Tires for my 2011 Toyota Camry SE
January 6, 2015 2:58 PM   Subscribe

I have a 2011 Toyota Camry SE (4 cylinders). I need to replace the tires. What kind of tires should I get? I'm a bit uncertain because of the rims.

I bought this car in 2010 and it still has the original tires on it (at 62,000 miles). It really needs new tires. I am not interested in studs or snow tires. I want all season tires that will perform well on wet pavement (i.e. in the rain). I mostly stay home if it snows or is icy.

I've never owned a car with this kind of wheels before, so I'm not sure what I should be looking for. I'd like to have some informed idea of what to get before I talk to the people at the tire shop (or Costco), just to avoid over paying (cost is not really an issue, I just don't want to get ripped off). I care more about being safe and not slipping than I do about a smooth or quiet ride.

In case this is helpful and means anything to anyone, my owner's manual says my tires are: 16-inch, P215/60R16 94V, T155/70D17 110M
posted by OrangeDisk to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You can easily comparison shop these based on the tire sizes you've listed. Tires are rated by miles, so you can get 30,000 mile tires if you don't expect to keep the car beyond that mileage, or you can get 60,000, which will be slightly more expensive.

Some places will rotate your tires for free if you buy them there, they may offer a little 'road hazard' warranty, which may or may not make sense to you. Then there's mounting and balancing, and stems (I don't know, but it's a thing) and a disposal charge.

Most places you've heard of are honest. So don't flip out over that. Costco is very good for selling you only what you need.

You can also check out the Toyota dealer. They may have a deal. My Honda dealer is the best for Honda sized tires, cheaper than most tire joints.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 3:08 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Go on TireRack.com and enter details of your car. They'll show you the tires that will work, and you can read reviews from people who have bought them, etc. Even if you don't end up buying from Tire Rack, it's great for research.
posted by primethyme at 3:12 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've never owned a car with this kind of wheels before

Can you explain this? I'm not sure what it is about the wheels that is causing you confusion. Camry's have steel or alloy wheels, and both are perfectly normal and make no difference at all to the type of tyre you fit to them other than physical size (which is the same for all wheels ever). I'm not sure what you think is 'different' about these wheels.

. I want all season tires that will perform well on wet pavement (i.e. in the rain).

It's cold pavement that is the problem, not whether it has snow on it or not. That's just an 'additional problem'. Where are you located?

just to avoid over paying (cost is not really an issue, I just don't want to get ripped off).

Research tyre sizes and makes. Then do some price comparisons. It's almost impossible to get ripped off as once you have picked a good manufacturer (essential) then you just price match. Costco and Tire Rack have historically got good feedback on here and from people I know, but I've never bought from them myself.
posted by Brockles at 3:14 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's the Edmunds guide on deciphering the codes. The P215/60R16 is the size: here are Tire Rack's survey results for that size, which breaks out performance in wet conditions.

However: Toyota and most tyre sellers say that the SE has 215/55R17 [pdf] for OEM tyres, so you'll need to check the tyres themselves, not just the manual, to be sure of what rims you're on.
posted by holgate at 3:24 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The size of your tire is printed on the tire. This example from holgate is the format you're looking for: P215/60R16 .

Be sure to check the front tires and the back tires. Some cars have all 4 the same, and some have front tires that are a different size from the back tires. Then, look online at any number of large tire dealers or look at Tire Rack. They'll have reviews and brand options.
posted by quince at 4:26 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


@OrangeDisk: I've never owned a car with this kind of wheels before.

@Brockles: Can you explain this? I'm not sure what it is about the wheels that is causing you confusion. Camry's have steel or alloy wheels, and both are perfectly normal and make no difference at all to the type of tyre you fit to them other than physical size (which is the same for all wheels ever). I'm not sure what you think is 'different' about these wheels.

It's the rims that confuse me. I've always had cars with regular hubcaps. When I bought the car, the salesman fussed over them a bit. I didn't really pay attention at the time, because they didn't matter that much to me and I figured it wouldn't matter. But now I have the impression that rims require more expensive tires. Maybe that's not right, or no longer right?
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:06 PM on January 6, 2015


The first step is to go outside and check what size your tires are. It will be stamped on the side of the tire, and might be different from what the owner's manual says if the wheels (aka "rims") were replaced by the dealer.

Then you can research online to see what tires are highly rated for the type of driving you do, and then shop around to see who is having a particularly good sale.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:12 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't worry about the lack of hubcaps. Just get the proper size of tire.

For a specific recommendation, I just had new Cooper CS5 Ultras put on my Kia Forte Koup and they are great. Very quiet and responsive, with good wet weather performance.
posted by The Deej at 6:41 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


now I have the impression that rims require more expensive tires. Maybe that's not right, or no longer right?

I think that's an (understandable) misconception dating back to when alloy wheels were a pricy option or aftermarket customisation to give a car BIG RIMS, and the tyres that went on BIG RIMS were more expensive because the profile had to change to fit in the wheel arch: basically, BIG RIMS meant less room for inflated rubber. You're dealing with appropriately sized wheels and appropriately-sized tyres for the car, and those sorts of wheels are now standard even on the cheapest subcompacts. So yeah, don't worry about it.
posted by holgate at 6:56 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's the rims that confuse me. I've always had cars with regular hubcaps.

Oh. So it sounds like you have alloy wheels (silver and all one piece) as opposed to steel wheels with a plastic hubcap over the top? Then there is zero difference in tyre requirements between the two styles of wheels. None. The only difference in cost would be if one style was a different size to the other, but the style of wheel makes no difference at all.

So you're just looking for tyres that are the same size as the ones you have now (215/60R16 94V) of good quality.

215 - width
/60 - profile of the tyre (sidewall height is 60% of the width of the tyre)
R16 - the wheel is a 16" diameter wheel
94 - load rating on the tyre
V speed rating on the tyre.

So any tyre with the same set of numbers (any letters outside of that are not critical and relate to wear rates or model number of the compound and vary by manufacturer) will be fine. Do some research and pick rated versus he price point you need.

Some general advice - NEVER try and save money on tyres. It's just not worth it. But a good reputable make (Michelin, PIrelli, Yokohama, Cooper are all good tyres in my experience) and one suited for the environment you live in. If, as I said above, you get more than a month of <7 degC weather then consider a FULL winter tyre or at the very least a more winter-suited all season tyre. Just 'staying off the road when it is icy' is not enough. It is more about the temperature the rubber is at and the minimum temp it can be at to be compliant enough to produce good levels of grip.
posted by Brockles at 6:24 AM on January 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


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