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What should I do next...Tire replacement or do a an oil change?

My next thing on my punch list for my 2002 Kia Sedona Mini van with 149,000+ miles on it is either to replace the driver side back tire which has some slight cupping on it, but according to the dealership is still okay to drive on, or get an oil change as I am just about at 5,000 miles/7 monthes since my last change. I have already replaced the front driver side wheel about 2 months ago as the old one blew out. The two tires on the passanger side both have good tred left on them as does the driver back, just the cupping issue. So should I go with the new tire or new oil?

Has anyone given you any possibel cause for the cupping? Have you had an alignment recently?

I’d be reluctant to change the tire until I found out what was causing the cupping. Wost case, I’d put some new struts/shocks on the rear. At 149,000 you’re probably due.

An oil change is a necessary part of ownership also. You can save money if you learn to do your own.

Post back.

Get the alignment checked, and have them test the wheel bearings (on that wheel, esp.) while they’re at it.

I towed a car on a tow dolly cross-country, and noticed severe cupping after about 800 mi. Pulled the caps off the hubs, and the bearing assemblies were loose, missing the lockring, and one was contaminated with water.

Your car (99.44% sure) does not have adjustable bearings, but those on the car can wear out. This is easily checkable with the wheels off the ground.

Had the alignment checked and done back in Feb of 2011 when I was told about the back tire. My guess is that either the tire was that way when put on my van, or the driving of the van which was out of alignment caused it. I am betting the used car lot I bought the van from put the four tires on the van that were on it when I bought it because they were four different tires. I asked the dealship back in Feb 2011 when I had the aligment done should I have the tire replaced, they said that with the alignment and overall good condition of the tire that replacement wasn’t an issue and driving wise there are zero issues with handling or such. The shock on that wheel needs to be replaced at some point but again the dealership inspected it and said it still had some life in it.

Doing the oil change myself is NOT an option. the location of the filter is near impossible to get to unless you have it up on a lift and even then, I was shown how hard it was to get to and remove…I have no issue paying a professional the $25 to do the oil change.

Why is this a choice?

If your owner’s manual says you’re due for an oil change, then you need it to avoid possible engine damage, so get it.

As for the tire, as others have said, you need to fix the issue that caused the cupping unless you want to ruin the new tire as well. Once that’s done, you want the two better tires on the back, not on the left side. I do hope you’re using identical tires for these replacements.

No way of knowing what caused it, tire could have been that way when put on my van. I know it has not gotten worse since I had the aligment done so maybe it was that. Oil changes are important but I don’t do alot of driving so wasn’t sure which to go with at this point.

bertrand wrote:
Oil changes are important but I don’t do alot of driving so wasn’t sure which to go with at this point.

Again, I don’t follow why this is a choice. Your owner’s manual isn’t going to say that your oil needs to be changed at a certain mileage and time unless you happen to need a tire at the same time.

What does the owners manual say the interval for oil changes is? There’s usually two, depending upon the type of road conditions you encounter. Anyway look it up. Let the owners manual be your guide. If the manual says change the oil, that’s the first priority.

I would prefer driving while over due for an oil change rather than driving on unsafe tires.

I’ve noticed lots of front wheel drive cars have problems with tires cupping on the rear if they are not kept rotated regularly. The original Goodyear tires on my '97 Escort wagon did the same thing, although they were rotated they weren’t rotated as often as they should have been. The front tires were still straight, but the rears were cupped. A broken belt in the tire or bad strut could also have an impact on the tire cupping. If you agree the tire is safe as the dealership told you I’d do the oil change and continue using the cupped tire until the tread shows it needs replacing if it’s not too much of a nuisance while driving.

Oil change is higher priority as that is key to keeping your motor happy. The tire issue is tricky, it is safe but noisy. Noise is inconvienent but that’s all. To really get to the bottom of the tire issue you need a 4 wheel alignment then 4 new tires. Since that might be out your budget constrictions right now, live with the tire and noise. When it gets to be more than you can bear, it will take some $$$ for those new tires and getting them without an alignment is just setting you up for more issues with those expensive new tires. You could also be looking at new shocks and struts as contributing to the cupping, so that just adds to the cost of a real solution to the noise.

At the age of the van and your budget I think you are stuck with noisy tires for now. Perhaps you can find some salvage yard tires of the correct size as a cheapie solution.

FordMan1959 Quote: “I’ve noticed lots of front wheel drive cars have problems with tires cupping on the rear if they are not kept rotated regularly.” Unquote

I completely agree with this. Every front driver that we have owned and there have been more than a few, with the exception of our newest one, a 2009 car, developed cupping on the rear tires’ outer tread rows if I got lazy and delayed tire rotation. The problem was never shocks or bearings as the mileage was never high enough to expect worn parts as we have never bought a used front driver, only new. The cupping seems harmless except for the noise that eventually develops and begins on tire rotation to the front.

Since cupping is slight and not really a safety issue my vote is for the oil change; and I hope you raise the hood on a regular basis and check the oil level.
Trashed engines due to not doing so is becoming an epidemic.

Actually there is zero noise, I can drive on smoot payment and hear nothing, I drive on bad payment and hear nothing from that back end and I drive alot with my window down and have have driven with the window is up. I heard the barings going on my front wheel almost immediatly, but with the back tire, I have zero handling issues or noise. I wouldn’t even know about if not shown by the dealership when they went to do the alignment. They had it up and spun it and you could see it slightly. But again they didn’t seem that concerned.

I check my oil weekly, usually on the weekends. I have noticed that I am losing oil at about a quarter of a quart over about 500-600 miles or so. I keep it toped off and always have it changed out around the 5000 miles area, thus right now I am at about 400 miles from 5000, thus the decision of oil change or tire swap.

Since the back tire is cuped, I figured it’s not a good idea to rotate and put it on the front as it would be worse off driving wise, once I get a new tire I plan on putting it and the other rather new one (gotten in Jan) on the back and have the other two put on the front.

3 things ALL at once

rear shocks - 2 new matching back tires - oil change

You can do the rear shocks easily yourself as long as they are not inside coil springs
You are having to choose between a couple hundred on tires or a $25 oil change???

If you have a couple hundred for tires then whats the big deal with an extra 25 bucks?