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Posted: 12/30/2001 5:43:16 AM EDT
Hey guys! I am hoping there are some Dodge dealer employees here to give me some input. My wife bought a 99 Dodge Avenger at the start of the 2000 model year, I should add TOTALLY against my wishes. This car still has less than 20000 miles on it, and has had THREE blowouts/tire failures. The latest one was last night. It's about 5 degrees outside, I hopped in and warmed up the car, and headed home. 3 miles through town, and on the highway I go. I got about 4 miles and a vibration started coming from the rear of the car, worsening rapidly and the tire was GONE! I nursed it another mile home at 4MPH. Got up this morning and put on the spare. The tire is completely shredded, the inside sidewall ripped all the way around, with balls of melted rubber along the edges. Before I took it off, I ran my hand round behind the wheel, and found that there was hardly any clearance between the tire and some ice and snow that built up on the upper a-arm....it seemed like it would have been rubbing on the tire, and that is where it failed. I am sick of tire failures on this car!! The only other person I know with an Avenger has also had 3 or 4 tire failures. The dealer (part of the Kayser chain) refused to replace them, so we have spent big money on two(soon three)new tires, on a 2 year old car, under warranty, with 18,000 miles on it! Tires are OEM Goodyear Eagle GS-A's, and no they were not underinflated. They may have been a few psi low because of the cold, but we don't habitually run them underinflated. Should this be covered under the warranty? Are these cars junk? (I think so...frckin value dropped so fast we owe $15,000 on a $7,000 car already. Goshdammit!....I told her not to buy it, but that's another story!!!) Any input is welcome guys. Hope your holidays are blessed. Goodbye BrianCav! I'm sorry I didn't get to know you better!
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 6:51:38 AM EDT
You seem to be familiar with a tire's WORST enemy; underinflation!! You are also aware that Mopars are POS. Was tire punctured and lost air? Stem knocked off? Cut? Wearing funny or vibrating days before failure? Requiring repeated additions of air? How do you determine PROPER inflation? ie: quality gage, (have two, prevents accuracy surprises), using minimum recomended or enough? Next failure, you need to stop NOW and examine the thing to learn how it is failing. After it is shredded most of the good evidence is lost. Your beef is with Goodyear! After the Ford/Firestone disaster, tire companies are more willing to deal with things like this. They provide the tire warranty, not Mopar. Go to a Goodyear dealer and insist they help you determine problem. I doubt they will replace the tire - they work hard to avoid that, but they may shed some light as to cause. Try it - don't cost nothin!
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 7:01:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 7:22:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2001 7:24:19 AM EDT by SBR7_11]
You claim they were not underinflated, but you do not state how much air you actually had been running. What size tire? What is the speed rating of the said tire--S, H, V, Z? Is the car been properly aligned? I see a lot of customer complaints about wear, handling, noises. We have one common complaint that customer comes in with, I walk around the car, put 35 in the tires, drive around the lot, get customer to go ride, guess what, they can't hear the noise. A couple of our cars call for some GROSSLY EXCESSIVE "toe" in the rear. But we take and adjust it closer to "0" (straighter than manufacturer), the tires last longer and car handles a WHOLE HELL of a lot better. NO more excess tire wear either. The only "good" tires GOODYEAR makes are their racing tires. BUY MICHELINS, a lot better tire.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:20:14 PM EDT
Hey guys, My wife tells me there was a slight vibration in the car all day. She felt it was from ice and snow built up in the rear wheelwells, and kicked it all out. Unfortunately, she didn't get behind the wheel. I feel the vibration was most likely from the tire, and she agrees, as she says it felt like that you get when ice is rubbing on the tires, hence her kicking it out. However, it was still built up between the upper a-arm and the tire. That is the ONLY place the tire is shredded....it is split open all the way around the inside sidewall where the a-arm is. The rest of the tire is intact. Sorry if I created confusion stating the tire is shredded. The car goes in the 8th for the lower lateral ball joint recall. I am dealing with the dealership from now on, as the dealer people basically told my wife "too bad" with the other tire failures, without investigating the cause, etc. She has gone there for oil changes and other service, and been ignored at the counter for as long as 20 minutes.....she is shy and won't stick up for herself. The first two tires went flat without any apparent defects, and they held air when reinflated. I feel there is something wrong with the rims personally. Tires are inflated to 40psi i believe it was. I will check later today to see where they are at now. I have to go out and change the fuel pump in my 92 K1500 with 224,000 miles on it and never stranded me with multiple flat tires. Also, before you start slamming me as one of those "never please them" dealership whiners, be advised: 1. When you by a new car for $18,000 with a bumper to bumper warranty, any average person is not going to stand for buying new tires in the first year to two years of ownership, yet my wife has been forced to!!!! I feel if you buy a brand new car with a new car warranty, you should be taken car of with a smile, period, at least until the warranty runs out. 2. My GMC dealer (bought a couple used cars there and have all my service I don't do myself done there) treats me great. I have a specific mechanic there that I have do all my work, they are personable, really go easy on me with the time factors, and even went halfway with me on parts and labor on a used car my girlfriend bought there that had the head and head gasket go bad 1,000 miles after warranty (a Cutlass with a Quad 4....yuck! JUNK!). I think that would qualify as good service. 3. The whole reason I am asking for advice from some of you is so that I don't have any unrealistic ideas what the dealership's obligations to us are. I should also add that I don't feel that we should have to plead our case to the tire manufacturer. It may be true, but that's still the dumbest thing I ever heard. I suppose if the injectors fail I have to talk to TRW???? Of if a wheel breaks, I have to talk to the Alumax foundry? Sounds like pass the buck to me. You guys would have a fit if your new AR had a bad barrel and they told you you would have to talk to the barrel manufacturer!!!! Again, thanks for your comments guys. I need to be educated on this whole new car thing I guess.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:26:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:29:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SBR7_11: You claim they were not underinflated, but you do not state how much air you actually had been running. What size tire? What is the speed rating of the said tire--S, H, V, Z? Is the car been properly aligned? I see a lot of customer complaints about wear, handling, noises. We have one common complaint that customer comes in with, I walk around the car, put 35 in the tires, drive around the lot, get customer to go ride, guess what, they can't hear the noise. A couple of our cars call for some GROSSLY EXCESSIVE "toe" in the rear. But we take and adjust it closer to "0" (straighter than manufacturer), the tires last longer and car handles a WHOLE HELL of a lot better. NO more excess tire wear either. The only "good" tires GOODYEAR makes are their racing tires. BUY MICHELINS, a lot better tire.
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Dude, here is a question for you. When driving on the highway, ever since the car was new, there is a smell of hot rubber when you get out of the car. Also, this thing has always handled like crap...as in, it wanders all over the road, requiring constant little corrections to keep it on the road, especially with am uneven road surface. I always attributed it to crummy tires. But the rubber smell, I never really paid attention to, and who wants to go to the dealer and tell them "the car smells like hot rubber"? They would think you are a fruitcake, and label you before they even looked at the car, tainting your relationship rigth off the bat.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:40:55 PM EDT
If they won't help you out then f*ckem! If it blows out again, just put on the spare and take it home. Later that night around midnight or so, hop in the car with the blown out tire in the trunk and take a cell phone. Remove all important or unnecessary items from the car. [b]This will best be done when it is icy![/b] Drive down to the dealership, but stop a few blocks before you get there. Get out and change the spare for the blown out tire. After you have the blow out back on put the spare back in its place where it is normally stored and hop in the car and buckle up! Start heading down to the dealership and once you get there swerve off the road and take out as many cars in the dealership parking lot as you can, even if you can just scrape down the side that is ok. Try to only get cars in a straight line of travel and don't try to stop until you have smashed into the dealership building somewhere. After you make sure you are still all there, get out and call the police. Then make a huge stink about how this is the fourth/fifth/whatever time you have had a blowout on this car. Go to the news media and give them a story because if you can smash enough cars and do enough damage it will be in the papers. Call the Dodge corp and tell them about your "accident", along with the tire manufacturer. Make sure you tell them that you tried to get the dealership to help you out but they refused, but you attorney said he is going to make things "right". If you can pull this off, I can just about guarantee you will get a new car that doesn't blow tires at their expense. After all, you tried to get them to help you, but they wouldn't. If you do decide to go through with this plan, I didn't suggest it nor do you even know who I am. If you get caught, just tell them the Devil made you do it, cause it wouldn't be that much of a lie.[}:D]
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 2:48:41 PM EDT
My guess via your description is that the alignment is off to some degree. I would assume that you have a "toe-out" problem and/or a camber problem. You say you have a tire slit open, I will assume that it is around the circumference where the tread meets the sidewall. Depending on what the opposite edge looks like, you could have a camber problem. My rule of thumb, the wider the tires, the straighter things need to be, as any kind of camber and amount of toe will effectivly "drag/scrub" the tire (hence your smell of warm rubber, ever notice that when watching the races on TV the the tire guys take temp of tires in 3 places across contact surface to aid align tune of chassis?). You have not stated what size tire we are using. Do you have a copy of any align print-out?
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:11:19 PM EDT
Is it the same tire that keeps going?? Have you checked the other tire for cits on the inner sidewall?? Which Kayser do you go to?
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:17:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2001 3:21:05 PM EDT by TheKill]
Originally Posted By SBR7_11: My guess via your description is that the alignment is off to some degree. I would assume that you have a "toe-out" problem and/or a camber problem. You say you have a tire slit open, I will assume that it is around the circumference where the tread meets the sidewall. Depending on what the opposite edge looks like, you could have a camber problem. My rule of thumb, the wider the tires, the straighter things need to be, as any kind of camber and amount of toe will effectivly "drag/scrub" the tire (hence your smell of warm rubber, ever notice that when watching the races on TV the the tire guys take temp of tires in 3 places across contact surface to aid align tune of chassis?). You have not stated what size tire we are using. Do you have a copy of any align print-out?
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It's been a long time since I saw a race on TV....too busy with other things. I don't remember offhand what size the tires are, they are wide/low profile. They are the OEM tires if that helps. Edited to add that I don't have a printout of the alignment.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:18:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery: Is it the same tire that keeps going?? Have you checked the other tire for cits on the inner sidewall?? Which Kayser do you go to?
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Oly, this car was bought/non-serviced at Kayser in Watertown.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:19:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:22:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheKill:
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery: Is it the same tire that keeps going?? Have you checked the other tire for cits on the inner sidewall?? Which Kayser do you go to?
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Oly, this car was bought/non-serviced at Kayser in Watertown.
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Edited to add that I am not sure about the other tires...she took the car to work today so I couldn't look it over. I do believe this tire is the one that went flat the last time.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:24:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2001 3:28:35 PM EDT by OLY-M4gery]
Just wondering........ What kinda mileage are you getting? The reason I ask is that it is possible that somethin is "sticking out" because of an improperly assembled suspension. That may not interfere until something like a 25 mph+ left hand turn (just an example), or a certain amount of weight is in the car. It might not be noticable when the car is on a hoist either, esp. if it is lifed by the frame. Having 3 different tires go flat, could be bad luck, bad tires, or something else. Having 3 tires go bad all on the same wheel is something wrong with the car.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:25:45 PM EDT
A few thoughts: Were most of the failures on the front end? I'd guess that misinflation (over or under; 40PSI is too much and 32 is probably closer to the mark) was the primary culprit. The enemy of all tires is heat, and the biggest contributors are underinflation / overloading / speed at high ambient temps / overinflation. If the tires were misaligned, then you would get the squirlley handling you describe. Things would have to get really bad for the "burned rummer" smell to mainfest itself. Most manufacturers buy the cheapest tires they can, and I have a lot of respect for manufacturers that provide four high quality tires (like Michelin, which are the best OEM, IMHO), and an manufacturer will get extra points for a full-size spare, on a real rim. And, I'd second your gut feeling that Chrysler products have a real lack of build quality and dealer support. What do you want - a new set of four and a quality alignment? If so, I'd recommend a professional, well-written letter to the tire manufacturer (usually, tires aren't warranteed by the car manufacturer) and to Chrysler's customer service head in Detroit. Best of luck, though. Be persistant, and you can prevail.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:28:01 PM EDT
You know, I never did write that this was the passenger side REAR tire that went out. Although, the rear is independent with a-arms and all that, so I assume the alignment in the rear could be out, correct?
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:36:50 PM EDT
I think alighnment could be bad, but I'm not sure it would cause blowouts. I would check the rear suspesion visually. Look for bare metal, the would indicate suspension parts hitting each other, or suspesion parts rubbing the tire. Also look for burned, or little chumks of rubber. That indicate a tire, suspension interference problem. I'm guessing........ but this could be a simple as a bolt that was used being to long ang rubbing something else, or that the rear suspension is just wrong. I wouldn't accept less than a total fix, and they should do it as a warranty repair.
Link Posted: 12/30/2001 3:45:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Sean_Burke: A few thoughts: Were most of the failures on the front end? I'd guess that misinflation (over or under; 40PSI is too much and 32 is probably closer to the mark) was the primary culprit. The enemy of all tires is heat, and the biggest contributors are underinflation / overloading / speed at high ambient temps / overinflation. If the tires were misaligned, then you would get the squirlley handling you describe. Things would have to get really bad for the "burned rummer" smell to mainfest itself. Most manufacturers buy the cheapest tires they can, and I have a lot of respect for manufacturers that provide four high quality tires (like Michelin, which are the best OEM, IMHO), and an manufacturer will get extra points for a full-size spare, on a real rim. And, I'd second your gut feeling that Chrysler products have a real lack of build quality and dealer support. What do you want - a new set of four and a quality alignment? If so, I'd recommend a professional, well-written letter to the tire manufacturer (usually, tires aren't warranteed by the car manufacturer) and to Chrysler's customer service head in Detroit. Best of luck, though. Be persistant, and you can prevail.
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Yeah, like I said, I am new at the new car thing. I wanted my wife to buy a car from the GMC dealer that I send all my heavy work to, since I know the service there is great. But now I am stuck, and don't feel like it's right to be buying a new tire every 6-10 months on a two year old car. Of course, what is RIGHT and what IS are two different things sometimes. It just sucks 'cause I am strapped from the holidays. As far as what I want, I want the problems fixed, and if I have to deal with the tire manufacturer unstead of Chrysler for this particular issue, I would like the dealer's assistance to get it sorted out and taken care of. My wife tried with them, I will try too with them before I start being a pain in the arse. Oly, I thought of that...it sure looks like physical contact with the tire caused the failure, and that upper a-arm is really close to the tire. I wonder if slack in the chassis (side to side) would allow contact. That could account for the hot rubber smell as well.
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