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Old 12-11-2012, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Do Tires Really Matter?

That title might get your attention. The full question is does it really matter if I pay $150 each or $300 each for tires, since my MDX will wear them out prematurely. Cups on inside of rear, and the cup noice on the road is really an irritant! I told my wife I just want to get 5k more miles on this set before getting new ones.

I found out why my 2008 MDX wears out (cups) tires after 35 to 40k miles. Even though I get alignments 4-5 times a year and tire re-balance and rotation at least twice a year. It is because the camber in the rear end is not adjustable. If you are out, there are no adjustments you can make to put the camber in tolerance area. I bought a lifetime alignment at Firestone for $150.00 and can go in as many time as I choose as long as I own the car. Re-balance and rotation comes with buying the tire there.

Napa makes a rear arm replacement, aftermarket, that is adjustable. You see the need presented itself enough times that someone began to manufacture the replacement adjustable camber piece. Cost around $250 plus as much to install.

So I guess for you'all here is what I am saying: Get a set of tires for $550 installed, ride them for 35-40k, get new ones. You will have to do the same for a $1,000 or higher priced set.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cups on inside of rear, and the cup noice on the road is really an irritant! I told my wife I just want to get 5k more miles on this set before getting new ones.

I found out why my 2008 MDX wears out (cups) tires after 35 to 40k miles. Even though I get alignments 4-5 times a year and tire re-balance and rotation at least twice a year. It is because the camber in the rear end is not adjustable.
You have not defined cupping properly, and cupping is not caused by improper aligmment.

Cupping (sometimes called scalloping) is a condition in which the tire wears unevenly around the circumference of the tire, as shown in these photos (you can find more info by clicking on them - it's written for trucks but the information applies equally to cars):



Cupping is NOT caused by alignment. It is caused by a problem with your car that allows the wheel to bounce around, rather than rolling smoothly, as you drive down the road. Problems that can cause cupping include wheels/tires out of balance, bad shocks, bad wheel bearings, or other suspension problems.

Improper alignment can cause tires to wear faster, and can cause them to wear unevenly across the width of the tread, but that does not result in the cupping/scalloped wear pattern shown in the photos above.

It sounds like your car has a suspension problem, not an alignment problem. (And no car should need an alignment 4-5 times a year, unless your "roads" are unpaved and full of ruts and potholes.)

This is the problem with taking a car to a tire shop. They can do alignments just fine, but don't necessarily understand the potential problems with that particular car's suspension the way a dealer (or a really good independent mechanic) often does. Take it to a good dealer or independent, not a tire shop, and get the problem correctly identified and fixed.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So your saying all 08's X's and that particular series cannot be aligned properly ? Anyone else on board this claim?
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They said cupping but let me try to describe what I saw when it was up on the lift. On each rear tire, the thread on the inside edge of each tire was noticeably much more worn than any other part of the tire. The inside edge on the surface of the tire for about 2 inches towards the outside edge. The reason was the camber was out of tolerance on those wheels causing the tires to wear the inside edge. We kept these tires on the rear because they were the worse. You do not want the noise to be in front of you, it is louder.

The front wheels have adjustments for camber and tow. The rear only have adjustments for tow. If your camber is out on the rear, it cannot be adjusted with the oem parts on the car. I verified this with my Acura dealer today. All they suggested was 'get new shocks".

I hope most folks MDXs are within the proper range on rear camber. Mine is not. I think this is one reason of many why the tires may wear abnormally and become noticeably noisy on roads going 50 mph or faster. Rear shocks and other things need to be looked at.

At Firestone, I get a computer readout of the alignment readings before and after the alignment. I keep each for future reference and comparison. This is not an ad for Firestone. It is just that they are one of the last remaining few nationwide service companies still offering the $150 lifetime alignment, good at any Firestone Store. I strongly suggest getting this first chance after getting a new car. We keep our cars for 10 years so this really is a good deal for us.

I can tell you after having the lifetime alignment at Firestone and having several alignments each year since 2010, this 4 wheel drive system goes out of alignment fairly quickly and without much travel on bad roads, etc. I have the reports that show this.

I learned my lesson on the first set of tires, the OEM Michelins. Those are over $1200 per set! I ruined them by never getting an alignment, rotation, or re-balance. Bought a $600 set next and they ran quite until about 8k miles ago. I have 38k miles on them now. So figure, no alignment, rotation, or re-balance, change in 40k miles. Do everything possible, change in 40k miles.

This is why I will not be buying expensive tires is worth it, at least not with my MDX. The Hankook tires on now did pretty good, installed costs $600. I am hoping the next set will last a little longer with low noise and comfort. My choice today are the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia, 255/55/18, installed, $900.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Okay, then you have a problem that is wearing the inside part of the tread (not "thread"). That is not cupping.

It is NOT normal for the MDX to wear tires unevenly like that. If your car can't be aligned within Acura's specifications, then something is wrong with your car's suspension. It's possible the dealer was correct when they said that it might need new shocks. It's also possible there is some other problem with the suspension - perhaps a bent component, or whatever. Your car is going to continue to wear tires unevenly until you get the problem with your suspension correctly diagnosed and fixed. Getting it aligned over and over again is not going to fix the problem. It's clear that Firestone doesn't have the expertise to find and fix the problem. You need to take your car to a place that has the experience to do so.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They matter to me!!


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Old 12-12-2012, 06:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Okay, then you have a problem that is wearing the inside part of the tread (not "thread"). That is not cupping.

It is NOT normal for the MDX to wear tires unevenly like that. If your car can't be aligned within Acura's specifications, then something is wrong with your car's suspension. It's possible the dealer was correct when they said that it might need new shocks. It's also possible there is some other problem with the suspension - perhaps a bent component, or whatever. Your car is going to continue to wear tires unevenly until you get the problem with your suspension correctly diagnosed and fixed. Getting it aligned over and over again is not going to fix the problem. It's clear that Firestone doesn't have the expertise to find and fix the problem. You need to take your car to a place that has the experience to do so.
This last sentence is the crux of the whole matter.

From your post I would think that you keep taking your MDX back to the same place. Obviously they do not understand/know how to solve the problem.

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Old 12-12-2012, 07:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Are you driving around with a heavy load most of the time?

First gen x and Pilots would wear the inner tread quickly if you did that.


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Old 12-12-2012, 10:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Do you have a good local body shop? You might see what they say, as they have lots of experience with finding and fixing damaged suspensions.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the helpful comments. Really appreciate it. FYI: My MDX has never been in an accident or anything like that. It is like anyone else's that just drove it carefully since the purchase. Really cared for.

Hope this thread has been helpful. For those that read it, watch the camber numbers on the back tires when you get an alignment. See what they are before anything is done and after work is done. Keep the records. If you go to an Acura dealer do the same thing and ask them what should be done if camber is out beyond tolerance. Let us know what they do to get camber back in to the acceptable range.

I think an alignment on the MDX should be done more often than once every year or two. From my experience the four wheel system can go out of alignment more often than that. Keep in mind it is a four wheel alignment versus a normal car being a front two wheel alignment.

Finally, the non-adjustable camber in the rear tires has been enough of a problem so that an aftermarket part was designed and manufactured and is available for the resolution. Acura will likely see this one day and make the rear wheel camber adjustable.

Again thanks for the comments. Wish all comfortable and quiet rides with your MDX!
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I think an alignment on the MDX should be done more often than once every year or two. From my experience the four wheel system can go out of alignment more often than that. Keep in mind it is a four wheel alignment versus a normal car being a front two wheel alignment.
Sorry, but you're just wrong on this. Your car has a suspension problem. Doing alignments over and over again won't fix it. An MDX that doesn't have a suspension problem does not need 4-5 alignments a year.

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Finally, the non-adjustable camber in the rear tires has been enough of a problem so that an aftermarket part was designed and manufactured and is available for the resolution. Acura will likely see this one day and make the rear wheel camber adjustable.
Again, you're just wrong on this. You're getting inaccurate information from your tire shop that does not have the ability to properly diagnose and fix your car's suspension problem.

The stock Acura suspension design is just fine, and no aftermarket parts are needed. (Doesn't it seem strange to you that you claim there's a problem with the stock MDX, yet no one else among the many owners here is having the problems you're experiencing?) Since your car cannot be aligned within spec, some of its original suspension parts have been damaged or otherwise need replacement. When you replace those parts with new stock Acura parts, you will no longer have the alignment problems or tire wear problems you're experiencing.

You will likely see this one day when you take your car to a competent dealer or mechanic that can accurately diagnose and fix the problem with your car's suspension. After they fix it, you won't need to get an alignment more than once every couple of years. Until you do that, you're going to continue to experience your tire and alignment problems. Whether you continue to mistakenly attribute them to a design problem that doesn't exist, or finally realize that you just need a competent mechanic to find the real problem with your car's suspension, is up to you.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Alignments are a corrective maintenance function, not a preventive maintenance function.

My 2004 has had one alignment in the 8 years and 73,xxx miles that I have owned it.

Cushman, your vehicle has problems. And the major problem is that you are using an alignment service that obviously does not know what they are doing. Either that or you are driving it in such a manner that it regularly getting knocked out of alignment.

George
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Who says rear camber isn't adjustable?



Acura online store : 2008 mdx rear lower arm parts

Bolt #26 is cam shaped and moves the rear lower control arm in and out to adjust camber.

Of course it has a limited range of movement and might be at its maximum, or possibly it is rusty and the shop can't break it loose. It can take an enormous amout of torque to break this loose, >500ft.lbs
Perhaps the shop tried with their impact gun and it didn't budge?
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Today put new Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia tires on. Also put on SPC Performance 67570 rear upper adjustable control (Camber) arms on. Now camber is adjustable like the front. NAPA also makes the rear adjustables. The 2008 drives like brand new and the tires sound like brand new. These tires are low rolling resistance tires. Made for high ride comfort and low noise. Also better fuel mileage. The Acura dealer indicated the rear camber can slip due to the springs aging and some slight sag. Now adjustments can be made to compensate.
Now I think these tires are going to matter.
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Last edited by Cushman; 12-19-2012 at 10:47 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Bridgestone Ecopia Tires

Update: Jan. 5, 2013. It has been about three weeks since putting on the new tires and adjustable arms. Am reporting have never had a better ride so far. Very quite tire, very comfortable ride.

Will update this tire as time goes by.
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