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Help Debate - Do tire speed ratings really matter???

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Old 09-27-2018, 01:39 AM
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lektrix
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Debate - Do tire speed ratings really matter???

I understand the general theory behind it.... faster / higher performance cars burn rubber at higher temperatures requiring higher performance tires... on the race tracks YES YES YES. But in heavily congested city traffic during rush hour work times and weekend driving where everyone else is driving?? Is that still a resounding YES YES YES?

Ignoring money and brand name, will there be noticeable difference between a T-rated tire, W-rated tire, V-rated tire, Y-rated tire at 80 kmph (50 mph), 110 kmph (70 mph), 130 kmph (80 mph), assuming I drive like an average person and not a racer???
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:18 AM
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If youíre not pushing the limits of speed or cornering then no difference. Driving 30mph you canít tell. Cornering like grand pa you canít tell. However cruising at 80mph+ you should start to feel sidewall stability improvements when changing lanes quickly. Same goes with any hard cornering. Certainly if youíre commute or daily drive is littered with traffic and low speeds youíll notice no appreciable difference imo
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Hotsauce55 View Post
If youíre not pushing the limits of speed or cornering then no difference. Driving 30mph you canít tell. Cornering like grand pa you canít tell. However cruising at 80mph+ you should start to feel sidewall stability improvements when changing lanes quickly. Same goes with any hard cornering. Certainly if youíre commute or daily drive is littered with traffic and low speeds youíll notice no appreciable difference imo
Thanks. I don't plan on driving 80 mph often and if/when I do ill be too worried about speeding tickets and burning all that premium gas. Kinda defeats the purpose of owning this car though in some regards. A car with so much zip but nowhere to unleash it all....
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Hotsauce55 View Post
If youíre not pushing the limits of speed or cornering then no difference. Driving 30mph you canít tell. Cornering like grand pa you canít tell. However cruising at 80mph+ you should start to feel sidewall stability improvements when changing lanes quickly. Same goes with any hard cornering. Certainly if youíre commute or daily drive is littered with traffic and low speeds youíll notice no appreciable difference imo
What about redlining impulsively to beat yellow traffic lights?? Are T rated tires sufficient or do i need V/X/Y for that?? 😆
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lektrix View Post
What about redlining impulsively to beat yellow traffic lights?? Are T rated tires sufficient or do i need V/X/Y for that?? ��
You wont have any issues with that. If trucks Minivans and SUVs can do it (those vehicles commonly have T rated tires), so can you.
It's a max speed rating so unless you are trying to beat the light at or above speeds of 118 miles per hour you will be fine.

The only thing you might notice if you have a keen driving awareness is how the tires feel when driving sporty or how quickly the car responds to turning input, or a few extra feet of braking might be needed (all depends on the tire/ brand etc) . But they aren't going to fail on you during normal daily or even spirited driving unless perhaps you have worn them out or they are defective.

In summary, speed ratings often do matter, but that is because the tires with higher speed ratings also often yield greater handling benefits in general. But are the T rated tires "adequate"? yes, they should be if you get a good brand/model of tire.

Last edited by KAHBOOM; 09-27-2018 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by KAHBOOM View Post
You wont have any issues with that. If trucks Minivans and SUVs can do it (those vehicles commonly have T rated tires), so can you.
Thanks for being a voice of reason then. Some people in my Canadian forums calling me a moron for cheaping out on $140, but reality is I'm not being cheap... It's never cheap to drive a luxury Infiniti..... even the store selling me doesn't care about making more money off me for a Continental/Michelin W/Y-rated tire over the Cooper T-rated. They told me straight up that the Cooper CS5 Ultra's were their best sellers and best consumer-reviewed tires even in the snow-filled days in Ontario. And they told me 190 kmph is more than I need UNLESS I decide to go track full-time and pull off hard corners, which I explicitly stated I will not be doing. It's a daily driver. I drive to work, drive home, buy groceries, drive down to the beach on weekends, and that's all. If I go camping or lake cottage 2-3 times a year I will need to utilize the HP to pass cars in the country roads. That's about it. So thank you for being honest and not using this moment to be a marketer/salesman!!!!!!!
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by KAHBOOM View Post
You wont have any issues with that. If trucks Minivans and SUVs can do it (those vehicles commonly have T rated tires), so can you.
It's a max speed rating so unless you are trying to beat the light at or above speeds of 118 miles per hour you will be fine.

The only thing you might notice if you have a keen driving awareness is how the tires feel when driving sporty or how quickly the car responds to turning input, or a few extra feet of braking might be needed (all depends on the tire/ brand etc) . But they aren't going to fail on you during normal daily or even spirited driving unless perhaps you have worn them out or they are defective.

In summary, speed ratings often do matter, but that is because the tires with higher speed ratings also often yield greater handling benefits in general. But are the T rated tires "adequate"? yes, they should be if you get a good brand/model of tire.
Hopefully I didn't go overboard with the brand new Centric Premium Rotors only to pair them up with Cooper T-rated tires lol. I'm not buying cheap Made in China crap tires, but really focused more on the Coopers for tread life, mileage, and quietness. The bonus is that the tires are pretty great performers too according to the guy who is selling them to me!
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by lektrix View Post
..... even the store selling me doesn't care about making more money off me for a Continental/Michelin W/Y-rated tire over the Cooper T-rated.

I don't know about that...a lot of places seem to have better margins on cheaper tires so the stores are actually more motivated to sell the cheaper ones...the most common thing I hear when the tire guy is pushing a cheap brand especially if they sense you are on the fence is oh this brand is made in the same factory as this other big brand...even if its true it comes down to the individual the tires design and compound...also its easier for them to sell you $800 worth of tires than risk losing you by pushing $1500 worth of tires

my $0.02 cents and experience: speed rating may not be as important but the quality of the tire can vary substantially and may be lower on cheaper tires...my dad would always put cheap tires on my sister's car and one would blowout every few months...I think all four blew out in less than a year at one point....I got sick of getting called to change tires in the middle of the night so I put better branded tires on her car....may be a coincidence but not a single blow out on the new tires after 8 plus years of my sister driving on them and i know her driving habits haven't changed.... they'll need to be changed at this point just cause they are old and almost worn out...

Another reason I recommend a decent tire in the GTA, for me anyways, is that I commute a lot and the traffic here is very aggressive and stays that way over extended periods...i.e. cars are going from a crawl to 140km/hour and back repeatedly and people are slamming on their brakes from high speeds and cutting people off all the time...2-3 hours of this every day really heats up the tires and if the construction of the tire is not great could lead to a failure...that and potholes..potholes are so bad here...the only failure I've had of a "good" tire in the GTA was I blew the sidewall on a brand new pilot super sport hitting a giant pothole that also banged up my suspension....luckily the store exchanged it for free....

also in these conditions braking performance is very important which may be lacking on a less performance oriented tire/ cheaper tire with a crappy compound

anyways...forget about what forum people say, you set your priorities and theres really nothing wrong with that, get want you want in your budget....other people probably haven't used the cooper tires you chose, I know I haven't, maybe they'll be great and you can tell us and everyone will start using them...hell i saw them at Canadian tire the other day for half the price of pilot sport 4s tires and was tempted....at least the cost is lower if you change your mind later and want something better and you can probably sell them for something decent...
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:17 PM
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In the U.S., tire dealers must replace tires with equal or higher speed rating.

Many years ago, my brother bought four new S-rated (bias-ply) tires on his 1971 Le Mans. We then took a trip up to western Arkansas which took us through the Ouachita Mountains. Being young and spirited, my brother drove con brio. On the way back, three of the new tire sidewalls failed. We might have exceeded 80 mph briefly but the primary cause of failure was too-soft sidewalls that couldn't handle the side-loading during the many mountain turns. T or V rated tires would have survived quite well.

TL;DR - penny-wise, pound foolish.


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Old 09-27-2018, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by slartibartfast View Post
In the U.S., tire dealers must replace tires with equal or higher speed rating.


Most will in Canada too to cover off liability unless you don't tell them what car its going on... Any type of performance driving (speed, hard braking, cornering) should be accompanied by a proper performance tire for best results
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by slartibartfast View Post
In the U.S., tire dealers must replace tires with equal or higher speed rating.

Many years ago, my brother bought four new S-rated (bias-ply) tires on his 1971 Le Mans. We then took a trip up to western Arkansas which took us through the Ouachita Mountains. Being young and spirited, my brother drove con brio. On the way back, three of the new tire sidewalls failed. We might have exceeded 80 mph briefly but the primary cause of failure was too-soft sidewalls that couldn't handle the side-loading during the many mountain turns. T or V rated tires would have survived quite well.

TL;DR - penny-wise, pound foolish.


Good post and this matches my personal experience as well. The last time I bought tires for my G I ordered them online at Samís Club. When I showed up to have my tires installed they told me that the tires I ordered were too low of a speed
rating for my car. I donít remember the specifics, but the tires I ordered were rated to like 120mph but the OEM spec was like 140. I explained that I would certainly not be doing 120 in the car, let alone 140. They said it didnít matter and that for liability reasons they could not install those tires on my car. That seemed kind of dumb but I do understand aversion to legal liability. I ordered proper speed rated tires and had to come back another day. Fortunately the price difference was not very much.
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