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Old 12-07-2005, 10:59 AM   #1
NCarolina
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Mad Excessive Tire Wear

I bought a new 2002 L series wagon. At 22K I noticed a strange noise at speeds greater than 45-50 mph. The dealership informed me I had cupped tires and needed to replace them. So I did, on my own buck, and had an alignment done as well. I have less than 20K on the new set of tires and I'm hearing the same noise. Dealership says they're cupped again. Dealership won't offer any assistance other than "you need to rotate them every 6K".

1) Do I have any recourse with Saturn?
2) Am I stuck buying a new set of tires every 20K?

I am very frustrated, any advice would be much appreciated.

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Old 12-07-2005, 11:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

if you didnt rotate them at 6000k like they said....IMHO you should be stuck with the bill...not them....you should also take a look at how you are driving...the might fix your problem

...
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Last edited by itsmesillybubba; 12-07-2005 at 11:30 AM..

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Old 12-07-2005, 11:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Rotate your tires. If you don't, that's totally on you. If you had suspension problems they normally would've alerted you when you had the alignment done, so it seems like it boils down to poor care/bad driving.

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Old 12-07-2005, 11:45 AM   #4
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Question Re: Excessive Tire Wear

To clarify, I did rotate each set at about 10K. I know it's not 6K but should that really trash 2 sets of brand new tires ?

As far as my driving goes, an original set of tires lasted 85K on my last vehicle, so I don't really think that's the problem.

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Old 12-07-2005, 11:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Then take it up with the manufacturer of the tires.

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Old 12-07-2005, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCarolina
To clarify, I did rotate each set at about 10K. I know it's not 6K but should that really trash 2 sets of brand new tires ?

As far as my driving goes, an original set of tires lasted 85K on my last vehicle, so I don't really think that's the problem.
10K is too long. They don't make recommended maintenance intervals just for kicks. Just like oil needs to be changed at 3K, tires need to be rotated at 6K. At 20K your tires should have already been rotated 3 times minumum, you were just about to rotate them a second time. Nobody here is to blame but you and your care (or lack thereof) the vehicle. It's not Saturn's problem that you decided to forego the maintenance schedule.

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Old 12-07-2005, 12:42 PM   #7
2001L300
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Quote:
Nobody here is to blame but you and your care (or lack thereof) the vehicle. It's not Saturn's problem that you decided to forego the maintenance schedule.
Hey hey hey, take it easy. Failing to rotate tires every 6K miles does not lead to cupping. Faster wear on the front tires, maybe, but not cupping. I'm a car care freak, so I do it, but I'm the only one in my family. My sister almost wore out a new set of Bridgestones (the front ones anyway) because she just didn't have time to do it. My parents have 31000 miles on a set of Michelins and have never rotated them. Not a single one of those tires is cupped. I'm not saying the maintenance schedule should be ignored, but trashing two sets of tires in about 40K miles is absolutely ridiculous, especially considering the guy even got an alignment at 22K miles.

My advice at this point is buy a quality set of tires from some place that offers free rotation every 6K miles, keep them rotated, and see what happens. If they get cupped, its the car. Do you have an extended warranty? If not, go after the tire manufacturer; they should prorate the tires based on mileage.

...
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:47 PM   #8
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Heart Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Wow, I didn't realize I had joined the Saturn Love Fest Forum !

Considering the fact that the Service Mgr acknowledged that this series of wagon "tends to wear down tires faster", that I've never had a problem like this with any other vehicle I've ever owned, and that there are similar forum posts about tire cupping / shimmying problems, I think that Saturn may have some responsibility with this issue.

But you may be right ServiceTech, this may not be Saturn's problem. But what their problem will be is that I'm totally dissatisfied with the vehicle and the dealership's response to my issue and that I'll probably never purchase or endorse a Saturn product again. Let's see, between my immediate and extended family, that will add up to something like $500,000 in lost sales.

Good business?

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Old 12-07-2005, 12:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Thank you 2001L300 , I think you have the right idea (although I'm out ANOTHER $500 for a new set).

I'm glad to know that not everybody in this forum works for Saturn !

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Old 12-07-2005, 12:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2001L300
Hey hey hey, take it easy. Failing to rotate tires every 6K miles does not lead to cupping. If they get cupped, its the car. Do you have an extended warranty? If not, go after the tire manufacturer; they should prorate the tires based on mileage.
I had Goodrich Touring radials as my last set. Tire balancing & rotation were free with the tires. The set averaged 4,000 miles between rotation. The driver's side rear tire was cupped within one rotation.
The same thing happened on the original Crapfinities.

The car's geometry is effed.

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Old 12-07-2005, 01:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

That's a good point Unkl Bik, ONLY the back tires have been cupped on my wagon... in both instances!

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Old 12-07-2005, 03:35 PM   #12
beensmoked
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by cazzylee
Then take it up with the manufacturer of the tires.

The only problem with that if you do not have proof that you rotate your tires it voids it. And just writing it down doesn't work. I had that problem i rotated my tires every other OIL change and they got worn down at 20,000. My next set will be from good year or bridgestone direct so i get a life time warranty on rotations and if they keep all the records of it

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Old 12-07-2005, 03:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

And the problem with tire cupping was fixed with an installation of a shim kit. Which would be costly if not covered under warranty. But your dealer should've realized you needed one if your tires kept on cupping. Maybe they just don't wanna deal with fixing it?

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Old 12-07-2005, 08:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Three things spring to mind -

- If you search through this forum, you'll find many instances of cupped tires - the fix is a shim kit for the (rear?) suspension which 'fixes' the alignment. This seemed to apply to people who rotate tires regularly and those who don't.

- The OEM tires are garbage, and the car is very hard on tires. My original set of tires lasted 19k before they wore out (no cupping, regular rotation). The BFGoodrich's I replaced them with are getting close to being worn out 31k+ later - I imagine they have maybe another 9k in them.

- Not everyone gets to do the regular maintenance right on schedule. If I did oil changes at 3k, I'd be in for an oil change every 5 or 6 weeks . So, I skip the 3k services and get the oil change and whatever is due at the 6k services (42k, 48k, 54k etc). I drive a lot of highway miles, and it doesn't seem to affect the car any.

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Old 12-07-2005, 09:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by unstable23
- Not everyone gets to do the regular maintenance right on schedule. If I did oil changes at 3k, I'd be in for an oil change every 5 or 6 weeks . So, I skip the 3k services and get the oil change and whatever is due at the 6k services (42k, 48k, 54k etc). I drive a lot of highway miles, and it doesn't seem to affect the car any.
Don't know if I agree with your thoughts here. Oil changes are cheap insurance for the engine. We put a ton of miles on both the S-Series - I realize that this is the L forum, but, that said, we still do oil changes on the 3k (5000km) interval. That puts the '99 at every 5 weeks, and the '02 at every 3-1/2 to 4 weeks. Both of these cars run 95% highway.


In terms of the original topic of the thread, I haven't noticed a problem with our LW2. I don't know if it has a shim kit installed on it as it was purchased used. The car has 205/65/15 Michelin Hydroedge's on it. The tires are wearing extremely well, although they are a 140,000km tire IIRC.

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Old 12-08-2005, 06:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

I've gotta chime in here.

I purchased an '02 L300 used at about 50,000 miles. The guy had all of the service records from Saturn. Tires were rotated by Saturn at every oil change. At about 28,000 miles, they replaced the tires because of "uneven wear." They were replaced under warranty by the tire manufacturer ... Firestone, I think.

Continuing on with regular rotation and maintenance. I bought the car, and at highway speeds I was hearing a lot of thumping. I went to my tire guy and he said the tires were cupped. Really badly.

I bought four new tires from him and went to Saturn to talk to them about it. They looked back at the records and saw that the shim kit had already been installed. They checked the alignment and tweaked it a little, but it was in spec.

So, I have to say that there is a problem with some of the L-series with tire cupping.

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Old 12-08-2005, 05:50 PM   #17
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Default Uneven tire wear

Wow, the "help" provided by the first couple of posters was absolutely useless!

Tire cupping in the early L's is a common and known problem (well, except by sillybubba, crazylee and saturntech I guess) and has nothing to do with rotating your tires every 6000 miles. The geometry of the rear suspension results in uneven wear and cupping. Can be fixed with a shim kit (about $16) and alignment by a good alignment shop, which by the way, I've not found any Saturn dealer to be.

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Old 12-08-2005, 08:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: Excessive Tire Wear

Actually, Saturn has a TSB on this problem. Its common enough that it should have been a recall, but they haven't bothered with it. I rotate my tires every 7-10k. Unfortunately, on my last rotation, the shop forgot to rotate, so now I have wearbars. I'm going to see if they will cut me a deal on some new tires as a result. BTW, I have 27k on the tires.

I think that Saturn should have owned up to this problem and recalled the vehicles, although it is not a safety issue per se.

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Old 12-08-2005, 09:02 PM   #19
NCarolina
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Dazed Re: Excessive Tire Wear

[QUOTE=L100]Actually, Saturn has a TSB on this problem. Its common enough that it should have been a recall, but they haven't bothered with it.QUOTE]

Can someone help me out with the specific TSB # ?

Thanks in advance

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Old 12-08-2005, 10:08 PM   #20
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Default Re: Uneven tire wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by s3nfo
Wow, the "help" provided by the first couple of posters was absolutely useless!


WOW...who said I was giving "help"?

...
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