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Yokohama tyre issue


Norrie
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Hi there, 

I've got the standard Yokohama Geolander G95 tyres fitted to the XV and have been great up until now. The car is all over the place in the wet. The front end just has no grip in the wet. I've checked the tyres today as I though it was time for a new set on the front. There is still 4mm of tread on the front tyres however there starting to crack. The tyres were produced at the back end of 2016 so probably fitted early 2017 so only 3 years old. Anyone else had similar problems? I do wonder if they've gone hard with age as I take them off in the winter as I have dedicated winter wheels and tyres. 

Your thoughts please. 

Thanks. 

Norrie. 

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Some years ago now I had a Forrester that was fitted with Yokohama tyres from new so it’s not probably a reflection of your more modern day situation. However that said, they were the worst tyre I’ve ever had on a car braking in the wet was an utterly frightening experience. Needless to say they were changed at the earliest opportunity. I know people swear by the brand and I guess that modern type compound formulations are very different but it’s still in my head! I swear by the Michelin Cross Climates which are wearing very well and perform faultlessly whatever the season.  I think Goodyear do a similar tyre.

Hope you can get it sorted there’s so little tyre actually in contact with the road that you want what’s there to be effective in every season.

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I too run winter and summer sets on a Forester XT, so like you have no need of all season tyres.

Following excellent results with Falkens on my daughters Civic which she thrashes mercilessly and covers serious mileage, i bought a set of ZE914's for the Fos, very pleased with them in both wet and dry, and they were a bargain price to boot.

I had a set of Yoko's on a Hilux which frightened the life out of me (OE PIrellis were nowt to shout about either come to that), but i have a different set of Yokos (GO15) on my Landcruiser which couldn't be more different, grip like hell in the wet but would be a bit agricultural for a Subaru, all makers drop a clanger now and again, Mich seem to be well regarded these days but back in the 70's the X and ZX whilst lasting forever but slide all over the shop in the wet.

I'd try and find something with an A rating for wet grip, you only need standard summer tyres anyway and A rating is a lot easier to find in summers than all season, why not have a poke nose on Camskill and TyreLeader and see what bargains are kicking about with A rated wet grip, yours are at 4mm now so losing the best of their grip, i never let mine get below 3mm anyway, as said the only point of contact with the road.

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Well this is rather good timing!

Whilst driving back from the service yesterday the heavens opened and the XV was not at all stable. It's still on the OE Geolanders with 5-6 mm of tread left. The tyres are dated 10/17, so just over 3 years old and not cracking, so it took me a bit by surprise by how twitchy it was.

Likewise, they've been great up to now (although I don't drive it that often), but they felt as if they were down to 3 mm or less. Maybe they are beginning to harden?

As you've got a summer and winter set I would do as suggested above and look for something with an A-rated wet performance for the summer wheels.

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Just keep in mind the roads are slippery as hell, i've been at work today (i drive an artic road tanker) and wheelspin/oversteer once empty on well worn wet surfaces leaving roundabouts was a serious issue.

Are you running low enough pressures chaps, ie the standard pressure for lightly loaded cars?

On the subject of all season tyres, yes i agree, if i didn't have the second set of winter tyres/wheels then i would buy good all seasons such as the Cross Climates mentioned, the good Yokos on my Landcruiser are snowflake stamped all seasons which are in use all year.

 

 

 

 

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The tyre pressures were checked and set the previous evening to the normal low-load pressures.

It was the floaty feeling on a dual carriageway that was unnerving. A sort of half-way to aquaplaning, if that makes sense? It was the feeling you get when the tyres need replacing at around 3 mm, not when they've got ample tread left.

And for A/S tyres, I've gone for Vredestein Quatrac Pro on my Levorg, as they generally come second to the Cross Climates in tests, but are assymetric so tyre rotation is far easier. They're also "3PMSF" marked. The XV may now get a set of these (more likely the 17" equivalent Quatrac 5) or Cross Climates this year after yesterday's excitement! The prices are similar so I may go Cross Climates and compare. (Reviews on here seem positive!)

 

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Interesting thread, my CrossClimates SUV’s I fitted were from Costco and were the SUV spec. The ride is not affected so probably more to do with construction than anything else they also are embossed with the snowflake/mountain and M+S. My XV has the 18” wheels I’d have preferred 17” but that’s what comes with the rest of the premium spec so having a good quality tyre particularly in poor weather is in my mind essential. I find it’s noticeable that as the temperature drops below 10oC that the normal OEM summer tyre side walls become so stiff that any bump or pothole is a painful experience this is where I’ve found the CrossClimates to really excel, the side walls still remain compliant and give a smooth reassuring ride.

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I had similar poor wet performance on Geolandars on my Outback, and changed to continental All Season Contacts. Massive improvement in wet performance, and as good as a full winter in snow. I now have them on my Levorg, on 17" wheels, in 225/50 size. Ride much improved over the 18" STI wheels it came with, and terrific wet grip. They wear well too. 

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I very much like my Subaru, this is my third over the years, but I’m constantly baffled as to why they fit what I consider to be relatively poor tyres when in all other aspects of performance on and off road and safety they are so good. I guess they are hooked up with a tyre supplier and fit what’s the best deal or maybe even assume the new owner is likely to change them?? Whatever the reason I’ve always ended up changing the tyres before the first years ownership is completed never wanting to go through a wet cold autumn or winter. So when I buy a new car I always tell the dealer I need to factor in replacing the tyres when I negotiate the cost of change.

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That's very interesting as I've always heard good things about the Yokohamas fitted from new. I've emailed there customer service department so I will see what they say. The thing is I've got Yokohama on the rear and they've still got 6mm of tread and I do like to keep all the tyres the same make. 

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5 hours ago, Norrie said:

That's very interesting as I've always heard good things about the Yokohamas fitted from new. I've emailed there customer service department so I will see what they say. The thing is I've got Yokohama on the rear and they've still got 6mm of tread and I do like to keep all the tyres the same make. 

Isn't the general acceptance with AWD vehicles to try and keep the tyres at similar rolling circumference? by rotating tyres periodically to even wear out, this causes real issues for people who have a tyre scrapped on a part worn set and applies to many makes.

Could this be exacerbating the problem here if the centre diff is constantly having to make adjustments, and maybe more of them at higher speeds on a straight road, even though i appreciate the difference in tread depths 'tween front and rear tyres is only 2mm.

Just a thought here and i'm going off something in my memory that XV has a front biased torque split of 60:40? (could well be wrong knowing my memory),  might be interesting to swap the fronts and rear wheels over and see if any difference.

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Just now, Siluro said:

The reason you should rotate them is to stop winding up the diffs and causing to ware. Rotating the tyres helps make sure the tyres wear evenly preventing this.

When you speak of diff winding up does that include the centre diff.

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TBH I am not sure but it adds strain to all the driveline. If you think about it makes sense. If on same axle one is smaller than the other they will be spinning at different speeds all the time. Do that across all 4 corners and all are spinning at different speeds. I believe it is in the Subaru handbook but who reads that.

 

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I know many car makers recommend renewing all 4 tyres together, though to be fair other makers, including German and Swedish as well as British and another Japanese maker, have or have in recent years had AWD drivetrains made of cheese in comparison to Subaru.

If the rear tyres are slightly larger than the fronts, as in the OP's case by 2mm of tread, then something in the centre diff must be making corrections to counteract possible wind up, i was wondering if when the roads are slippery and with tyres down to 4mm starting to lose their best grip, exacerbated by that 60:40 front/rear drive split, that the tyres are instead the source of centre diff speed adjustment...maybe there's less friction at the tyres on a wet road than at the diff itself, that could account for the issue.

As i said this is just a theory.

If SebP10 is still reading, having similar unpleasant handling in the wet are your tyres at the same tread depth all round?

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How old are the tyres? There should be a 4 digit code on wall. Once so old they will start to go hard and ruin your road holding. Add low tread depth and wet roads it gets a whole lot worse. Are the walls showing signs of cracking etc need fresh rubber soon regardless of wear.

It is the most important part of any car and neglected generally.

 

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Yes, I'm still here!

I measured the tread depths with a set of vernier (actually digital) calipers at work on Monday. The fronts have ~5 mm tread left and the rears have ~6 mm. (I was expecting it to be the other way round as it was serviced on Friday and the tyres should have been rotated 🙄) The OSF was lowest, but I swapped them across a couple of months ago so it was the NSF and so hardest hit here in roundabout country (not far from MK.) It's a little worn on the outside edge of the tread (from the roundabouts), but there are no cracks in the sidewalls.

I'm going to swap them around at the weekend (huge fun with no spare!) to get the lowest tread on the OSR and the greatest on the NSF to even out the wear.

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Agree that tyre rotation is a real pain with no spare it might be worth finding a cheap tyre saver just as an aid. There is also, I believe, an issue as to how you rotate the tyres depending of whether you have non or uni directional tyres fitted. The non directional is I think the cross pattern and the directional just front to back on the same side.

When I had the service completed the garage measure mine and I think rotated them?  This is what they measure as now fitted.

NSF - 4,6,6,6,4

OSF - 5,6,6,6,5

OSR - 4,6,6,5,5

NSR - 5,5,6,5,4 

so I now have the “better” tyres (marginal) on the front

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As you've got directional tyres the numbers suggest that they have been swapped F-R.

The handbook has rotation details for directional and assymetric, so as I swapped the fronts a couple of months ago I'm going for F-R, which will put the former NSF on the OSR, so (theoretically) least wear. This is not quite following the handbook, but I'm more concerned about getting the rears on the front to balance the wear.

I've looked for a spare wheel but the prices seem to be a bit OTT, or I'm timing it wrong. (And then something else comes along to swallow funds; for example, the oven packed up at the weekend and initial investigations indicate it may be terminal / not economic; typical!)

 

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So typical, some years ago we did over our kitchen and bought new appliances little thinking that as time went on and the first one expired so did the next etc., it’s life.....

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