Tire Concerns: Possible manufacturer defect

Tire Concerns: Possible manufacturer defect

by Adam
(Williamsburg Va)

I put an outer tie rod end on the pass side of my vehicle and immediately took it out for a test drive. It was on the interstate because it is a flat road, and after removing my hands from the steering wheel the car went 100+ yards without pulling to either side. 2 days later I had the front end aligned for good measure. I immediately noticed the steering when shaking while the vehicle is moving, and the car didn't stay straight for nearly as long - It was pulling to the right. I was going to take it back immedately to have the alignment checked again, but decided instead to have buddy test drive it in case I was being paranoid. He drove it about 5-10 miles and said it was pulling and the steering wheel is shaking whenever the vehicle goes over a bump, most roads in my area have very small divits and bumps.

He then got out and checked my front tires - 195-70-14 Douglass X-Trac(I know, very cheap tires). On both fronts there were goose eggs protruding outwards where the sidewall and tread meets, and the passenger front tire has a visable ring that goes all the way around the sidewall, where the tread and sidewall meet. I also noticed when the if I check the sidewalls after driving, they are stiff as a rock. If I leave it for a few hours they are soft, but the area around the goose eggs are still very solid. I took it back to Wallyworld (I work there as a TLE tech) and the cashier notified me there were no managers available and it would most likely be written off as "impact damage". I would like another opinion on this and what steps I should take to make sure the manufacterer defect policy is honored.

Editorial Comment
From your description I would also suspect that the tires may have been subjected to some kind of external force which damaged their structure which is typically called "impact damage."

You also mentioned a ring around the tire where the tread and sidewall meet. Since I can't see it for myself I can only imagine its appearance, but this also sounds like something that might have been produced by something rubbing or pressing against the tire as it was rotating and is typically reported as "mechanical damage"

I'm no mechanic, but the description of the steering shaking after the car passes over a bump does sound like a mechanical problem. One thing about tire problems is that they usually are pretty constant and don't change as the road surface changes, even though some roads make it easier to sense than others.

So, in summary, although I hate to give you bad news, it sounds to me that you have tires which have been damaged by something that the manufacturer can't control and in addition you may have other mechanical defects in the vehicle, too.


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