I’d just bought a brand-new set of four Michelin Energy 205/60/16 tires for my ’99 Camry Solara on October 4. This isn’t a review of the tires – see a typical review here – but if you wanted to know what brand tires I’d recommend, more than ever, my answer would be “Michelin.”
On October 19 I set off on the return leg of my monthly road trip from Phoenix to the Bay Area. There was a freeway-speed road incident on Interstate 5 — yes, yes, I and the car are fine. As far as I’m concerned, Michelin saved my bacon. As I wrote a friend,
“Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”
A pickup swerved violently into my lane. I swerved to avoid collision. Hit the sand and gravel highway shoulder, started to spin out, careened across the other lane and into the median strip trying to recover, did a slow horizontal 180 without rolling (like a high-speed dodgem car), tires screaming and howling, and ended up stopped on the right shoulder – facing backwards. Not a scratch, dent, not hurt, glad to be alive. Brand new Michelins just paid for themselves.
Inspecting For Damage
A big-rig pulled over to see if he could help, as did several passenger cars. Cal-Trans joined us. Witnesses said the black pick-up pulled over but then left the scene. I saw nothing else outside my own immediate situation; I was busy at the time.
On closer inspection of the tires, the left-front had trapped roadside shoulder “straw” between the tire bead and the rim, but the bead didn’t break loose and I was able to drive the rest of the way home. The tread near the sidewall is well-scrubbed. See below for a detail photo. I have an appointment for a tire check.
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