CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Pirelli P4 Four Seasons tire tread "follows" grooves cut in concrete road surface

My wife complained that her 2009 Camry hybrid steering is affected by the parallel grooves.
The entire surface is grooved running with the street, not across it.
The grooves seem to “guide” the vehicle a little from side to side and she must steer to correct it.
Will this tracking issue diminish with tread wear?
Thank you.

http://discounttires.com/product_detail.php?c=OTlkODJjMmZlZjdkZjMyMWRlMWIwZjJlNTNlMTZjMWE=&prodID=7295&t=GS&utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=organic&zmam=80122732&zmas=1&zmac=1&zmap=7295&gclid=COz49OqXjLQCFYVFMgodLToAww

Maybe, but most likely not.

But you should also be aware that alignment can affect this as well. You’ve got a 4 year old car and it might need some adjustment.

You have several choices:

Complain to Pirelli and see what they will do. Don’t be surprised if the amount of wear (or the length of time after purchasing the tires) is an issue.

Live with it until the tires are worn out. After all, this is more of an annoyance than anything else.

Some tires do track this way, but this isn’t dangerous. Your wife could be overreacting and over correcting due to her concern. With coaching she can have confidence the car isn’t going to careen out of control. She should relax her grip on the wheel and learn to live with the squirming feeling as the car moves over grooved concrete areas. Trying to steer the car when it does this is not effective and can lead to more loss of control.

Some bridges are covered with a metal grid surface which can cause the same effect in a more dramatic way. Again the proper action is to just relax the grip and on the wheel and continue on the same line until the surface changes back to normal.

Thank you.
Not alignment because it happened immediately after the original Michellin tires were removed and Pirelli tires mounted.
She does not overcorrect. Just slightly corrects to keep the vehicle straight.
(I thought it would be fun if the grooves would guide these tires around a gentle curve on the interstate which she drives daily. They do not.)
But I can feel how the grooves “pull” the tires.

They groove the roads here in NH when they’re about to repave. And when they do this there are warning signs to let you know that it could effect your handling.

This is nothing new. I’ve yet to own a vehicle that isn’t effected by the groves.

Have her slow down and pay closer attention.

These grooves are cut (I believe) into the new concrete and are permanent.
The effect occurs at normal speeds. We usually drive 55 mph in the 60 mph zone on I-25.
I like these Pirelli 85k tires, which are much less expen$ive than the 90k Michellin tires, but I do notice what she detects.
Have not noticed this in the Expedition or her son’s Toyota Corolla which has different tires.

(DISCOUNT TIRE has offered to replace the tires with another tire style or brand.)

Are these tires LRR(low rolling resistance) tires? If so, this might be why they are behaving in this manner

Are these tires LRR(low rolling resistance) tires? If so, this might be why they are behaving in this manner
The salesman said they are. I was seeking LRR tires. The Michellins were LRR tires but did not do this.

I have inflated these tires to 42 psi. Max is 44 psi on the tire.
Could that pressure with the single band in the middle of the tread be causing thissue?
Thank you.

I have inflated these tires to 42 psi. Max is 44 psi on the tire. Could that pressure with the single band in the middle of the tread be causing thissue?

Definitely could be the problem. I’d say you’re over inflating the tires by at least 10lbs.

What pressure does the door jamb label say?

We all know you like to over inflate Robert, but try no more than 5lb over the door label.

I didnt think P4 tires are LRR. Check the Pirelli web site.

You’ve got too much inflation pressure in your tires - and too much tends to aggravate this property.

Second, LRR has no affect on this. The tread pattern does, though…

Ur car is 3 yrs old and ur on the 2nd set of tires so u must drive a bit. Do u keep track of fuel mileage? Do u think the hybrid really has delivered better mileage than a standard Camry? We avg 25 on each tank and is mostly short trips. U got lrr tires on purpose. Is ur recent mileage unchanged?

Thank you.
Toyota door label tire pressure is 32 psi.
I.nflated them to 42 psi a few days later. 44 psi is maximum pressure listed on the tire.
I believe the tires had this problem when I left Discount Tire which set the pressure at 32psi.

Do u keep track of fuel mileage? Do u think the hybrid really has delivered better mileage than a standard Camry?
Never bothered to track fuel mileage. I drive as efficienty as possible; gentle accelerations, lower than posted speeds, don't accelerate up hill, etc. Unfortunately, I doubthathe hybrid is better because most of the driving is now long distance bloodeliveries on interstate highways and state highways. Hybrid would be.tter for stop-and-go urban driving. Also, emergency transports (red light and siren) with more firm accelerations and higher speeds/wind resistance completely ruin fuel economy.