Looking for new tires for the SportWagen TDI, anyone here try the Firestone Champion Fuel Fighters?

Discussion in 'General' started by 08EscapeHybrid, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    So, for those not familiar, 2014 VW SportWagen TDI. Car is currently in the dealer for the 80,000 mile service... Oil change, fuel filter, and transmission fluid and filter service. Plus, I'm trying to get them to cover my busted sunshade under warranty. Its an expensive one. Dealer calls, and car needs new tires and rear brakes too. My budget right now is already stretched, so I was looking for a value tire, but came across the Firestone Champion Fuel Fighter LRR tire for $90/ea with free shipping. The next LRR tires I see are nearly double in price. Has anyone here tried them? I'm sure they're noisier than a regular tire, but is it objectionable? Are the trade offs in this tire not worth the fuel economy gains?

    I'm tempted just to go for them, simply because its the cheapest name brand tire I can find right now, and if I don't like them, I can ditch them in a couple years when money isn't so tight. PXL_20210512_223309168.jpg
     
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  2. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Sorry, no help on those specific Firestone tires. I’m sure you’ve read some of my many posts for used & even over-sized tires that I have done for over 100,000 miles now. I heartily love used tires.
    My first set of used, over-sized tires were Firestone Affinities that turned my Dodge Caliber into nearly a wonderful limousine with their sweet smoothness & good quietness. Altho those Firestones were 10+ years ago, I still remember their excellence.
    Tire rack has many love/hate reviews on your questioned Firestone tire.

    Thinking about my Affinities, yes, you should buy those Firestones for $90/each.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
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  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jay:

    Although it may be out of your target budget given there are few to no tire deals right now, I picked up 4 new Dunlop Enasave's for my 21 Prius Prime a few weeks back.

    At 95k miles, they were down to 3/32nds all around and one with a patch repair was unsavable with small leak that was getting worse in one. The Bridgestone Ecopia's that are a std. "go to" were only a few dollars cheaper and they only made it to 84k miles before they needed replacement on my 2020 Prius Prime. In addition, the Enasave's are slightly taller as they did not allow the front lower air dam to scrape on my drive when exiting and they are slightly more efficient than the aforementioned Ecopia's.

    Wayne
     
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  4. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Champion Fuel Fighter did well in the Tire Rack mpg test. Link - https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=220
    The other tires they compared are not LRR-rated but they do show a nice boost over competing tires. Their test report says they could use improvement in rain/snow performance but anyone spending time on this site is not driving at speeds that will test the tire's limits.
    If they don't roll as well as the stock tires, add some air. Remember that new tires never roll as well as worn tires, so some of the losses will just be the deeper tread on the new rubber.
     
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  5. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    After reading the review, I feel better about them. I may have to hurry up and order them, the site I found them on has them for $90 with free shipping, Tire Rack is $160.
     
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  6. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    The Firestone tires get a "meh" for snow and ice traction, but anyone in the suburbs that gets the roads treated would be fine. The harshness and noise feedback is a mixed bag, which usually suggests cars with high NVH by design will be noisier with the 'Stones while cars that are fairly well isolated will seem quiet. I wouldn't worry about treadwear reviews because most of us run tire pressures that minimize wear. Faced with the pricing you're seeing, I'd choose them.
     
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  7. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    This won't help in the LRR domain, but they seem to be good tires cheap, if you can actually get them. Walmart.

    500AA rated, 50k mile warranty. And look at the price. I didn't try to figure shipping cost or any of the other costs.

    Edit: only negative I've seen is iffy snow traction.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

  9. litesong

    litesong litesong

    From 9-21-22:
    Ah, just remembered. It was the excellence of those used, over-sized Firestone Affinity tires, that I continue to buy used, over-sized tires for our Hyundai Accent & both our 2013 automatic & 2016 manual Elantras. Never have I been tempted to buy new tires for myself, ever since.
     
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  10. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I was looking at bumping the aspect ratio up one, from a 45 to a 50. The tires are a lot more expensive. Plus, my dealer says they can't recalibrate the speedometer for the new size if I do it. My regular mechanic says he can't recalibrate it either. For now, I'm sticking with the stock size. Just now, I've gone through all my rewards programs, and cashed my rewards in for gift cards, and I'm going to use them to reduce the cost of the tires and brakes I'm buying. I'll probably pull the trigger on it this weekend once all my digital gift cards come in.
     
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  11. litesong

    litesong litesong

    The OE tires on our 2013 auto Elantra were 205x55x16 inches, but the car accepted 215x55x17 inch tires! They are wonderful, giving a bigger vehicle feeling, yet have had more secure turning. Despite the larger wheels, I have been able to maintain wheel-ground distance, avoiding extra possible damage from potholes & other irregularities. As for the 2016 manual Elantra, we have gone from the standard 205x55x16 inch tires to 205x60x16 inch tires. Again, the Elantra feels bigger, reducing engine & tire rpms on the highway. The extra aspect ratio from 55 to 60 gives the Elantra a very smooth ride & better ability to withstand pothole, curb & other road damages.
    Of course, my tires were used & didn’t have your extra costs due to a larger aspect ratio. Matter of fact, I might think my tires cost less than the extras you will incur, paying for the extra aspect ratio.
    Don’t worry about re-calibrating the speedometer. With GPS, just determine your actual speed compared to the speedometer & keep it in your head. Our two Elantras show our speeds at indicated 60MPH to be true 61.5 & 62.5 MPH. We just keep our speeds under speedometer indicated 60MPH.
    Two problems with larger over-sized tires: 1) razzle-dazzle driving cannot be done, with the greater possibility of wheel well to tire contact. 2) like-wise, excess & full weight loading of your vehicle should NOT be done, for the same reason about razzle-dazzle driving.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
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  12. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Ahh, I didn't know you had 17" wheels ...
     
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  13. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Yeah, I wish they were 16s but there's zero money for new wheels. When I mentioned bumping the aspect ratio up, dealer guy immediately said go to 16s.
     
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  14. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Your VW probably has the 5x112 bolt pattern so there likely aren't too many sets of wheels out there selling cheap. In the 17" wheel size, the 225-45-17 is about the same diameter as 205-50-17. Both 25 inch outer diameter.
    The 215-50-17 is a half inch taller (quarter inch larger radius) and should still fit. But don't fiddle with tire size when changing only two tires because it will confuse the stability control because the two axles are reporting different wheel speeds. Downsizing to 16 inch means half inch taller sidewall, if you keep the same outer diameter, and that half inch comes at a very high cost - four new alloys and four new tires.
     
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  15. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Yep. That's why 16s aren't happening now. The Fuel Fighters are in the OEM tire size, and they're CHEAP, so that's the route I'm taking right now.
     
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  16. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I had Discount Tire put on some tires for me yesterday. Not sure if I want to give them a plug
    because they totally disregarded my instructions about tire pressure.
    The tires are Continental Control Contact Tour A/S Plus. 195/65R-15 ( Toyota spec )
     
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  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Edwin:

    How much for the new tires?

    Wayne
     
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  18. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Almost all my used over-sized tires came from Craigslist. ALWAYS, have met great people, who just needed more room in their garages. A number of times, I got tires that I needed, mounted on alloy wheels that I kinda liked. I paid $100 for four alloy wheels & tires that I really liked & got 10,000 miles out of the worn but mounted tires. Two transactions, I got 2 & 3 used, over-sized tires, mounted on alloy wheels that I liked for $50 each transaction, & all the tires gave 30,000 miles. All tires & wheels were brand name & have given excellent service. Now I have wheels from 14 to 18 inches, that have opened huge numbers of used tire transactions for me, because I have very common wheels of 4bolt, 100mm size & 5bolt, 114.3mm(4.5 inch), 67mm centerbore & 40mm off-set size. However, I have seen many people selling VW tires AND wheels in your size on Craigslist.

    Man…..I GOT LOTS OF WHEELS & TIRES, costing far less than one set of new tires, that can be mounted anytime, for practical reasons or just if I want different looks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
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  19. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    My kids would love this : Having to dispose of all that after I croak.
     
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  20. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Yeah…..but all those wheels & tires are presently NOT in a dump site, now…..& being put to good use for driving, which I wouldn’t be able to do, because I paid far too much for new wheels & tires.

    In other words, I get to travel all over my backyard……which I consider all of Washington, Oregon, & Idaho states. Even slip into parts of Montana, Wyoming & California….maybe into Nevada & Utah, too. Ain’t that the coolest thing!!!!
     
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