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Tires done in 17,000 miles

I recently took my car in to the dealer for scheduled maintenance. They took me back and showed me that all four tires were worn down to the wear indicators. (A couple days before I brought it in I did notice the front-left tire was worn on the outside.) At first I was told that this was odd by the service guy. I guess I could’ve avoided the problem if I had the tires rotated and caught the problem earlier. Still it didn’t sit right with me that the tires wore out by 17,000 miles. So I went to talk to the General Manager. It had the service manage come and talk to me. He told the tech found a toe-in problem on the back tires. Sounds like my bad for not having the tires checked. However I am still wondering if I should just accept this or try again to get some satisfaction (i.e. monetary restitution) for what happened. Any thoughts.

One thing to add I had to take the car back to the dealer for an alignment issue within the first week of owning the vehicle (new).

17,000 is very poor mileage for modern radial tires on a new car. It does not sound like you are the road racer, burn rubber style of driver so there is something wrong with either the car or the tires.

I’m assuming you have the paperwork on the alignment done when you first got the car, that it was done by the dealer you bought the car from, and that is the same dealer you are talking to now. If the car is properly aligned and the tires are properly inflated you should expect 35,000 to 40,000 miles from original equipment radial tires. That didn’t happen here. You were told the rear tires were adjusted with too much toe in, but these are guys that did that alignment.

They will try to say they aligned the car properly and that it got out of alignment on its own. That is possible. It is also possible that the alignment machine they used was not calibrated properly so it said the tires were aligned when they weren’t. If the dealer wants to keep you as a good customer you will have to negotiate a solution.

I suggest they sell you a new set of tires at cost, like 40% - 50% off normal price. They install them for free and do another alignment for free. You got about 1/2 the expected life of the tires so you may be happy to get another set at about 1/2 price.

I bought a 2003 Honda Civic equipped with Firestone tires. They only lasted 23,000 miles but I must admit to some very racer boy type driving. I put Michelin tires on the car and they are close to replacement time with 81K on the odometer now. 50,000 miles is what I expect from a tire on a car like my Civic. Your car is a bit heavier but 45-50,000 miles is possible on your car with good tires cared for properly.

You did not tell us how often you checked the pressure of these tires, so we don’t have that very vital bit of information to chew on.

Regardless of that omission, I have to say that someone who does not rotate his/her tires should not be complaining about uneven wear of those tires. And, if you did not regularly (at least a couple of times per month) check your tire pressure, you may well have accelerated the tread wear of your tires.

Additionally, you have to consider that original equipment tires are not normally of the highest quality, and as a result they frequently do not provide long tread wear even with proper inflation and regular rotation.

As to needing an alignment shortly after buying the car, that is not as unusual as you may think. The guys who drive new cars onto and off of the car carrier trucks are not always very careful and they have been known to hit curbs or other objects with the tires of new cars, necessitating alignment of those tires.

The moral of the story is to faithfully check your tire pressure and at the same time visually inspect the tread areas for unusual wear patterns, rotate your tires according to the car manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, and have the alignment checked periodically–especially if there are signs of uneven wear. If you do these things with your new set of tires, you should get much better tread life from them.

Oh, and as to your request for a monetary settlement, I suggest that you not embarrass yourself by making that request.

I agree that knowing the make of vehicle might help and it would also help to know if you bought this car brand new (as in 4 or 5 miles on it) or as a demo/program car/ lease return.

If it was the latter there’s always the possibility the car could have been whacked at some point and repaired. (body wise anyway; who cares about suspension!)

You should also keep in mind that tire warranties do not run as long as the vehicle warranty and not having the tires rotated could be a viable reason for them refusing to do anything.

Without knowing the exact tread wear pattern and the vehicle history I have no idea if this is a car problem or a lack of rotation problem.

There is also the chance that the car was damaged and has had body repair done. New cars have accidents too. Yes, they don’t tell you before you buy it.

You have been give a lot of good advice so I will not repeat it, but I will add that you should check out your owner's manual and look up tyre warranty.  It is usually separate from the rest of the car's warranty and you may be at least partly covered .... or not.

Am I Missing Something, Here?

Is this a new car, new tires, or what? Is 17,000 the total miles on the car or tires? What year, make and model?

It’s not my bad. Please fill me in.