Friday, September 27, 2013

15-thousand Mile Mobil 1 EP Experiment

While our 2007 Honda Accord's oil life monitor (OLM, a.k.a. Maintenance Minder) signals that the motor oil has 0% life left at about 7,500 miles, I wanted to try if I could extend this interval by a factor of two. Mobil 1 Extended Performance motor oil is guaranteed to 15K miles in normal conditions, within one year. This is exactly twice the OCI (oil change interval) that the Accord requests using regular, mineral motor oil.

The oil filter should already be able to handle 15K miles (per Honda it needs to be changed once in 2 oil changes). But I will use a more robust Bosch Distance Plus filter just to be safe.

Accumuilating 15K miles will take me close to a year, Stay tuned for results.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Beware of OEM codes when buying tires!

I recently discovered that the highly-rated (by Consumer Reports, Tire Rack and people who own them) Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires don't grip well in case of my 2004 Infiniti G35. Some time squeal in turns and during braking later and after some due head scratching, I think I found the issue.

Apparently the tire size I got (P215/55R17 93V) has a "T" code, which means it is designed for Toyota and therefore is optimized for Toyota Camry. So I shopped for a well-rated tire and got a Prius tire instead, unwittingly. That is quite lame.

There is a lesson here. If you are shopping for an aftermarket tire, make sure you don't get a tire with an OEM designation other than for your own car. As for my situation, the tires are smooth, provide comfortable ride and excellent fuel economy. So I will moderate my driving a bit and make sure I don't have them squeal in turns and under braking.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The price of low rolling resistance - Michelin Primacy MXV4

About a year ago I replaced Yokohama YK520 tires on my 2004 Infiniti G35 with highly-rated Michelin Primacy MXV4. Both tires carry a V speed rating. I am running comparable inflation pressures and noticing that the grip level of the Michelins is nowhere near as good as that of the YK520.

This is surprising for several reasons. First of all, the Michelin Primacy MXV4 is highly rated, in comparison to other tires in its class, bu Consumer Reports, Tire Rack and people who use them. And I already have several thousand miles on them, which should mean that they are broken-in and the mold release compound should have worn off. Perhaps the problem is the tire in the size I got (215/55R17) is a Toyota-spec OEM tire and is potentially tuned more for longevity, comfort and MPG rather than grip.

The fuel economy is noticeably improved in comparison with the Yokohama YK520. But the tires squeal when coming to an abrupt stop or when taking turns at speeds that my Honda Accord's mediocre Bridgestone Turanza EL41 tires stay largely silent.

Is this the price of low rolling resistance and, by extension, better fuel economy? I will keep looking for an answer.