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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a 95 g20 manual (I am learning how to drive manual) but the tires on it are bald. I'm looking into the Potenza RE950 any thoughts? Around how much would it cost to get them put in balanced and the wheels aligned? I have been watching the forum for a while or so but it took forever to get one manual in the New York Area. I saw the reviews on tirerack and they seemed good. Thanx
 

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I need new tires too. I'm debating between the Bridgestone Potenza RE950 and the Bridgestone Turanza LS-H. The Turanza's have a better traction rating (AA as opposed to A). The RE950 has directional tread which may help resist hydroplaning, but supposedly the LS-H has better snow traction. Both have UNI-T AQII designs, so they're pretty similar when it comes down to compunds. I'll probably go with the Turanza's.
 

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Extensive tire experience...

The Bridgestones are a good bet. They have the best warranty on the market, along with their co-owned brands - Firestone and Dayton. Michelin also equals them on the warranty. Their warranty covers the tire 100% (not PRO-RATED) against manufacturing defects for the life of the tire.
I can highly recommend NOT BUYING Yokohamas for this same reason. I have had 5 different Yokohama tires (3 on one set and 2 on another set - and two different models) separate belts INSIDE the tire. Yokohama steadfastly refused to offer ANY help or warranty because I needed to PROVE I did not cause the damage. They could not give me an answer as to how I would prove or disprove this. Their tire sales reps (NTB) were equally unhelpful.
On the other hand, the Bridgestone store I stopped at when my last Yokohama broke while on vacation was EXTREMELY helpful. That put me in the front of the line after checking with the other patrons waiting and got me on my way in less than half an hour.
Besides Bridgestone, check out the similar tires from Firestone. The Firehawk SH30 have had many good reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Turanza's seem really nice wish I'd noticed them but I already ordered the Potenza's. I called a Bridgestone place near me and they didn't have the Potenza's, he said he'd order them and it would cost me $510 to get em and have them installed and balanced which I thought was steep. So I went on tirerack and they helped me locate a place near me that will take the delivery of the tires. I called them and they said it would cost $75 to put them on including balancing and the tires cost $290 shipped. Is this a fair price (total $365)? Also I just got the car and noticed that at 65mph there is steering wheel shaking and the resonance causes the dash to make annoying noises do you think that new tires and balancing will get rid of that? Should I get a four wheel alignment too? The info on the Yokohama's was interesting since I was also considering a set of those, I'm glad I didn't make that purchase. The Firehawk SH30 also seem nice, sometimes there are just too many options.
 

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$365 sounds fairly reasonable. As far as vibrations go, it can be any number of things. It could be that one of your wheels is out of ballance and it's shaking things up. If that's the case, it should be better with the new tires (assuming they balance the tires correctly to begin with). As far as getting an alignment, do you need it? Have you noticed any uneven wearing or does your car seem to drift?
 

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shaking

Most of the time, a resonate shaking (at particular speeds) is the wheel balance. I had ONE case, on my Honda Odyssey, that it was the alignment. Another case, I had a bad wheel bearing but it was more of a loud hum building up at certain speeds but no real shaking. It's been my experience that 90% of the time it is the wheel balance to blame. Alignment problems, as mentioned above, are uneven tire wear and a pulling to one side at speed. Also, if the car tends to drift in the direction you were last steering.
Definitely get the tires first and then if the car pulls or shakes any, get an alignment right away.
PS: See if your tire shop has lifetime balance at no charge. Occasionally, the wheel weights will come off or shift and you will need to have them rebalanced.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The car does slightly drift to the right but it is very slight. As to uneven tire wear my friends who are definelty more car people than I am (my first car in years) noticed that the rear tires which are the bald ones infact have wear towards the ends and the middle shows much less wear though I'm gonna take a closer look. They told me that it was due to tires running under inflated. The drift to the right is so mild it doesn't affect my driving so it was good to hear that balancing usually fixes the steering wheel shaking which in turn causes noise from the dash.
 

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Your car may be drifting to the right even though your alignment is fine. Almost all roads have some bit of slope to them to help rainwater run off. It could be that this is what you're feeling. In this case, it sounds like your alignment is OK.

I always keep my tires inflated to the specs marked on the inside of the center console armrest. (32psi front, 29psi rear) Just remember to change the pressures when you rotate your tires or your tires will wear wrong.

Since you said your steering wheel was shaking, that leads me to believe that it's one of your two front wheels that are out of balance. Check them and see if they both have weights on them. If not, it could be that one fell off. I know I have one wheel that doesn't ever require any weights (I guess it's the lucky one), so that's not always the case.
 

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Tire pressure...

32 and 29 psi are not enough difference to cause any uneven tire wear. Tire pressures will not affect the tire wear until they are SIGNIFICANTLY low or high, like 20 psi or 40 psi. I usually run all of mine at 32 psi. Also, keep in mind, the accuracy of your guage can be upwards of +/- 2 psi even when new. I have had old ones as bad as 5 psi off. It is good to check yours occasionally against a high quality guage. The new digital pressure guages are usually pretty good quality - but still check them against another one. Tires can also be designed for higher pressures - some high mile, low rolling resistance tires take higher pressures than labeled on the car.
This info may belong in another thread - we are getting away from the tire question...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info. The tires are nice and the balancing did the trick. The car runs really smooth right after I put them on I went on a little 2 hour road trip. The car feels great now and doesn't shake.
 
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