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Tire complaint

new tires (20k miles) are now ‘humming’ loudly. i went to car shop to inform that the tires are a problem. the vehicle goes into to this shop every 3k miles for oil change, tire rotation, etc. the shop tells me that the shocks (worn) caused the uneven wear. i don’t detect any problem with shocks, why did they not inform me of the shocks diagnosis earlier, if the shocks were a problem? my feeling is they are trying to avoid responsibility for the tire problem.

What Kind Of Shop Is This ? A Tire Store ? Complete Auto Service Shop ? Independent ? National Chain ? Department Store ?


What year explorer? How many miles on car and shocks?

95,000 on car / shocks. 2002.

Does the volume or pitch of the humming change if the steering wheel is turned off-center (i.e. changing lanes)? If yes, the front wheel bearings are going bad.

Ed B.

no change in volume or pitch when steering is off center. i believe it’s uneven wear.

It would not be surprising to find out that you had bad shocks and not notice it in a modern car. The old bounce test does not work well with modern cars. However bad shocks certainly can cause this kind of problem, damaging the tyres in a few thousand miles so that you need new tyres.

complete auto service shop. independent.

If the tires have 20k on them, they aren’t new. They are likley about halfway worn anyway. And yes work shocks can indeed cause irregular tire wear. And after 9 years and 95k miles it’s entirely possible that the shocks are worn.

failed to mention, that the shop said they’d replace shocks and the tire wear problem would work itself out!

2 thoughts:

It is likely that the problem is irregular wear - which is caused by misalignment and aggravated by insufficient rotation precatices and insufficient inflation pressure. So the obvious thing to do is get an alignment.

But you should be aware that the alignment specs published by the vehicle manufacturers have too wide a range of acceptable values. In other words the tolerance is too wide - by half.

And my second thought is that Explorers are kind of known to be sensitive to tire/road noise. They are also kind of known to create tire wear problems.

failed to mention, that the shop said they’d replace shocks and the tire wear problem would work itself out!
Sounds like reason to go elsewhere. Tires don’t work their way out anymore than a bad battery gets better. Once tires go bad, they stay bad and only new ones (shaving may help) is the solution. IMO, it’s not a one step fix.

thanks for input.