Thanks to all of you, I was very well prepared when I went to inspect the car that I ultimately bought, and with which I am now obsessed.
One of the things I noticed, was that although the tires were almost new, they had a 99 load rating. I politely informed the dealer that it was my understanding that they were not safe for the car, and that a minimum of 103 (XL) was required. They verified this and without hesitation discounted the price of the car by $1,100, so that I could replace the tires.
I cannot say enough good things about this dealer, VW/Audi of Naples, Florida. They really impressed me with their approach to customer satisfaction. The internet sales manager, Dionys Brunner, was extremely professional and friendly, and was very patient and responsive to my MANY questions Also, the used car manager and even the owner of the dealership introduced themselves and offered to help in any way they could.
So, now I am shopping for tires, and have it narrowed down to the Yokohama that Pan European has recommended, and the Bridgestone Serenity that some others of you have praised.
Understand that this car will never see ice or snow, so long as we both shall live, unless there is another ice age that manages to cover Florida. So, it would seem the Yokohamas would be the obvious choice. However, on Tire Rack, the Serenity has such incredible survey ratings in every category, including road noise, that it's got me wondering.
Pan European wrote:
"This spring, I bought a set of 4 dedicated summer tires. They are far quieter than the OEM Michelin all-seasons, or anyone else's all-seasons for that matter."
Road noise is of critical importance to me, but good tread wear would be nice too, and there is a dramatic difference in their treadwear ratings. Must I conclude that the Yokohama is going to be even quieter than the Serenity, because it is a Summer tire, and not an all Season tire?
I look forward to your replies.
P.S. - The tires that are on the car now, and which have about 8/32" left, are Michelin HX MXM4 255/45/HR18 (99 Load Rating). Is there a market for them? I will have no place to store them, so when they come off the car I'm going to have to give them to the installer, unless there is someone who wants to buy them.
Modified by remrem at 9:04 PM 2-21-2008