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Inferior tires on new vehicles

On Tuesday (2/10/09) I made an appointment to have the oil changed at a local tire/repair shop on my 2006 Toyota Tacoma. While the job was being done, a manager came to tell me that my tires were wearing in an unusual manner and would soon be illegal. Since I bought the truck new and had only 28,000 miles on it, I was very surprised (to say the least). I immediately took the truck back to the dealer to ask for an explaination. I was told that since I had not rotated the tires, the problem was my fault. The only advice they would give me was to contact the tire manufacturer. The service manager never offered to look at the truck!

On Wednesday, I spoke with another tire dealer about the situation and was told that it was normal for the tires on new vehicles to wear out early since the tires were substandard. They actually said that I was lucky to get as many miles as I did.

On Thursday, I took the truck to a tire dealer who sold the brand of tires that were on the truck. He also told me that the tires installed on new vehicles are substandard and in addition, there is no warranty.

Has anyone else out there heard of inferior tires being installed on new vehicles? If this is true, it seems like a lawsuit just waiting to happen.

30k out of a set of OEM tires isn’t bad. Especially when you fail to rotate them.

There are trade-off’s when making tyres. Better MPG vs Better life-miles on the tyres, better traction, better wet road safety, better weight handling smoother ride etc. And yes there is cost as a factor. There usually are better tyres available than what comes on a new car.

I should add that tire problems are almost always a tyre manufacturer issue not the auto dealer.

Car warranties don’t usually cover wearable parts like tires.

Even if the tire manufacturer covered the tires with a warranty, you probably voided that warranty when you didn’t get the tires rotated.

How often does your owner’s manual recommend rotating the tires? Have you read the owner’s manual?

Well, first of all, some of the people you spoke to are feeding you a line of BS as long as your arm. You didn’t bother to tell us what tires are on your Tocoma, so we don’t even know which brand we’re talking about.

Be that as it may; have you looked at the tires? Are they wearing unevenly? Are they nearly worn out?

Perhaps they are, but 28K miles on truck tires without rotation is not bad. I don’t think you have anything to complain about, really. If you had rotated them and maintained the correct inflation pressure (no, you didn’t) they may have lasted a few thousand miles more, but that’s about it. Have you ever had the wheel alignment checked? I’m guessing, no.

Now for the BS:

Tires don’t become “illegal,” they just get worn to the point they won’t pass inspection. The oil change/tire store guy was trying to sell you a set of tires with your oil change. You can’t blame them, it’s their job, but it doesn’t mean they’re being 100% truthful.

Not all new vehicles come with top-of-the-line tires, but NO new vehicles are equipped with “substandard” tires at the factory. If they were the lawsuits would go on forever, as you suggest, and NO car company wants to be sued for installing bad tires on a vehicle. Remember the Explorer/Firestone fiasco a few years ago. Actually, many new vehicles come from the factory with tires of very high quality from top-notch manufacturers.

There is, indeed, a tire warranty with every new vehicle. If you still have the owner’s manual and documentation that came with the truck the tire warranty should be there. Read it and see for yourself. The warranty is with the tire manufacturer, not the vehicle manufacturer, but there IS a tire warranty with every new tire.

So, what are these “substandard” tires your Tacoma came with, anyway? We’re all anxious to know.

You have gotten some very good advice so far from the folks on this website.

It is fairly well-known that the tires that are put on cars and trucks at the assembly plant are frequently not of the highest quality, but that does not mean that they are “sub-standard”. If you were not previously aware that “original equipment tires” are rarely of the highest quality, then you can now join the majority who are aware of that reality.

When you buy a new set of tires, you will be presented with a plethora of choices, and the most obvious choice that you will face is how much you are willing to spend on your tires. If you are like most people (and like car manufacturers) you will probably try to spend as little as possible on a set of tires. Your other choices–which are not as obvious–are how long a treadwear warranty you want (many tires have no warranty on treadwear), their traction rating, their heat resistance rating, and so on. However, no matter what tires you select, they all meet a minimum standard. How far beyond the minimum standard you wish to go is dependent to a great extent on how much money you want to take out of your wallet.

And when you do buy those tires, do yourself a big favor and rotate them according to the schedule listed in your Owner’s Manual. Tire rotation really does make a difference in promoting even tread wear and long tread life.

It’s not uncommon for Toyota to use “crap” for tires. I’ve owned a bunch, and I’ve yet to be happy with the originals. Maybe it was just the cars I bought. Having said that, fastidious rotations make a huge difference in mileage. Since I have gone to winter snows on wheels that force twice a year rotations, the mileage on each set has increased by as much as 50%. I now easily top the full warranty mileage period.
In my opinion, if you don’t rotate your tires regularly, you have NO GROUNDS to expect decent mileage on ANY tire. The dealer is right on this one.
That you actually got 28K out of some of the garbage they put on their trucks, is a testimony to pretty good driving habits…now follow through with the rotations.

My auto tech teacher told us rotating tires actually shortens wear life, sure they all wear out at the same time but as long as your alignment etc. good the tires will wear out more quickly on the front due to steering. His recommendation was not to rotate as the tires develop wear patterns, and when you rotate the tire wears faster to match the new wear pattern. His advice was to not rotate, when the fronts wear out put them on the back because that is where you would rather have a blowout, and new tires on front. Then when the rear is worn new on the front and old on the rear. His experience was he saved buying 6 tires in 100k and did not risk any warped rotors due to a guy who did not care about torquing the tires correctly.

Your auto tech gives bad advice.

First of all, regular tire rotation leads to more even tread wear. If tire treads are worn evenly, you are less likely to have to discard a tire prematurely.

Also, tire manufacturers specify that the “best” tires (i.e.–the ones with the most tread) should be mounted on the back. This conclusion was reached after experimenting on test tracks with specially trained professional drivers, on a variety of vehicles. Unless your tech has the education, the training, and the facilities that went into these tests, then I would suggest that you follow the advice of the people who design and manufacture the tires.

Additionally, with an AWD vehicle, all 4 tires should be replaced at the same time.

Put it all together, and your tech is just about as wrong as wrong could be.

Warrantys won’t cover normal wear items unless specifically shown to have been defective. Your tires got acceptable use.

In addition, Consumer Reports used to report in their new car reviews every detail found to be imperfect in their new vehicles, and alignment was pretty common.

Manuacturers cannot by law put “substandard” tires on their cars but they don’t put the best ones on either…unless you buy a high performance fancy car. I don’t think you really have a problem. Just have truck aligned and get some new tires of your choice.

By the way, is this a 4x4?

On Ford F150s since about '97 most came with 235/70r17 Hankook ‘dynapro AS’ as OE tires. I will not sell more of the same to a customer needing two tires or more. The side walls are paper thin and have no strength when encountering road hazards or curbs. You can take a tire ( un-mounted ) and squash it nearly flat ! I know why they did that and completely disagree ! They wanted less rolling resistance to maximize mpg while getting the pickup to ‘ride like a car’. If I wanted it to ride like a car , I’D BUY A CAR ! It’s a pickup for god’s sakes, and out here in the four corners area we put them to work. ( in their place I sell Goodyear Wrangler SR-A or General Grabber HTS )

One of the absolute worst OE tires I’ve ever seen in 30 years as a parts man.

It was a recommend for 2wd only, he was a pretty cool guy, used a cork and a paper clip to make a rotor and forded a creek on a starting motor in his vw van after the car died, I have used his advice and find it verifiable from my experience.

Your instructor is from the old school, isn’t he? He’s an older guy, I’ll bet.

I remember when radial tires were new (dating myself) and the same theory was hot. “Don’t rotate your tires because once a radial tire develops a wear pattern it will not change, regardless of its position on the car.”

I’ve seen the “don’t rotate” theory, and, more recently, the “rotate religiously” theory. It’s all a matter of opinion, and I’m sure there are people who can “prove” they saved money by not rotating their tires, just as there are people who can “prove” they saved money by rotating.

Neither of these “proofs” means anything since they didn’t have two identical vehicles, one of which had its tires rotated, and one of which did not.

Believe what you want to believe. I used to adhere to the “do not rotate” theory, but everything I’ve read in the last 20 years has made me believe that rotating tires, in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions, will prolong tire life, or at least even out the wear.

I can’t “prove” it works, but until something comes along to prove it doesn’t, I’ll continue to rotate my tires.

Yes, he was so old school if a pair of pliers and a screwdriver could not fix it you are not thinking about the solution.

the GY wrangler silent armor gets pretty high ratings on tirerack for the f-150

I’ll add those to my list. thanx, kg

Last year I started a thread (one of my first) asking if you would rather have higher quality tires (paid for by deleating the ABS) 50% took the tires 30% wanted the ABS 20% wanted both. I am for the tires.

You did good getting 28K with no rotation (I am a rotation guy) I have 75K on my OEM 2004 F-150 and there getting close. Discount Tires (big here in AZ) rates them one star,saying people rarely get 40K on them. I am pretty easy driver (if that matters at all)

I have Goodyear MT/R’s on my Bronco. I’ve been quite pleased with them. Previously I had Bridgestone Dueler AT Revos, which were an excellent tire and a better all around tire, but since the Bronco is not the daily driver anymore. I decided to go with someone more aggressive. When I picked up the Mustang, it some generic H-rated cheap tires, they were called “Phantom” or “Spectre” I don’t remember the name. But they were unmitigated crap. They were somehow were able to combine poor traction, poor treadwear, and a poor ride. After a few thousand miles, I could take no more and bought a set of BFG G-Force KDW2s. They are superior in every way. In my experience you get what you pay for when it comes to tires, and since they are the only things connecting you to the road, you don’t cut corners (figuratively speaking of course).

The tires put on new vehicles are usually ones that ride well to add to the comfort of the test drive but they keep costs down is to get them cheap. When people go to buy vehicles they look at options they want ie: power windows, power locks heated seats and so on. As soon as you drive off the lot the vehicle is yours and so are the cheap tires. Many cars only get about 20-40k out of their oem tires. Only the top of the line trims get the better tires. A common oem tire is Continental and they last 35k if your lucky.

It was a recommend for 2wd only, he was a pretty cool guy,

But on this advice he was wrong. If your tyres are wearing unevenly then there is something wrong and a change (likely a suspension issue) needs to be done.