Michelin Defender - New tire option - Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Michelin Defender - New tire option

As an FYI, Michelin is replacing the HydroEdge and the Harmony with a new tire, the Defender. One of the benefits I have told...is that is has a stiffer sidewall and will work well for minivans, with their heavier weight.

I'm just coming home from dealership with a new set of 4. Between myself, and reading posts from everyone else, I figured we had tried everything that was already out there, so it was time to try something new. Coming home on the highway, they seem ok, and were quiet. I'll be taking a 2500 mile trip in about a month, (pulling a small trailer) so that will give me a better idea how they will perform. After the trip I'll come back and update this post with my thoughts.

Excerpts for a Michelin press release. (It says they will be available April 1st, so that's how new they are.)

“The Michelin Defender will replace two existing lines: the Michelin HydroEdge and the Michelin Harmony lines,” says Pete Selleck, Michelin’s new North American chairman and president.
Michelin says the Defender will stop 31 feet shorter than a leading competitor. It will also last 21,000 miles longer than the mileage of a leading competitor. The company also says a consumer who buys set of four Defenders will save $250 in fuel costs over the lifetime of the four tires.

Further adding to its safety features, the Defender tire maintains the same wet handling as the previous generation Michelin HydroEdge tire. It also has 15% increased snow traction over the HydroEdge.

The Defender tire has earned the Michelin Green X designation. Further mass reduction and a reduction in rolling resistance makes the Michelin Defender tire 17% better in rolling resistance than the previous generation Michelin product.

Trying the new Michelin Defender tires
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 02:46 AM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

Thanks for the info, I'm looking for a set of new tires soon too. Hopefully Costco gets them in soon.

Also curious, do most people here change their TMPS sensor when they get new tires? If so then will Costco do them for you? I read in that other thread that usually the sensors last like 7 or 8 years, so since mine is 5 years old I guess I still have a few years left ?!?!?
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 12:34 PM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

This is funny, I was just getting ready to buy some new Goodyear Comfortreds on Tirerack when I noticed that these new Michelin Defenders were just made available in my size. Lower wet traction and braking test scores were the only minuses to the Comfortreds. It looks like these Defenders would be much better in wet conditions, equal in rolling resistance (fuel economy), and slightly better in treadlife. Please keep us posted on how these tires do over the next few months.

2008 Sienna LE 2WD
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

Just a little technical info on the tire. Treadwear: 820, Traction: A, Tempature: B, type 98T, Max Load: 750 kg/1653 lbs, Max Pressure 300 kPa/44 PSI

Trying the new Michelin Defender tires
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 05:15 PM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

I am also looking for the new tires for my Sienna and can't find anything I really like. It would be nice to have some reviews on the new Michelin Defender before I consider them, but they aren't really out yet.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 02:19 PM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

The Defender really looks promising, but the timing is really unfortunate for me. I wanted to put on summer tires this week, but the Defender is not available until next week, and the HydroEdge is out of stock from local suppliers... and won't be restocked because it is replaced by the Defender.

The retailer which sold a set to ASCAPE likely violated their distribution agreement with Michelin by selling it before the release date; local suppliers here (I am currently in the Vancouver, B.C. area) are not willing to do that.

The 98 load index suggests either an e-metric (not P-metric) tire (i.e. 216/65R16, not P215/65R16) or a 17" setup (P225/60R17).

The temperature index of "B" is disappointing, but it looks like the Harmony and HydroEdge had the same value.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-01-2012, 01:35 AM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_bp View Post
The 98 load index suggests either an e-metric (not P-metric) tire (i.e. 216/65R16, not P215/65R16) or a 17" setup (P225/60R17)..
I'm a tire noob, so does this make any significant difference? I did a quick google and the explanation given at tirerack.com says that "Euro-metric sizes are dimensionally equivalent to P-metric sizes, but typically differ subtly in load carrying capabilities." So does that mean that it can just carry more load, does that mean that it's "stronger" compared to a P-metric tire? Any other implications to that (i.e. will it last longer?)?

I'm also in Vancouver, B.C., so which places did you find that will carry them, and what were the prices approximately? I'll probably start calling around next week, but just wondering if you already called some places. I'm also wondering if Costco US carries them. Thanks.

EDIT: I noticed that tirerack has them for $124 each (I know that's US pricing but at least it gives a reference). And it comes in 215/65R16.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....d&autoModClar=
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 04:19 PM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitroman View Post
I'm a tire noob, so does this make any significant difference? I did a quick google and the explanation given at tirerack.com says that "Euro-metric sizes are dimensionally equivalent to P-metric sizes, but typically differ subtly in load carrying capabilities." So does that mean that it can just carry more load, does that mean that it's "stronger" compared to a P-metric tire? Any other implications to that (i.e. will it last longer?)?
For all practical purposes, you likely won't notice going from a P-metric to an E-metric on your Sienna. You will find the majority of tires in the aftermarket will will be 215/65R16 98T instead of the OEM P215/65R16 96T. The two winter sets I've gone through are E-metric and my new all season replacements for the OEM supplied ones are E-metric (going on in a few days).

Incidentally, you may be able to find a deal (if there are any left) on either the HydroEdge or the Harmony/Destiny/X-Radial DT/WeatherWise II, as they are all being replaced by the Defender. I've got a brand new set of Destinys ready to go in this weekend for the seasonal changeover.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 08:34 AM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitroman View Post
I did a quick google and the explanation given at tirerack.com says that "Euro-metric sizes are dimensionally equivalent to P-metric sizes, but typically differ subtly in load carrying capabilities." So does that mean that it can just carry more load, does that mean that it's "stronger" compared to a P-metric tire? Any other implications to that (i.e. will it last longer?)?
I wouldn't expect them to last longer, but the construction will be a little stronger. I don't think it matters unless you are pushing the tire/axle capacity, as some of us do when towing or hauling, in which case it's a little more safety margin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitroman View Post
I'm also in Vancouver, B.C., so which places did you find that will carry them, and what were the prices approximately? I'll probably start calling around next week, but just wondering if you already called some places. I'm also wondering if Costco US carries them.
I found them listed by both Costco ($155.99) and Canadian Tire ($163.99)... both prices before mounting, balancing, tire tax, and sales tax. Kal Tire expected to carry them, but with no price yet last week; since Kal does not promote Michelin I assume they would not have a good price on them, and would not have them in stock (they'll get them from the Michelin distributor's warehouse). I assume Costco will be the cheapest of anyone, but I could easily be wrong.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 08:37 AM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

Michelin's own web page for the Defender was not up yet last week, but it is now:
http://www.michelin.ca/tire-selector...defender-tires
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 07:18 PM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

Most recently, we have used 2 other tires on our 2005 Sienna:<br>1) Nokian WR (7/07-10/09): these "all-weather" tires had great traction on dry, wet, & snow. &nbsp;They lasted 45k mi vs their 50k warranty (pd $136/tire).<br>2) Hankook Optimo H727 (10/09-4/12): these "all-season" tires have been good tires but don't handle as well as the Nokian's did in the snow (despite Consumer Reports rating them better than the Nokian's for snow). They lasted only 35k vs their 100k mi warranty (pd $109/tire).<br>I've always tried to buy tires from Discount Tires because they have so many stores nationwide, I feel I can get service almost anywhere. Today when I called for pricing on the brands above, they say the can't get the Nokians (new version is WR-G2) from their distributor although other retailers in-town have them ($148/tire). They can get the Hankooks (@ $112-125/tire) but the Discount Tire sales guy recommends the new Michelin Defenders (@ $136/tire - $70 mail-in discount).
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-17-2012, 03:30 AM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

I know Costco in the USA has the Defender's for $130.99, but no $70 rebate right now (but might have one later). I live in Vancouver close to Washington so I shop for tires there too.

As for in Canada, I called some other stores like KalTire and Country Tire, they're all around $170 per tire. However KalTire has a promo right now that they'll beat any competitor's price by $20 a set, (so that's only $5 bux a tire). Considering that they charge about $4 more for installation/balancing, it works out to around the same price as Costco (in Canada). So then it depends on which place has better service. I might try KalTire this time since last time I went to Costco to put on my winter tires, they forgot to inflate one of my tires (because I usually store them uninflated). I would understand if they forgot to inflate all 4 or got wrong PSI, but to inflate 3 of them and then don't do the 4th one and then drive it back out into the parking lot and not notice it, really?

Oh and also regarding the Nokia WR-G2, my in-laws had those and they're pretty good. Good grip in light-medium snow (though I'm not sure how they'd do in really heavy snow, in Vancouver we don't get huge dumps like the rest of Canada). I also have a friend who uses them on his Odyssey for dedicated snow tires during the winter.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 03:28 AM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

Just saw these at Costco in Eugene Oregon... Salesman said they will have the $70 off special starting May 10.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 12:08 AM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

I didn't get new tires the week that this discussion started, but was delayed until later... allowing me time to find 17" wheels (see Re: thinking about using 17" Camry/ES350 wheels) and go with the 225/60R17 size.

I bought them at Costco, so they are the Defender XT model, which is apparently identical to the Defender except for the tread pattern, which is not directional. I prefer to deal with Kal Tire, but the Costco price was substantially lower (even before the $70/set rebate last month at Costco for Michelins), and while Kal said they might be able to match it, the XT model unique to Costco would make that match difficult.

They were on for a 1300 km trip through the mountains to Vancouver. The handling is certainly better, but I am coming from 215/65R16 tires (of various brands and models). Response is better, understeer is reduced, ride is not substantially different, noise is minimal. The steering seems almost too light; the Sienna's steering takes little effort anyway, but I now wish it has less boost - this might be due to the offset change, rather than just the tires.

I haven't looked at the data in detail yet, but I suspect that rolling drag is significantly higher than with any of the 215/65R16 tires. Fuel economy seems a bit worse, and the speed at which the van rolls without power applied down mountain highway grades seems lower - there seem to be fewer times that I can just coast. This may be just the extra width; again, I have changed both size and model, so I can't tell where the blame lies.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 03:39 AM
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Re: Michelin Defender - New tire option

I was looking at tires on Sams's Club site and they show the Michelin Defender XT as available but as special order with a $70 instant rebate until July 5th. In my size at 215/65/16 is $133.74. I might pull the trigger soon on these.

2007 Sienna LE Mirage Blue 126,000 miles
Autopage RS-625 2-way remote car starter
Michelin Defender XTs with 41,000 miles
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All metal VVTi and Oil Cooler pipes
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