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Old 04-09-2011, 10:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Directional tire question

I'm not sure if this is the best place to ask this , but hopefully someone who is in the know about tires can help me out. I've been running a set of directional tires for 40,000km and they have developed an uneven wear pattern due to lack of cross rotation. Not only are the noisy and rough now, I can't help but think that RR must be higher also due to the uneven wear. Other than looking odd, I'm wondering if there is any reason why I couldn't run the rear tires backwards to even out the wear since they aren't drive tires.

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Old 04-09-2011, 11:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My ex had her tires rotated at Sears a few years ago. She had directional tires and they X'd them. They made a ton of noise, and I investigated after the first time I got in the car with her and noticed how loud it was. Brought the car into my work and swapped them back, road noise was greatly reduced.

I imagine that you would have similiar results if they were backwards. Suppose it is probably pretty rough on the tires, just judging by the racket/vibrations they made.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First, the source of your problem is mis-alignment. That's what caused the tires to develop the uneven wear pattern. But not rotating them frequently allowed the mis-alignment to wear the tire to the point where it became noticeable. Had you rotated the tires more often, the problem would not be very bad.

So your first step is to get an alignment. Your second step is to rotate your tires so that they are in a different position and wait and see if the old wear pattern gets erased. This may take several thousand km's. If you waited too long, it might not get erased at all.

Cross rotating the tires isn't a bad idea, but it probably is not going to help much as the real problem was the mis-alignment, and you aren't reversing that!
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses. Noise is already a major problem and one of the reasons I'm trying this. I don't think it can get much worse. The tires have been rotated every 10,000Km (6000mi) as recommended by the manufacturer and the tire shop. I have suspected alignment for a long time, but had it checked around 24000km and was told it was all good. The inside edges wear faster than the outside as well (sounds like alignment again, right) so the tire shop swapped the tires in the rims so the tires would switch sides. This helped the inside edge wear but not the funny tread block wear. camber is not adjustable on this car. Uneven tire wear has been a somewhat common problem for this model, from what I see on the Kia forum. I would try for warranty , but if the alignment tests correct, Kia will just say lack of rotation too. Should I be having the alignment rechecked loaded. I was also wondering if there would be any safety concerns from running the tires in reverse.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Get a second opinion!

Find a different alignment shop one that specializes in suspension and will give you the printouts. I have had two cars that come to mind as having tough alignment problems. One a 75 Camaro, had the front sub frames bent back in to position because the motor torque was pushing the frame outward moving the upper A frames out. This was my choice of fix, but the point here was I was given options for resolving the problem. But they are long since out of business. The other was a 97 Contour that a problem with the left rear tire wearing. Even with repeated alignments (NO problem!) rotations and balance the problem persisted. So I started to look for a new shop. Found a shop that does custom work. He was able to get it to just within spec with out any mods or new parts (not that is was old enough to need any). This guy worked his tail off to get that car right. The resolution is out there.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Thanks for the responses........ I was also wondering if there would be any safety concerns from running the tires in reverse.
First, even though the camber doesn't have a factory built in adjustment, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be adjusted when it is out of spec. There are ways of getting adjustbility - slotting holes, eccentric bolts, etc.

Further, I think your tires are too far gone to think that they will eventually wear evenly and have reduced noise. The best you can hope for is that the noise won't get worse and you'll be able to get some more distnace out of them before you have to replace them.

- and, No! - Kia is not going to help you with warranty on these. If they are the original tires, they don't carry a mileage warranty of any kind. If these are not the original tires, then Kia is completely out of the picture.

But it might be helpful to consider this:

Barry's Tire Tech

I wrote this up to help with tire wear problems. Find the alignment specs on your car and see if any of the situations match up with yours.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks again for the replies. Nemo, I agree a solution is out there and I may need to get a second opinion at some point, I just need to find it. The tire shop I used has a pretty good rep. though and they did give me the printout of the specs. They didn't change anything because it was all within Kia's spec.
CapriRacer, the link was helpful. I agree that these tires will probably never be quiet again, but anything I can do to help is worth a try. The tires aren't factory, they are Nokian WR's. I traded in the OE tires on them when I bought the car so I would have some decent traction in winter. They have 100,000km replacement warranty and I am sure I will use it as I don't think there is more than another 10-15,000km left on these tires. I agree I have an alignment issue, but I think it is a design issue and my chances convincing Kia of that are right up there with winning the lottery. Kia camber specs. are -.5*+/-0.5* front an -1*+/-0.5* rear. My camber is in the neg. side of that spec. and my toe spec is within the range in your chart. I found out recently that adjustable bolts and links are now available aftermarket, I think I will look into that before I replace these tires. My question still remains, when I get an alignment done again, should I be getting it done with a normal load in the car. If the car is loaded will it change the alignment enough to matter. Why I ask is that probably 80% of my driving and virtually all my highway driving is with 50-90% of max. payload.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you read my blurb on alignment, you probably figured out that I think anything over 1 of camber results in irregular wear - and that's the srtuation here.

Yes, Kia's specs for the rear can result in over a degree of camber, and that is clearly going to result in tire wear problems. But Kia's warranty doesn't cover tire wear in any way, shape, or form, so don't be surprised if get the cold shoulder for the Kia dealer. To complicate matters, getting an alignment somewhere other than the dealer could be used as evidence that there used to be a problem.

A better bet is to find an alignment shop that will work with you to get the alignment where you want it to be rather than what the book says.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Agree with previous posts about alignments.

As to reversing the rotation of directional tires, just have the tires that get crossed, dismounted and flipped around on the rim( and rebalanced, obviously) if the wear hasn't got to the wear bars. This will get the tires on the other side of the car, but maintain rotation.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JethroBodine View Post
Agree with previous posts about alignments.

As to reversing the rotation of directional tires, just have the tires that get crossed, dismounted and flipped around on the rim( and rebalanced, obviously) if the wear hasn't got to the wear bars. This will get the tires on the other side of the car, but maintain rotation.
I did that already a while ago to help with the inside edge wear and it has helped. The wear I'm getting now is more that the lugs are getting wedge shaped. It's like toe in wear except the feather edge is radial , not lateral across the tire.

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