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Old 02-28-2014, 09:18 AM
 
1,162 posts, read 1,360,605 times
Reputation: 1641

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First of all thanks for the help with the other topics on picking a new car, the Mrs. and I decided to wait for kid no2 to come about and then we'll likely get a mini-van with some umph (we will be in a better place $$$ wise then too, so although prices are low now and it makes overall better sense to buy now, it'll be easier on the budget to buy later).

So now I've got to do some work on my car to keep it up and going for another year or two (tires, transmission fluid, shocks and struts; that was part of the better sense of buying a new car now).

My most pressing issue is my tires:

Short-
1 Continental tire (OEM) w/62k miles, some cracking near rim, plenty of tread left (5.75 years old)
2 P4 tires w/34k miles, slightly more cracking, plenty of tread left (slight dent on one tire sidewall) (5 years old)
1 P4 tire w/24k miles on it, very light crack on sidewall near rim, lots of tread left (4 years old).
Rarely rotated.

Questions:

1) Are cracks always a concern?

2) Would rotations or alignment have any effect on what seems to be dry rot?

3) Do I have any chance of getting a partial Warrenty repair on the P4's given their rapid cracking (I've owned the P4 tires for just shy of 4 years and 3.5 years respectively)?

Long-

In 2010 wife hit a curb and tore a chunk out of the sidewall of one of the OEM tires, I replaced the set with 2 P4's when the local tire shop said it was fine to do so as they were all bi-directional. These tires were DOT dated a year old when I bought them.

In 2011 I ran over a nail on an OEM tire, I took the tire to the shop thinking it'd get patched, the same guy as in 2010 told me there wasn't enough tread left to patch, and I had to get a new tire so I got another P4 (now I know that was a fib, as 30k later it's match is still in great tread shape). I wasn't thinking right and didn't swap out the pair.

From then on no one would rotate the tires except front to back and back to front, so it was done haphazardly.

Now I am sitting on 1 old OEM tire in ok shape
2 P4's with lots of tread, but some cracking
1 P4 that is or actually new with the tread, but is just starting to show the cracks.

Do I attempt to get some sort of assistance from the tire shop as the tread is fine it's just the sidewalls that are failing, or do I just go and buy a new set of tires from the net and call it good on the old ones all lasting fourish years?
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:29 AM
 
2,600 posts, read 6,109,570 times
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Too many issues.

Buy a new set of (4) tires and have the vehicle aligned (4-wheel alignment).

Start balancing and rotating the new set every 5000 miles.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Florida
3,241 posts, read 4,577,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need4speed2012 View Post
Too many issues.

Buy a new set of (4) tires and have the vehicle aligned (4-wheel alignment).

Start balancing and rotating the new set every 5000 miles.


That's my suggestion as well.

I cannot understate the importance of tires, they are the key to controlling your vehicle.

If money is an issue, a lot of tire places will have 0% financing if you qualify. Check out places like Discount Tire or even Sam's Club or Costco.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:55 AM
 
2,469 posts, read 2,979,826 times
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I got lost reading through that. But what I got was that you have different tire types/brands, different mileage, different wear, etc.

I just replaced all 4 tires on my car this past week. I had 4 Dunlop SP Sport 01 A/S, two were replaced after bubbling due to potholes so they were much newer. However the other two were down to the wear bars and I hated the Dunlops from day 1. Bad performance in dry, wet, etc. Upgraded the shoes to General G Max AS-03 and love them. Working on selling the two good Dunlops on CL now.

Switch all 4 to a decent brand and keep them rotated every oil change. That is if you change your oil every 6-10k.

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Old 02-28-2014, 10:55 AM
 
1,162 posts, read 1,360,605 times
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Money isn't an issue, just wasn't sure if this was an issue (looks like it is) and the tires would be warrantied for the dry rot. Contacted Pirelli a few minutes ago and they cover dry rot no matter the other things you've done to your tires and prorate the tires based on tread depth left.

So I'm off to the local tire guys, hoping they can put me in new tires for cheaper than non-warranty work at Costco.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:12 AM
 
1,162 posts, read 1,360,605 times
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Or not. The local tire guys no longer stock this tire (it's been discontinued) and only have the way more expensive versions in stock. Costco it is.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,224,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrenter223 View Post
Or not. The local tire guys no longer stock this tire (it's been discontinued) and only have the way more expensive versions in stock. Costco it is.
Go to Discount Tire. They DO honor the tread life and have a great selection. Service is excellent and they usually know more about tires than most. Get a mid-level tire as most have excellent road characteristics and wear. Make sure you keep your receipt although, they will have the records for you, forever.

Skip the extended road hazard warranty. Do buy the lifetime balance and rotation as they will honor it and NOT stick you in the back of the line when you come in as it is non-revenue bearing work.

Pirelli's are good, rubber is just too soft and have an average life expectancy
Michellin's. Hard to go wrong. Longer tread life due to harder, yet pliable rubber compounds
Cooper's are good. Similar to Pirelli
Do NOT buy a Chinese tire. Just not there yet.
HanKook/Korean are "okay"
Goodyears are "okay"
Goodrich are "okay"

Best value? Usually Michelin in the Harmony or Discovery models. Coopers are a good value tire as well although they have gotten pricey as of late. If you can't make up your mind, buy the Michellins due to tread life. When they are worn down before their guarantee (and they all will be) go back, get your credit, apply to your new set and move on.

Also, make sure they put in the longest tire stems possible. Easier to get to in order to inflate your tires as needed. The longest stick out juuuuuuuuust enough to make this Quick Trip task easy. Always, always get new stems when you get new tires. Always, always rotate every 5-6k miles.

Enjoy.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:58 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,806 posts, read 54,470,896 times
Reputation: 31111
Despite any tread wear warranty, no one should keep the same tires more than 5-6 years. The sidewall cracking comes with age, but the tread rubber also becomes hard and doesn't grip as well. Living in hills where we get some snow but also freezing fog and lots of rain I never keep tires more than 4 years.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:05 PM
 
1,162 posts, read 1,360,605 times
Reputation: 1641
No discount tire here. But I did end up taking the car into the shop that sold them to me and the new manager (I like this guy, seems real and has done right by me in the past) says that the cracking isn't a concern.

Does that sound right to you? I mean it looks pretty superficial (light cracks) and is only about an in out from the rim and doesn't leak, but these tires are the same age as the ones on my other car (also a civic) and have always been aired up, and actually have 4k less miles than my other car.

Even if I got the warranty it would only save me a hundred or so, so if you guys, my honest mechanics, think it's an issue it's no loss to go out of warranty.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,269,803 times
Reputation: 36087
My take on tires:

I buy the cheapest I can get, preferably with a name on the side I recognize, like Kelly or Cooper, somebody with a reputation to protect. They've been around for 100 years. (Exactly, in the case of Cooper -- Kelly, 120.)

I buy new ones often, when I have the slightest concern about tread wear. It is cheaper to buy two sets of cheap ones than one set expensive, besides going twice as long feeling the security of new tires. I've never heard of an accident resulting from tire failure. They just don't fail, not at any price. A somewhat inferior tread design is perfectly safe as long as you don't drive in a way that pushes your tires to their limit. Especially if your vehicle is older, with imperfect front end components with long years of wear. It might be impossible to get perfect enough alignment to max out your tire life.

Visibly apparent defects in tires mean nothing. Sidewall cracks will always appear, and a casting dent is normal even in a brand new tire.

Learn to feel for cupping, and check often for tread-wear signs of over- or under-inflation.
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