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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, I finally had my stock Michelin Energy tires replaced with Bridgestone Turanza LS-H tires that had to be special ordered. I had Sears do the mounting, balancing, etc. I am a newbie when it comes to wheels and tires, so these questions may seem very simple to you enthusiasts/experts:

1. I have noticed an immediate dip in my MPG. Is this normal with new tires?

2. This may be a cause of the reduced MPG. I noticed the front tires were inflated to about 28 PSI and the backs were inflated to 30 PSI. I'm used to about 32 all around, so I may inflate them to that level. Will this be OK?

3. I noticed they flipped the wheels on the right side of my car to the left side and the wheels on the left side to the right side. (I noticed this because I have some scratches on the right wheels, but now they're on the left side of my car.) Is this normal? Random? Doesnt matter?

4. Finally, I noticed on the inside of my wheels, that they have stuck some small weights with an adhesive. At first, I thought they were something that could be removed, until I removed one and noticed it was a weight. Were these on my Passat when I bought it brand new? Is it OK for me to move these weights further inside the wheel so they aren't so dang noticable? I only noticed them on the two left wheels. I didn't see them on the right wheels. What's going on here?

5. The people at Sears recommended I bring my tires in to be rotated and balanced at no charge every six months. I've also heard it's good to have them rotated after every 6,000 miles and so forth. When do you normally have your tires rotated and what do you recommend for me? I do a lot of highway driving.

I have a 2001.5 GLS 1.8T and my tire size is 195/65/15. Answers to any of these questions would really help me out. Thanks a lot!
 

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The dip in MPG would be directly related to the decrease in air pressure in the tires. You don't want to remove any of those balancing weights. Those are precisely placed to balance the tire and wheel together so you don't have any vibrations when driving. I would be surprised if there are not any on the other wheels. There may not be as many on the others but there should be some. Some tire/wheel combinations require less weights to balance them than others, but usually they do require at least some. As for rotating tires, every 6000-7500 miles should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Uh oh... I removed one set of the weights, but did put it back in the same area after I realized what it was. Have I screwed up the balance?

They looked very noticable on the wheel.
 

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I put my answers right after your questions...because I'm lazy :D

tdb said:
1. I have noticed an immediate dip in my MPG. Is this normal with new tires? Low pressure and higher rolling resistance, in combo.

3. I noticed they flipped the wheels on the right side of my car to the left side... They took all 4 wheels off your car and it doesn't matter where they put them back on, since all 4 are new.

4. I removed one and noticed it was a weight. As long as you put it back, you should be fine. If you want to be extra anal, remove the old sticky tape and put it back on with fresh tape.

5. The people at Sears recommended I bring my tires in to be rotated and balanced at no charge every six months. Sounds good. You paid for this service with the tires, so it's a good idea. Personally, I'd DIY it every other time, since I like to be able to inspect the brakes, suspension, etc, and I don't like excessive re-balancing since it adds more adhesive gunk to the inner rim. Just a personal thing. I've gone 30k miles without a re-balance, doing rotations myself, with no appreciable change in vibration up to 80mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your help.

One additional question for you guys -- I chose not to have a front end alignment done. When should I have one done or how do I know if I need one done?
 

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Alignments are usually on an as-needed basis, around a specific event like: hitting a curb/pothole, replacing tie rods/control arms, or changing suspension components.

It can't hurt to have one done every so often, but in the absence of a specific reason (or symptom, like uneven tire wear or pulling to one side), it's just $50-$100 you probably don't need to spend.
 

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Make sure you cross rotate the tires. The LS-H tends to feather a little if left on the same side of the car. You can switch side to side or back to front and cross the rears. It will keep the wear more even which keeps the tires quieter on the highway.
 

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Just remember: The fronts go straight back, the rears go to the opposite front!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interesting. I have never heard of this type of rotation. If I don't do it myself, should I be sure to tell the mechanics to cross it in this manner or will they already know to cross it like this? Do I just tell them "cross rotate" or is there another term for this? I always throught cross rotate was when you basically put left front to right rear and vice versa and then right front to left rear and vice versa.
 

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Most mechanics will just do that "standard" rotation without being told. You could always ask at the desk, though. If the tires are directional (the Turanzas aren't), then they just go fore/aft on each side.
 

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PZ said:
Make sure you cross rotate the tires. The LS-H tends to feather a little if left on the same side of the car. You can switch side to side or back to front and cross the rears. It will keep the wear more even which keeps the tires quieter on the highway.
If I'm not mistaken, I believe the LS-H tires are Directional tires. The only way to rotate like you describe would be to unmount & remount the tires on the rims.....or risk the earth caving in on itself from driving on tires backwards. Actually, I haven't a clue as to what may happen by driving the wrong way on directional tires. But if the earth does cave in, it's all YOUR fault PZ!!!! :p
 

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They are not directional tires. That's one of the reasons I bought them last time. As for the Earth caving in,if it happens,we can blame it on FEMA.
 

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PZ said:
They are not directional tires. That's one of the reasons I bought them last time. As for the Earth caving in,if it happens,we can blame it on FEMA.
Must be an old age thing.....I had the tires up until 2 1/2 weeks ago. Damn, I would have sworn they were directional. :rolleyes:
 

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tdb said:
Just to let you guys know -- I'm loving the tires so far. Great ride.
Yeah,I loved my set but the cost on the 16's was high. I bought Kumho ASX this time around,so far so good.
 
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