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WTF are "warped tires?"

Old 04-17-2012, 09:56 PM
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Default WTF are "warped tires?"

My '06 passat (new to me in 2010) has always had a lot of road noise. Lately, it has been a lot louder, like a 747 landing or taking off. I finally brought it to a trusted mechanic and the report was "warped tires" and I should replace all four and get a full alignment (not necessarily at his place) before we could check for more shit. Now, I'm a pretty old man, and I've never heard of warped tires, and the admiral has been bugging me for a set of Michelins since we bought the thing, so off I go to spend 500 or so for some reason...

What the hell is actually going on here? Am I just going to get ripped off for no good reason?

What say you car gurus?
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:47 AM
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First time I heard about it was when my Mom's tires were diagnosed as "out of round". Sure enough, warranty replaced them!
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:24 AM
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My wife's 04 escape had a tire that was low while it was setting at the dealership for about 4 months I can tell which one even after we had them balanced. Have you had the brakes locked up at one time to make the car slide?
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:51 AM
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Belts in tires can shift, which can change how the tire tracks and the noise it makes. A defective run of tires can all behave that way (BTDT). I'd guess that's what happened to your tires.

I had one set of tires (Cooper Cobras) so-mismanufactured that every time I went over a bump, the back end of the car jumped to the right. Not good on dry pavement, horrible on snow/ice. I dumped those tires for new Goodyears and the problem went away.

Were the old tires made in China?
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by notgottaboatyet View Post
Have you had the brakes locked up at one time to make the car slide?
Never. Only grandma drives this car, and you know how SHE drives. But I did get it used, with 49000 miles, so I have no idea what happened to it in its former life, except for a clean CarFax and a VW certified 2 year warranty (of course, tires and parts that normally wear aren't covered.)
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:00 AM
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Scalped? feel the inside edge - certain cars are prone to this regardless of proper alignment - or alignment and balancing can cause it.

Your trusted mechanic may very well be right and replacement is due...
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:10 AM
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Tires have issues as well. Some have imperfections from the factory that keep them from riding as they should, and many make it onto a car. I've had belts that seperate from the rubber, a bulge appear on the inside sidewall so I didn't notice until I had it on a lift, and a few other reasons that tires either started riding rough, or making more road noise.

NOW, as far as the ALIGNMENT goes, if you don't see ANY unusual tire wear on the tread, then I wouldn't let them touch my front end alignment. If you get it right, don't mess with it! You'll end up with a steering wheel that's no longer straight, and the car won't drive any differently. But, he would make an additional $75 on a set of tires.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by LI Sound Grunt View Post
Scalped? feel the inside edge - certain cars are prone to this regardless of proper alignment - or alignment and balancing can cause it.
Not being a grammar Nazi here, but I think you mean "scalloped." The wear on the inside causes small dishes (like a scallop shell) in the tire. Also referred to as "cupping." Caused by worn out suspension parts.

"Scalped" is what the Indians did to Custer!

On the "warped" tires - yes, spend the money and replace them. I've experienced similar on trailer tires, especially after the trailer has sat for a period of time. The tires get flat spots on the bottom, and the trailer feels pretty wierd going down the road at first. Fortunately, the tires seem to regain their shape after they heat up going down the road and the ride smooths out again.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:39 AM
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like yarcraft said, belts in the tire can shift when you hit a pothole, a curb, or even hitting your driveway ramp too hard. I had this and took it for realignments/balancing, etc and nothing was working. Finally they found one tire w/ a belt out of line and replaced tires, problem solved.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:56 AM
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The belts can not "shift" after the tire has been molded.
They would have to get detached from the rubber and other components.
A belt could shift during the molding process but it would be that way from new.
Belts can break, split or get damaged from abuse from potholes, curbs and other things that impact the tire.
And that will result in tire performance changes.

Never heard of "warped" maybe it is regional slang for cupped, scallopedout-of-round or flat spotted, etc.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:53 AM
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It is hard to make tires truly round, since the belts are a complex woven structure. The belt making equipment is the key to making a good tire. Tires have a huge effect on how well are car rides, brakes and handles. There are decent inexpensive tires, but if you pay the extra for the Michelins, you usually get the best tires. They know it and seem to price them accordingly, but the darn things are good.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:59 AM
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Tires have casings and the tread. Sometimes the casing can fail due to a manufacturing defect or poor alignment. Any national tire chain should be able to warranty the tire for you prorated on a basis determined by the remaining treadwear. Unfortunately, tires wear out really fast when the casing fails so the warranty doesnt cover much of the cost of a new tire. When I had one fail I argued that the other tires should be the standard from which the measurement was taken not the failed tire because it had worn out faster than normal. The company said that they sent the tire back and they were reimbursed based on the tire they send in leaving the customer screwed on the warranty. They did give me free mount and balance ($15) which probably made up for the warranty issues. Try it for yourself and see what happens.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:40 AM
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EDIT

responded to the wrong post.

my tires seem round though
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:40 AM
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I just had a tire on our Jeep Commander get out of round (or something) over the course of a few weeks and ultimately almost came apart. The tire had no uneven wear and maybe 12000 miles on it. I have never seen anything like it. It looked like the tire bubbled out in an area the size of a baseball, and wore down where it bubbled. I was driving when it started to let loose. I felt it get worse, stopped the car and changed the tire. It was starting to split open. A mechanic was in the parking lot when I was changing the tire and said it was a shifted belt. Who know.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:16 PM
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4 new Michelins on, and now getting a 4-wheel alignment. Nice and quiet. Should be good to go now. Not only is the car quiet, but the admiral is ALSO quiet - and that's priceless.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:08 PM
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I'll bet that you didn't get those Michelins for the "500 or so" you estimated in the OP?
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by glacierbaze View Post
I'll bet that you didn't get those Michelins for the "500 or so" you estimated in the OP?
No. They ran 145 each, plus tax and disposal fees, came to over 700 at Costco, plus another 100 for four-wheel alignment at my mechanic. About 850 total.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by yachtjim View Post
I just had a tire on our Jeep Commander get out of round (or something) over the course of a few weeks and ultimately almost came apart. The tire had no uneven wear and maybe 12000 miles on it. I have never seen anything like it. It looked like the tire bubbled out in an area the size of a baseball, and wore down where it bubbled. I was driving when it started to let loose. I felt it get worse, stopped the car and changed the tire. It was starting to split open. A mechanic was in the parking lot when I was changing the tire and said it was a shifted belt. Who know.
that is usually caused by a torn or otherwise damaged belt in the tire...usually by impact...the belts retain the shape of the tire and the rubber is what holds the air in, provides a smooth running surface and traction...dmage a belt and the rubber loses its composure....what you experienced is kind of like a hernia...with the air pushing the rubber out through the muscle/belt...a tire with that condition would eventually fail altogether....

i love the op description..."warped"...over 30 years in the automotive repair business and ive never heard that used...it s more commonly used to describe a bent wheel...
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bladenbullet View Post
i love the op description..."warped"...over 30 years in the automotive repair business and ive never heard that used...it s more commonly used to describe a bent wheel...
A Google search on "warped tires" comes up with a lot of hits. Perhaps it's a regional term. My shop had nothing to gain by the diagnosis - in fact they told me to get a 4-wheel alignment where I bought the tires (but it wasn't available there)
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:39 PM
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Actually Custer wasn't scalped. He had some things inserted in some private areas post-mortum
but not scalped. He was hated and respected, now his brother Tom was sliced up pretty well.

No help on the tires, sorry.
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