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Old 20th March 2008, 13:01   #1
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Default Tyre wear woes

I am writing this on behalf of my friend, who owns a Santro Xing.
He purchased it in October 2006 and it has run about 18000km so far. Immediately after purchase, he shod it with alloy wheels and Michelin tyres that were 1cm wider (165) than the factory fitted tyres. It had been regularly serviced at the authorized dealer's service centre in Kerala (KTC Hyundai, Trichur/Calicut). At 14000km, he noticed uneven wear in the front tyres, with the inner thread becoming visible. A tyre maintenance shop found that the wheels were mis-aligned, and corrected the same. They also found that the rear tyres also had uneven wear.

He then complained to the dealer who had been servicing his car, and was told the following.
1. Wheel alignment is done only every 20000 km unless explicitly requested by the owner.
2. The company is not responsible for uneven wear in his case as he was not using a) factory fitted wheels and b) tyres of the original size.

Both the statements, to me, lack logic.

Since the tyre lasts only for 25-35000 km, what is the logic in checking for alignment after 20000km? And it is difficult to believe that the service centre expects the client to know all about the intricacies of car maintenance and request the same at the correct intervals.

How does uneven wear and loss of alignment occur if you fit alloy wheels, generally considered superior to steel wheels, in your car?
And how does loss of alignment occur if the car's tyres are 10mm fatter?

He wrote to Hyundai, but received no reply. He is now looking out for others who have been similarly mistreated by the company and this particular dealer, so as to file a suit in the consumer court.

Any takers?
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Old 20th March 2008, 13:20   #2
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I don't know what is there in Santro manual, but it is always good to take the tyre care by the owner upto an extend, than depending on A.S.S. I follow a practise to check tyre pressure atleast once in a month, do wheel balancing and alignment every 5000KM, and you get a free alignment check after 1500-2000KM (so, its like an intermediate checkup) at my favorite tyre shop, regardless of what Maruti A.S.S does. I also ensure that the tyre rotation is done at every service, if it is needed. All these are very necessary for the roads I am driving. This is your vehicle, alloys/wheels and tyres and you have to take care of it. Alignment has nothing to do with whether it alloy wheels or steel wheels. From your description it is clear that it happened due to lack of tyre care at the specified intervals, either by owner or by dealer.

But this statement by delaer, alignment is done only at 20000KM, looks strange to me.
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Old 20th March 2008, 13:27   #3
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The tyres and the suspension are the most stressed parts of a vehicle since they take a beating on the roads continuosly. The bumps and potholes etc. on the roads result in loss of alignment over a period of time. Tyres being thinner or fatter have a minimal bearing on this.

Although wheel balancing,alignment & rotation are reccommended at 20K by the manual, my motley driving experience of 32 years made me undertake this exercise every 5000 kms. Thus I've an even wear on my tyres even after doing 66K and they are still good for another 10K.

And I don't think consumer court shall be of much help in this matter..Other experts may chip in on this..

KP_zen & ishaan to respond...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brainscooper View Post
I am writing this on behalf of my friend, who owns a Santro Xing.

How does uneven wear and loss of alignment occur if you fit alloy wheels, generally considered superior to steel wheels, in your car?
And how does loss of alignment occur if the car's tyres are 10mm fatter?

Any takers?
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Old 20th March 2008, 14:05   #4
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I agree with gd1418, I guess besides the 5K schedule you should also keep tab of any drift.

In case car hits a pot hole or stone, make sure you get the alignment and camber adjusted.

My indica has done 35K with the second set of tyres and good for another 25K. I religiously get the alignment and rotation done at every 5K km.

All the tryes are wearing of evenly. Also keep the check on the air pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Although wheel balancing,alignment & rotation are reccommended at 20K by the manual, my motley driving experience of 32 years made me undertake this exercise every 5000 kms. Thus I've an even wear on my tyres even after doing 66K and they are still good for another 10K.
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Old 22nd March 2008, 02:28   #5
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BS - Prime facie the dealer is right. In our conditions it is always wise to take the intiative yourself regularly & have the alignment & balancing of your wheels & tyres checked at least every 5k kms. Problem being that given our bad roads we have very high probability of suffering alignment & balancing issues as a result of the vehicles hitting big bumps or potholes at moderate to high speeds. These things can really disturb both the suspension components & parameters enough to lead to uneven & premature wearing out of tyres.

As for the dealer's claims well your friend would have a chance to blame a manufacturing defect in two conditions:

1. If he was getting a wheel alignment checkup every 5k kms or so & could prove that the uneven wear happened suddenly indicating a suspension component failure.

2. If he was running stock wheels & tyres.

But even then getting a warranty claim under point 2 would have been incredibly difficult as the dealer can safely blame fauly alignment which was not checked in time & thus lead to the uneven wear on the tyres.

Thing is in our conditions it is our prerogative to make sure that the Alignment/Balancing of our tyres is correct to ensure no problems with uneven wear. And blaming it on a dealership is not really going to work unless the car has some major suspension failure issues.

Using 165/65 R13 does not lead to any suspension problems on the Santro (I've personally used 3 sets on my car (once) & my mother's car (twice)) and neither does using Alloys of the correct spec. But, not getting alignment done at regular intervals can cause uneven wear problems & lead to such situations. Your really can't blame the dealer or the company for this.

IMO going to consumer court would be fruitless in such a situation unless you can prove that the suspension components failed prematurely leading to uneven tyre wear.

Last edited by iraghava : 22nd March 2008 at 02:33.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 20:34   #6
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I doubt the value of going to the consumer court for this problem:

1. The tyres are an after-market upsize. From a legal standpoint, Hyundai or its dealerships do not have to cover the car against defects anymore.

2. The legal costs will far outweigh that of buying new tyres.

Your friend ought to have checked the alignment / balancing atleast at the 10K mark. He may not be car-savvy, but if he owns a car, he must also take the effort to research on basic maintenance.

That said, why should there be uneven tyre wear on all four tyres? It could be that the correct tyre pressure had not been maintained by your friend. Or that the alloy + tyres combo was not balanced / aligned at the time of installation.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 20:45   #7
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Ideally when you changed to alloys and new tyres it would have been advisable to get the alignment/balancing done. Since the alloys may be having a different offset/rim width it could affect the alignment. Was this done?
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Old 23rd March 2008, 21:30   #8
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BS
Was your friend facing any mis-allignment issues like car not following a track a straight line.
I would suggest your friend to get the allignment done in every 5k kms and also check the air pressure regularly.

Going to consumer court would be a fruitless project.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 22:04   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brainscooper View Post
I am writing this on behalf of my friend, who owns a Santro Xing.
He purchased it in October 2006 and it has run about 18000km so far. Immediately after purchase, he shod it with alloy wheels and Michelin tyres that were 1cm wider (165) than the factory fitted tyres. It had been regularly serviced at the authorized dealer's service centre in Kerala (KTC Hyundai, Trichur/Calicut). At 14000km, he noticed uneven wear in the front tyres, with the inner thread becoming visible. A tyre maintenance shop found that the wheels were mis-aligned, and corrected the same. They also found that the rear tyres also had uneven wear.
The wear pattern on the four wheels is very important. If your tyre pressures are too high, you will find that the centre of the tread will wear out faster than the tread on the shoulders of the tyre. If pressures are too low, the shoulders will wear out faster. If the wear pattern is one-sided, then misalignment is the likely cause. I suggest you look at the following website under "diagnosing problems from tyre wear"

Car Bibles : The Wheel and Tyre Bible Page 2 of 2

Check the wear pattern on the tyres against the figures/table given there and you should be able to get a reasonable idea. Note that if tyres are not rotated at regular intervals, uneven wear could result.

Secondly, can you post your alloy wheel specs (pcd, offset, width, dia). If wheels are too narrow or too wide for the given tyre size, uneven wear could result, especially if tyre pressures are incorrect. The offset is also important, Too low an offset will cause the wheels to jut out from the wheel well and the alignment becomes a tricky job. I suggest you do the alignment at a well equipped tyre shop. My experience is that the authorized dealers know very little about tyres/wheels.
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