Last post on Nov 28, 2013 at 9:19 AM
You are in the Honda Fit
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Honda Fit, Tires, Wheels
#184 of 212 Winter Tire Purchase for my 2010 Fit Sport?
Jan 25, 2012 (4:02 pm)
I've been researching winter tires for my 2010 Honda Fit Sport. My mechanic said the best thing to do would be to go to tirerack.com and buy tires and wheels, all mounted and balanced and set to go. His reason: removing and remounting the tires on the same wheels damages the tires a bit each time it is done. I know this is true, but I'm not sure he's advising me to get the whole package (much more expensive than just the tires) to save him some work. I'm a woman and have been fooled by lousy mechanics in the past, but this mechanic seems trustworthy.
Tirerack.com suggests a package of the 185/70R14 General Altimax Arctic Blackwall, for $60 each ($240 total). (Consumer Reports rating is 76, I think that's the 3rd highest rating for snow tires). They recommend a package deal with new 14x6 steel painted wheels and $144 for new TPMS sensors in the wheels. If I don't get new sensors, I could use the old ones, and the area dealerships charge a lot to reinstall the current sensors on the new wheels. It's more cost effective to buy the new sensors in that case. I'm not sure if my mechanic would reinstall the sensors and initialize them, but that would cost something too.
Also, Tirerack.com recommends a smaller wheel for the snow tires (14") than the OEM wheel (16") because they say a 14" tire performs better in the snow and ice on this car. What do people on this forum think of this?
I'd rather get the tires alone, just to save money; but I'd have to use the 16" wheels. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what to do and why?
Thanks so much!
#185 of 212 Forget the sensors
Jan 26, 2012 (2:06 am)
Tire Pressure Monitor Sensors are rediculous and should never have been installed on cars. Just buy the winter tires mounted on rims and live with the TPMS light on during the winter months. I never replace my aluminum stems since they break so often and cost so much to replace. I just have my mechanic put on rubber stems when the aluminum ones break and then put a piece of black electrical tape over the area of the dash to cover up the warning light. You don't fail inspection because the TPMS warning light is always on. I too believe that constant tire rotation on/off your one set of rims is a bad idea for the tires. The bead does become compromised over time.
#186 of 212 Re: Forget the sensors [maxx4me]
Jan 26, 2012 (8:30 am)
Maxx4me, Thanks for the advice. My husband agrees with you about the sensors; to just take the chance of not having them and make sure I check the tire pressure regularly during the winters. I can do that; easy! And I can understand now that the bead would break down a little bit each time, so it makes sense to get wheels...
#187 of 212 Re: Winter Tire Purchase for my 2010 Fit Sport? [fit_owner_2010]
Jan 28, 2012 (10:14 pm)
I have a 2009 FIT basic model with oem tire size 175/65/15. I thought about changing the wheel to 16" for better handling in snow, but Discount Tire recommend that I keep the same 15" wheel and just get a larger tire size.
So I replaced it with 195/60/15 today. The ride is just as stiff as before, not sure about noise yet. But definitely no more sliding in snow/ice after the replacement (actually had 2 inches last night here).
I should know more during normal commuting..
#188 of 212 cupping/scalloping rear tires
Mar 01, 2012 (6:28 am)
My '08 Fit Sport has had a problem from day one. It developed a vibration in the rear tires very soon. I'm an old guy, so my experience tells me to look for wear in the fronts to tell me to rotate. After all, the front tires have most of the weight, do the powering and turning. I really didn't expect the rears to need to have their wear equalized by shifting them to the front before the fronts needed it. My mistake. At 30,000 miles my Dunlop tires were so scalloped in the rear (both sides) I decided to get an alignment and new tires. I chose the Kumho Ecsta Platinum LX from Tire Rack because they had a treadwear of 600. My mechanic told me my rear alignment was out of the specified range but there was no provision for adjustment, so I needed a shim kit. Fine, fix it.
I considered the matter fixed until I noticed the vibration return, again in the rear. This time, at 60,000+ (30,000+ on the Kumhos). I returned to my mechanic and told him when I rotated my tires to the front the vibration was unbearable. I asked him why his solution didn't work. He ranted at me about not rotating often enough. I responded by asking why the cupping occurred in the first place. He accused me of driving underinflated, through potholes, etc. Blame the victim. I read about the problems with the Toyota Matrix, which had a similar problem.
I developed a theory:
1) The Honda Fit camber specs are excessively negative (tipped inward at the top) to allow better handling and wider stance for increased rollover resistance.
2) This negative camber, along with the very light rear axle weight causes the tires to "scuff" at certain frequencies resulting in scalloping.
3) The official response to this situation by Honda and supported by unimaginative mechanics is to encourage excessive rotation to mask the uneven tire wear.
4) People have become desensitized to unusually poor tire life because they are participating in the ruse, if they rotate every 3,000 miles or so the treads get erased evenly.
Sorry this is so long! My solution was to find another mechanic with an alignment machine and tell him to get yet another shim kit and bring the camber to vertical. After telling him three times, the British mechanic finally "got it" and my rear wheels are now straight up and down, actually -.25 degree, just slightly out of spec. BTW, don't expect every spec to be the same on every machine. The recent alignment from my old mechanic came out out of specs on the second machine. My new tires are General General G-MAX AS-03. I have no idea if this will work but I really want to make the Fit a car that stops eating tires!
#189 of 212 Re: cupping/scalloping rear tires [coastofmaine]
Mar 01, 2012 (6:53 am)
tks for this message...i am about to have my tires rotated...for the 1st time after having the same cupping/scalloping problems with Dunlops that came with my 07 Sport model when i first bought it...thumping etc...
i hope and pray i dont have a problem after rotating these Michelin tires that i love...but the above info is very intesting and i will save it for the future...i too believe that what you are reporting is totally accurate and Honda has messed up with this Fit...
p.s. i also got did not rotate enough; drove with underinflated tires etc..
perhaps the Fit people should start making sure they send in complaints to Honda and safety people...it worked for the light problem. honda did a recall
#190 of 212 Re: cupping/scalloping rear tires [eli8]
Mar 01, 2012 (9:40 am)
It's good to hear that maybe I'm not crazy. I have a long drive coming up and I may be able to get enough miles on to test my remedy. You're right about reporting to Honda, I'm sure it's a matter of complaint volume. After spending over a thousand dollars on this problem I should let Honda know. Hey, maybe they read these forums! Please let us know if your Michelins are cupped.
#191 of 212 Re: cupping/scalloping rear tires [eli8]
Mar 01, 2012 (11:39 am)
What worries me the most is that it will take a major "disaster" before
Honda steps up to plate on this. Should send out letters to everyone that
has purchased Honda Fit..from earliest one to current one and have them
take the Honda Fit in for a FREE inspection and having the tire/the balance/and all related issues fixed. My 2009 Honda Fit will be paid for next Feb 2013 and I will be looking for another car. There are others with better gas milage (and that also had not proved to be very good for many on this post) and comfort than the "Hondas" that we were used to being so reliable. I will never feel safe driving a long distance with my grandkids and I also will never buy another car that only has a 10 gallon gas tank.
I get nervous when there is long distance between gas stations when I am on interstate...plus always worrying when one of the wheels will go bad. I try and avoid every little crack in road, the curbs, and anything that might jolt too hard against the wheels. Never dreamed I would have all this to think abt when I should be out driving for pleasure.
#192 of 212 Re: cupping/scalloping rear tires [coastofmaine]
Mar 02, 2012 (10:56 am)
A couple of thoughts:
First, unless the alignment is absolutely perfect, tires are going to wear unevenly. The further away from perfect the alignment is, the faster that occurs. There real problem here is that once a tire starts an uneven wear pattern, it is difficult to wear a different pattern into the tire. That's why the generalized 5K to 8K rotation.
Second, because most tire wear occurs in the cornering mode, even vehicles with perfect alignment COULD get uneven wear patterns. Again, the 5K to 8K rotation schedule prevents this.
#193 of 212 Re: cupping/scalloping rear tires [capriracer]
Mar 02, 2012 (1:32 pm)
I do keep my tires rotated and all, but if you look back on this forum, you will see that many of us had new tires and the problems started anyway. To have a new tire or tires and then the tire goes bad--that is our big issue and many of us have spent much money we never thought we would have to spend getting new tires.