Tire’d and Tested: How Yokohama’s Geolandar A/T revived my old car

As our cars age, we start entertaining thoughts of replacing them with new ones. But I recently discovered that changing tires can save old cars and drastically renew the driving experience.

The 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser is one of my favorite old cars at home. It’s spacious, powerful, and sturdy. Most of all, it has sentimental value to my family as it has been a great companion for several of our out-of-town road trips. When I realized that it was over 20 years old, some of my friends suggested it was time to let go of our old Land Cruiser. Instead of making this difficult decision, I researched on ways to prolong or revive the useful life of cars and found that changing tires was a significant step I could take.

Tires are one of the most important, yet sometimes underrated, parts of a vehicle. Tires perform crucial functions such as supporting the vehicle’s weight, absorbing road shocks, transmitting torque and accelerating/braking forces to the road, and maintaining or changing the vehicle’s direction. Anyone who’s had to deal with a flat tire has learned how important it is to have reliable tires.  

After much searching, I found the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 tires as the perfect match for my Land Cruiser. These tires are engineered to have all terrain capability and the ultimate traction across conditions suitable for SUVs and four-wheel drive vehicles. 

The author’s 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser fitted with new Geolandar A/T G015 tires at Yokohama Customers Cradle

There were two features that make the Geolandar G015 stand out from others. First is its all-season traction due to its uniquely designed sipes. Sipes are thin slits molded into the tire’s tread surface and is often found in all-season, all-terrain or winter tires. The G015 employs 3D-shaped sipes that are shaped into a three-tier pyramid (straight sites are more simple to manufacture). The G015’s unique 3D design suppresses breakdown of the tread block and allows the G015 to change shape as the tread wears to maintain biting edges for confident all-season traction. The design of the G015 also contributes to exceptional stiffness on dry surfaces and outstanding edge effects on wet surfaces. 

Another notable feature is off-road durability. The G015 tires are built with EdgeTec Grooves to provide more void area to help expel dirt and mud. The shoulder and lug grooves were designed to provide enhanced road-hugging properties and ensure exceptional traction in off-road conditions. Grooves are indentions molded in the tires, and these contribute to void ratio (groove ratio vs. contact area) and traction. The G015 also optimizes the shape of the entire grounded portion of the tread to improve wear resistance.

I learned a lot about tires during my research, but it wasn’t until I drove my old Land Cruiser that I felt the difference that new tires make.

The ride was noticeably more comfortable and less bumpy with the Geolandar G105 (considering that the suspension and shock absorbers on my 1990s Land Cruiser were old). 

When I took the LC out of town, I noticed how the grip was enhanced by my new tires. As I went through zigzag roads up the mountain (I path I always take going to our beach house in Batangas), it was easy to control my car through tight corners. My LC uses a stickshift, but the handling became smoother and more responsive. The whole ride was also more quiet and there was more ease in accelerating and braking.

I was surprised by how much difference the Yokohama G105 made for my driving experience. My old Land Cruiser suddenly felt newer and ready for more adventures even as I left other parts of it unchanged. 

This recent experience taught me a valuable lesson in maintaining cars. Once we start feeling that our cars are too old or not up to par with the performance we expect, changing tires is an easy and cost-efficient way to revive them. Instead of getting tired of your old car, try getting “tire’d” with new tires first!

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