Standard tyres on 2010 GU Nissan Patrol. Dangerous!

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 09:20
ThreadID: 97791 Views:13099 Replies:8 FollowUps:10
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Good morning all. purchased a new Nissan Patrol GU in December 2010. I have a couple of questions regarding the Bridgestone A/T tyres fitted to this vehicle as standard. These tyres are downright dangerous on sealed roads when road surface first becomes wet at start of rain. Any incline from stationary causes rear wheels to lose grip and understeer develops when cornering at less than 40kph. The tyres have done this since new. Next, the tyre pressure notice in the glovebox states 29 psi for the front and 32 for the rear. I was advised by reputed 4wd business on Central Coast NSW to use 38psi front and rear. BTW, when I took delivery of this vehicle from Nissan dealership the tyres had 55psi front and rear! A fair share of my driving is done off road in the Snowy Mountains and involves river crossings on freestone rivers and dirt tracks for camping and fishing. I am prepared to ditch these standard tyres for 'upgraded' tyres to improve off road performance. What are the road handling characteristics of 'upgrade' 4wd tyres in wet sealed road conditions as described above? Any advice regarding tyre pressures? Cheers, Drummy.
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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 09:34

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 09:34
Drummy.... don't know about the tyres being dangerous, maybe it's your driving style.

Have plenty of friends with new Patrols not having a problem.

So you want a tyre thats really good on wet sealed roads and it has to be good off road in wet and dry conditions.... big ask.

As for tyre pressure I would use the vehicle manufactures recommendations and drop accordingly when off road.

We run 60psi on sealed roads with our Mickey Thompson MTZ's and about 30psi for fast dirt roads..... a down from that for off roading.
AnswerID: 494106

Follow Up By: Member - drummy50 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 19:55

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 19:55
Thank you for your feedback.

The road conditions creating the dangerous handling characteristics of the Nissan Patrol occur when the road surface is wet but not enough rain has fallen to wash away the oil, grease etc. Obviously any tyre will struggle to maintain grip under these circumstances. However, the Patrol feels like it is on a skid pan in these conditions. Is this a normal habit for 4wd vehicles in these road conditions? As mentioned, I frequent the Snowy Mountains area and have experiece driving in snow with snow chains and driving up and down Talbingo Mountain with black ice on the bends. Even in these conditions, the Patrol feels OK As for driving style/experience, I have over 30 years experience as a professional driver and instructor of heavy rigid and articulated vehicles.


FollowupID: 769781

Reply By: Member - Vern (North Haven SA) - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:16

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:16

I also bought a New Nissan Patrol in Dec 2011, I am glad you mentioned the tyres as i thought it was just me so I never brought up the subject.
In the dry they seem reasonable how ever like you once the road gets wet they are unstable on the road

I will also follow this thread with interest.
AnswerID: 494108

Follow Up By: whisky_mac - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:30

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:30
I run a 1998 Range Rover with constant 4WD and Bridgestone Duelers. I have absolutely no trouble with the tyres. Brought then in Derby after the GRR, have travelled back to Victoria on them and since been to Birdsville and Longreach towing a camper trailer. No trouble at all, perhaps it might be a Nissan fault.
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Reply By: Lyn W3 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:36

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:36

Could you be a little more specific as to which Bridgestone A/T tyre you are referring to:

693, 694 or 697 or is it another one.


AnswerID: 494110

Follow Up By: Member - drummy50 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 19:34

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 19:34

The tyres are Bridgestone Dueller A/T 693.


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Reply By: cookie1 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 15:14

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 15:14
I would say they are 693, if you're running 55psi then you will have issues in the wet, drop them back to the Nissan pressures and you'll probably find them better - I have had several new Patrols and never had any issues with Bridgestones.

The newer ones are made in Japan I think and have found the rubber to be softer than those that used to be made in Australia so they wear faster but the handling should be better.

I once fitted Goodyear to a car, they were supposed to have a very long life but found the vehicle going sideways in corners as the rubber was harder, just had to modify my driving style.


AnswerID: 494117

Reply By: splits - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 15:25

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 15:25

Have you tried the factory pressures? Those pressures were specified for a reason. Changing pressures changes the tyre slip angles and it will make a difference to the way the car handles.

The factory pressures for my Hilux are only 25 front at all times regardless of load and 25 to 34 rear depending on load. I was told by two "reputable" tyre services to use at least 40 front and rear. The tyre manufacturer said use factory pressures and never exceed them by more than 4psi. I have been doing that for the last six years both on and off road and it works very well.

Try ringing Bridgestone's customer information number, it will be on their web site, and discuss it with them. Those tyres and suspension have been designed to work together and they will if everything from pressures to vehicle load limits and weight distribution is within factory specifications.
AnswerID: 494120

Follow Up By: nootsa200873 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 18:25

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 18:25
I am sure the factory pressure are misleading. Being from the tyre industry, I would never suggest to run any factory recommended tyre pressure. Yes it gives you a great ride inside the car, but for 1, it is no good for the longevity of your tyres. Please could I suggest 38psi day to day driving, and up or down depending on your circumstances.
Cheers Chris
FollowupID: 769773

Reply By: blown4by - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 15:55

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 15:55
I have been using the Bridgestone 693 pattern since 2005 on my GU Patrol and have never had any problems at the Nissan recommended pressures. The Son uses 694's on his 2008 GU with no problems either.
At 55PSI you will have the problems you describe because there will be very little contact between the tyre and the road surface and I would think locking up under brakes in the wet would be a problem too (if you didn't have ABS) 55PSI is way too high for those tyres because they are not LT or 8 ply rated.
You will find with the GU, unless it is always very heavily loaded, that at any pressure above 30 PSI in the rears will cause them to wear out prematurely in the centre of the tread.
At 55PSI I hate to think what your ride quality must be like. Vehicles are designed so that flexing of the tyre wall provides some cushioning of the bumps in the road as well as the suspension.
Not sure if you have prior 4x4 driving experience but you are driving a 'light truck' now and driving habits need to be adjusted accordingly. You are tossing around a 2400kg vehicle (unloaded) and you cannot just 'lay in to corners' and turn on a sixpence like a sports car on high performance LP radial tyres.
AnswerID: 494123

Follow Up By: Member - drummy50 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 20:46

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 20:46
Thank you for your feedback,

I can inform you that at 50-55psi, the Patrol felt like it had no suspension and the steering wheel wanted to snap my arms off! These tyre pressures were present when I took delivery of the vehicle from the Nissan dealership. I then adjusted pressures to 29psi front and 32psi rear as displayed on the glovebox notice. Airchair ride on the road but the steering was extremely vague. 38psi is OK in most road conditions. However, I am talking about wet road conditions but not enough rain to wash away the oil, grime etc. Then the handling becomes dangerous, similar to driing on a skid pan. Is this normal behaviour for a 4wd vehicle? Yes, this is my first 4wd, however, I have 30 years experience as a professional driver and instructor of heavy rigid and articulated motor vehicles. I have also completed an extensive 4wd driver training course and have experience driving in snow on the Snowy Mountains Highway and 'black ice' on Talbingo Mountain, NSW. BTW, I still love my Troll!
FollowupID: 769782

Follow Up By: Charlie B2 - Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 13:37

Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 13:37
Hi all,

I'm a little surprised that this particular phenomenon has only reared its ugly head with this specific tyre and this single vehicle under the conditions mentioned.

After 30 years of driving heavy vehicles and training other drivers, I'd have thought the OP might have come across it much sooner!

Fundamentally, this is the same issue that SAPOL, at least, has been warning drivers in this state about for decades, every time there has been a dry spell followed by light rain.

If it rains lightly when there is dust, and rubber, and oil, and diesel on the road, ANY vehicle and tyre combination is going to have problems. I'm certainly not proud of the fact, but many years ago, I was driving a car that was written off as a result of a crash when faced with diesel fuel on a road that had become slightly damp. And I didn't think I was driving stupidly. That incident, however, did give me whole new perspective on "driving to the conditions"!

If you'd ever driven in Whyalla in older times in ANY vehicle, on ANY tyres, when it had rained after the entire city had been blanketed in red iron ore dust, you'd know exactly what I'm talking about. Let me give you a strong tip - ice would be far easier to drive on! Drivers there learned the hard way to treat those circumstances with EXTREME caution.

Similarly, if you've just bought new tyres and haven't had enough time to remove, from the tread, the release agent they use in the manufacturing process, you can run into the same problem. Motorcycle enduro and road-trial riders are well aware of that and make sure they remove the release agent by abrasion (or ride them on dirt for quite a few k's) before hitting the bitumen.

Personally, faced with the same issue, I think I'd adjust my driving, rather than suggest a pretty reasonable tyre manufacturer has provided an unsafe tyre - unless, of course, independent testing has demonstrated that it has done so. :-)



FollowupID: 769801

Follow Up By: Member - drummy50 - Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 08:51

Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 08:51
Good morning Charlie,

I enjoyed reading your contribution. Most informative and great example of driving conditions requiring extreme caution. I realise now that considerably more adjustment of my driving style is required in a 4wd vehicle on wet sealed road conditionsfollowing a dry spell. And yes, I do find ice easier to drive on!


FollowupID: 769838

Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 16:50

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 16:50
Hi Drummy,

I run the Bridgestone AT's on my Hilux and dont have an issue but I think the Bridgestone HT's that are original fitment are dangerous

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 494126

Follow Up By: splits - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 17:11

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 17:11
"Bridgestone HT's that are original fitment are dangerous"


In what way do you find them dangerous? I have a set of them as well as another set of off road mud/rock tyres in standard size. I have used them everywhere from all over Sydney to the Oodnadatta Track and a few other places where that type of tyre should not be used and have never had a problem with them. They have always been on factory pressures.
FollowupID: 769766

Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 17:19

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 17:19
Hi Splits,

The hilux isn't the most powerful unit yet when I picked it up new I struggled not to have the thing sideways on tar especially in the wet (They may be OK on dirt). The HT (as fitted) isn't wide enough nor is the diameter large enough. I fitted Larger and wider tyres (and rims) in the AT style and haven't had the same issue.

Cheers Wilko
FollowupID: 769767

Follow Up By: splits - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 21:30

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 21:30

I don't know why mine is different. It is a 03 single cab with an alloy tray. There is not much weight on the rear when empty but it does not slide around.

The worst trip I have ever done in it was an overnight trip from Sydney to Parkes a couple of years ago in heavy rain through the mountains. The car was empty so I used the factory HT pressures of 25 front and 32 rear. I had no problems at all.

When loaded with its usual camping load it is 25 front and 39 rear. Maximum rear fully loaded for HTs is 44. I use 33 rear for the off road 205R16 LTs for the same load and 25 front.

I can't see any reason to change them. The car handles well, the wear is even and both sets are going to die of old age before I wear them out.
FollowupID: 769784

Reply By: Gronk - Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 18:06

Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 18:06
While I haven't got Bridgies, I have had similar probs with other brands....Cooper ATR's....Mickey Thompson ATZ ( 5 rib ) and then I put on some BFG A/T's ( which I didn't think would be any better in the wet ) and the difference was amazing.....

Where as before they would let go without warning, with the BFG's, I had to deliberately try to make them break traction..

They have 40,000 K's on them and still feeling as safe as when they were new !!
AnswerID: 494186

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