Tyre(d) question

I feel like I have asked this before so my apologies if I have.

With lockdown easing, I want to do something about my 308's tyres. They seem to be very ordinary.

Not long after getting the car ( a year ago), I bought some just-used Partner 16in steel rims and bought a set of new Bridgestone Potenza Adrenaline RE003 tyres in a 205/55R16 91W size. This is a popular size and these tyres were cheap, $110 each, from Bob Jane. I'll have to check the m'facture date again, but I have checked before, they are not old tyres. I have been running about 36psi all-round. I had a set of the same tyres in a 17in on a MX-5 but didn't drive on them much before the car was sold. They seemed pretty grippy, supple and quiet from memory on the MX-5, but never drove on them in the wet.

In the 16in size on the 308, these tyres are terrible in the wet. It's hard to quantify, except to say that turning a 90-degree left at a set of traffic lights, rolling in second gear at maybe 20-30km/h and gently easing onto the throttle should not induce wheelspin and traction control. But it does. I have left a wet intersection from a standing start several times with the inside wheel spinning madly, a car coming at me and me trying to feather the throttle to resume something like grip on the road. This was from quite assertive starts, yes, but not a clutch-drop, throttle mashing burnout effort. I'm too old and stupid for that.

There is some tyre vibration and noise that I have started to notice, maybe it was there before but I haven't driven the car much, or consistently, over the last year.

I want to buy a new set of tyres, was thinking of PS4s. I don't care if they are overkill, don't care if they wear out in 5 minutes. I just want a set of tyres that I can trust. It would be nice to know that the tyres might have a bit of a scrabble for grip in the wet rather than giving up straight away. Nice to think a quick sprint through the twisties once in a while won't be met by howling tyres on every corner too (although these RE003s might be alright for that in the dry, I don't know because I haven't tried). I know this std suspension isn't perfectly tied-down for such driving, but grippy tyres would help.

Or should I just play with tyre pressures a bit more? I did try 32psi for a while, but I honestly can't remember if it made a difference. Hadn't been driving enough. These RE003s have a good rep, maybe it's just me.
 

BlindFreddie

New member
My 308 SW T9 came with 17” PS4, was very happy with them in all conditions except for the hard ride (45 profile). Simply was not used to the much harsher ride compared to my old 405 (with 65 profile tyres).

Bought a second hand set of four genuine 16” rims with Goodyear’s on them (55 profile).

Blew a couple of Goodyear’s and found I liked the combo of 17” on back 16” on front - my understanding at the time permitted in Qld.

The Goodyear’s didn’t last long so went back to 17” all round until they recently wore out. In the meantime I have got use to the harder ride.

Currently in Sydney and when checking the rules about changing wheel and tyre sizes my understanding is that in NSW you can go up a bit but not down so I have decided to stick with what the car came with (check placard on pillar). My biggest concern if I have to make an insurance claim I don’t want to give my insurer reason to deny a claim.

So back to square one and back to 17” PS4. Last time I looked into tyres a disputed American indicator suggested that the Michelin’s will last a lot longer than Brigdestones. The sweetener is Michelin will currently give a $100 cash back on a set of four 17” tyres ($50 on 16”).
 
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lowpugV2

Member
Go with PS4. I currently have a set of RE003 on the 306. And like my previous Bridgestone experience the tyres have gone off super quickly and wet weather grip is shocking. No traction on take off, even gentle starts. The previous Conti tyres I had were vastly better. Or, michelin pilot 3 if you can still get them.
But yeah Michelin pilot 4 are the standard for me.
 
Go with PS4. I currently have a set of RE003 on the 306. And like my previous Bridgestone experience the tyres have gone off super quickly and wet weather grip is shocking. No traction on take off, even gentle starts. The previous Conti tyres I had were vastly better. Or, michelin pilot 3 if you can still get them.
But yeah Michelin pilot 4 are the standard for me.
PS3s seem harder to find, I'll have to check the min speed/load rating for my car, as Tempe Tyres still have them - but in a 87V.
Otherwise it's looking like PS4, in a 91W. I don't hear too much bad about them.
Glad I am not the only one with a bad experience with RE003s, now I remember you mentioning that lowpugV2 in another thread.
So it looking more and more like it's new tyres for me. What a waste, but I honestly just can't trust these tyres enough to see them through to the point they're worn out. Esp now my kids are starting to drive.
Anyone want to buy a set of as-new RE003s soon, going cheap? They just glide like butter in the wet :)
 

lowpugV2

Member
PS3s seem harder to find, I'll have to check the min speed/load rating for my car, as Tempe Tyres still have them - but in a 87V.
Otherwise it's looking like PS4, in a 91W. I don't hear too much bad about them.
Glad I am not the only one with a bad experience with RE003s, now I remember you mentioning that lowpugV2 in another thread.
So it looking more and more like it's new tyres for me. What a waste, but I honestly just can't trust these tyres enough to see them through to the point they're worn out. Esp now my kids are starting to drive.
Anyone want to buy a set of as-new RE003s soon, going cheap? They just glide like butter in the wet :)
Yeah, I took advantage of an offer with the Bridgestone re003 but I wouldn't fit them again. The PS4 however, no hesitation. I had them on an Audi A3 for a few years and they were good for their lifespan, which was about 40,000 kays after which I sold the turd.... The tyres we're still fine.
 

alan moore

1000+ Posts
I have a set of the RE003s on my RS265, 235/35/19. They were on my car when I bought it almost two years ago. I have done 30K since, and the tyres are now about 1.5mm above the wear markers. I consider they are a reasonable dry tyre, fairly noisy, and only OK in the wet in my mind. These tyres were 3 years old when I bought the car, and now I consider them quite old and hard.

Many rave over the Michelin PS4, and maybe that is deserved. They are a bit pricey at around $420ea, RE003 $230 minus $100 off the total if buy 4. I am looking to go up one size to a 245/35/19, and have started the search for a replacement set of tyres. There are number of seemingly quality choices under $260.
 

BlindFreddie

New member
Bob Jane have quoted $200 for 225/45/17 PS4 with $100 cash back from Michelin if I buy four. Have found if pays to shop around for Tyre brands and prices. Deals seem to change all the time. Have been told not to use tyres more than five years old (by mechanic not Tyre place).
 
Many rave over the Michelin PS4, and maybe that is deserved. They are a bit pricey at around $420ea, RE003 $230 minus $100 off the total if buy 4. I am looking to go up one size to a 245/35/19, and have started the search for a replacement set of tyres. There are number of seemingly quality choices under $260.
That is expensive, I wonder if it is an unusual size perhaps?

One of the reasons I like playing with my humble povo 308 is that while it's no GTi 270, it's cheap to reboot. The PS4s to suit it are only around $160 each.
 

lowpugV2

Member
That does seem pricey. I fitted a set of P4 S to ze Audi, 255/35/19 and the tyres were $335 each. I mean, still spendy but I actually expected worse! Amazing tyres though. Cured the terminal understeer.
 

CC1701

Member
PS4's — Can't go wrong. Amazing grip wet, dry, ride ok too.
Worth every penny. But they shouldn't be too bad in your size.
 
Goodness! I have been recommending the RE003 for years & that has included wet grip. Mind you, the basis for this was braking, lateral grip & benign limit behaviour. Front wheel drive standing starts in the wet were not in my data base. There are a limited number of public tests of them & that is not a usual test parameter. Nor is my personal experience of them (multiple sets on my wife's & a daughter's' cars) helpful as both cars are AWD Foresters.

I think that the P54 would be a good choice but, although widely tested, I know of no test mention (good or bad) of the issue you had. You can but go on the anecdotal evidence of others.
 
I have a set of the RE003s on my RS265, 235/35/19. They were on my car when I bought it almost two years ago. I have done 30K since, and the tyres are now about 1.5mm above the wear markers. I consider they are a reasonable dry tyre, fairly noisy, and only OK in the wet in my mind. These tyres were 3 years old when I bought the car, and now I consider them quite old and hard.

Many rave over the Michelin PS4, and maybe that is deserved. They are a bit pricey at around $420ea, RE003 $230 minus $100 off the total if buy 4. I am looking to go up one size to a 245/35/19, and have started the search for a replacement set of tyres. There are number of seemingly quality choices under $260.
I think that I can predict what you'd want in a tyre. In 245/35-19, you are blessed. Putting a $400 upper limit on things & avoiding semi track day dry specialist tyres like the Michelin PS4S, my thoughts are:

I'd choose the Conti SportContact 6 (Audi version,not Mercedes version). But it's around $370.
Other short list choices are:
- Bridgestone's new Potenza Sport (around 300) but it is shallow treaded & might be more rapidly an aquaplaning issue than other choices. Probably drifting too much into the PS4S class of tyre.
- Pirelli's PZ4 (Sport) - in Audi, not Porsche, form it's 390 & is a very good wet tyre.
- Goodyear's AS5 - good all rounder but not quite as crisp as the above although a very good wet tyre. Around 300.
- Hankook's Evo 3 (around 240 on current deal) - again, a good all rounder & cheapish at the moment.
- Falken's FK 510 - tests well in the wet but not quite as crisp handling as some here. Around 230.

As always, a browse of the tests at Tyre Reviews is recommended. I particular favour the tests which give some subjective reactions on feel rather than just the numbers. For instance:
https://www.tyrereviews.com/Article/2021-Sport-Auto-UHP-Summer-Tyre-Test.htm
 
Goodness! I have been recommending the RE003 for years & that has included wet grip. Mind you, the basis for this was braking, lateral grip & benign limit behaviour. Front wheel drive standing starts in the wet were not in my data base.
Thanks 4cvg for your input. I will have a look at that tyre test link too.

The frustrating thing is the car's limited use, which has put me at a disadvantage for exploring what is really going on. I only have had experience of one occasion of 'testing' wet cornering, where I approached a 90-degree off-camber urban corner with more speed than usual (but this means no more that about 40-45km/h). The car did start to run wide quite quickly after an assertive turn in, but then I could feel and hear a vibration from the tyres as the were attempting to grip the road surface (and I had backed off by then). That was an inconclusive 'test', in fact it really didn't tell me much at all.

As for wheelspin on wet take off in a front-drive car, I can see why it is not included in a tyre test, but if tyres let go so quickly in such a situation surely that's some indication of overall wet grip performance? I had put it down to greasy road surface but it has done it at least 4-5 times now, and lowpugv2's experience in his 306 sort of backs this up.

I wonder if Bridgestone has changed the RE003's compound in recent years and/or certain sizes, for the worse, given the many positive reviews going back years (I checked before buying).

What also makes me think something might have changed with tyre compund is how cheap the RE003s were. Discounted to $110 each from about $130 a year ago, either way not a lot for a performance tyre in this size. PS4 is $160 to $200 per tyre at the moment. Bridgestone hasn't sold 'cheap' tyres in their premium or perfromance range in the past.

All that is supposition - I have nothing to back up any of it, just that I will have to get rid of perfectly legal tyres because I just feel nervous of them in the wet. Oh well, so be it.
 

alan moore

1000+ Posts
I still don't think the RE003 is a poor tyre, and I have just fitted a set to the Fuego. Performance for money, they are still a good choice. I don't think I would be disappointed if I fitted another set to the RS265. No real problem taking off with my front wheel drive as has been complained about above. I have 295Hp at the wheels in my Megane, but I don't try to use them all in the wet. Maybe the limited slip diff helps in this respect.

Just looking around at what is out there, and under $300. I will read some more tests and chase and see what can be done with the pricing.
 

309B6D

New member
I found lots of wheelspin on take off in the wet in my 309. Too much toe-in had the tyres fighting each other for traction. Wear was not obvious so the error was not extreme. There was not a noticeable lack of traction until it was wet at traffic lights.
 
I found lots of wheelspin on take off in the wet in my 309. Too much toe-in had the tyres fighting each other for traction. Wear was not obvious so the error was not extreme. There was not a noticeable lack of traction until it was wet at traffic lights.
Hmmm, that is something that I hadn't thought about. Wheel alignment. I too don't (yet) have (wear) signs of poor alignment (toe-in), but it's worth getting it done in case it has had an influence.
 

Armidillo

1000+ Posts
For the 605, I'm very happy with Dunlop FM800 - almost certainly recommended on here by 4CVG.

Only 'H' rated, so wouldn't be a good choice if we were allowed to drive our 605s at the speeds they were designed to cruise at, but not a problem in Oz.
 
I still don't think the RE003 is a poor tyre, and I have just fitted a set to the Fuego. Performance for money, they are still a good choice. I don't think I would be disappointed if I fitted another set to the RS265. No real problem taking off with my front wheel drive as has been complained about above. I have 295Hp at the wheels in my Megane, but I don't try to use them all in the wet. Maybe the limited slip diff helps in this respect.

Just looking around at what is out there, and under $300. I will read some more tests and chase and see what can be done with the pricing.
The RS265 has a very good torque sensing mechanical LSD & I share your thought that that is why wet wheelspin is not an issue.
I didn't mention the RE003 on my list as it was already "in play". As you say, a good tyre at a very good price (especially if one of the frequent "4 for price of 3" deals is on).
If you decide to stay with 235, not 245, another excellent tyre becomes available: Conti's PremiumContact 6. Very sharp turn in & very good grip in all conditions except deeper water "aquaplaning" ones. It's just over $300 but, I suggest, more suited to your purposes than anything under $300.
 

lowpugV2

Member
Just to add some more anecdata, in the 306 I'm obviously not running 19 inch wheels... The classic 195/55/15. With the Bridgestone re003, in the wet I get wheelspin on the inside wheel cornering, and acceleration up hill I have spun up the wheels. This did not happen for the first 3 months/3000 kays. They were great as new tyres. But, here's where it gets curly. The car essentially did stay idle for the last year during covid, only doing very short runs. I suspect this has a lot to do with it. Parked on the street and baking the tyres have just hardened up.
The Audi with 255/55/19 Michelin PS 4 S got driven more regularly and those tyres are still grippy as geckos. They've been in regular use, doing about 15,000 kays over the last year.
 
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