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Old 05-27-2001, 07:45 PM   #1
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Default Firestone

I just experienced tread separation on one my Firehawks. My tires have never been overloaded or run under inflated. I'm glad I wasn't traveling 90 mph talking on a cell phone in an over loaded Explorer. Has any one else experienced tread separation or bubbles? The rest of the tires look good and still have 4/32 of tread left. I am worried the others may sooner or later do the same thing so I am about to throw the rest of them away and get a new set of something.

After looking at some of the test results conducted by the testors at, I am leaning to buying a set of Yokohamas Avid t4s. According to them they seem like a good tire at a good price.
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Old 05-27-2001, 09:59 PM   #2
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My wife had the right front peel away at speed a few years ago on her way to work. It just happened that one of guys I knew from SCCA worked with her and was traveling behind when it let go. Lots of suspension damage, two damaged wheels, a little body damage, but fortunately she managed to stay away from the other cars.

I had not been a fan of Firestone tires before this as my experience of growing up around dealerships had indicated that they were more trouble prone, but this was the convincer. No more Firestones for us.
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Old 05-27-2001, 10:17 PM   #3
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I have firestone's, 205/55 Firestone Firehawk FTX<sup>02's</sup> on my 96 SL2 and I think they are great. The ride quality is better than my stock affinity's and they have incredible grip in dry and wet! I have abused them in every way possible and they have yet to seperate. The sidewalls have undergone the most torture and show incredible wear but I still push them to the limits and highly doubt I will have any problems with seperation. Firestone is getting a bad connatation when they really don't deserve it. They just get a bad rap because they were put on a bad vehicle (Explorer). You didn't metion what vehicle these tires were on when they seperated so I'm going to assume it was an SUV. (a vehicle style that's poorly designed to begin with for any use) It really bothers me that people won't buy Firestones now, they really are decent tires IMO.

(*Disclaimer: this post was not meant as a personal attack on anyone. All views expressed in the previous post were based entirely upon the opinion of one individual who likes his tires. Please don't get offended. If you disagree with the views expressed, please respond with information in a polite way. Have a good day.)
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Old 05-28-2001, 08:54 AM   #4
Heartbeat - '95 SL2
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1995 SL2

I've only had tread separation once, when I was driving someone else's car with retreaded tires. My guess is that it was just a faulty tire, and that the other 3 would last. But, since you're suppose to change tires in pairs, you might want to replace all 4. With only 4/32nds left, and 2/32nds is when you're suppose to change them, you're losing 2 tires with ~1/4 of their tread left. That's roughly a loss of $35-40 pro-rated for a $70-80 tire.
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Old 05-28-2001, 12:30 PM   #5
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The tread separated tire I was speaking about is a passenger car tire Firehawk on a 95 SW2. I guess the point I was trying to make is that SUV Wilderness tires are not the only ones separating.
From personal experience I know that others brands can such as Michelin and General can separate also. While overloading and under inflation have been factors in tread separation, I think age might also be a factor. I take good care of my tires, I check pressure etc, but I keep them for a long time. The separation problems that I have had with Firestone and Michelin are with tires that are 5 or 6 years old.

Although I have never been a Firestone fan, I agree they are taking too much blame for the roll over problems, and that Ford isn't taking enough blame. Ford knew they had problem with that vehicle during its development phase. Since any tire can fail, I believe that all vehicles should be required by law to sustain a high speed tire failure with out roll over.
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Old 05-28-2001, 12:38 PM   #6
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I am running Bridgestone Potenza RE930s right now, and I think that these tires are great- if Bridgestone/Firestone were to let their Potenza line falter line their SUV tires, they may as well pack it in. I am about to replace these tires, and I am leaning towards another set of the RE930s. Their main competition is the Pirelli P400 (a touch cheaper, longer treadlife), but the Bridgestones have served me well and I am loathe to change a good thing. I looked at the Yokohamas, but from reading reports in the Tire Rack website, it seems that the Pirellis and Bridgestones are a bit better.
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Old 05-28-2001, 10:09 PM   #7
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Well, I've had numerous tread separations and brand doesn't seem to matter much. Goodyears, Firestones, 2 Michelins in the last three months and others as well. The good news is that most of them break the belts near the time to replace them anyway due to wear.

I keep them inflated properly and go to a excellent tire shop. I usually don't mess with rotating them because I usually buy 'em in pairs and don't generally have any abnormal wear issues.

About the only abnormal things about my situation - I drive on gravel some but not a lot and I tend to pickup a lot of foreign object damage (e.g. nails). However, we don't drive on low tires due to a puncture - we either pump 'em up and drive a few miles to town, or pull the tire and take it in. The tire shop does fix the punctures properly - including a dismount, full inspection and patch from within.

On the other hand just maybe it's caused by some wacko driving by my kids. One car which lost the two Michelins this spring had been put in a ditch at 50+. The truck which lost belts on both rear tires also ended up in a ditch last fall albeit at a much slower speed. Neither vehicle suffered any damage.

Thus far, the best experience I've had from a tread separation perspective are BF Goodrich.
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