MO/Non MO Tyres - Confirmation at Last!!!

Andy Stanton

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To cut a long story short I'm about to but a couple of Conti Premium Contact 2 's for my E220. Not going to discuss the merits of these tyres vs others as I've made my mind up having read tons of emails and reviews. Too many in fact.

However, i noticed the MO variant and despite reading copious threads and scouring the web, no one can really lay a finger on what the MO difference is. Lots of views and statements to the obvious - ie they're the manufacturers approved model, but no details that I could reliably use (and why they would cost £25 per tyre more).

So i dropped Conti an email. This is their response (bearing in mind this is for 225/55/R16W's for a E220 CDI). Job done.

**************

Hello Mr Stanton

Thank you for your recent query.

Essentially, at this level of tyre, there is no difference. The MO
(Mercedes Original) is the OE marking they require for tyres fitted from
factory but they can be fitted to other vehicles as well as standard tyres
fitted to these vehicles with no consequence.

In larger sizes - fitted to the more powerful variants of their vehicles -
there may be a slight change to suit the particular vehicle they are fitted
to.

Regards

Craig Sterry

Product Support Engineer

************************

Posted the question at about midnight last night. Got a response 8.30am this morning. Nice job Craig at Conti.

Hopefully this puts the big questions to bed now. Unless you have a more powerful varient :-D
 

developer

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In larger sizes - fitted to the more powerful variants of their vehicles -there may be a slight change to suit the particular vehicle they are fitted
to.
It was all going so well until this line, which will allow the debate to continue :doh:.
I can hear it already.....
"what's a larger size, what's a more powerful variant, what's the slight change etc. etc."

Thanks for posting Andy :thumb:.
 
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A

Andy Stanton

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Indeed chaps. So open ended.

I did note a previous partial response from a Conti chap in one of my searches last night and the response was ambiguous, along the lines of " depends on xyz..." with no real outcome. So i was very specific in my model details and I got the answer I wanted.

Good luck to anyone with a beefier motor than mine - i.e most of you! I'm alright jack :-D
 

C240Sport97

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In larger sizes - fitted to the more powerful variants of their vehicles -
there may be a slight change to suit the particular vehicle they are fitted
to.
as an example:

my CLS needs 285/35 18 rear tyres. Standard non MO tyres have a load index of 97. The one I need is a load index of 101. There are in fact 2 MO versions of this tyre, the 97 and the 101.
 

markjay

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I think they are referring to the fact the super-cars often have tyres either developed or modified especially for them - but I doubt that this will apply to anything other than SLR/SLS-range etc. I would imagine that even the top-range AMG versions of standard MB cars would not have specially developed tyres. But this is only an educated guess - and I do agree that Conti's response is a bit vague...

My understanding of MO is that in indicates that these model of tyres have been tested by MB with their cars. Which makes sense, as MB can't guarantee the dynamic features of your car if you fit tyres they never heard of before, or even ones they have never tested on their track.

I suppose that the only difficulty here is that having MO marking on a tyre, without specifying the car's model, means that MB would have had to test that particular tyre model on all of its cars that can be used with that tyre size.

But I suppose that in this sense it is the same logic as using MB approved 229.5 or 229.51 oil, as opposed to oil meeting 229.5 or 229.51 spec. The first is oil submitted to MB for testing, and which MB tested and approved, the latter is oil that the manufacturer claims meets MB's spec, though MB can't be expected to confirm or deny this as they have never been given a sample for testing (the oil maker pays for MB's testing, which is why not every oil on the market is submitted for testing).

Interestingly, the MO marking is meant to be informative to car owners and therefore only applies to after-market tyres - my understanding is that tyres fitted at the factory do not actually have these markings.

One could of course argue that MB could have simply published a list if tyres they tested, and update it regularly as new models are being added, but then this marking stems from the pre-Internet era, and I suppose that MB thought it would be easier for car owners if the approval information was simply present at the point of sale - in the shape of the MO marking.

And also, interestingly, MO tyres do not necessarily cost more - going over some of the tyres websites it seems that some cost more, while some actually cost less than their no-MO peers.

But - yes, it would have been great is MB just said exactly what they meant by MO, which would have made it unnecessary for us to discuss this here, and for me to write this long post and make all the assumptions that I did.... :doh:
 

markjay

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as an example:

my CLS needs 285/35 18 rear tyres. Standard non MO tyres have a load index of 97. The one I need is a load index of 101. There are in fact 2 MO versions of this tyre, the 97 and the 101.

...but presumably both the 97 and 101 rated tyres are also available to the general public as non-MO tyres, in which case the MO and no-MO models are in fact the same, and so this does not quite fall into the special-tyres category?
 

C240Sport97

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...but presumably both the 97 and 101 rated tyres are also available to the general public as non-MO tyres, in which case the MO and no-MO models are in fact the same, and so this does not quite fall into the special-tyres category?
On Conti, the 101 is the MO version.

Other brands such as Toyo and Pirelli has the 101 as the XL version without MO
 
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markjay

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On Conti, the 101 is the MO version.

Other brands such as Toyo and Pirelli has the 101 as the XL version without MO

OK... but can you get that particular model of Conti 101 only with MO marking, or do Conti sell the 101 tyre without the MO marking?

If the first, then yes this would make it is indeed an MB-specific tyre, but if the latter, it still means that MO tyres and non-MO tyres (for that Conti model) are the actually same.
 

grober

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To cut a long story short I'm about to but a couple of Conti Premium Contact 2 's for my E220. Not going to discuss the merits of these tyres vs others as I've made my mind up having read tons of emails and reviews. Too many in fact.

However, i noticed the MO variant and despite reading copious threads and scouring the web, no one can really lay a finger on what the MO difference is. Lots of views and statements to the obvious - ie they're the manufacturers approved model, but no details that I could reliably use (and why they would cost £25 per tyre more).

So i dropped Conti an email. This is their response (bearing in mind this is for 225/55/R16W's for a E220 CDI). Job done.

**************

Hello Mr Stanton

Thank you for your recent query.

Essentially, at this level of tyre, there is no difference. The MO
(Mercedes Original) is the OE marking they require for tyres fitted from
factory but they can be fitted to other vehicles as well as standard tyres
fitted to these vehicles with no consequence.

In larger sizes - fitted to the more powerful variants of their vehicles -
there may be a slight change to suit the particular vehicle they are fitted
to.

Regards

Craig Sterry

Product Support Engineer

************************

Posted the question at about midnight last night. Got a response 8.30am this morning. Nice job Craig at Conti.

Hopefully this puts the big questions to bed now. Unless you have a more powerful varient :-D
So are they really going to tell you [ one punter among thousands] the detailed specification of the tyres that Mercedes has a contractual agreement [ complete with detailed purchasing engineering specifications --subject to normal business confidentiality clauses no doubt] to buy from Continental? I think not. :dk:
 

Rory

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So are they really going to tell you [ one punter among thousands] the detailed specification of the tyres that Mercedes has a contractual agreement [ complete with detailed purchasing engineering specifications --subject to normal business confidentiality clauses no doubt] to buy from Continental? I think not. :dk:
That's a strange comment from you.

Conti said there's no difference. Michelin more or less told me the same - from memory I think they said there *might* be differences which I took to mean there weren't any.

Someone else pointed out their car didn't come with MO tyres from the factory, and mine certainly didn't.
 

grober

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ha ha ha, and i thought this would make things clearer.

Silly me.
Please let me say I do appreciate your posting your experience with Continental. I was merely pointing out that there may be confidentiality constraints preventing Continental from divulging the relevant information. If the tyres are exactly the same why mark them differently- I don't buy it. :confused: I have heard anecdotal evidence that the tread mix used is different- perhaps to yield a better ride quality/ wet weather/ economy performance at the expense of mileage/wear characteristics. :dk: In this day and age of published economy figures /CO2 emissions rolling resistance may be taking on a greater significance for example. In the open tyre aftermarket on the other hand wear and mileage may take on a greater significance when a particular manufacturer 's products have to compete with other makes. The differences may be subtle but in the end probably reflect that Mercedes sell cars and Continental sell tyres and thus have slightly different priorities in what they demand from their tyres :dk:
 
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Rory

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If the tyres are exactly the same why mark them differently- I don't buy it. :confused:
It's a simple marketing thing - people with a Mercedes will buy premium tyres with the MO marking, because they think have to. Or because they want to.

The manufacturers will likely be paying a fee or royalty to MB. It's cheaper than advertising.

Same with the MB229.xx mark on oil.
 

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Essentially, at this level of tyre, there is no difference. The MO
(Mercedes Original) is the OE marking they require for tyres fitted from
factory but they can be fitted to other vehicles as well as standard tyres
fitted to these vehicles with no consequence.

In larger sizes - fitted to the more powerful variants of their vehicles -
there may be a slight change to suit the particular vehicle they are fitted
to.

You are missing the pont guys, it makes a big difference on large heavy performance cars... its going to matter diddly squat on an E220.
There are differences, it was explained very well on the Porsche episode of megafactories.
 

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I'm no expert, so this could just be a load of BS, but I reckon the 'MO' marking (and the JO, BO, AO markings for that matter) are just a way for a tyre manufacturer to supply tyres to a brand new product from a car manufacturer which has been type approved in various territories. 9 times out of 10, it will be the same tyre structure, compound, tread, etc, but for the little moulding with the 'MO'/'JO'/whatever on it.

On the 1 time out of 10, maybe for example a certain model's chassis transmits more tyre noise up into the cabin, so to combat this the tyre manufacturer uses a slightly different compound and/or tread pattern on what is otherwise the same tyre.

I see it just as a means of the tyre manufacturer effectively certifying that this particular tyre is approved and fit for purpose on this particular new car supplied by this car manufacturer.

Occasionally, as alluded to, a particular performance variant of the car may require the tyre performance to change, hence the caveat.
 
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