So you want a Honda Odyssey Touring w/Run Flat Tires?



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Thread: So you want a Honda Odyssey Touring w/Run Flat Tires?

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    So you want a Honda Odyssey Touring w/Run Flat Tires?

    Dear Tom and Ray:

    I have a 2005 Honda Odyssey that needs new tires after only 32,000 miles, and a neighbor has the same issue. They are run-flat tires. My tire dealer says I cannot just buy new run-flat tires; I have to also replace the rims, and only the dealer can do it. The dealer agrees with the requirement of replacing the rims with the run-flats at a cost of $580 per tire/wheel combination. He says it's possible to just replace the tires, but he can't do it, and says I'd have to go to another dealer for that. Is this for real -- almost $2,400 for new tires? Can I just mount regular tires on my current run-flat rims, and tell the run-flat industry to run away?

    Mike

    TOM: Doesn't that frost your Fruit of the Looms, Mike? Actually, 32,000 miles is pretty good for a set of run-flats.

    RAY: We're seeing a lot of run-flat sticker shock these days. When folks go in for their first set of replacement tires and find out that the tires themselves cost three times as much and last only half as long as conventional tires, they panic.

    TOM: And do crazy things ... like write to us!

    RAY: The high-end Touring edition of the Odyssey came with run-flat tires. And run-flats are expensive. They have additional supports in the sidewall that allow them to hold up the weight of the car, even when there's no air in them.

    TOM: The rims (aka wheels) that hold the run-flat tires are specially designed, too. They have large lips. Like my Aunt Brunhilda.

    RAY: The lip, or "land," is the outside edge of the wheel, what the bead of the tire presses out against. The larger lip makes mounting any tire on that rim -- even the run-flats -- a challenge.

    TOM: Some dealers can't even mount run-flats because they don't have the proper machine. Your dealer sounds like one of them. If you don't have the right equipment, you can cause the installer bodily injury and ruin the tire-pressure monitor that's built into the valve stem.

    RAY: And you'd be well-advised to go elsewhere. The run-flat tires for your Odyssey sell for about $240 each. The extra labor involved in mounting them adds about $100 to the cost. But still, that's $340 a tire instead of $580.

    TOM You could buy a whole new set of regular wheels, and put a regular set of tires on them. But that would get pretty expensive, too. Plus you'd have to buy a spare tire, and you'd lose your car's tire-pressure monitoring system, since it's designed for the run-flat rims.

    RAY: So I'd say the best of the bad options is to find a dealer who can sell you just the new run-flat tires, and suck it up, Mike.

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    You can tell the run-flats when you look for them, at least on the Honda (don't know about the Toyota). Where the tire meets the rim, it almost looks as if the tire is mounted on the outside edge of the rim, rather than on the inside, as in the case with most wheels you see.

    I really don't mind having a spare tire. I'm going to avoid vehicles with run-flats as long as I can. I was disappointed to learn that you can't buy a new Mazda MX5 (the vehicle formerly known as Miata) with a spare, It relies on runflats. We used to have one and it was a fun vehicle, but I won't own one of the current generation unless it is retrofitted for a spare tire in the trunk.
    Michael
    Centreville, VA
    Currently driving:
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, 120K mi.
    Former owner of:
    1988 Dodge Caravan SE, 2.5L I4 (1988-1995, 99K mi); 1995 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE "Rallye", 3.3L (1995-2004, 169K mi); 2003 Grand Caravan Sport, 3.8L, (2004-2008, 106K mi), 2008 Nissan Quest, (2008-2010, 25K mi)

    Other vehicles:
    2008 Lexus RX400h (Dark Gray), 98K mi; 2005 Hyundai Elantra GT (Blue), 75K mi

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    My friend had a Mini. We live in snow country (in normal years) and they do not make run flat snow tires to fit the Mini; believe it or not. He no longer owns the Mini. These unintended consequences could kill you.

    Richard.
    2004 Town & Country Limited, Michlin HydroEdge, added OEM Rear Sway Bar, German OEM Headlights with Hella H7+30 and H9 bulbs, Centric Rotors, Akabono Ceramic Pads, front and rear, rear hitch.

    2001 PT Cruiser Limited automatic, Goodyear TripleTread rear, Goodyear Eagle ResponseEdge front, performance sway bar bushings and front links, 9011 and 9012 bulbs, front tower bar, Centric Rotors, Akabono Ceramic Pads, front only, Champion dual plat plugs, Mopar performance plug wires.

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    Runflats in general get a real bad name because of the situation with Honda's lack of support for their Odyssey owners. Not only are the tires relatively expensive, but Honda seems to have few dealers who actually know how to work these tires, leaving owners stranded for days as they wait for the parts to arrive from a distant location, etc. How Honda hasn't suffered more bad press than it has is beyond me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Runflats in general get a real bad name because of the situation with Honda's lack of support for their Odyssey owners. Not only are the tires relatively expensive, but Honda seems to have few dealers who actually know how to work these tires, leaving owners stranded for days as they wait for the parts to arrive from a distant location, etc. How Honda hasn't suffered more bad press than it has is beyond me.
    But wait, if that was the situation on a Caravan, Freestar or Montana, would it have recieved bad press? Of course yes!!
    2004 Durango Limited AWD

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    There are RFTs, and then there are PAX RFTs...

    As much as I enjoy listening to Tom and Ray, they don't have it correct. Not a first for them.

    Conventional RFTs, such as those used on the current crop of BMWs use conventional rims and conventional mounting techniques. They are slightly more expensive, heavier (negatively affects ride and handling), ride harder and often get noisy as they wear. I believe that they are a good compromise between conventional GFTs and PAX RFTs, if (and only if) you feel you need RFTs.

    PAX (from Michelin) RFTs are used on some Toyotas (Sienna, err, I think), some Hondas (high end Odyssey and Accord, or so I'm told) as well as some Acura models. These (and only these) are the RFTs that require special mounting hardware, special rims (that CANNOT accept conventional tires, RFT, GFT or otherwise).

    If I was saddled with a PAX equipped vehicle (inherited it or was stupid enough to buy it in the first place), I would immediately buy a new set of wheels and tires, swap the TPMS sensors into the new wheels and sell the PAX set on E-Bay.
    Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipo View Post
    PAX (from Michelin) RFTs are used on some Toyotas (Sienna, err, I think), some Hondas (high end Odyssey and Accord, or so I'm told) as well as some Acura models. These (and only these) are the RFTs that require special mounting hardware, special rims (that CANNOT accept conventional tires, RFT, GFT or otherwise).
    Are you sure that they're fitted on vehicles other than the Honda Odyssey Touring? That's the only vehicle I know of where the Michelin PAX is fitted at the factory.

    Michelin has tried engineered wheel-tire combinations in the past, like the TRX tires. They weren't successful in the long run, but lasted at least a decade in OE fitments. The biggest issue with the Odyssey isn't with the wheels/tires, but that their own dealer network is only sporadically supporting them. If every Honda dealer fully supported that system with training and equipment, Honda owners wouldn't have been left out in the cold, at least in regards to their travel schedules.

    I do like the Michelin PAX system. It does use a special wheel with a soft inner bladder, not unlike that used by NASCAR teams on super speedways. If the tire itself sustains a puncture, and loses air pressure, the inner bladder supports the vehicle until such time that the tire can be replaced. To me, the compromise of the higher replacement costs could be overcome by the more comfortable ride realized from the conventional sidewalls (vs. the heavily reinforced sidewalls of "normal" EMTs) in the rare event that a flat does occur. The short treadlife is an issue, and it seems that at least that aspect is addressable by Michelin.

    The AWD Toyota Sienna does use EMTs, but they're from Bridgestone (or at least have been until now).

    Edit: the Toyota Sienna EMTs were Dunlops, not Bridgestone. Dunlops actually built by Goodyear.
    Last edited by Hokiefyd; 01-10-2007 at 01:18 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Are you sure that they're fitted on vehicles other than the Honda Odyssey Touring? That's the only vehicle I know of where the Michelin PAX is fitted at the factory.
    The 2007 (and 2006 IIRC) Acura RL with the "CMBS/PAX Package" has the PAX system. Regarding the Accord, I was mistaken; PAX is slated for some 2008 Accord models. Regarding the Sienna, there are several folks over at Edmunds that claim to have factory PAX tires on their Siennas. That said, I cannot confirm factory PAX fitment via the Toyota or the TireRack web sites, and as such, I'm now thinking such claims are suspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Michelin has tried engineered wheel-tire combinations in the past, like the TRX tires. They weren't successful in the long run, but lasted at least a decade in OE fitments.
    I find comparisons to the TRX debacle inescapable. FWIW, TRX tires were standard equipment on some cars starting in 1975 and the last OEM stopped using them in the early 1990s (Renault if I'm not mistaken).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I do like the Michelin PAX system. It does use a special wheel with a soft inner bladder, not unlike that used by NASCAR teams on super speedways. If the tire itself sustains a puncture, and loses air pressure, the inner bladder supports the vehicle until such time that the tire can be replaced.
    A soft inner bladder? Are you sure? My understanding is that the PAX system uses an inner ring that supports the tread during an air loss event. While this ring system is certainly good for rolling when the tire has no/low air, the system is extremely difficult to dismount/remount and it is HEAVY. As I understand it, each wheel and tire combination for the Odyssey is upwards of 75 pounds! Yikes! A conventional GFT wheel and tire assembly of the size run on the Odyssey typically weighs between 40 and 50 pounds, and as such, any ride related benefits provided by the softer side walls of the PAX tires will be more than offset by the increase in unsprung mass. No thanks.

    http://www.michelinman.com/differenc...paxsystem.html

    Personally, my preference is for GFTs and a spare. For my particular type of driving, that combination offers the best combination of (in no particular order) flat recovery, cost, ride & handling, convenience and tread life.
    Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
    Sold: 1998 Chrysler T&C LXi 3.8 (Final odo: 190,000 miles)
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipo View Post
    I find comparisons to the TRX debacle inescapable. FWIW, TRX tires were standard equipment on some cars starting in 1975 and the last OEM stopped using them in the early 1990s (Renault if I'm not mistaken).
    I don't know if I'd call it a "debacle" -- rather a product venture that didn't turn out to be tenable in the market. It was actually more successful than I originally thought. I knew it had widely varying OE fitments, including the exotic like Ferrari and economical, like that of the Ford Escort and Mustang, but I didn't know it had such a long running time. Michelin TRX tires are repop'd today and garner pretty high prices (some $200-300 each for good reproductions from outfits like Coker).

    Quote Originally Posted by shipo View Post
    A soft inner bladder? Are you sure? My understanding is that the PAX system uses an inner ring that supports the tread during an air loss event...any ride related benefits provided by the softer side walls of the PAX tires will be more than offset by the increase in unsprung mass.
    I mis-spoke when I said "bladder" as in an air-filled bladder. Yes, I was talking about that inner ring. I correlated it to a NASCAR-style air bladder in that the outer tire itself is a rather conventional tire, but the assembly is supported by a secondary internal device (in this case the inner ring).

    You do bring up a great point about the increased mass.

    Quote Originally Posted by shipo View Post
    Personally, my preference is for GFTs and a spare.
    Absolutely, mine as well. As often as I experience a flat (rarely), I don't need that extra "piece of mind" that Extended Mobility solutions provide. I was speaking to the point that if I my only choice was a vehicle with an EM solution, I would prefer the Michelin PAX to a conventional EMT, even given your good point about the increase in mass.
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    Building on what Ian said, I think it's funny how Tom and Ray were also very careful not to bash Honda for not supporting Odyssey owners with this. You can bet that if that happened on a Caravan, they would point it out, along with every other auto enthusiast website/publication out there.

    I generally read Tom and Ray for comedic purposes only. I lost respect for them a couple of years ago when they told someone to ditch an Escort with 100K miles on it due to a PCV problem, instead of actually working with the problem and trying to help the guy fix it. If it had been a Honda or Toyota, they probably would've told the guy to have it properly diagnosed by a mechanic. There could be a leak in a vacuum hose causing this, or the valve cover could just plain be sludged up (as was the case with my '92- reaming this out with an improvised snake fixed the problem and it runs great now).

    Here's the article: http://www.cartalk.com/content/colum...04/May/08.html
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