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Old 5th January 2016, 12:43   #1
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Default The strange wear & tear of JK Vectra Tyres

My friend has a Cruze for which he had to get all four tires changed due to uneven wear off of treads.

The car came with stock JK Vectra 205/60/R16 91V. They ran for 3 yrs 7 months, 24400 kms only.

While going to Palolem from Pune via Belgavi, he stopped for lunch. After starting again, I noticed that at 20~50 kmph there was slight left-right shake of steering and he could feel that there was uneven bumping feel. At higher speed it was more stable but there was a significant right pull. He went all the way to destination and returned covering about 800kms in those conditions.

On hindsight, there was a bit of pull earlier too for a couple of weeks but that he had simply attributed to misalignment.

So a couple of days back, we took car to our frequented tire management shop and there the tire boy shows us that all tire surfaces are bent (wave patterns) and worn out of shape. There was no rim problem.

There were bulges and flatness on tread surface. Tires were extra hard. There were uneven wears on inner and outer tread lines that we could see and feel with running our hand on surface.

Tire boy suggested to not get tire balancing and alignment done as that would increase the thump and shake.

We were worried about any associated mechanical/suspension issue but he thought there shouldn't be one cause at higher speed the car was behaving as nice except that nasty right pull. There were no other noise or vibration either.

Anyway, we decided to rule that out as well but our go-to garage fellow told on phone that symptoms are mostly related to tires and they need replacement anyway. If any mechanical/suspension issue is there after tire change, would require fixing too.

Considering that we were of opinion that carrying on those tires would add/lead to mech/susp issue due to uneven drive and nasty pull.

Finally, we took the plunge and decided to get the tires changed.

Next question, which tires?

After all available options, price and 'strong' recommendation of tire guy, we picked four Bridgestone Potenza G3 205/60/R16 94H at 26k including valves, balance, and alignment.

First ride review of new tires

All the shake, bump, pull is gone. No mechanical/suspension issues apparent. Alignment showed serious toe errors that were corrected.

The tires are lot softer that JK and hence, tires are more flat at road contact even at 34psi (which is his usual pref). Tire noise is barely audible.

Car is driving straight, handles road beautifully. As far he can remember, it’s smoother, softer, and lighter than when he took out the car first day from shop.

Analysis of JK Vectra strange wear

Now the question, why did JK Vectra go up in flames this fast? 24k run is like dying young for tires.

We guess reasons could be (just theories, maybes):
  1. Leaving car stationary in parking for long durations (15+ days at times). This could have caused tire hardening. Can't do much about it, life is like that.
  2. JK Vectra is anyway reported by many to commit suicide around 15~30k kms, it wasn't very far off then.
  3. Cruze has strong turbo pulls that he loves to utilize while overtaking on city roads. While overtaking, you usually overtake and go left at increasing speed/pull. This could have caused some uneven outer inner tread wear.
  4. JK Vectra gets hard very fast. Ride quality significantly reduced after 10k kms for him. This could have lead to faster wear.
  5. Damn roads! None of them are even, are they? Add to that hard surface roads - both highways and city roads and there is recipe for wear off.
  6. Cruze alignment signature is pretty good for camber, castor and toe. You can adjust only toe. With even slight toe mis-adjustment, heavy loaded car like Cruze will screw any tires. He may have ignored alignment issue far too long I guess. But does a couple of weeks of toe error lead to such wave patterns and uneven wear on all four tires?
Overall he is happy with new tires, except that it has a notch lower speed rating. JK Vectra was 91V, while BS Potenza is 94H. So load carrying capacity is better, but speed cap is lower. V caps at 240kmph while H caps at 210kmph.

So guys! Let me know your views.

Last edited by GTO : 6th January 2016 at 12:08. Reason: No mention of illegally high speeds please. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th January 2016, 13:10   #2
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Default re: The strange wear & tear of JK Vectra Tyres

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack View Post
My friend has a Cruze for which he had to get all four tires changed due to uneven wear off of treads.
I too have read the posts from fellow BHPians about early failure of JK Vectra.

My SX4 is fitted with the same 205/60R16 JK Vectra tyres. I have completed 52000 km and all the tyres are good. Out of 8 mm original thread depth, 3.5 mm depth is still left on the treads. I have no problems with ride quality too. And at my speeds of 80-100 kmph, noise too is not an issue. Already, there is engine noise, some music, air noise, noise of AC blowers etc. So tyre noise is hardly noticed amidst all these noises.

While I get scared reading about the bad reviews of JK Vectra, I am happy with my JK Vectra tyres. This way, they will last upto 80-85k. This means I have saved money for one set of tyres compared to many users who had to replace the tyres at 35-40k. Anyway, I will replace them before 5-6 years, whatever the km reading be.

I get the tyres rotated (all five) at every 5000 - 6000 km. And alignment done every 10000 km (unless I notice left or right pull before 10000 km). I check the air once in 3-4 weeks and always before embarking on an outstation trip.

In case of manufacturing defect, the tyres may have bulges and cracks or a sudden blow-out. If they have worn out, it is mostly due to alignment issue or alignment neglect or due to spirited driving / braking.

Noted your friend's experience with BS Potenza. Two queries:
The price of 26k was for 4 tyres or 5 tyres?
What is the treadwear rating of this tyre? You will see this written on the tyre.

Last edited by GTO : 6th January 2016 at 12:10. Reason: Please quote only the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Thanks
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Old 5th January 2016, 13:37   #3
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Default re: The strange wear & tear of JK Vectra Tyres

One of the vectras on my 5 year old A-star developed a bulge a month back. Dont know what caused it, suddenly there was a thak-thak-thaak sound coming from the rear. On inspection it was found that the vectra has developed a huge bulge out of nowhere. I had done a 1000+ km trip just a week back before this incident without any problem!!

The other 4 tyres(including the spare) are fine as of now. They have done around 20000+ KMs without any problem. Tyres have served good but are noisy.
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:14   #4
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Default Re: The strange wear & tear of JK Vectra Tyres

JK Vectras are among the lousiest tyres on sale in India. I hate them. Take a look at SupremeBaleno's review at this link (JK tyres, simply crappy manufacturing quality!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post
This way, they will last upto 80-85k. This means I have saved money for one set of tyres compared to many users who had to replace the tyres at 35-40k.
Please note that even if a tyre isn't bald and has some tread depth, the grippy part of the rubber would've worn out by 40,000 kms (45,000 kms tops). Rubber also hardens with time. I wouldn't recommend anyone to use the same set of tyres over 40,000 kms.

Tyres that have run 80,000 kms will never be able to manage an emergency manouveur effectively. That can be the difference between life & death.
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Old 6th January 2016, 12:28   #5
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Default Re: The strange wear & tear of JK Vectra Tyres

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
JK Vectras are among the lousiest tyres on sale in India. I hate them. Take a look at SupremeBaleno's review at this link (JK tyres, simply crappy manufacturing quality!).

Please note that even if a tyre isn't bald and has some tread depth, the grippy part of the rubber would've worn out by 40,000 kms (45,000 kms tops). Rubber also hardens with time. I wouldn't recommend anyone to use the same set of tyres over 40,000 kms.

Tyres that have run 80,000 kms will never be able to manage an emergency manouveur effectively. That can be the difference between life & death.
Yes, there are negative reviews about JK Vectra. But I also found negative reviews about other (and some reputed) brands.

I drive sedately. Till now, I have never felt that the tyres have lost grip. The grippy portion of the tyre is defined by the wear indicator on the tyre and I will go by that.

I intend to use the tyres as recommended by the manufacturer (till it is worn up to the wear indicator). In case the tyres complete 5-6 years of service before that, then too I will replace it. If I notice any problems or damages, then too I will replace it.

With my set of stock JK Vectra tyres, I am happy.
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Old 7th January 2016, 15:16   #6
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Default Re: The strange wear & tear of JK Vectra Tyres

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack
Now the question, why did JK Vectra go up in flames this fast? 24k run is like dying young for tires.
Simple - crappy manufacturing quality. I had the same experience with all the OE JK Vectras on our Swift - detailed in the link quoted by GTO.

I don't have any reason to believe that in rarely used cars, the tyres get wringed out of shape like we saw with our Swift. The OE Modi Continentals in our 1985 M800 had no such issues even though it used to spend most of its time in the garage, than on the road.

Our A-Star_AT also has Vectras on it. Car has done less than 25K kms in 5 years and no issues till date, but I would not be surprised if they also go the Swift way.

Same Vectras on our 2013 A-Star_MT too - again no issues till now. Time will tell.
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Old 26th March 2016, 17:43   #7
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Default Re: The strange wear & tear of JK Vectra Tyres

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno
Our A-Star_AT also has Vectras on it. Car has done less than 25K kms in 5 years and no issues till date, but I would not be surprised if they also go the Swift way.
And the day is here. Saga starts on the A-Star_AT too. More details here : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...quality-7.html (JK tyres, simply crappy manufacturing quality!)
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