with a somewhat more aggressive tread. Would be useful to have a report on what you find out.

If I were shopping for replacements, I'd be looking at the Michelins and the equivalent Continentals, maybe Bridgestones -- but there may be lots of other good choices.

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I'd also ran the Conti DWS (all seasons) on a Mercedes C300 rwd with excellent results including low noise level. I'd recommend them too. I ran these tires for nearly 20K miles before replacing car w/C250. I plan to buy these tires again when needed for the C250.

My guess is the Dunlops w/25K have significant wear contributing to elevated noise level, for example usually a CPO car with tires that worn would have new tires installed prior to sale. Also I know the Bridgestones spec'ed for gen 2 Lexus ISx50's were mediocre and noisy, so I avoid them.

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Have been thinking about this. A check with Tire Rack site shows the Dunlop 5100s with a much lower mileage (tread wear) rating than the OEM Michelins, and at 25K the Dunlops should be approaching replacement as I read the data. That would account for a substantial amount of road noise, I would think. Appears the Dunlops were the "aggressive" OEM option, or maybe it was just a supply / availability issue when the car was manufactured.

Continental has an a tire competitive with the Michelin, eco-rated but tread similar to DWS, and substantially less expensive than the Michelin. The Michelin did a little better in the Tire Rack tests on a BMW 3-series, assuming equal results on a GS 350. If I were replacing tires on mine, I'd look at these two.

If alignment is correct and no other factors found, I would think either the Conti's or Michelins would make the car as quiet as mine, with little or no sacrifice in performance.

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Hi guys,

Stephen I'm as particular as you when it comes to road noise. I choose Lexus cars for that smooth and quiet ride Lexus has always been known for. I have been running on Michelen Primacy's for several years. My current 2013 ES350 came with Bridgestone tires. I had the dealer swap them for Michlen Primacy's. This particular Michlen tire has been popular for the ES product for several years.

That being said, I have no idea how they would perform on a GS.

Paul

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I believe your car came with directional tires. Although I'm sure you already checked, but if not it is worth a look. Had 4 directional Firestone snow tires installed at Firestone and the idiots put 3 of the 4 on in the wrong direction. Luckily, I was one out of the hundred people who noticed. No apology and took another hour to remount them.

Never been impressed with Dunlop tires, they are on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Before I buy any tire, I spend ridiculously long periods of time reading all the specs,ratings, and reviews. One thing is more or less obvious and that is you get what you pay for. I don't look for long mileage tires because by then the rubber is hard and slippery and good car luck doesn't run in my family. For cheap, great tires, the Fusions are very nice. The Yokohama Avids are good for 3 or 4 years. All depends on you travel habits.

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Have been thinking about this. A check with Tire Rack site shows the Dunlop 5100s with a much lower mileage (tread wear) rating than the OEM Michelins, and at 25K the Dunlops should be approaching replacement as I read the data. That would account for a substantial amount of road noise, I would think. Appears the Dunlops were the "aggressive" OEM option, or maybe it was just a supply / availability issue when the car was manufactured.

Continental has an a tire competitive with the Michelin, eco-rated but tread similar to DWS, and substantially less expensive than the Michelin. The Michelin did a little better in the Tire Rack tests on a BMW 3-series, assuming equal results on a GS 350. If I were replacing tires on mine, I'd look at these two.

If alignment is correct and no other factors found, I would think either the Conti's or Michelins would make the car as quiet as mine, with little or no sacrifice in performance.

Just a note. My wife had a 2007 Volvo S80 a few years ago. It came with Continental, low profile tires with a 60 month tread warranty. By 23,000 miles the tread wear was half gone. I called Continental regarding the 60 month wear guaranty and they replied that the wear warranty only covers road hazards.

Two months latter, I took it in for service and the technician came out and asked if I knew there was a bulge on the left front tire where the belts had separated. There was a bulge in the side wall the size of a grapefruit. At this point I had had enough. I had them take off all the other Continental's and replace them with Michlen's

We traded the car last year with no more tire problems.

Paul

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^ Paul - What specific model Conti was that? (so we will know what to avoid)

Often OEM tire selections by automakers for non-perf cars are mediocre and largely determined by low cost. Generally I ignore tread wear warranties for tires (and avoid tires that claim to have them), not worth paper printed on.

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Difficult to generalize about tires, I think, as the same tires may perform differently with different vehicles (fwd vs rwd, type of suspension, weight, differing tire and wheel configurations, inflation, etc). I have had about equal luck with Continental and Michelin. Saab OEM tires were ContiProContact, and I had those on two Saabs with excellent reliability and performance, and predicted wear. I replaced one set with Yoko's and got good performance but premature wear. Some of that was caused by an alignment problem. Followed those with Conti DWS and was really impressed.

I've also had good success with Goodyear and Firestone on other cars, and have Goodyears on my wife's RX. They are wearing well, relatively quiet, do well in the wet and snow. Bridgestone run-flats on my BMW Z4.

I think factory engineers are pretty good these days about spec'ing tires for the car, at least for higher end models. Luxury car tires are selected for long wear, good ride, low noise. Sport versions, obviously, sacrifice some of the wear for increased performance in wet and higher cornering forces. Interestingly enough, the Tire Rack tests suggest that manufacturers are increasingly successful at producing tires with high performance characteristics combine with long wear.

But if performance is your game, the OEMs probably won't do, especially if they are all-season. For the GS, I would lean toward the Conti or Michelin unless I had an authoritative source giving me an alternative.

Dunlops are spec'd as OEM on a lot of European and Japanese sport sedans, and I think it's a conscious decision in favor of performance vs wear. Most of the Dunlops I see have a lower wear rating, although I'm not sure I've ever seen figures that suggest they are superior in other respects. Bridgestone, Continental, and Michelin seems to consistently wind up in the top three as tested by Tire Rack.

Trick in the end, I think, is to match the tire to the car and the type of driving.

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Worth noting that any manufacturer's tires can fail. I think just about every manufacturer has been sued at one time or another. Warranty policy varies with manufacturer and retailer.

Tread wear warranties are usually related to defects, I think. Road hazard warranty at extra cost is the protection against damage. Value is arguable, but worth exploring. Tire Rack has a road hazard warrant offering with most tires, I believe, and it is worth reading to understand what you get for the price.

Looking back over more than 50 years of car ownership, and about 40 cars, I think I had one claim on warranty -- tread separation, I think -- and that was satisfactorily resolved. I've lost two tires to road debris, and neither was covered by road hazard warranty. In recent years, I've had the most success with Continental (which owns General and perhaps U..S. Royal among others) and Michelin. But that's to some extent because they were the OEM tires, and I have mostly bought new cars over the last 15 - 20 years.

The best replacement tire I've used is the Conti DWS, which provided excellent handling and traction, was surprisingly quiet, and lived up to wear expectations.

Using the DWS on the GS 350 might have some impact on mpg, as the OEM Michelins are eco-design. Tread wear ratings are similar. Conti makes an eco-design tire with a tread design similar to the DWS and competitive with the Michelin OEM tire. It might be a better choice if fuel consumption is a concern, but I doubt the difference would exceed 1 mpg. There's probably someone out there who knows the answer to this.

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I count about 3 tires lost in last 30 years on our cars due to road debris.

Note: When using treadwear rating numbers, comparisons are valid when comparing different tires of same brand ( not for comparing different brands ).

So back to OP's concerns:

. The tires are worn, used car was not likely CPO or tires would be new (to meet CPO criteria)

. Anything to report since? Resolution?

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Looks like maybe we're both right. Was meant to be a federal standard, but actually varies by manufacturer. Here's the best discussion I've seen: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=48&s_kwcid=AL!3756!3!50154925453!p!!g!!tire%20treadwear&ef_id=U217VQAAAJuI5@Tv:20150105230246:s

So we've provided a lot of info and discussion; I am anxious to hear the outcome.

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