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Old 06-07-2008, 01:42 PM   #1
clsmooth
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Default Michelin's are not Subaru AWD friendly

OH… I’m steamed!!

When I bought my car in 05, it came with these great Michelin Pilot Alpin’s. I was blown away with them over the winter. But because of a body shop, I ended up getting a slice in the sidewall of one of them, so I had to replace.

So I went to Costco cause they’re the biggest Michelin dealer I could find. Turns out they’re exclusive to Michelin now. Well guess what? The tire’s been replaced with the Pilot Alpin II. We can’t/shouldn’t run mis-matched tires, and I was still very impressed with the tire, so I spent the money bought a set of PA2’s even though I could’ve gotten some other, cheaper tire. I was just really happy with them.

In these past few weeks, this time I pick up a nail in one of em, so I go back to Costco again. Well guess what? Only after ordering in a tire do I and Costco find out that the PA2 is “not available” when a PA2HP showed up!! Completely different tread design, completely different shoulder design, completely different sidewall bulge… it’s a completely different tires. Essentially useless, I felt like I was being held at the nuts again. The kick in the pants is that the PA2 shows up in their 2008 catalogue, gives a part number, but they can’t order it. “Not available” is the only reason I get and Costco can’t explain it. Costco told me I’m not the only one, and this has happened to other cause Michelin keeps changing their tires every 2 – 3 years.

I really don’t feel like I have to buy new tires every 2 years (which was only about 30 000 km’s in my case). They’re virtually still new, I don’t drive in a way that causes them to smoke and they even still have the hairs on them after all this time. Not that it’ll make much of a difference, but I’ve let Michelin and Costco know that I’ll never get Michelin again and that I’ve informed a large group of enthusiasts (here) how they practice business.

So IMO, don’t bother getting Michelin tires, or if you do, buy 8. Not that they’re a bad design or compound, but chances are they’ll be extinct in a year anyway and they’ll try and make you buy another 4.
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....ilot+Alpin+PA2

Your issues are not Subaru-exclusive.

You shouldn't mix & match tread designs or different compositions on any car.
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:24 PM   #3
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Tire Rack is a better deal anyways IMO....
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:35 PM   #4
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I feel your pain, but Michelin like many other tire manufacturers are constantly evolving their product lines to give YOU the best possible tire. Why would we want to limit the evolution of the products we can buy?

In my opinion where you went wrong was buying tires from Costco. Buy from a local tire shop who actually knows the tire business. Plus I am sure that you will be receiving much better trained personel working on your car.

From my memory, the Pilot Alpin has been discontinued for at least 4 years, so likely before you even bought the car! I've been dealing with Michelin for 6 years, and nine times out of ten, if a consumer called to explain that they had blown a tire on an AWD car and Michelin couldn't locate 1 to match up, (or the tread of the 3 remaining tire was below 50%) Michelin will help the consumer by giving a good-will adjustment on the remaining 3 tires. This could mean that you get 3 tires for free, if the tread on your existing tires was like-new!!

You need to call Michelin consumer hotline and ask if they can help you out. Remember, you will get farther by being nice! The number is 888-871-4444.

Oh, and by the way, Costco is NOT the exclusive distributor of Michelin ANYWHERE, let alone BC.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WrexT View Post
I feel your pain, but Michelin like many other tire manufacturers are constantly evolving their product lines to give YOU the best possible tire. Why would we want to limit the evolution of the products we can buy?

In my opinion where you went wrong was buying tires from Costco. Buy from a local tire shop who actually knows the tire business. Plus I am sure that you will be receiving much better trained personel working on your car.

From my memory, the Pilot Alpin has been discontinued for at least 4 years, so likely before you even bought the car! I've been dealing with Michelin for 6 years, and nine times out of ten, if a consumer called to explain that they had blown a tire on an AWD car and Michelin couldn't locate 1 to match up, (or the tread of the 3 remaining tire was below 50%) Michelin will help the consumer by giving a good-will adjustment on the remaining 3 tires. This could mean that you get 3 tires for free, if the tread on your existing tires was like-new!!

You need to call Michelin consumer hotline and ask if they can help you out. Remember, you will get farther by being nice! The number is 888-871-4444.

Oh, and by the way, Costco is NOT the exclusive distributor of Michelin ANYWHERE, let alone BC.
Not from what I was told, but I'll give that number a try.

The hole was right on the shoulder, between the thread and sidewall, right on the border. I got it patched privately, cause a shop would never do it. I've been relieved and have gone with some Potenza RE92's and am much happier with those.

I've emailed both Costco and Michelin. I've received automated replies telling me they've got my emails, I'm just curious now with what they'll say, if anything...
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:37 PM   #6
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Dude, it's not something that Costco would know or even try, they don't know the tire industry!
Try Mich, I did basically the same thing for a customer of mine today, and they even helped out on the damaged tire that is not covered!

You shouldn't drive on a tire that has a sidewall puncture, it isn't worth the risk.

I'm not following why you went with RE92's and are satisfied if you are trying to replace your winter tires?????

Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
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I have to wonder how many miles you put on your tires before the puncture on the new set. Because frankly you should have been able to either repair that tire or just replace one.

And if tread wear is an issue, if you order over the phone with tire rack you can get them shaved to your specified tread depth. Makes it easy, if you can accept a couple days of downtime, (or pay extra to overnight it) to save money by replacing just one tire at a time in the case of punctures or other accidental tire damage.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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#1.) the Pilot Aplin PA2 is discontinued but, Michelin may be able to locate 1 for you

#2.) The Pilot Alpin PA2 HP is a Private label tire for Sam's Club / Costco type places ... it's basically the old Pilot Alpin and many companies do this to reduce competition

#3.) why not use a "tire" company for tires and get better information and service

#4.) why are you running dedicated winter tires in June
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenk View Post

You shouldn't mix & match tread designs or different compositions on any car.
Not agreeing with you on this. On a 2wd car, why not? Within reason of course.

Things like balance at the limit, etc. etc. would be changed, but we encourage change like that all the time with suspension components, tire widths, etc. etc.

Different tires is just another form of that.

Last edited by REX8; 06-10-2008 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #10
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Contact Michelin and try to get one tire somewhere - there has to be one out there, or try every tire place around and internet. Have another palce put it on. Costco will still balance and rotate all four even if they did not put one tire on.

Also, Costco is fine under most circumstances. People go there because the deal is good - good price on tires, free balance and rotation and easy and convenient. What they lack is choice in tires, only Mich and BFG. Also they only do stock size tires.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
Not agreeing with you on this. On a 2wd car, why not? Within reason of course.

Things like balance at the limit, etc. etc. would be changed, but we encourage change like that all the time with suspension components, tire widths, etc. etc.

Different tires is just another form of that.
This is true to a point...

However, suspension is not affected by temperature and moisture nearly as much as tires are.

I almost when I hit a patch of dew on a mountain road. The front tires were fine, but the rears let go abruptly and the rear fishtailed. If I had corrected the skid, I would have flown off a cliff. Instead, I let the car spin and hit the mountainside. If the tires had been the same front/rear this wouldn't have happened. I bought new tires that weekend and have always only used matched sets since then.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bluescoobywagon View Post
This is true to a point...

However, suspension is not affected by temperature and moisture nearly as much as tires are.

I almost when I hit a patch of dew on a mountain road. The front tires were fine, but the rears let go abruptly and the rear fishtailed. If I had corrected the skid, I would have flown off a cliff. Instead, I let the car spin and hit the mountainside. If the tires had been the same front/rear this wouldn't have happened. I bought new tires that weekend and have always only used matched sets since then.
Well, I'm not talking about running summers up front and snows in the rear or anything like that.

Generally, similar summer tires will be affected quite similarly by temperature. And if its wet, and one tire is a slightly better rain tire than another, that should only come into consideration driving at the limit (which begs the question why you're driving at the limit in the rain). To the point in general, I don't think two roughly equal summer tires, for instance, in the rain will make any worse of a change than throwing your sway bar on full stiff.

Besides, depending on which way you go with it, you could be adding rear grip and taking away front grip, a combination that is arguably safer all around.

Anyway...my car goes through rears about twice as fast as fronts, in daily driving.

You guys recommend that I replace all four every time the rears go? Because you can be damn sure that the fronts, after all the miles and heat cycles, aren't going to perform like the new rears will, same tire or not.

I went from 225f/255r to 255's all around. Surely thats a larger change in handling dynamics than running say a pilot sport up from and a conti sport in the rear in stock sizes.



And most importantly, I dig the ghetto look of multiple manufacturers. I can see it now...

In the winners circle...."I'd like to thank my tire sponsors: Goodyear, Michelin, Cooper, and probably one other real soon by the looks of that right front"...

Last edited by REX8; 06-10-2008 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:15 PM   #13
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As a general rule, tires should not be mixed on any vehicle unless specified as acceptable by the tire or vehicle manufacturer. Drivers should avoid mixing tires with different tread patterns, internal constructions or sizes, and use identical tires on all of their vehicle's wheel positions in order to maintain the best control and stability. Additionally, drivers should never mix winter tires with all-season/summer tires, or mix run-flat tires with non-run-flat tires.

This is one of the reasons that it is desirable to have all of a vehicle's tires wear out at the same time. It's confirmation that the vehicle design, driving conditions and maintenance practices worked in unison to equalize tire wear and performance. It also lets drivers know they got their money's worth out of the current tires and allows them to choose a set of replacements that will either maintain the Original Equipment (O.E.) tires' capabilities, or help tune the vehicle's qualities to even better suit their needs.

Unfortunately wearing out all tires at the same time isn't always possible. Sometimes vehicle design, the use of differently sized tires on front and rear axles, insufficient maintenance and/or driving conditions conspire to prevent it from happening.

If a vehicle's tires don't all wear out at the same time, drivers are typically forced to decide whether they should purchase a new set of tires (forfeiting the worth of the two tires not fully worn out) or just a pair of replacements. While purchasing a new set of tires is best because it will maintain the handling balance engineered into the vehicle while restoring poor weather traction, it is also more expensive. And while purchasing a pair of replacement tires reduces immediate expense, it brings with it the options of choosing exact, equivalent or alternative tires.

Of the three, the best choice is to select the exact tire currently on the vehicle. This assures that the tire's physical dimensions, internal construction, tread design and tread compound are equal to the tires being replaced.

The second option is to choose equivalent tires from the same tire performance category that share the same speed rating, handling and traction characteristics of the original tires. While this isn't as desirable as selecting the exact tire currently on the vehicle, it can become necessary when the original tires are no longer available.

The third option, choosing alternative tires, should only be considered as a temporary solution in an emergency situation. Using alternative tires from different tire performance categories, with alternate sizes or different speed ratings can unbalance the vehicle's handling in poor weather or when pushed to the limit in an emergency.

Because tires play such an important role in every vehicle's comfort qualities and handling capabilities, it is always best to drive on tires that are identical in every detail, including tire brand, model, size and remaining tread depth. Anything else involves some type of compromise.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:18 PM   #14
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Christ, you're like reading an owners manual Luke...(you grabbed that right off the website didn't you?)

And especially hypocritical coming from a representative of a company that sells millions of dollars of products SPECIFICALLY designed to change the "handling balance engineered into the vehicle"

(Not saying you shouldn't run the same tires, if possible)
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:28 PM   #15
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Luke...(you grabbed that right off the website didn't you?)
direct cut & paste
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Luke@tirerack View Post
direct cut & paste
Noice!

OT:

So...what are the price increases on tires going to be looking like in light of oil prices?
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:34 PM   #17
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And especially hypocritical coming from a representative of a company that sells millions of dollars of products SPECIFICALLY designed to change the "handling balance engineered into the vehicle"
the key point is we do not offer products in an attempt to ADVERSELY effect a vehicles handling

Quote:
Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
(Not saying you shouldn't run the same tires, if possible)
sure seems to be what you are trying to say ...


mixing and matching tires can have an adverse effect on a cars handling for many reason

differences in
rolling resistance
sidewall deflection rates
water evacuation
steering response
mechanical grip

and I could go on but the point is if you have a choice why would you intentionally choose to degrade your cars hadnling and ability
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
So...what are the price increases on tires going to be looking like in light of oil prices?
no exact numbers but, it is coming and i have seen some projections which are rather alarming
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke@tirerack View Post
the key point is we do not offer products in an attempt to ADVERSELY effect a vehicles handling



sure seems to be what you are trying to say ...


mixing and matching tires can have an adverse effect on a cars handling for many reason

differences in
rolling resistance
sidewall deflection rates
water evacuation
steering response
mechanical grip

and I could go on but the point is if you have a choice why would you intentionally choose to degrade your cars hadnling and ability
Why aren't you reading my posts. If you can run the same rubber, by all means run it. But depending on an individual situation, the negative effects may be rather limited to go drop hundreds of my dollars.

More to the point:

There's no reason a different tire, JUST LIKE A SUSPENSION COMPONENT THAT YOU SELL, can't change handling FOR THE BETTER.

You're making a horrible assumption that handle will be degraded. The tire is a suspension component, just like the rest of the system. Perhaps the most important component. Maybe a little less generalizing is in order.

For example:

1. Take adding JUST rear swaybar for example. How does it help reduce understeer? By effective stiffening the rear of the car, the end result being LESS grip in the rear, and therefore more oversteer. Technically, "degrading the handling of the car" by your definition. As much as you don't want to hear it, tires can accomplish the same result. But for some reason, people don't think about it like that. Maybe you should stop selling rear swaybars without the front bars.

2. Guess what adding a stiffer side walled tire in the rear does??? Oh, that's right, it effectively increases the rear spring rate, much like most aftermarket springs, which up the rear rates more compared to the front to bring cars more toward neutral.

Race cars run various compounds, front to rear, in order to affect handling. This is no different for a street car, except for some reason, tire as are frowned upon, but other means to shift balance aren't.

Lets go the other way, if a guy needs to put a less sticky tire up front, so what? He'll wind up with a car that's safer to drive, as far as dialing in more understeer goes. What's the big deal?

Overall, this is more of the same with you. Horrible generalizations without looking at it situation by situation.

And again, for the 3rd time, I'm not saying playing with varying tire brands is the most effective way to dial in a car Again, its good to keep at least one part a baseline, tires being one of them...especially for your average Joe...But I'm not going to tell some "No horrible idea" before I even hear what they are proposing to do.

Does running a non-staggered setup not have the same "degrading effects" as you describe on a car designed for a staggered setup? Different water evac rates from the size change, different sidewall characteristics from the size change, etc. etc. etc. Yet across the world, people will stray from the factory stagger to improve balance. Hardly different from running another brand of tire....let alone in a car driven on the street, in a non-at-the-limit setting.

When RWD run their rears down faster, do the water evac characteristics not change dramatically as they typically have fresh rears put on with fronts half way worn (or effective compounds for that matter with double the heat cycles on front vs. rear)? Do we make such a big deal out of it then?

Please, no more sales rep-to-customers responses and the accompanying gross generalizations. Again, your advice is fine for an average customer when you're looking to sell a soccer mom 4 instead of 2 for her fierce drives to the supermarket on sundays, but please, just like everything else commercial, its horribly generalized, primary by manufactures and too many lawyers (ex. engineer here, some tire engineering as well, turned lawyer, so I know all about it )

/rant

Last edited by REX8; 06-10-2008 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
So...what are the price increases on tires going to be looking like in light of oil prices?

They have already started raising pricing with the company I work for due to delivery costs. We will start to see tires go up in price a lot very soon.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:09 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by clsmooth View Post
OH… I’m steamed!!
In these past few weeks, this time I pick up a nail in one of em, so I go back to Costco again. Well guess what? Only after ordering in a tire do I and Costco find out that the PA2 is “not available” when a PA2HP showed up!! Completely different tread design, completely different shoulder design, completely different sidewall bulge… it’s a completely different tires. Essentially useless, I felt like I was being held at the nuts again. The kick in the pants is that the PA2 shows up in their 2008 catalogue, gives a part number, but they can’t order it. “Not available” is the only reason I get and Costco can’t explain it. Costco told me I’m not the only one, and this has happened to other cause Michelin keeps changing their tires every 2 – 3 years.
You do realize that snow tires are currently in production (from feb to july) thats why your tires are "Not Available" they haven't been made yet!!
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by snovvbrdr View Post
You do realize that snow tires are currently in production (from feb to july) thats why your tires are "Not Available" they haven't been made yet!!
I find that interesting as I was able to acquire a set of 4 PA2's in the summer of 2006 from a Costco that had them in stock. They also had no hesitation ordering in a PA2 for me this summer as well.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:54 PM   #23
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I appreciate everyone's opinion, and to settle one argurment as far as 'Why Costco?' Simple, they're the cheapest, and other tire shops pretty much get all their tires from the same source, more or less.
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:56 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by clsmooth View Post
I appreciate everyone's opinion, and to settle one argurment as far as 'Why Costco?' Simple, they're the cheapest, and other tire shops pretty much get all their tires from the same source, more or less.
You get what you pay for!

PS - did you contact Michelin???
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:56 PM   #25
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why are you running dedicated winter tires in June
When requiring to repair previous owner's mistakes as continue to arise on a vehicle tires do not become a main priority when the ones that come with the car are near new, and then replaced with new tires.
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