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Discussion Starter #1
I have a VT, auto, 27k miles on it which are mostly highway miles. The road noise has increased and has recently become unbearable and noticeable to everyone that rides in the car. While in for service I had it checked and the feedback was that all the tires were cupping. True enough all four are cupped quite bad. So, is it due to crappy tires? poorly designed suspension? and highway driving? A combination of all those things destroying the tires? Yes I have the car maintained per schedule including rotations, tire wear is even and normal, plenty of tread left (at least half). Any thoughts? I saws someone post about switching to 16" full profile tires, maybe that would be a softer ride with better wear. What tires would not cup on this vehicle?

I guess I should mention, the car has the original equipment kumho tires.

Regards,
Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
cupping or more likely feathering

OK what is cupping. do you have any pictures and explanations. ?
I'll try to post pictures after work. I think it is feathering actually, sharp edges flaring up off of the tread on all four tires, all edges.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I just checked again on my lunch break and they are cupped (with feathering too). The cupping is predominant on the inner edge of the tires. I assume the cupping hit them all because of the regular rotations. The dealer did not attempt any adjustments but instead cross rotated the tires. So now the cupped edges are on the inside. The noise level did drop significantly but the tires are messed up which still creates some noise. I am now trying to decide if I should just run these tires down and then get new ones and a good alignment or if I should take the car to another dealer, explain the situation and see if they are willing to find/fix the problem. Perhaps it is just an alignment issue, it is on both sides so that seems most likely. Any thoughts? Anyone else have such tire issues?
 

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I know one of the other blokes had his stockers run down to nothing at about the same mileage.
I wouldn't bother doing any more with the factory rubber. They are pretty crappy.
I'd advise going to a real tyre and alignment shop and having them put on some better tyres and getting a full alignment.
 

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I believe mine are doing this "cupping" too. In the last 2000 miles it has gotten worse. I hear it more at low speeds or when I am coming to a stop. At highway speeds, you can hear the tire is noisy as if it had a bulge on it, or uneven wear. I gotta go in next week for oil change and tire rotation. I need to bring this up at the dealer see what they say. I do have tire insurance, but don't know if it covers something like this. Thanks for putting a name to it; I had no idea how to explain this to them.
 

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Cupping is when the center portion of the tire rears significantly faster that the outer edges in an uneven fashion. It looks like it sounds .. little patches of tire wear looking like little 'cups' dished out of the middle of the tire tread.
Suspension hop, worn suspension parts, even over inflated tire pressures can cause it. Excessively hard abs breaking can cause it due to uneven wear on brake rotors, which make the tire to try and stop in the same position under hard breaking conditions. It could just be crap tires tho.
Feathering is little step type wearing pattern around the edge of the tire tread, caused by excessively hard cornering or worn steering parts.

So are you talking cupping or feathering?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
@vtlover67 yes mine is/was loudest at about 25-30 mph because the frequency of the noise was noticeable, vvvub vvvub vvvub... at high speeds it turns into a drone.

NEVL666 when I run my hands over the tread I feel the ups and downs of the cupping on the inner edge of the tire, however there is a sharp edge on all of the tread when moving my hand counter to the tire rotation which I am attributing to feathering.

I don't think the dealer did any diagnostics, just offered new tires or cross rotate them. Since they have a lot of tread left I went with the cross rotate.
 

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IS this what you're seeing?

 

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Looking at your pic I'd say you have a bit of #3 and #4 from the VW link you listed. I think more of #4. How is you wheel alignment, and what is your driving style?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wheel alignment is my next stop. Odd that the dealer did not check it or offer to do that. I guess I will go to my favorite tire dealer. Driving style is mostly conservative (playing blue max) on the highway. I might get some winter tires and alignment for now and deal with these next year. I'll post the alignment results but it might not be for a while, I have to find the cash and time to deal with this more which is my major gripe because the car only has 27k miles so this is unusual to me that I would have to deal with this. I had two other new hyundai's in my life and no problem like this so early on, disconcerting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I found that tire rack has some real good information: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=4

"Different driving styles can also influence the desired camber angle as well. An enthusiastic driver who corners faster than a reserved driver will receive more cornering grip and longer tire life from a tire aligned with more negative camber. However with the aggressive negative camber, a reserved driver's lower cornering speeds would cause the inside edges of the tires to wear faster than the outside edges.

What's the downside to negative camber? Negative camber leans both tires on the axle towards the center of the vehicle. Each tire develops an equal and offsetting "camber thrust" force (the same principle that causes a motorcycle to turn when it leans) even when the vehicle is driven straight ahead. If the vehicle encounters a bump that only causes one tire to lose some of its grip, the other tire's negative camber will push the vehicle in the direction of the tire that lost grip. The vehicle may feel more "nervous" and become more susceptible to tramlining. Excessive camber will also reduce the available straight-line grip required for rapid acceleration and hard stops.

Appropriate camber settings that take into account the vehicle and driver's aggressiveness will help balance treadwear with cornering performance. For street-driven vehicles, this means that tire wear and handling requirements must be balanced according to the driver's needs. The goal is to use enough negative camber to provide good cornering performance while not requiring the tire to put too much of its load on the inner edge while traveling in a straight line. Less negative camber (until the tire is perpendicular to the road at zero camber) typically will reduce the cornering ability, but results in more even wear."

The description of the car feeling nervous hits the spot. I suspect I will see negative camber in the alignment numbers and I suspect the cars may come from the factory tuned with negative camber for good cornering. However since I am a conservative driver it is a detriment to me.
 

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I can't see anything specifically wrong with your tire that is pictured.

And the fact that you already have 27 thousand miles on the tire, I would say things look pretty normal.

If you rotate the tires in a conventional fashion, they are already being rotated or as previously said "cross rotated".

You'll probably will be wasting money on an alignment and you could be creating additional problems with a poor new alignment.

Again, just looking, I'd say you have not worn your tires any more than 50%. So you are doing much better than many, who report worn out tires at that mileage.

The biggest affect you can have on tire wear and avoiding tire related problems is to maintain the correct tire pressure and check often.

To think that you have any worn out suspension components is premature to a fault. Not to say some part could be bad, but that would present itself pretty clearly.

The most common problems with tire wear would be a car that has had the suspension modified without taking the necessary steps to then re-zero the calibration.

***
 

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I can't see anything specifically wrong with your tire that is pictured. ...
You're kidding, right! The inside edge of the tire is showing way more wear that the outside, and is exhibiting a typical feathering wear pattern.
 
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