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Old 15th September 2011, 23:21   #1
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Unhappy The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Hello everybody,

This is a very curious case which has left me with mixed feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and bewilderment. In spite of trying every possible option, I have not been able to find a proper solution, hence reaching out to you for thoughts. Since the post is big, I will put in parts.

The cast
The Heroine: Sexy White Civic (pic with my son and doggy below)
Main Characters: Me , Bridgestone, Honda service center, Honda, Yokohama, M-Tyre
Villain : To be identified


Introduction of the characters
Civic : well known for giving the adrenaline rush amongst other good feelings, brings a smile every time I get in.
Me: A software professional; In past 16+ years my cars have been : Maruti Omni, Maruti 800, WagonR, Maruti Esteem, Honda City, Honda Accord, BMW X5, Honda Odyssey, Honda Civic . I have crunched over 1,60,000 Kms on various terrains in India, US, UK
Bridgestone, Yokohoma – Car shoes companies
Honda Service Center, Mysore
Honda – Creator of my Civic
M-Tyres – biggest supplier of tyres in Mysore and provider of some machinery to Honda service center in Mysore

The Case
In 27K kms, tyres changes 3 times Bridgestone, Yokohama A-Drive & Yokohama DB series (Premium Range), the brand new premium range tyres also found bad as per Honda service center, Tyre company disagrees! Is the problem with Car, tyres or service center? Everybody is pointing fingers at the other.

Problem : Rumbling sound Accused : Bridgestone - Bad in 22K kms Reasons given : Chemical spill, road, civic eats more rubber

Problem : Pulling to left Accused :Yokohama A-Drive - Bad in 4k Kms Reasons given : No problem, inherent behaviour in road, tyre mark & valve not aligned properly, manufacturing moulds 10 yr old, inherent manufacturing defect

Problem : Pulling to left Accused :Yokohama DB series - Bad in 0 Kms Reasons given : Yokohamas are not meant for Civic



The Details
As you would see from above, I have a decent driving experience across a range of cars and roads. I have changed many a cars, not for problems but upgrades, changes in my location etc. But the problem that I am facing now, I have never faced before.

Feb 2011 - Without going too much in the past, let me start –with 22K+ on odo now, I took the car for its regular service to Honda service center. 25k service was done as 6 months were over from last service. I noticed a rumbling sound which used to come when car was between 40-60 Kmph and put its down as something to be checked. The car was very nicely serviced and handed over to me. On driving, I noticed the decibel levels increasing a little bit and after 2-3 days, I again take her back to service station. After multiple rounds of rotation, alignment & balancing the problem was diagnosed as - tyres which were stock Bridgestone. The treads were checked and they were absolutely fine. During various stages of discussions, I was told by service advisor : I have driven over some chemical spill which has altered the character of all 4 tyres. I didn’t recall when I swam through the chemical pool. For a second opinion, I took the car to M-Tyre. They checked – aligned, balanced again and said tyres don’t have a problem instead they have enough tread to last another 10K. I take the car back to service center and another round of check, rotation, balancing – they put another set of tyres from another Civic and drive – the sound went away. “Sir, please change your tyres now’ So, I go back to M-Tyre and ask them for Michelins. Unfortunately, they were not available and I settle for Yokohama A-Drive (195/65). I pay 17500 for tyres and additional for balancing, alignment etc. Voila! no sound and car is absolutely silent and is pleasure to drive. contd.....
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The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)-civic.jpg  


Last edited by punkuz : 16th September 2011 at 07:43. Reason: corrected typos
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Old 15th September 2011, 23:23   #2
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Part2

Aug 2011, last week

A call from service center – ‘Sir, 6 months due, please come for service’. The car was having around 27K on its odo. I take the car for service – there were no complaints except for one – car was pulling towards left. The service advisor tells me – it is alignment issue, we will fix. Car is handed over to me on time. I drive and find that car still continues to pull left – if I remove the hands off the steering , before I can count 5 car will move towards left. I take the car back again and after another round of rotation – left wheels moved to right and right to left. The car is driven and it still continues to pull towards left. Another round, of rotation, balancing, alignment – another test drive – car continues to pull towards left. I was told road is a problem, so we try multiple stretches on highway, lanes, straight roads but the problem continues. I am given the car back. I take the car in my office parking lot which is level and straight – car is consistent in its behaviour of pulling left. I again drive, the moment I take my hands off the steering the car moved left even before I could count 5.

Frustrated by now with reasons given by service advisor, I write a complaint to Honda through their website that my request is not being taken seriously. A copy of the mail comes to me along with a copy to service center. Nobody calls me from Honda Company but the service center MD calls me. He appears to be a very soft and suave person and after patiently listening to my problem, he assures me that he will look into the problem personally and requests me to bring the car back. I again take the car to service center. Car is there for two days and then I get a call from service supervisor – ‘Sir, we have thoroughly checked the car. The problem is with tyres. You please talk to M-Tyre who have sold the tyres. You can get them here and we will show it to them’. At this time, new tyres had run only about 4000 kms. I get angry and refuse to believe him. The gentleman MD calls me and I told him that in 4k kms, the problem is again found with tyres and I am being asked to run around. He is very polite and helpful and he says that though you have bought tyres from outside, he will help me. He offered to call Yokohama service person directly and get my problem resolved. I thanked him.

Yokohama service person comes. He does his ritual of rotation, alignment, balancing. And tells me problem is resolved. I drive again – the car again pulls to left. He tells me – Road is a problem – we go to a flat road – car again pulls left. ‘Sir , we will fix it don’t worry’ – right tyres again moved to left and left to right. The car doesn’t pull to right but still moves to left. Now the Yokohama service person investigates each wheel very closely- ‘Voila, problem found, Sir. The mark on tyre which needs to be aligned with valve is not aligned. M-tyre have not put the tyre properly’. Wheels are taken off and mark is aligned. An ecstatic service supervisor tells me – ‘you should always get tyres changed at Honda service center. People don’t know how to change’. Somehow , I am not convinced. We again do a drive – car again pulls to the left. Now, Mr Yokohama is sweating, he gets onto a call with his manager and after 30 min tells me that we will replace the tyres. Contd....

Last edited by punkuz : 16th September 2011 at 06:47. Reason: corrected the typos
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Old 15th September 2011, 23:24   #3
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Part 3

Honda Supervisor's Office
I am led into Honda service supervisor’s room. Mr Yokohama shows me a brochure and both of them tell me that A-drives are actually not meant for big cars like Civic and suggest that since they are replacing I should go for Yokohama Db series by paying the difference as these are slightly expensive. However, they are super silent, wider (205/65) , have a better grip and meant for Civic. I go into customer lounge and did a search on T-BHP and find that many are using Yokohama DB satisfactorily. I agree to their suggestion. It is decided that Mr Yokohama will deliver the tyres to M-tyre who are the dealers. The Honda supervisor suggests that let M-tyres deliver the tyres to service center and I should bring the car to service center and get the tyre changes done there only. Thus agreed, Mr Yokohama promises to deliver the tyres on Tuesday ( it was Fri then). I will have to pay 11650 difference for 4-tyres, these tyres are 6250 rs per tyre with vat. In spite of not being fully convinced, but left with no other option, I agreed.

Tyres are not delivered for more than 2 weeks. During this period, everyday twice, I follow up with Mr Yokohama. He keeps on assuring me with a ‘moving’ today/tomorrow. Finally the d-day arrives – 14th sep 2011. The Honda supervisor calls me and tells me to come to service center by 5 PM. M-Tyre people will bring the tyre and I need to pay in cash, the difference amount, to them.

I take the car to service center. M-tyre people are not there. He makes frantic calls as I was waiting and he was embarrassed. The Yokohama tyres Db series in shining black and sticker et all are delivered at 545PM. The tyre changing process starts. During this time, the supervisor shares a secret which Mr Yokohama had told him. The manufacturing moulds of A-drive are more than 10 years old and hence there is an inherent manufacturing defect. I ask him – then all A-drives are defective? He shrugs his shoulder.
It was becoming 7 PM by then and lights were shutting off. Everybody was in a hurry to go home. I see a person rushing towards me with a sheet. ‘Sir, the problem is solved now. Our supervisor has prepared the bill for this and can you please swipe your card now?” I look at the bill – it was 4500 for all rounds of balancing/alignement which they had done. I look at my car – she was still on hoist getting alignment of her shoes done. I told him, I want to do a test drive first – they agreed.

The car comes down and is reversed for a test drive. The new tyres make a nice gripping sound on smooth surface as they move. First the supervisor and mechanic alone go for a test drive and come back. ‘The problem is solved!’, they tell me but they don’t look into my eyes. I told them, I want to drive myself and we again start. 1,2,3,4,5 and car again pulls to left. Frustrated, dejected, we drive back - the service center was closing and MD was standing outside and I tell him the entire problem again. He says he is also not able to believe that problem is still there and promises to personally look into next day. 15 Sep – I again take car to them. Whole day the car is with them and I am asked to come at 4 PM. Taking time out from hectic schedule, I reach the service center and the supervisor tells me that problem is fixed. I ask him what is the problem. He says msyteriously– our MD will himself tell you. I wait. contd....

Last edited by punkuz : 16th September 2011 at 06:47. Reason: corrected typos
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Old 15th September 2011, 23:24   #4
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Part 4

15 Sep 2011, Honda Service Center
The MD – his usual polite and suave self comes. I ask him – whats the mystery, please tell me. My car comes to the gate– I notice it's on Michelins not the new DB series. He himself drives the car. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 – car drives straight and then pulls left. He tells me, that though it is unbelievable but even the new tyres are bad! Yokohama DB tyres are put on another Civic and it pulls to left. I am totally frustrated, bewildered and saddened. I am asked to discuss with Yokohama and they will support me. They also tell me Honda doesn’t recommend Yokohama tyres. I call up Mr Yokohama – he refuses to believe he says they sell tyres to civic and have not come across with this issue; the problem is with car and/or service center. There is no other Honda service center in Mysore to which I can go to. He discusses with his manager and tells me that he will come with his manager to service center on Saturday 17th Sep and I should bring my car then.

In the 27K odd KM, the only part that has been found defective is tyres though of two different companies with different manifestations – one with rumbling sound and another with pull to left. Even if left tyres are put on right, car still pulls to left. Except for this car has not given any problems.
This is the current situation where I request your thoughts
.

Last edited by punkuz : 16th September 2011 at 06:48. Reason: formatted
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Old 16th September 2011, 00:08   #5
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

I am no expert on tyres, though i had the good fortune to spend time with a technical expert on tyres from Japan.

Upon me asking him which are the tires with the best quality, the answer given was that Michelin & Bridgestone tyres are the best in terms of meeting the quality requirements.

Other brands like Yoko, Conti etc are not bad in any ways, though if one looks close technically, they may not be meeting all technical requirements.

Again i am no expert, though on all our cars at home, I have BS/Good year & Michelin fitted with no major issues with any of them ! Good years are slightly noisy though :(
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Old 17th September 2011, 14:54   #6
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Technical Forum.
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Old 17th September 2011, 15:24   #7
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

I had a problem long back with my Escort. Went through two sets of tyres,, Bridgestone and Goodyear, and it was finally disgnosed by the Ford people as adjustment of the steering geometry of the car. My car had possibly hit a pothole or other underbody object hard enough to upset this. I had to replace the tie rods and the front rod bushes. It solved the problem, and I sold the car soon after so don't have any long-term feedback on this.
In your case it cannot possibly be the tyres. I've had both A-drives and DB (which I use now), they are good tyres, and especially the DBs are phenomenal value for money.
I would also look for a dragging front brake, as well as worn-out lower ball joints. Lastly, see if the suspension needs overhauling, though if you've run less than 30,000 km, it does not seem likely.
But it certainly is not the tyres.

Last edited by filcord : 17th September 2011 at 15:25.
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Old 17th September 2011, 15:29   #8
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by filcord View Post
....
But it certainly is not the tyres.
I too feel that it is certainly not tyres. If rotating tyres and replacing them with another one doesnt solve the problem, it seems quite obvious to me that it has something to do with suspension, brakes or camber setup.
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Old 17th September 2011, 16:54   #9
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Nicely recounted. Couple of points:

- If the same problem is occuring with different sets of tyres, maybe there is some problem with the car itself?
- There's nothing inherently wrong with Mihelin A drives. I have them on my Swift and love 'em to death.
- Are you sure you're not being oversensitive with this "to the left" thing? No offence but sometimes one just gets into that kinda frame of mind!

Hope they find a resolution to your problem soon. Alas, am a tyre noob- can offer no constructive help!
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Old 17th September 2011, 19:20   #10
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

The Honda Service center swapped my tyres with a new Civic tyres for test. Now, my Civic starts driving straight and the other Civic dragged towards left. Hence, everybody is diagnosing the problem with tyres. An hour ago, Yokohama Regional Service Manager visited Mysore today and himself drove my Civic with DB series. The car drifted towards left. He has promised to get back to me on Monday with next steps which would probably be refund as this is the highest series and they don't have anything else to offer in their range of products.
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Old 17th September 2011, 20:05   #11
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by punkuz View Post
The Honda Service center swapped my tyres with a new Civic tyres for test. Now, my Civic starts driving straight and the other Civic dragged towards left.
Did you personally drive both the cars after the tyre swap?
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Old 17th September 2011, 20:06   #12
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Yes, I did...
And I must say, I am totally bewildered.
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Old 17th September 2011, 21:42   #13
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

@punkz

did you check your rim all four of them for any signs of damage or bend or run-out or even imbalance in rim ?
this can occur due this too
try this
On your rims install any other tire except for yoko or BS an then try out if the car still pulls then its rims that are to blame and not tires and if she does not pull then tires are at fault.
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Old 17th September 2011, 21:51   #14
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Sell the car. Find a therapist. Get yourself treated for OCD

Then buy a new car.
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Old 17th September 2011, 21:53   #15
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Default Re: The curious case of sexy Civic and its shoes? (Sherlock Holmes needed)

Quote:
The Honda Service center swapped my tyres with a new Civic tyres for test. Now, my Civic starts driving straight and the other Civic dragged towards left.
Am no expert, but were only tyres swapped on your rims or were the rims and tyres of the other car installed on your car and then checked?
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