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Rims suddenly bad on vehicles?

I bought a set of new tires for my 2000 astro van and 1994 Saturn SL2 ::edit:: two summers ago. I bought a “full warranty” with the tires which includes checking the air pressure and free rotation. It seems every time I take the either vehicle back for a tire rotation there is a problem which is not covered by the warranty. For example I was told that each vehicle now has a rim/wheel which is slightly out of round with the implication that this negates any warranty on the tire.

I looked at the tire on my van as the tech spun it around while dismounted as you would a bicycle tire and sure enough the tire “wobbled” a tiny bit when viewed straight on at the treads - like a spoked bike tire would if it needed “truing”. I was given a speech about “driving to hot” with steel rims and alloy rims were better as they tolerate heat better, also they mentioned the weight of tools in my van but I pointed out that any two of their hefty employees weighed much more than anything I ever carried in my van. The implication again is that this could negate the tire warranty.

I have driven since the 1960’s and this is the first time I have ever had a problem with rims - even through minor accidents. The most I have done with these wheels is to bump them on a curb in a parking lot occasionally. None of these problems were noticed when the tires were first mounted at purchase. Am I being handed a load of manure? could any of this have been done while in their shop or does this stuff happen frequently? There is now a huge display of alloy rims outside in front of the store.

At the very least, I would suggest that you NOT patronize that tire shop again.

“Driving too hot”?
What exactly does that mean?

The tools in your van led to deformation of the wheels?

You should buy alloy rims because “they tolerate heat better”?

And, they just happen to be pushing alloy wheels this month?


I’m not sure which is worse–spewing this kind of male bovine excrement, or selling warranties to people who don’t want to check their tire pressure. In any event, these guys are not to be trusted.

I suggest that you have your regular mechanic (I presume that you do have a regular mechanic) check the “run-out” of your wheels. More than likely, there is nothing wrong with them. If they are bent, simply replace them with wheels from a junkyard.

Incidentally, just in case there are any others in this forum who live in your locale, I think you owe it to those folks to post the name of this shady tire business.

You’re conversing with crooks.

If he spun the wheel on the machine and a showed you that the RIM (not the tire tread) was wobbling slightly, than it is possible that you’ve bent a rim. But they don’t uaually bend laterally (sideways) like that.

The speech about the “hot” and the “heat tolerance” were pure, inadultrated BS. Your wheel would have to get almost glowing hot to warp from heat…and a wobbly wheel would be the least of your problems.

If your brakes are pulsating and you’re actually talking about a warped disc, than I misinterpreted your post, so post back and we’ll start over, but that’s not what I’m reading.

Go elsewhere. These guys have been trained to “find” an “unwarranted problem” every time someone comes in for their rotation…even of they have to make one up.

Some alloy whees are stronger than steel, but most are designed for the look and not for strength. If you (or another driver) happen to hit the curbs often or if you hit potholes each spring, that could be a problem.

I agree with VDCdriver.  Find a new shop.

an extended warranty company trying to get out of paying for it’s services; completely unheard of…

They nailed you for the extra profit of the “full warranty,” and now they’re trying to make sure you can never claim anything under it.

Yes, you are being handed a load of manure. Everything they told you is BOGUS. They’re adding insult to injury.

I agree with VDCdriver. For the benefit of others in your area, please post the name of this place, so people can avoid doing business with them.

The warrantee is for road hazards. Should you get a nail in your tire, the seller has to honor the warrantee unless he can prove that the nail got into your tire because the rim was bent/ you have steel rims/ you carry tools/ etc.

If you had a blowout from a sidewall failure, the only excuse they might use is the weight of the tools, but again, they would have to prove that the total weight of the van, the tools and you and any other passengers exceed the MGVW (max gross vehicle weight) for your vehicle.

Looking at the treads of a tire head on as the tire is spun is NOT a test of the rims trueness (is that a word?). It does indicate that the tire is not perfectly round and true. A small amount of variation can be expected.

To see if a rim is running true, You spin it and observe the edge of the rim, preferably with a magnetic jig and dial indicator.

My dad got a Caddy STS a couple years ago, and the dealer checked his tires TWICE, and I still found them at 15 PSI. I inflated the tires properly myself, and there has since been no problem. In fact, I had to let some air out when the weather got hot.

I think you need to find a reputable independent tire shop. For what you paid for this “warranty”, which is apparently worthless, you probably could have bought a good tire gauge, a jack and stands, and a tire iron or breaker bar. How hard is it to check pressure for Pete’s sake?!

Ask for the tire people to provide you with their concerns in writing and then listen to the fast talk as to why they can’t do that. You might want to mention that you would like a refund for the extended warranty if it is not going to work for you. Make notes of what they told you that does not smell right and ask them to sign them as having said it.

Take careful notes of everything so you can complain to your state’s attorney general as you suspect that you may be unfairly treated.

If you have a legitimate claim that is denied, you can take it to small claims court.

You now have some weapons from which to choose.

Unfortunately It would seem that you have fallen victim to a less than honest/competent tire change flunky. First talk to the manager, then if no other recourse, find another tire shop. I would LIKE to know where you got such stellar advice too!

It’s possible the rims are OK and you got hold of some tires that are out of round or have a broken belt. My dad got a set of tires many years ago and one of them was out of round. He took the car back for inspection because it wasn’t handling right and they replaced the tire. I think if anything was that bad you should be able to feel it in the way the truck handles. The only thing I’d suggest is that you personally check the rims for damage that could have resulted from hitting a curb or pot hole and if nothing is found then the tire shop is feeding you a line of BS.

Sounds like Town Fair Tire???

Find a good local tire place. I go to one in NH…their prices are competitive and they don’t try to screw you.

The name of the company is Discount Tire America. They are less than a mile away from me & I drive by everyday so I thought if I bought all new tires from them for both vehicles [which they needed] I would be a “customer in good standing” and their nearness would be convenient.

I check the tire pressure but do not keep a written record - the last time I had a vehicle there for rotation the pressure was low, but duh, that is why I dropped by there for the pressure check instead of doing it myself just before my visit [they advertise free pressure checks with tires bought]. They pointed out the clause in the warranty that says the owner is obligated to keep the tire pressure correct.

I bought the “full coverage” warranty when after a couple weeks of purchase I picked up a two pronged metal staple in a tire. I was told since the two holes were so close together it could not be repaired and I needed a new tire. Evidently my basic warranty didn’t cover a replacement only repair but after I paid $11 more for each tire to upgrade the warranty they replaced the tire “for free”. ::edit:: This was a nice thing for them to do I need to acknowledge, as evidently I didn’t read the warranty that well.

Usually whenever any discussions take place I am talking to at least two people one of them a “manager” or assistant man…

I have another year on my 3 year warranty so I guess I will stick with them but I get the feeling I am treated as someone who just pulled off the interstate [where they are located] that they will not have to deal with again instead of a local customer. I think I am going to wait for obviously incongruent wear on a tire compared to the others before I look for new rims or have them checked by someone else.