What tyre should I buy - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Tires, Wheels, Brakes & Suspension Discussion and information regarding tires, wheels, brakes and suspension.

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#1 Old 11-11-2016
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What tyre should I buy

Hello

We have owned a 2004 January registered SLK 200 R170 since January 2012. When we bought our SLK the dealer had clearly installed AMG type alloys (I don't think they are real Mercedes OEM supplied AMG wheels) which had Runway Enduro-916 225/40 ZR18 92W (which I think would be termed a budget type) tyres fitted.

The mileage was 27500 which has just topped 42000. We need new tyres now and from my web searching I am blown away by how many makes and models of tyres there are available.

I have narrowed down to a shortlist but even then I have no idea of what would really be a the right tyre for the SLK.

I would like to ask please for the benefit of the vast experience of the SLK people out there for a recommendation. I'm guessing it must be subjective for a whole bunch of reasons such as maker, model, price, how many miles might be obtained for a driving style and even what the handling feels like.

I would probably descibe our driving style as conservative in as much as we don't throw it around corners or burn up the highway at fast numbers.

I would appreciate any advice.

Thanks
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#2 Old 11-11-2016
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I love the way our Continental tires feel. Welcome aboard!
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#3 Old 11-11-2016
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Welcome!

I have purchased 2 sets of Continental DWS's now. I put them on my 170 a few years back, and they were amazing. DWS is dry wet snow. Even though I'm from the Midwest here in the states, and put the car away for the winter. It was a comfortable ride and quiet. Now that I own a z4, once again I removed the runflats [horrid tires IMO] with an updated set of DWS's. I love them, and I am now well aware of what they can do. I trust them, is the really important thing.

Good luck!


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#4 Old 11-11-2016
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I've been a Michelin fan ever since I had to make an emergency stop, in the wet, on a windy country road in my BMW when I chanced upon some Herbert overtaking another car round a blind bend. I swear the tyres saved my life!!

I had Pirelli P7's all round on Silkie when I first purchased her and as soon as I needed to I swapped the rears for Michelin Primacy HPs. Instantly the car was noticeably quieter to drive. Watch out for deals though as some tyre brands are discounted at certain times - and if you buy more than one at a time. Also, you can save more (certainly with Kwik-Fit) if you 'book' your tyre appointment online and then take your car in. Booking my two Michelin's online saved me near 40 from just turning up to have them fitted.

Good luck.
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#5 Old 11-11-2016
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Had Avons on the rear when i bought the car and replaced the front tyres 6 month later with 2 more Avons, have done 8500 miles on the rears and they still have a decent ammount of tread and the fronts still look like new.
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#6 Old 11-11-2016
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Michelins have always been high in my

estimation. Especially PS3's. I have just gone to Avon ZV7's all round. Too early to tell, but I don't expect them to be greatly worse or better.

Your driving style ( admirably conservative) is not that important. What you need is maximum grip and performance for that unforeseen episode which will undoubtedly not be of your making. So try and make sense of the test results which are published by Auto-Express and other publications, and the various tyre suppliers customer review section.

I have also really liked Barums, Kumhos, Toyos and Falkens and Vredesteins. Budget brands are cheap for a reason. Very very rarely will they be a sleeper which outperforms the leader of the field, unlike Lidl champagne.
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#7 Old 11-15-2016
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Thanks people for the info - have followed up with lots of web reviews and forum posts.

Given that for every ten forum posts there is likely to be ten different views on what tyre is the one it's not easy to know what's going to be the right tyre to go for. After much deliberation on maker/model specification and the detail given in the Auto Express review I am tending towards Michelin Pilot Sport 4 on 225/40 R18 92Y over Pirelli P Zero.

Does anyone have anything to say about the Michelins?

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#8 Old 11-15-2016
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I got these and think they are very, very good, and noticeable quite too. Had the Continental before, and they were good too. But these are so much quiter, despite being wider :-))

Front:
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/40 R18 95Y
Rear:
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 255/35 R18 94Y
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File Type: jpg Rims low res.jpg (79.1 KB, 6 views)
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I put 4 Michelins on our '04 R170 and was very pleased with them.

I think the point made above about the grip sells me on them. The grip was instantly improved.

I think price vs quality they come out top for me.

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#10 Old 11-15-2016
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MY SLK 55 AMG runs Continentals Sports which I can highly recommend...

However I would also recommend, from experience, Hankook V12 EVO. Whilst they are probably considered a none premium tyre I have run them very successfully on various performance and none performance cars over the years and, from a price per tyre stance, they deliver far more performance, grip (wet and dry), low road noise and longevity than their position in the market would lead you to believe...

On a lower performance SLK I believe these would be great. In fact I will be considering them when I change the current Continentals on the AMG!
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#11 Old 11-16-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjorn View Post
I got these and think they are very, very good, and noticeable quite too. Had the Continental before, and they were good too. But these are so much quiter, despite being wider :-))

Front:
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/40 R18 95Y
Rear:
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 255/35 R18 94Y
Thanks Bjorn

A question - you show 235/40 front and 255/35 rear. While doing research for the tyres I want to purchase I have seen a number of people show different front and rear sizes. Am I correct in thinking that means the wheels are also different rim sizes front and rear or is it just a different rim dimension on the tyre?

If it's different wheel sizes front and rear what is the advantage gained by doing that?
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#12 Old 11-16-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobc View Post
Thanks Bjorn

A question - you show 235/40 front and 255/35 rear. While doing research for the tyres I want to purchase I have seen a number of people show different front and rear sizes. Am I correct in thinking that means the wheels are also different rim sizes front and rear or is it just a different rim dimension on the tyre?

If it's different wheel sizes front and rear what is the advantage gained by doing that?
I know next to nothing but: those are standard sizes (ie: OEM) on my '55.
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#13 Old 11-16-2016
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I put some highly regarded Bridgestone Potenza tires on the SLK230K when I first got it (stock 16" rims and size, standard tire sizes). They were absolutely the worst tire I've ever had on any car, wore funny to the point that I felt they were dangerous a scant 2200 miles later. I fitted Continental ExtremeContact DW tires to replace them ... and they were absolutely fantastic. Not rated for snow/winter use, but it's never really cold here, but dang they stuck in the corners, were quiet, and braking was outstanding. When I wore them out completely (about 28,000 miles later), there was a shortage on the rear tire sizing and I replaced them with Goodyear All Season Sport GTs. These worked very nearly as well as the Continentals, have a much longer life span rating, and similar noise/braking/cornering feel.

Then the SLK230K was destroyed. :-(

When I first acquired the SLK280, it had stock 16" rims and a set of WheelWorks house brand tires in the standard sizing on it. They didn't work badly but they didn't work particularly well either. I decided to change them and upgrade the car to the optional 17" wheels from the Sport Kit for that year, and fitted a set of the Continental ExtremeContact DW tires to it. They work great, look better, and provide the same plush but "in contact" feel that they did on the SLK230K.

I would look to which model of the type 170 cars had 18" wheels fitted and in what sizing, then pick tire sizes to match those specs from whatever the factory recommendation was.

The SLK cars are/were always available in a variety of models with different engine sizes and power outputs. The smaller-engined, less powerful models like your SLK200 were often fitted with the same size wheel all the way around, and typically the tires might differ by just a small amount. Moving up the model line, the rims are larger diameter and the widths are wider at the rear compared to the front ... ostensibly to accommodate the additional power output of the engine and provide whatever Mercedes specified as the handling they wanted. Some of the sizings/etc are styling driven, of course, but Mercedes has a list of acceptable wheel and tire sizings that work with the cars' traction control, ABS, and other safety systems. It is safe to take the wheel sizes and matching tire sizes from the higher performance variants on the same chassis and fit them as an upgrade to the smaller-engined models, although most of the benefit is styling.

For instance, on my 2006 SLK 280:
Front (standard):
7J x 16 H2
1.34 in (34mm) offset
205/55 R16 91W tires

Rear (standard):
8J x 16 H2
1.18 in (30mm) offset
225/50 R16 92W tires
=============================
Front (optional sport kit rims):
8J x 17 H2
1.42 in (36mm) offset
225/45 R17 91W

Rear (optional SLK 350 rims):
8.5J x 17 H2
1.18 in (30mm) offset
245/40 R17 91W

G
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#14 Old 11-16-2016
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MB and other makers stagger their front and rear tires so no rotating tires


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#15 Old 11-16-2016
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Tires

Being a new (2002 SLK 320) sports car owner I had no idea what to buy either. The tires on the car I bought were very worn. I replaced them with the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and now the car drives unbelievably. Although I had little to compare with I feel these tires were and excellent choice. Good luck!
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#16 Old 11-16-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
MB and other makers stagger their front and rear tires so no rotating tires
I don't think that's the reason why they stagger the tire sizes, but it's a consequence of doing it.

G
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#17 Old 11-17-2016
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Hi,
Yes that is correct.
Front rims:
Bola Wheels CSR Silver 8x18 5x112 ET42 72,6
Rear rims:
Bola Wheels CSR Silver 9x18 5x112 ET40 72,6

The original wheels/rims were 7" and 8" respectively, so I went a bit wider for the look:-) Here are a couple of good sites for calculating the offset (ET) if you decide to go for wider rims. I am pretty sure though that the tires I got would have worked on the original rims as well, but I wanted a new look. The new package works perfectly! And as I mentioned, they are much more quite than my old Continentals.

Wheel Offset Calculator | 1010Tires.com Discount Online Tire and Wheel Store
Custom rims, wheel tire packages for your ride - RIMSnTIRES.com

Good luck in choosing.
PS: See pics before and after.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SLK 200 side Low res.jpg (68.6 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg New rims side.jpg (70.4 KB, 6 views)
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#18 Old 11-17-2016
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IMHO, with tyres, you get what you pay for! Cheap tyres DO NOT last! Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer chance!
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#19 Old 11-17-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
'see the post above'

G
Thanks G - you put up some really good information on the reason for the rims sizing.

I've done as much looking at stuff as I can and appreciate the comments and information people have posted.

I think it's clear with so many tyre makers and models you are getting what you pay for for a premium tyre over a budget priced one but also the reviews show the higher end types are so close in performance that the final choice potentially comes to a gut feeling and personal preference.

Trouble is unless someone lets you get behind an SLK with your choice it comes down to you pays your money and takes your chance.
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#20 Old 11-17-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobc View Post
Thanks G - you put up some really good information on the reason for the rims sizing.

I've done as much looking at stuff as I can and appreciate the comments and information people have posted.

I think it's clear with so many tyre makers and models you are getting what you pay for for a premium tyre over a budget priced one but also the reviews show the higher end types are so close in performance that the final choice potentially comes to a gut feeling and personal preference.

Trouble is unless someone lets you get behind an SLK with your choice it comes down to you pays your money and takes your chance.
You're welcome!

Yes: Most of the premium tires are pretty close in their performance and which you choose is a matter of preference and feel. There's no good way around learning this because tire feel and noise also changes with age and mileage. Pick one, 20-30 thousand miles later you know that one ... and half the choices have changed!

I came to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter. You buy a premium tire and work with it. If it's really bad, you eat the rest of it and change to something else early; if not you just use it until it's worn out. If you liked it when it's worn out, you replace with the same thing, or try something else if you like to experiment.

I'm happy with the Continental ExtremeContact DW for my area, and would try the DWS model if I lived in an area with more winter need. The Michelins are almost always a good choice too. Others I haven't tried in recent years on any car similar enough to the SLK to know anything.

G
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