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My Odyssey with the Honda Odyssey Minivan and Michelin

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): My Odyssey with the Honda Odyssey Minivan and Michelin

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Odyssey with the Honda Odyssey Minivan and Michelin

The love affair with my 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring Minivan is now officially over...and why? Over a set of $1000 tires. Yes, you read that right. Whoever heard of a car or van that only takes one type of tires from one company that has now decided not to sell these tires anymore. Before you buy your next car, or if you have a vehicle with PAX no run flat tires, you absolutely have to read on.

I still remember the day I drove my van off the lot. I thought I was special that I was even able to get one....the Odyssey was that hot back then. I was even more tickled that we had saved up our money and could pay cash for our brand new top-of-the-line minivan. That lasted for a few years..until my run-in at the 30,000 mile mark. Boy, was I under informed and not well read! One of the tires had a puncture, but being that these were PAX tires, I could take my own sweet time taking it in to get replaced. No spare tire was needed, no stress in driving on a flat...these tires don't get flat. What a novel ideal. Michelin's website says these puppies could revolutionize the tire world! After digging deeper, the truth comes out...and it is bad....

  • The 2005 Odyssey (and the 2006 and 2007) touring models could ONLY be purchased with these PAX system tires. These tires are ONLY manufactured by Michelin. Another red flag...these type of tire can be found on only a few other luxury vehicles to include the Rolls Royce. Note to self...never buy such an item again.
  • These tires typically only last until about 30,000 miles. They wear out their treads MUCH quicker than your traditional tire. I have read post after post online where these tires have been wearing out from 15,000 to 30,000 miles...and at a cost of anywhere from $200-500 per tire mounted...well, you do the math over the life of the vehicle.
  • If you decide to be smart and change out to another type of tire, you'll have to pay thousands of dollars to put on new tires, rims and another air pressure sensing system...and void your Honda warranty, as Honda says the Odyssey Touring model is designed to run at its optimum performance with these PAX tires. According to them, running anything else could be dicey and possibly detrimental to your vehicle....awww isn't that just the icing on the cake.
  • Okay, so money is no object and you start calling around for a shop that sells and can mount these Michelin PAX tires...well, first you have to find a shop that buys Michelin, then you have to find a shop that has the $10,000 special machine that can work on these tires plus a technician that is trained to use the thing. That's a lot of "ifs".
It's no wonder with this goatscrew that Michelin has decided to stop production of this tire and is moving on to something else. Of course, they do say that they are committed to their current customers who have these tires...I bet. What repair shop is going to continue to maintain that stupid machine? Or send their tech to some expensive training they'll never use? Michelin obviously won't research why these tires are running down prematurely and Honda Odyssey owners will continue to run the risk of losing their warranty by putting other tires on there if they don't want to be raped with these high priced PAX tires. What a crock!

So...because of all this, I will never look at my Odyssey quite the same. I am already looking at the day when I can move on. I just paid $400 for two tires cause now the rears are wearing down (after paying just over $600 for my front two), and with no repair possibilities in Germany, I just thought it would be prudent to change them out before we go. It was recommended that I keep my old ones...just in case I might need them over there. It's no wonder that a group of Honda Odyssey owners have filed a class action lawsuit over this whole mess. I wish them well and hope they can sue the pants off Michelin and Honda. Shame on these two companies for leaving customers out in the cold like this and shame for Honda, a company I used to recommend and trusted, for not painting the entire picture for potential new Honda owners...and of course, shame on me for not researching this stuff BEFORE I bought...expensive lesson learned.

Are you in the market for a new tire? Even if you aren't, please read tomorrow's post. Save yourself hundreds of dollars and get with the program before you need a tire....yesterday. Know how to shop for one and where to go before you actually need it.

Please be sure to read my follow-up article, Honda and Michelin Both Win "the Nightmare of the Year" Award.

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