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Tire irregularity


Has anyone had their tires get indentations on the outside surface of them? All four of my tires have this irregularity. Just yesterday I went back to a national major car repair center and asked them to check out my tires for defects under the warranty. I figured I would be covered as the two front tires only had about 5,000miles on them and the two back tires have about 10,000 miles on them (all are the same size). The tech guys said they were not defective and I was free to go on my way. Of course I was not satisfied, especially since these indentations are quite noticeable and go all the way across the outside surface of the tire. Believing this to be a safetly issue, I argued for replacement under the warranty. The manager told me the indentations were due to the area where the two pieces of rubber (the seam) came together and that they were not defective. I continued to ask him to put his explanation in writing. He kept refusing and then denied he even said the indentations were due to the pieces of rubber seamed together! After going a few more rounds with him, all of a sudden, he said, “ok, I’ll replace just the two front tires - no charge.” After thanking him, getting them replaced, and going on my way, both my husband and I are now left wondering if the two back tires need to be replaced (under warranty as I believe they are defective) and if they are safe to drive on - especially at high speeds on the freeway. In all our combined years - over 90! -of driving and owing cars and trucks, we have NEVER had tires do this. Has anyone out there experienced this problem with their tires? Any and all advice and feedback is welcome!


If you’re referring to an indention in the sidewall of the tire then that’s a result of the manufacturing process.
It’s quite normal, hurts nothing, and you’ve jumped the gun by crawling all over the tire store people.

If you are talking about little ripples on the sidewall of the tire, that is not considered a defect. While most tire manufacturers have tightened up their quality control and manufacturing process to eliminate these ripples, they have no effect on the safety or lifespan of the tire…What you are looking at are slight differences in the length of the cords in the radial structure. Some “wraps” were a little bit tighter than others, pulling in a sidewall a little in that spot…

If we may ask, what brand are these tires?

As for “crawling all over the tire store people”, if I had gotten sufficient information along with an explanation like what you’ve given me, that would not have happened. As a woman, I’ve gotten bogus advice and bad service in the past. The tires are Goodyear and Guardsman. Thanks for your help!

Possibly the splice in the bead to bead body cords.

Did you ask them to explain?

I spent a good deal of time today explaining something to someone who already had his mind made up. He refused to listen and thus no progress will be made. It’s very possible that he could’ve handled the situation better, but it’s also possible that he tried. No disrespect meant.

The Guardsman tires are OPP tires made by Goodyear for Sears…(OPP-opening price point). They are not “top of the line” tires…But they are good, serviceable tires and the little ripples in the sidewall perhaps reflects the skill level of the factory hand who laid those tires up on the tire building machine…After he gains some experience, they will move him over to the Eagle line…

In the mean time, not to worry…There was a time when almost ALL radial tires had those little ripples…Drive on…

Caddyman, I like your theory.

I hate to see that you’re upset with me over my comment about crawling all over the tire dealer but you asked for “any and all advice and feedback”, closed quote. You take the bad along with the good if you’re truly objective about it.

By your original post the tire tech guys explained this to you. That was not good enough so you elevated it.
The manger eventually came in on this and his explanation was also apparently not good enough.
Eventually the manager throws another pair of tires your way to replace 2 perfectly good tires just to try and bring peace to the valley.

The tire store people gave you the same explanation that you got here. If something is suspect in the future maybe the best option is to do some checking first before getting upset.

CapriceRacer, who is a tire company rep, needs to weigh in on this. My feeling is that he would agree those indentations are normal.

The staff at that Sears store is sorely lacking in people skills, it seems. Unless the manager was just hired it is somewhat certain that you were not the first to question that indention, watergirl. If you are happy with the pricing and the quality of the service it might be worth overlooking the lack of social skills.

I wonder if inflating the tires with a little bit of Metamucil in the air supply might just clear up this tire irregularity.

If the complaint is about the appearance of the tire, then it seems normal. If the tires perform poorly, won’t hold a balance or exhibit something other than a smooth ride, then you have cause to complain. Taking your tires to a different reputable dealer at your own expense for a second opinion, is always an option.

"…CapriRacer, who is a tire company rep, needs to weigh in on this. My feeling is that he would agree those indentations are normal. …

Yes, I agree 100%.

Like Mountainbike, I too have explained what those are and how they do not affect the performance of a tire - and have been told that I am full of it. I find it interesting that WaterGirl - and I hope she doesn’t take offense - was given the correct explanation and she was able to articulate it here, and yet was not satisfied with even replacing 2 of the tires unnecessarily - she wanted more.

I hope this thread will ease her mind.

Watergirl, you should be aware that Capriracer is a tire engineer and is the guy I turn to here for tire advice. While I can understand your skepticism of the guy at the tire store, Capriracer has no reason not to give you the straight truth, and he’s doing so here. You can trust his judgement.

I wonder if someone put a false bug in the OP’s ear about this alleged problem. The OP says they have a combined 90 years driving experience and have never seen tires do this but apparently the allegedly defective tires were on the car for 5 to 10k miles before this issue surfaced and became a problem for them.

The mind’s eye can very easily picture the scene at the tire store with the manager (who is no doubt overworked with a lot of irons in the fire) becoming increasingly frustrated over someone’s refusal to listen to his explanation. Been there, done that. :wink:

From the other side of the counter, I’ve also had a tire store guy give me a total “song & dance” to try to not have to replace a brand new defective tire. So I can understand the OP’s skepticism. I hope she can accept our posts in the manner in which they were intended, to provide useful information and let her rest with a sense of security about her tires’ integrity.

You get what you pay for.
You can’t buy that guardsman tire at a goodyear store. Goodyear won’t even sell that tire themselves.
Made by goodyear for sale elsewhere, you’re getting about the cheapest tire ever with the goodyear name displayed thereon.

yes, ok4450, I did ask for any and all advice. The tech guy did NOT explain anything - they just wrote not defective on the sheet. It was the manager who did not provide any explanation. I agree I should have checked into these undulations as I’ve discovered they are called. My intent was not to elevate the situation but perhaps I did. Point taken.

I like Triedqaq’s idea of trying some Metamucil - laugh on! Humor is perhaps the best way to handle tense situations!

@watergirl, thanks for keeping an open mind. I find that I learn a lot more when I remember to do that. I just wish I remembered more often than I do.