Bridgeston Tires Cupping on 2005 Chevrolet Suburban

At 28,0000 miles, we were told by dealer that our Bridgestone Duelers needed to be replaced. When we supplied them with the tire #, they said Bridgestone had a “silent” recall on that brand and replaced them for free. Only paid for an alignment. At our first rotation at approx. 8,000 miles, observed that tires were cupping again. Dealer told us to contact Chevy customer service and Chevy customer service sent us for an alignment check. Alignment was found to be off slightly but still within tolerance. Tires are still continuing to cup and repeated attempts to contact Chevrolet have in vain. Contacted a Bridestone rep and was told that they have never had a “silent” recall on those tires. Have no idea what to do at this point. Been told by others that it is a suspension issue or maybe shocks, but not an alignment. Chevy is holding to their story. Need some help before we have to replace another set of tires.

While pondering something here, let me ask a few questions.
By “dealer” do you mean a tire dealer or the dealer who sold you the vehicle? I’m assuming the latter but just making sure.
Did you buy this vehicle new (as in 4 or 5 miles on it) or was it purchased used or as a dealer demo (3 or 400 miles maybe)?

Cupping of often caused by a weak shock or strut which is a suspension issue and this “silent” tire recall thing does not sound right, especially after 28k miles.

Don’t know what size tires you have, but the links below may be helpful. This model tire has obviously had problems - and Bridgestone recalled only a specific size. If your tires are found to be defective at 8K - Bridgestone should replace them. If they try to tell you that it’s the alignment and the alignment is found to be within specs, then get a copy of the alignment print-out. You should have the dealer inspect and verify on your receipt that all suspension components are ok. Chevy won’t help you if it’s the tires, and it sounds like it is.

Hmmm…I looked at the link again and the date of the recall was August of 2004 - and you have a 2005, so it’s not likely your vehicle was in the recall. But there was a problem with that tire, and I’d still wonder about it. Also - why did the dealer replaced the 28K bad tires with the exact same tires. They could have recommended another brand - even if you had to pay a bit for the pro-rating - they could have provided a better replacement.

So currently the vehicle has 36,000 miles and has cupped its second set of tires? Your owner’s manual material should have come with a procedure for pursuing an issue such as this. This is definietly not right. Cupping is usually a sign of something that’s causing the tires to not roll smoothly, such as a bad articulated joint (ball joint, tie rod end, whatever) or a bent rim or an out of balance condition.

However cupping could be caused by an internal tire defect or a just plain poor quality tire. It’s a longshot, but it is possible that those tires are just plain poor quality, as in the tires surfaces not being sufficiently coaxial to the beads or poorly distributed rubber, as in poorly applied or butted plys. I had some Continentals once that simply could not be made to ride smooth and had to be replaced with BF Goody’s.

I think I’d be inclined at this point to be pursuing Chevy to replace the tires with an entirely different brand, especially sincethey’re trying to use Bridgestone as a scapegoat.

It was the chevrolet dealer that sold us the car which I was referring to. We bought the vehicle new. I believe it had less then 100 miles on it as it had to be transferred from another dealership. After we had the alignment checked again, we questioned chevrolet as to whether there was another issue going on here but they really just seemed to pass it off. The thing is, we have an extended warranty through 75,000 miles (the vehicle now has 49,000) so I would think something like a suspension issue would be covered.

I totally agree but they never even gave us the option of switching tire brands. We would have gladly paid a little more to go to a better brand. The dealership was great when it came to selling us the car but has been lousy on service, which is one reason we no longer deal with them. The person we spoke with for Bridgestone indicated that Chevrolet had been putting the wrong type of tires on their SUV’s which has caused much of the issues. I still think there is something mechanically wrong but getting anyone to listen with Chevrolet has been a major problem.

I know one individual who has the same type of tire on his Expedition and so far has not had any problems. Of course, the two vehicles may not be an equal comparison. I have repeatedly contacted Chevy customer service but they have been extremely lax in their response. I may go back to the guy I know through Bridgestone and see if he could offer any assistance. There has been a lot of finger pointing but no one wants to take responsibility.

Is this vehicle full-time 4WD by chance? If so, cupped tires come with the package…

Otherwise, buy a decent set of tires and keep them properly inflated.

I was just trying to determine if the vehicle has possibly been hit at one time and repaired. Less than a 100 miles and a dealer transfer normally means you’re ok in that respect.

There would be a pack of lawyers sniffing around if something wrong with the tires/suspensions. So, let them handle the case.

I’d suggest you buy a decent set of tires for your safety. Good luck.

Rotate them at 6,000 miles. If you mean the front tires, please say. Usually all four don’t do it at once. If you just noticed feathering and not cupping on the non-driven tires, they wear back to even and can be rotated again.

It’s a 2wd drive and it has only been happening on the front tires. I have been tempted to go out and buy a set of Michelins but I am concerened there may be something wrong with the suspension. If so, the same thing may continue to happen.

Any websites out there you may know of that talk about these issues? I have found several places that indicate cupping may be related to bad suspension, in general, but nothing that talks specifically about Suburbans and Bridgestone tires.

It is only on the front tires and I have had my independent mechanic tell me it is cupping. He has done all my service for approx. 11 years on all my cars. I can also feel what he is talking about when I rub my hand across the tire. My family went on a trip this weekend and we were travelled on what appeared to be a pretty smooth highway. My wife and I could each feel a slight vibration on each side of the front, it was almost like the tires were repetively bumping. Now I guess that could be because they are already cupped, but other sites I looked indicated it could also be due to bad front suspension. It is definitely not an alignment issue since when I took my hand off the steering wheel the car maintained its line.

OK, you have nearly 40,000 miles on the vehicle and haven’t yet paid anything for tires - right?

OK it’s time to buy a set and get an alignment.

My experience is that “cupping” is a term frequently misused and what you are describing sounds more like “irregular wear”, and that can be caused by misalignment and aggravated by insufficient inflation pressure and insufficient rotation.

It has been my experience that vehicle manufacturer’s alignment spec are too wide by half. To be sure you don’t have tire wear problems, you have to be within the inner half of the spec range. Many alignment tech’s don’t think this - and they also think that if it can’t be adjusted, it shouldn’t be adjusted. Wrong on both counts.

So get an alignment where the tech is willing to commit to getting the values within the inner half.

I’m almost inclined to agree this may not be cupping and could be feathering. Cupping is often caused by bad shocks and feathering is often caused by an alignment issue; maybe too much toe-in.
Think of cupping as ocean swells around the tire circumference and feathering as very choppy seas.
Cupping often causes a thumping or vibration similar to an out of balance tire. Feathering can come across at times as maybe a buzz or whirring sound/feel.

Does that help in determining which problem you have?
Any way of posting the alignment specs?