New Tyres for Squirrel

The Yokohama 145R12 LT (light truck) tyres on the Minicab Miev have come to the end of their life, down to less than 2mm of tread, and an edge wearing away on the back, probably due to driving style. I rotated the tyres at 10,000kms, and they have all worn down to the same depth at the same time, which is really comforting when you come to replace the tyres.

The bad news is that I only got 20700 kms out of them, which is not particularly good for a set of tyres. On the other hand, the tyres are a tiny 145 width on 12 inch rimes, and the vehicle weighs about 1100 kgs unladen, and another 200-300 kg with a load on, so maybe it is not that surprising.

The Yokohama tyres came with it from new, but this van was built for the Japan Post Service, so I am not sure if all Miev Minicabs come with these. I am also not sure if they are actually legal on NZ roads, whether they have the correct certification is not something I have seriously checked on, I just have a suspicion that they may not be allowed here.

I know for sure that you can’t buy Yokohama 145R12 LT here, in fact there are only two readily available replacements that I could find. The first was the Nankang 145R12, this is a car tyre, with a lower load rating than the Yokohama, and I was quoted about $145 each for these. The other was the LingLong LMA1 145R12LT, which was quoted at $115.

When I first heard of LingLong, the name put me off a bit, but as I started researching the two available tyres, it became a lot more attractive. Firstly it is a light truck tyre, the same as the Yokohama. It is an 8 ply tyre, weight rated at 86, and can take 65psi pressure, necessary for the Minicab Miev. The tread pattern looks good, and hopefully it will be as long lasting as the blurb on the manufacturers web site makes out. It appears that LingLong like to copy Yokohama tyres, and these do appear to be exactly the same spec as the Yokohamas that came with the van.

So I went with the LingLong tyres, and have just had them installed at Bridgestone in Porirua, 4 tyres and wheel alignment for $530 all up. A couple of issues with the fitting, tyre pressures were set to 35psi all round, but the vehicle spec calls for 65psi in the rear. Not a big deal to change, but it might have been nice to be asked before I left the shop. Secondly, the wheel alignment seems to have been done based on a Mitsubish Minica -Econo -Cab, chassis type U60 series, specifically U64W. The van is a U68 type. Very little seems to have been changed during the process, the actual settings on the van appeared to almost match the target data, and the only change made was to the left Toe , which was 19 minutes before, and minus 2 minutes after. The Target was 3 minutes plus or minus 9 minutes. So it is probably all OK, it would have been nice to see the correct details at the top of the job sheet.

So altogether, a reasonable job of fitting, a pretty good price, and pleasant service.

Two early to say how they perform, I have only driven them with the pressures wrong so far, but they look good and feel safe.

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