Tyre advice required for W204 (C280 Sport)

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.

FF99

Active Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
68
I tagged this question on to an old 'which tyres' post in the General Forum before discovering there was a specialist 'Tyres Forum', so apologies for the repetition.

I have taken delivery of my June 2008 C280 Sport. Is is VERY noisy on the motorway at mid-high speeds.

I have read that this is caused by one or more of (i) poor boot sound insulation (ii) the original 'oversize' wing mirrors as this car was produced before the mirrors were changed in Aug 2008, and (iii) the tyres.

Of these, changing the tyres seems the easiest call, espcially as the car has 14k miles on the clock, so I guess the fitted tyres must be up for a change in the forseeable future (assuming they are the originals - I need to double check that).

Existing tyres are Contisport Contact 3 225/45/R17. Are they likely to be the original tyres ?

I have read that Contisport tyres are noisy, so is it reasonable to assume that what sounds like a constant rushing road noise is most likely to come from the tyres ?

Does the noise get worse as they get worn, or do they tend to be noiser when new ?? If noisier when worn and these are the originals, this would suggest they could well be the culprits.

What should I get ?? I drive mainly in Central London, but with occasional 100 mile motorway trips. I rarely have to drive in very bad weather conditions, as I generally have a 'work at home' option if it is very bad weather (snow etc). Total annual mileage is little more than 3 - 4k.

I would really like whisper quiet, or as close as it is possible to get.

In the overall scheme of things whether the tyre costs £75 or £150 is really neither here nor there, although I don't want to throw money out of the window for no gain. I assume I would need to change all 4 to get a real improvement ?

I have seen good things about Michelins. Would MICHELIN - PILOT PRIMACY HPs be suitable ?

I don't suppose there is a market for the Contisports if in reasonable nick ....

Finally, I am NW London based. Any thoughts on where to get the tyres changed ? MB dealer, local mechanic, specialist tyre dealers ?

Any thoughts / advice gratefully received.
progress.gif
 
Last edited:
If you do some searches then you'll find loads on tyres. I had always ran my Mercs om Conti's and Michelins. Conti's are noisy and not great as they wear either. Michelins are fine above 6 degrees but below that are utter dross (do winter/snow searches). I liked Goodyears, I really liked Dunlop Sports but my current favourite is Kumho KU31's which are half the price of the Michelins and seem faultless in every department. The Kumhos replaced my Michelins which were rubbish over last winter. All IMHO.
 
I have had 3 sets of Contis - 1 set of Goodyear F1 Assymetrics and am not on Michelins. To be honest they are all pretty much of a muchness. Michelins slightly quieter - Goodyears slightly grippier but wear more. Michelins very expensive - so have just ordered 2 Kumho KU31s to be fitted on rear tomorrow.

As Greg said - at a far cheaper price and have had excellent write ups.
 
I have had 3 sets of Contis - 1 set of Goodyear F1 Assymetrics and am not on Michelins. To be honest they are all pretty much of a muchness. Michelins slightly quieter - Goodyears slightly grippier but wear more. Michelins very expensive - so have just ordered 2 Kumho KU31s to be fitted on rear tomorrow.

As Greg said - at a far cheaper price and have had excellent write ups.

Would be interested in your experience of the Kumho's especially on the noise front.

I was just looking at a comprehensive ADAC test of all leading tyres in this size and the hands down winner seems to be the Pirelli Cinturato P7, although the Kumho ECSTA LE Sport (KU39) does not do badly. My existing Contis are pretty much close to the top (save for noise).
 
Last edited:
Does the noise get worse as they get worn, or do they tend to be noiser when new ?? If noisier when worn and these are the originals, this would suggest they could well be the culprits.

Tyres get noisier as they wear, but not enormously so.

What pressures are you using? As a test, try the max load pressure which will have the effect of stiffening the tyre and reducing the contact patch and see if that reduces the noise.
 
Tyres get noisier as they wear, but not enormously so.

What pressures are you using? As a test, try the max load pressure which will have the effect of stiffening the tyre and reducing the contact patch and see if that reduces the noise.

I will certainly try that. As I have just got this from an MB dealer who gave it a B service before delivering it, I was assuming the pressures were correct, but I will try what you suggest.

Can I ask something really really basic. What is the best way for an amateur accurately to test the depth of tread of the tyres ?
 
Have a look on tyretest.com , my personal favorites are michelin pilot sport and for something a bit cheaper, quieter and almost as grippy try Nokian ZG2
 
I have just bought Vdestrain Ultrac sessnatas(if that how you spell it) for my 2009 c220 cdi sport and they seem very good. Had a couple of times in the snow(Removed snow tires too early!!) and they seemed very good. Road noise is lower that the Contis aswell. I have Vdestrain wintracs for my snow tyres and these were also very good hence buying their summer tyres.
 
Noise on the Kumho is no more than any other tyre with the exception of Conti's which I think must have some kind of amplifier built in!;)
 
Have a look on tyretest.com , my personal favorites are michelin pilot sport and for something a bit cheaper, quieter and almost as grippy try Nokian ZG2

According to tyretest.com my existing Conti's are extremely quiet (4 out of 5 stars), yet the general consensus seems to be that they are very noisy ?? :doh:
 
At what level of tread wear do people generally replace their tyres ? I have just checked the tyres on the car and the front seem fine. The back are down to about 3mm. I realise it is double the legal minimum, but is it regarded as generally acceptable ?

Is there any MB recommendation on changing the tyres ? The car was given a free main-dealer B service before delivery. If I had been paying for the service, would I have been advised to change the tyres ??

I have partially answered my own question: Here MB recommend a min tread of 2.5mm http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/con...tomers/hints_and_tips/Tyre_care_overview.html

Whilst here they recommend they "be maintained" at 3mm http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/con...gercars/home/ownership/useful_info/tyres.html

Perhaps a dozy question, as I really know nothing about this, but should I - perhaps - be swapping the front and rear tyres ? If the rear are significantly more worn and are the more important yres (see the MB website) should one not rotate at this point in their life ?
 
Last edited:
Perhaps a dozy question, as I really know nothing about this, but should I - perhaps - be swapping the front and rear tyres ? If the rear are significantly more worn and are the more important yres (see the MB website) should one not rotate at this point in their life ?

Sorry if I'm missing something obvious, but where does it say the rears are more important?

Pretty well everybody accepts and agrees that they are, regardless of whether the car is RWD or FWD, but Mercedes has put the cat amongst the pidgeons in the tyre trade by saying that, on cars with anti-skid control etc, the fronts are more important!

Notwithstanding that, I would rotate the tyres if I could. I can't on my car as the set-up is staggered and I'm losing quite a lot of useful life as the fronts tend the wear the edges and the rears tend to wear the centres. The only downside is it means you have to buy 4 tyres at once, but there are often offers available to buy 4 and you'll know you'll get 4 tyres that are the same.
 
Sorry if I'm missing something obvious, but where does it say the rears are more important?

My interpretation of what is says on the 1st of the 2 links in my post: "If you have to replace one tyre, then have it fitted at the rear with the tyre having the most tread depth. This will help you handle your car and give it more stability, whether or not your car is front-or rear-wheel drive."

Have just noticed that it says there not to rotate, but I know there are lots of different opinions on these things.

I have just lowered the pressures a little as they were a couple of PSI over recommended on both front and back (29 / 32 is recommended for a light load within the speed limit) in the hope this may lessen the noise. Probably more hope than reality though.
 
Last edited:
I have seen good things about Michelins. Would MICHELIN - PILOT PRIMACY HPs be suitable ?

I don't suppose there is a market for the Contisports if in reasonable nick ....

Finally, I am NW London based. Any thoughts on where to get the tyres changed ? MB dealer, local mechanic, specialist tyre dealers ?

Any thoughts / advice gratefully received.
progress.gif

If you decide that you want Michelin tyres, Costco are very good for pricing on tyres, although you need to be a member. Closest Costco's are probably Watford, Tottenham or further up the M4 to Reading.
 
My interpretation of what is says on the 1st of the 2 links in my post: "If you have to replace one tyre, then have it fitted at the rear with the tyre having the most tread depth. This will help you handle your car and give it more stability, whether or not your car is front-or rear-wheel drive."

Thanks - I would read it like that too.

It used to say in the W204 handbook to fit new tyres on the front - I've got a copy of the wording and the link in the online owners manual, but it's changed now and the link doesn't work, so maybe MB have bowed to pressure and changed this.
I have just lowered the pressures a little as they were a couple of PSI over recommended on both front and back (29 / 32 is recommended for a light load within the speed limit) in the hope this may lessen the noise. Probably more hope than reality though.

I would have thought lower pressures would mean more flexing would mean more noise. Although I doubt a pound or two would make any noticeable difference.
 
Many years ago the general advice was to fit new tyres to the front, i.e. because it affects steering. The advice now seems to have changed, with new tyres recommended on rear for RWD vehicles, i.e. for better traction.

Having said that, I always replace tyres in sets of four to ensure same make/model/age and tread depth - I think moving tyres around to maximise their usage is false economy.

However... I usually drive non-sporty cars where branded tyres cost around £100 per corner, I can see this being a problem for anyone running on say 245/45x19 tyres, or BMW-style run-flats, where a corner could end-up costing £200-£300.......
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom