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Ply separation?

I recently got two tires replaced on my car. When the shop was finished the guy who did the paperwork told me that I had “ply separation” on the two good tires and they should be replaced immediately even though they showed no signs of tread wear. He said they could replace the tires if I wanted. I should have had him explain a little more but I wanted to get home because I was late. I looked on the net for ply separation symptoms and the only thing I could find was bubbling and bulging which the tires don’t have. Was this guy trying to scam me for a couple of new tires I didn’t need? From what I read ply separation is a tire defect that would warrant a recall if it is found in tires. What he should have done is sent me to the place I got my tires and notified the consumer agency that regulates tires? I don’t know. It seems very suspicious to me, although if the tires are dangerous I’d like to replace them. I just don’t know how tell, and no tire dealer has ever brought this issue up with me and I’m pretty old.

Sounds like a scam to me to sell you 2 more tires. If there really is “tread separation” the technician would have gone to a lot of trouble to SHOW YOU the bulges, etc. and explain why it is dangerous.

I would get a seond opinion from a reliable mechanic, someone who does not make a living selling tires.

Do you have the receipt for the tires that supposedly have the ply separation? If so, go back to that store or one of the same chain. If you don’t have the receipt, most tire stores will do a free tire inspection. Figure out what brand of tire the ones in question

are. Then call around to tire stores till you find one that regularly handles that brand. Then ask them if they do a free tire inspection. They may replace the ply separated tires under warranty on a pro rated basis. That means: suppose there is 50% of the tread left and the tires do have a ply separation.

They’ll give you 50% of the suggested retail price toward new tires, but since a lot of tire dealers sell way under that price, you’ll almost pay nothing. At least that’s the way it was in the tire shops I used to work in. There’s the outside chance they will refuse to guaranty the tires without a receipt. Then you can ask for the corporate phone # of the manufacturer of the tire and go from there.

Not only is this a scam, but they’re not very good at it.

  1. Ply separations are extremely rare. Tread separation would be much more common and make a much more believable story.

  2. If he couldn’t show you the bulge, how does he know there is a problem? How was he going to convince you without some evidence?

  3. A “defect” on 2 new tires strains the statistics almost to the breaking point.

  4. You should feel a separation as a vibration. No vibration - no separation!

Since you can’t find anything, then there probably isn’t a problem. But if you want reassurance, go somewhere other than where you bought the tires and ask for an inspection. If they find something, they ought to be able to point it out.

It sounds like the mechanic found a defect in your tires but mistakenly referred to it as a “ply separation”. Maybe it was a tread separation, broken belts, shifted belts, etc. I agree he should have told you to go back to where you got them to try to get new ones on a pro rated basis–if the tires actually are defective.

It sounds like you were in the waiting room while they did the work. If so, they should have shown you the problem with the tires with the car still up in the air. I’ll agree to that.

Good luck and please post back with the results!