Tire problems

I have a 2005 Audi A8L. I bought it at 20,000 miles. I had to replace the original tires at 35000 due to bad road noise, including a loud thumping noise. The wheels were aligned when the new tires went on.

A year later (last month) at 43000 miles, I went on a long trip and put 5400 miles on in 16 days. About 2/3 of the way through that trip I noticed the tire noise was increasing dramatically and the thumping was starting. The tires were beginning to sound just like those I had replaced.

Tire pressure was spot on ( I check often). The tire dealer says the alignment is bad and that is what ruined the tires. I was told I should have the alignment checked twice each year. Audi recommends once per year.

The car exhibits no other symtoms of improper alignment. The steering wheel is dead center and the car does not pull in either direction at any speed.

How could a car that was properly aligned be knocked out of alignment and show no symtoms? Would that not require that at least two wheels were knocked out of alignmetn in exactly the same directioin and degree? Statistically, that seems nearly impossible.


When you check the pressure, are you using the number printed on the tire or are you using the recommended pressure for your car?

If you are over-inflating your tires (by going by the number on the side of the tires), you might be causing the premature wear and possibly tread separation.

I’m using the tire pressures recommended for the car. I have a theory that the wheels were not properly aligned when the new tires went on. If they were mis-aligned in the same manner, that could explain why the car did not pull in either direction.
Does this theory hold water?

Alignment problems can happen without manifesting themselves in a pull to the right or the left. I just replaced all four tires on my car and the alignment was off without showing any symptoms.

Check out this Wikipedia article on wheel alignment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_alignment
With camber problems, the car would steer straight, especially if both sides were equally off. Toe angle problems are the ones that usually make the car pull to one side.

What kind of roads do you drive on? Are they smooth and well-maintained or do you routinely drive through potholes and over bumpy roads? That could explain the high frequency of your problems.

How fast to you take corners? Taking corners too fast can often lead to the need for camber adjustments.

What brand of tires are you using? Perhaps it is time to look into alternatives. My car originally came with Dunlop tires. I didn’t care for them and I was much happier when I changed brands.

I think it is safe to say you could benefit from getting a second opinion, especially if you can find a mechanic who is willing to take the time to explain these things to you.