Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
This week I put the stock wheels (with new Bridgestone Ecopia HL422 215/70R16) back on my Element. For the past few years I have had 18" wheels (18x8) with Toyo Proxes ST 255/50R18 tires.

The Toyos were loud but I didn't realize how much so until putting these new tires on. The Bridgestones are super quiet and provide a smooth ride. The original wheel and tire is much lighter in weight, and makes the car feel a touch more responsive and quicker. It feels great on local streets - I also just swapped in new strut assemblies all around.

However, I got on the highway for the first time today, and the wind was pushing me around so easily. I'd forgotten how much the E sways in the wind. With the large wheels and tires my Element was straight and steady and gripped the road tightly. I do miss how my Element looked and the handling of the large wheels, but not the road noise and feel.

I don't have a question or anything, just making an observation. I may be selling the 18s in the near future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
685 Posts
Nice! I've been eyeing those Ecopia tires. Have you driven it enough to notice any gas mileage improvements? I would imagine you'd notice a bigger difference going from 255/50R18 to 215/70R16.

How is the dry/wet handling?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I'm also planning on switching back to factory EX wheels and 215/70R16 tires. But it's been years since I changed to aftermarket 18" wheels and I already forgot how it felt.

How do you find the ride coming from 18" and going back to 16" wheels, in terms of bumpiness? Did you feel an immediate improvement or would you attribute it to your new struts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I changed the struts about a week before changing the wheels and tires. There was already a noticeable difference with new struts, but after putting on the old wheels and new tires, the difference was like night and day. I live in New Orleans, and our streets bumpy, to say the least. The car takes the poor roads in a much more comfortable way. I can tell the extra weight of the large wheels/tires made the ride slightly harsher, but not too bad. Now, it rolls so much smoother over bumpy streets and on smooth roads, it seems I coast for blocks (my Element is a manual and I shift to neutral sometimes when I see red lights ahead).

The trade off is in handling though. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the Element handled very well with the big wide wheels and tires. It hugged the road tightly and did not sway much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
And I have not yet used a full tank of gas yet. I'm looking forward to see what kind of improvement on gas mileage the change makes. I'll report back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Glad u posted this. I keep wanting to go back to stock 16's as well with maybe 225/75 or 235/70. I haven't had 16's on there to a couple years. I forgot how squirrelly it felt. I may reconsider. Thanks!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Squirrelly indeed. If I can find a quiet and comfortable tire for my 18" wheels, I would consider going back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,955 Posts
The Bridgestone Ecopia HL422 seems to be another one of those thin sidewall lightweight tires with a structure a lot like the OEM Goodyear Wranglers that are so horrible on the Element. Switching to a better designed tire might fix your swaying problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
I doubt it. My winter tires were Toyo Open Country ATs 225.70.16 and they were every bit as squirelly. With 16's, there is so much more sidewal. There's really not a way around it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,955 Posts
I doubt it. My winter tires were Toyo Open Country ATs 225.70.16 and they were every bit as squirelly. With 16's, there is so much more sidewal. There's really not a way around it.
A good trick when you're considering a tire is to look it up on tire rack's website and check the specs for known good tires on the Element vs the one you're thinking about. If most of the tires that everyone likes weigh 30-31 pounds and the one you want weighs 24-25 pounds, it's missing a lot of something. Suspect it. In this area where tires have to stand up to hot roads in Summer and deep slush/snow/ice in the winter, Yokohama Geolander ht-s is still king.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top