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'11 E350 4Matic - New budget Barum tires (quite impressed).

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

'11 E350 4Matic - New budget Barum tires (quite impressed).

 
Old 03-15-2019, 10:49 PM
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'11 E350 4Matic Sport
'11 E350 4Matic - New budget Barum tires (quite impressed).

So earlier in the week I picked up a nail in the shoulder tread (non-repairable area) on my drivers rear tire on my '11 4Matic. Last time I had a tire check at Discount Tire (that same tire has always had a very slow leak) the tread on 3 of the tires was 5/32" and the other was 6/32". Being 4Matic I #1 didn't want to risk any additional wear in 4Matic system with 1 new tire prob at 10/32" and the others @ 5-6/32's, #2) the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval A/S were extremely noisy - imagine sounding like you had 4 bad wheel bearing, I was honestly starting to think the tires could honestly not be that noisy so it had to be wheel bearings.

So off to Discount Tire I went - did some research beforehand to see what kinda options there were. I ended up picking up the 2nd lowest cost option (Barum Bravuris 3HM) which are claimed to be a high performance all season - did a little bit of research and found Barum is a subsidiary of Continental Tire (+), it is a popular budget tire over in Europe and only sold through Discount Tire here in the states, found a number of positive reviews online from BMW, Audi and MB drivers (+) and the Discount Tire reviews were pretty solid as well (4.3 of 5 stars over 21 reviews). So I figured why not pay less than 1/2 of what I would shell out for some Michelins. Ended up walking out the door with 4 new tires for $463 - would have been like $418 but I opted for the free replacement certificates at ~$10.80/tire.

Anyhow while I have only put like a dozen miles on them so far I have to say they are incredibly quiet (quelling my wheel bearing fears) - only got them up to about 60 MPH one the ride back to work after picking them up and perfectly balanced. They definitely have more compliant sidewalls vs the outgoing Firestones as they don't crash as hard over some of the terrible roads I have to gaunlet my way down on my commute. 40k mile tread warranty. We will see how things shake out as I put some more miles on them but initial impressions are pretty good.

On a side note I hit the MB dealer for new hub caps as my old blue wreath ones were de-laminating and overall looked terrible. Was going to switch to the new black wreath that I think was the new factory install in either '17 or '18 but my dealer only had 3 in stock. Ended up going with the old school gloss black with chrome star (no wreath) and I have to say it is a very nice aesthetic change vs the so common blue wreath - funny enough I looked at both the common blue wreath caps, the old school stars are better constructed with a metal retaining clip where as the wreath versions are just plastic tabs holding the cap in.

Anyhow just wanted to share my experience if you are the type who doesn't want to blow the bank on a set of tires. Also Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval A/S tires are not a good match for our vehicles, I think they are discontinued so probably not a worry anymore but they roared like bad wheel bearings from the time they were new (installed by selling dealer).
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:13 AM
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Well I don't think it would have been 1/2. But maybe close. Last set of tires I got at Costco were the Michelin A/S 3+, was about $670 for a set of 245/40/18's which I think is what you got. They're usually on sale every other month where they offer $70 off and 1 cent installation. Right now they're regular price so about $800 installed. They have slightly better specs than your tires, 45k and 500 AA A rating instead of 420 A A.

The problem with a no name tire is that you won't find one used. It probably would have been hard to find a used Firestone tire of the same type. At least with Michelin or Continental, there's lots of used ones out there. But mainly the reason I went with Costco was that I was also tired of flat tires and they offer a 5 year road hazard warranty. So far I've had them for a little over a year and my plan has so far backfired on me as I haven't had a flat yet. I think I had 3-4 in the previous sets of tires when there was no road hazard warranty. I think that's a good thing?
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cetialpha5 View Post
Well I don't think it would have been 1/2. But maybe close. Last set of tires I got at Costco were the Michelin A/S 3+, was about $670 for a set of 245/40/18's which I think is what you got. They're usually on sale every other month where they offer $70 off and 1 cent installation. Right now they're regular price so about $800 installed. They have slightly better specs than your tires, 45k and 500 AA A rating instead of 420 A A.

The problem with a no name tire is that you won't find one used. It probably would have been hard to find a used Firestone tire of the same type. At least with Michelin or Continental, there's lots of used ones out there. But mainly the reason I went with Costco was that I was also tired of flat tires and they offer a 5 year road hazard warranty. So far I've had them for a little over a year and my plan has so far backfired on me as I haven't had a flat yet. I think I had 3-4 in the previous sets of tires when there was no road hazard warranty. I think that's a good thing?
I don't buy used tires so I am not too terribly worried about finding a used tire.

I honestly didn't even consider Costco which is funny cause I just used their HVAC partner to replace my home HVAC and saved a bit vs the comparative quotes I received. Just checked and best price they have today for the Pilot Sport AS 3+ is $804 so still sitting a bit under half, same tire at Discount (without road hazard) would have been $895 installed. I didn't see the option for the road hazard so that needs to be figured into the Costco price. I could not wait around for a Costco sale because I was riding around on the temporary spare so time was really not on my side.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:00 AM
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There's no extra charge for the road hazard, it's lumped into their $15 install charge which also includes lifetime balance and rotation. I used to go to a local chain that offered free alignments, but then it was just a front end not 4 wheel when buying tires. And they had free rotation and free tire fixes, but no free balancing and the catch with free tire fixes is that they charge $4 for balancing which isn't a bad deal, but I think it's free at Costco. And they also included a road hazard with their tires except some tires didn't qualify. So I gave up and went to Costco. They seem to go back and forth between having a Bridgestone sale one month and a Michelin sale the other one.

As for the used tire, I was just pointing out that if you had a common brand name tire, you could have just gotten a used one with the same tread depth or pretty close and you wouldn't have been stuck with getting 4 new tires.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:26 AM
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IMO the Firestones are some of the worst riding tires out there, almost anything after a dozen miles will be an improvement. But neither here nor there, I'd be curious to hear how they are after thousands of miles. Might be a reasonable choice.
Incidentally I had changed my oem blue center caps with the black version to better match my rims. Aftermarket but made quite well, no issues.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:40 AM
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Firestone makes lot of tire models, so don't generalize whole brand.
Years ago I was Michelin fan, but those suck on my ski trips,
So when Firestone had coupon on their Firehawks, I went for it as the deal come slightly above 1/2 what Costco wanted for Michelins.
Loved Firehawks on slippery roads and got 52k miles out of them
BTW ebay is full of Chinese wheel caps. For $15 I have 3 sets of them and change them from time to time just to refresh the car look.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mud View Post
IMO the Firestones are some of the worst riding tires out there, almost anything after a dozen miles will be an improvement. But neither here nor there, I'd be curious to hear how they are after thousands of miles. Might be a reasonable choice.
Incidentally I had changed my oem blue center caps with the black version to better match my rims. Aftermarket but made quite well, no issues.
Oh yeah the Firestones came on the car when I bought it and they only had some test drive miles on them (my selling dealer only had the car on the lot for maybe 3 weeks) and they were noisy from day one. They had this wavy gravy tread pattern that I think contributed and or was the source of the noise - they were beyond deafening once you hit 75-80 MPH. Handled well and had decent traction but rode like wooden wheels and the noise. I'll let y'all know later on how these new tires work out - I only drive maybe 8k/year so its prob gonna be a bit before I can give some longer term reviews.

The black wreath were the ones that I wanted but dealer only had 3 in stock - they had like 60+ of the blue. Looks like the new black wreath ones have the metal retaining clip as well, the blue wreath ones I looked at the parts counter were just plastic tab attachment system. Here are the ones I ultimately went with. I was not too entirely sure how they were going to look on the 5 spoke sport wheel (same as yours - just the factory silver finish) but I was pleasantly surprised when I picked the car up.


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Old 03-16-2019, 07:05 PM
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Those look.nice, just fyi mine were an eBay purchase, about $20 for all if I remember right.
I'm in the same boat on mileage retired with low driven miles.
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