Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2018 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class - Worn tires so soon?

My new 2018 Mercedes GLC300 (purchased in Dec., 2017) came with Pirelli run flat tires installed on it from the dealership. My last trip to the dealer for scheduled maintenance (oil change, etc) had an indicated mileage on the odometer of 20,129 miles. As Mercedes only requires a 10,000 mile oil change schedule, I always have my tires rotated at this time regardless of the accrued mileage on the odometer. Being retired, our travel is usually local stuff - running errands, groceries, etc. - very little over the road long distance travel.
The mechanic who had preformed the maintenance on my vehicle indicated on the maintenance form that the tires were in “condition yellow” and should be considered for replacement. I was shocked as I’m accustomed to getting at least 50,000 miles on tires as I adhere to a strict tire rotation regimen. The folks at the dealership indicated to me that the run flat tires do not wear like a conventional tire does (that I have been used to) and therefore need replaced sooner. My previous Mercedes C300 also had run flats on it and didn’t seem to wear as quickly and that car had approximately 33,000 miles on it when I traded for the GLC300. My question is : Do run flat tires wear more quickly than a conventional type tire? Is this a common problem or is it the Pirelli brand that has issues? I always thought Pirelli was a reputable brand of tire and could be counted on for long life and safety. Please help me on this as apparently I need to replace these tires soon - much sooner that expected even though I am a stickler for tire rotation! Does the tire manufacturer bear any responsibility in this matter or the car dealer for premature wear? Thank you for your time and kind consideration of this matter.

Just go to a local tire store you trust. See what they say about your current tires . Ask if you can have just regular tires mounted on your rims as the run flat tires are expensive. Your short driving wears tires more than a lot of highway driving.

1 Like

Your car calls for an oil change every 10,000 miles or 1 year whichever come first. You are just a little over on the mileage, but you are 2 or 3 months over on the time. Why give them ammunition to deny a warranty claim?

1 Like

From some of the reviews on Tire Rack you’ve gotten about the average life out of these tires even with rotating them.

1 Like

Did you look at tires? Or is that not your thing?
At 10k miles I might have noticed lots of wear?
I think whomever rotated them might have said, huh? 10k tires are 1/2 worn? Ahh, it’s new Mercedes. It’s cool

1 Like

There are usually wear bars between the treads. They look like lumps running crosswise. Are any of them close to the same height as the tread? If so, it might be time to think about new tires. You can also put a quarter in the gap between treads with George’s head pointing down. If the top of his head is at tread level, there is 1/8th inch left and it’s time to shop for tires.

One of the missing bits of information is whether these tires are all worn evenly across the width of the tread, or if any of them are more badly worn on the outer edges, or in the center of the tread. Uneven wear patterns will point toward improper inflation and/or alignment “issues”.

I never worry about tire life on the OEM tires. Once it’s time to replace them, research tires on and Consumer Reports. New tires are a way to dial in the performance of your tires to your own driving conditions and wishes. Where I live, snow and ice performance matters even on all-season tires. You fit your tires to you. It is important to examine the worn OEM tires to discern any alignment, inflation, or rotation issues.

1 Like

The Pirelli P-Zeros that came on my Mustang had a treadlife of about 11k miles. OEM tires are not the same as the tires that are sold at retail even though they might carry the exact same brand and model name. It’s not uncommon at all for the OEM tire wear noticeably faster than the same tire sold at retail.

1 Like

And, it is not a new phenomenon.
The OEM BF Goodrich Silvertown tires on my father’s '66 Ford Galaxie were evenly worn across the width of the tread by 16k miles, and needed to be replaced. The replacement tires (“Cornell” brand, from Pep Boys) lasted almost twice as long.

More recently, the Bridgestones on my friend’s Rav needed to be replaced after ~20k miles. And, they were evenly worn, meaning that there were no alignment or inflation issues responsible for that short tread life.

Is the OP going to return to answer my question regarding any uneven wear patterns on his tires?

I once wore out a set of Atlas Bucron tires on my 56 Desoto in 3500 miles, but O my it was a lot of fun while they lasted.

Manufacturer’s have little incentive to install long wearing tires on new cars, b/c buyers aren’t concerned about that issue when choosing a new car, and it saves the manufacturer a few $$'s to install tires with less rubber. Also they may use softer rubber to make the ride seem smoother. Software rubber wears faster. On the upside, this probably saved you a few dollars on the purchase price too. What you are experiencing is a common thing. We see similar posts here quite often from folks who purchased a new car 1-3 years prior. You could try the forum search feature, above right on this page, to see what others have said about new car tire life expectancy. The tires that came w/my Corolla new only lasted about 25 k miles. All the sets afterward have lasted at least 60 k miles.

OP has probably left the building, in case not, would be enlightening to read this article by our resident tire expert about OEM tires:

Sorry to be late to the party. I was tied up with small children.

First, RunFlat tires can be built in the same way regular tires are - except for the stiff sidewall insert that allows for the runflat capability.

HOWEVER, it is common for RunFlat tires to be applied to high performance cars - and tires on those cars are generally designed for grip (at the expensive of long wear!) That’s where the reputation comes from.

So, No! The fact that the car has runflat tires isn’t what caused the tires to wear quickly.

What appears to be the problem is the “local stuff - running errands, groceries, etc. - very little over the road long distance travel”. Ya’ see, most tire wear occurs in the cornering mode. Driving straight ahead is practically free.

I should also mention that Tire Rack says that one of the possible OE tires only has a 400 UTQG treadwear rating ( normal is 600 - 700), and if our OP had those tires, they were probably designed for fuel economy (again, at the expensive of long wear.)

As has been pointed out, we don’t know if the tires are evenly worn. European cars tend to use a lot of camber, and that tends to wear tires unevenly.

Lastly, the tire manufacturer is not likely to do a warranty on them. OE tires do NOT come with a wear warranty - only a “Material and Workmanship” warranty (which doesn’t apply here!). Ya’ see, OE tires are designed to the vehicle manufacturer’s specs, and if the specs are such that the tires were designed for good grip or good rolling resistance, they won’t wear well.

And if the tire wear is due to the short drives or the excessive camber, the tire manufacturer can’t control that - and while Pirelli isn’t known for its good wearing tires (their specialty seems to be grip!), they aren’t the source of the rapid wear - which I think is the short trips!

1 Like

Saw a show on used SUVs. They said a Audi Q7 wore out tires in 6k miles. Whew.

Other that us, I assume.

1 Like