Last May I bought my wife a new 2011 Nissan Murano. The car now has 7,000 miles and my wife drives like the little old lady she is. But I noticed this weekend that both front tires are worn down to the cord on the inside edge of the tire. This clearly seems to be an alignment issue, and the car has not been wrecked or suffered any other kind of front end damage. Would this be covered under the car’s warranty and should I insist that the dealer pay for new tires?
While it is not publicized, most car manufacturers will cover one wheel alignment during the first few thousand miles of ownership. However, if it took ~11 months to accumulate those 7,000 miles, it is possible that they may deny the claim on the basis of elapsed time.
Because I noticed a “wandering” problem shortly after taking delivery of my 2011 Subaru, I received a free 4-wheel alignment at ~3k miles, but those miles were accumulated in just 2 1/2 months. It is possible that my claim might have been denied if a lot more time had elapsed.
As someone else suggested in your other duplicate version of this thread, a possible factor in uneven tire wear is abnormal tire pressure. If you and your wife are relying on the onboard Tire Pressure Monitoring System, you could have been driving with tire pressures that are “off” for an extended period of time.
When you regularly check the tire pressure manually, with a good-quality dial-type pressure gauge, you accomplish two things. Besides getting a precise measure of the tire pressure, you can actually give the tire treads a good “up close and personal” visual inspection. You don’t need to be a mechanic or an engineer in order to see if a tire is wearing evenly or not.
Checking the tires at least once a month could have led to a much earlier resolution to this problem, and as I’m sure you will agree, resolving a problem sooner–rather than later–is always preferable.
My guess is that this will be a gray area. Officially, they can probably claim that this was caused by potholes or rough roads and that this isn’t a warranty issue. However, if you ask nicely and involve the manufacturer’s representative if necessary, perhaps they’ll cover at least part of the cost anyway.
You are now at the mercy of your dealer’s integrity. Since this could be a warranty issue the dealer is your only option. First, press for a clear explanation for the wear. Then, depending on the answer press for a new set of tires. Be prepared to negotiate a compromise.
Take the car to the dealer immediately and see what they say. Tires should last more than 7K miles, and with cord showing these tires are dangerous. The dealer can get tires at cost and perhaps they will do the alignment and provide new tires at a “pro-rated” reduced cost. 7K miles is about 1/4 of the life expectancy of a tire on that car. So, if you get new tires at 50-75% off the list price that might be an acceptable deal to me.
The fact that both tires are worn the same is significant. A pothole strike would usually affect one side more than the other. Both tires worn out to the same degree means the set up was bad from the outset to me.
Even though a person may drive very cautiously and with great care…things happen…and they may accidentally hit a curb or a big rock and ruin your alignment.
Take it dealer. Have them evaluate it and act.
When I bought my 97 Nissan Pickup, I noticed after about 20k miles (less than a year) that the tires had a slight uneven wear pattern. The dealer realigned the front end under warrantee and those tires went 102k miles. I still have the truck and I have never needed another alignment. Your dealer should not only cover this, they should also replace the tires.
If you look in your warrantee manual, I think you will see that the alignment is guaranteed for one year.
Tires are not warrantied by the car company, they are warrantied by the tire company. In your owners manual folder you should have a separate flyer from the tire co.
My Honda manual refers me to the tire manufacturer for all tire problems. Now it is going to be a fight back and forth; was the alignment that caused tire wear, or bad tires. The dealer could check alignment and tell you it is within specs. The alignment is cheap, what is expensive is the tire.
The wear pattern on the tires point to either too much negative camber or too much toe-out. This could be caused by one or more of the following:
Incorrect from the factory.
Car has been wrecked and repaired. (This would be in the event that the car was a dealer demonstrator.)
Wife has curbed the car during a turn or ran into a concrete parking lot marker.
Car was unloaded from the transport truck at the dealer with a little too much enthusiasm and something in the suspension or steering was damaged during the unloading.
If the car was brand new (defined as 4 or 5 miles on when new) and if there is a legitimate factory screwup leading to an alignment fault then I would think Nissan would not only do the repair under warranty but also cover the tire damage as that is a direct result of any screwup.
If there are any signs at all of damage due to curbing, tires scuffed up, etc. then I would say everything should be on your dime and warranty is not applicable.
Down to the cord in 7k miles means something is seriously out of whack and it should not be difficult to sort it out.
The fact that both tires are worn identically indicates the problem is almost certainly alignment, not bad tires.
Don’t let the dealer weasel out by blaming the tires.
I recall reading a report in a car mag some time agoe wherein they charted the most common items incorrect on delivered vehicles. Improper alignment was among the most common.
galant, We bought a new Civic in 93. Wore out the tires in 5k miles. The dealer aligned and replaced the tires. I noticed the same wear pattern a short time later, dealer said something was left loose and re aligned it again.
Keith, I have to think that your Civic probably did not get a PDI or if it did, possibly an incomplete one.
Part of the PDI requires checking over all nuts and bolts on the suspension, steering, exhaust, and whatnot and tighten if necessary.
On Japanese cars this is very easy to do and only requires a few minutes because a very small selection of end wrenches (10, 12, 14, 17, and 19 MM) cover almost everything on there and it’s easy to get on a roll and cover stem to stern in 5 minutes.
Seldom will anything be found loose but it does happen now and then and on a proper PDI it should have been caught.
Most cars do not get an alignment check during a PDI and that’s usually reserved for high end cars and on top of possible causes such as the factory chucking them out quickly sometimes alignment issues can be caused by some transport drivers who may unload them with a bit too much enthusiasm.
The truck driver at the Chevy dealer next door ran a new Chevy right off the side of the ramps one day about noon as some of us were heading to the steakhouse across the street for lunch. We heard a loud bang and looked over just in time to see glass shattering and people running. That particular car was declared a total and luckily for the truck driver he managed to walk away from it although he had to crawl out of the window to get out.