Surprise 4 tires and a new home

Miles: 119113

While moving from California to Colorado I had a bit of an issue going over the i70 pass where all the ski resorts are. I heard a bang and seconds later my tire indicator came on. At this point, I wasn’t able to pull over due to construction on the road left nowhere to go. So I drove about a mile until I found a place to safely pull over. The tire was definitely flat, no air was in it and it was riding on the sidewall. Pulled the tire off and there was a pretty massive hole the size of a rebar near the center of the tread. That explains why I lost pressure so quickly. So I unpacked the car trunk of my stuff, threw on my donut, and drove to the next town. Keep in mind most of these towns are smaller and the ones that are bigger are only because of the ski resorts. Sadly none of the shops had time to “repair” my tire. I sent the rest of my family ahead while I searched for a place to get me back on the road. I really wasn’t sure if the tire could be repaired at this point but that was how I wanted to get the conversation started. After a few towns of not being able to find anyone to work on the tire, I made it to Avon and a Big-O tire had me in and out in 30 minutes repaired. That being said the repair was just to get me to my destination, they did not have confidence in it and neither did I. Boy am I glad I didn’t try and do that last 150miles on the donut, The weather, and road conditions ahead were horrible. A snowstorm appeared and I just put myself a good distance behind an 18-wheeler and kept their pace. Eventually made it to Denver to meet up with my family.

Now that I made it home to Denver I figured I would get this tire replaced, two is what I was thinking since the fronts were still pretty good. Went online and started searching and saw backorders everywhere for the Michelin PSAS4’s in 235/40/18 which is the tire I was running. I really have enjoyed this tire and put an order in at the local Big O tire for another two. On the morning of the appointment, I got a call from Big O. As I expected there was no stock so I had them add me to the list and they would contact me when they get them.

Well, that went on for about two months before I gave up waiting for the tires to come in stock. I did search around and everyone had them on backorder still. First I email Michelin directly and got back a canned response that was clearly designed to be a template you edit but they didn’t and was even more confused than I was original. I then decided to email Tirerack and see what they had to say. Their response was much better ” These have been on order from Michelin since August 2021, and they still have no production scheduled.  It will be a minimum of 3 months from this point.” Well doesn’t look like I will be getting PSAS4’s and now have to find another tire.

Ended up deciding on the Continential ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus which I have read great things about and have a few friends who run them and were recommended. I called Big O tire to change my order to 4 DWS’s which I splurged for due to a sale instead of getting two and having mismatched tires. The DWS’s arrived a few days later and the installation was just plain ridiculous. I arrived at 8:15 am and finally had tires mounted and alignment at 2:30 pm. I was originally told two hours when I arrived and each time I asked for an update starting at 11 am it was 15 minutes. Needless to say, I won’t be going to the Thornton location again.

Once I get some miles in on them I will update this with my thoughts on the tires, especially compared to the PSAS4’s.

Update: 06/11/22

What a disappointment. I went out for a test drive but wasn’t able to get a feel for the tires for a few reasons. First and biggest they were not pressurized correctly. After driving for a while and going up a mountain pass they felt really soft and floaty. So I stopped to take a pressure reading and they ranged anywhere between 32psi and 21psi. Note these were not cold temperatures as I had just been driving the car so they likely are even lower. Will have to check in the morning after the car sits for a while and cools down. Stock PSI listed on the door is 37psi so they clearly just mounted the tires and never actually adjusted the pressure. Of course, I should have checked the pressure myself, can’t trust others. The second issue was the alignment, the car pulls the to the left and the steering wheel is off-center by a good amount to the right. Lastly and not a big issue more just disappointment in the quality of work is the valve caps had one that was not the original and didn’t even fit. All these issues after waiting 4 hours over the original estimate is just unacceptable.

Update: 06/12/22

Adjusted the tire pressure this morning and took the car back out to see how the tires feel. They feel much better and more inline with what I was expecting. Road noise is noticeably less on the DWS06 Plus vs the PSAS4. The DWS06 Plus also has a more comfortable feel when dealing with potholes and other road variances. During cornering the DWS06 are more linear in their movement but have a softer sidewall than the PSAS4’s. The DWS06 Plus has a bit more of an oversteer feel which makes things exciting. The dry grip is on par and hookup feels good when putting power down. Heavy braking feels a bit less solid but I found that to be pretty exceptional with the PSAS4 so don’t take that as a negative. Both tires are very competitive with each other and I feel the Conti is more comfortable and the Mich is more performance but neither is that far off from each other. For a daily driver, the Conti is the better choice but for a weekend warrior in the canyons who is willing to sacrifice some comfort, the Mich is the better tire.

Update: 06/13/22

Dropped the car off at 8:00 am to get the alignment and steering wheel center fixed. Did not hear anything all day and arrived at 5:30 pm to find out they did absolutely nothing with the car all day. They asked me to bring it back tomorrow but I declined and instead requested a refund for the alignment. I didn’t have much faith they would be able to fix it anyways. The alignment isn’t off enough to cause tire wear, the steering wheel being cockeyed is just annoying. Will have to find a better place to get an alignment.