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I've never been so happy to put on my snow tires even though it's not snowing yet

Illustration for article titled Ive never been so happy to put on my snow tires even though its not snowing yet

Remember how my aggressive alignment prematurely wore out the inner edge of my front Kumho Ecsta PS91 summer tires? I was kinda hating my car with those tires on it, and after swapping on my Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 snow tires this weekend, I’ll go ahead and say it: FUCK KUMHO PS91s!


I don’t expect my car with its suspension mods to be completely smooth, quiet and vibration-free. Things like camber plates and polyurethane bushings are going to introduce some front end noise and vibration. And yes, my summer tires are 19s and my winters on the stock wheels are 18s. But man, the noise and ride harshness from the Kumho PS91s is bad.

The initial hype on the PS91s was that they were a bargain Michelin Pilot Super Sport contender. Sure, the grip was there, but the refinement absolutely was not. These are the problems with the PS91s:

  1. Their ride is very stiff over sharp bumps.
  2. Even with my rear fenders pulled, I have a slight rub on my driver’s rear corner.
  3. They developed a terrible helicopter wub-wub noise that never goes away. It’s better or worse at certain speeds, but it’s there. It’s the worst from 35 to 50 mph.
  4. Cruising at 70+ mph on the highway, the whole car vibrates, not just the steering wheel.

The noise and vibration was probably increased somewhat by my alignment wearing out the inner edge of the tires, but that alignment wasn’t that aggressive, and the rest of the tread was totally fine. Besides, there were like maybe 8k miles on those front tires and they got chewed up that quickly? Screw that nonsense.

At one point I actually thought I would just get a new set of front PS91s and keep my rears til they wear out, but even before I swapped on my winter tires, I realized I was pretty sure I actually hate the damn PS91s and there’s no reason I should buy more of them. Putting on my winter tires only confirmed it.


Obviously, winter tires, even performance winter tires, aren’t nearly as grippy as summer tires, which I will say is one thing the PS91s were very good at. But damn if I wasn’t just tired of that fucking wub-wub noise. It’s extremely annoying when your car feels and sounds like a helicopter playing shitty dubstep music. I’m just glad my car is at least tolerable to putz around town in.

So, I’ve been looking at new summer tires. This is what Tire Rack has available in my sizes. At the moment my front runners are the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 (a.k.a. Bridgestone RE003) and Pirelli P Zero Nero GT. I’m sure I’d like the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S but at $1045 + shipping & install that’s too rich for my blood.


Oh, and by the way, if you want performance winter tires, i.e. something that will give you better winter grip than all-seasons but still preserve at least some of your sporty handling, I do love the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4. But they also didn’t cost 4 figures for the set.

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