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Old 04-03-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
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Oh No, Marathon issue!

My first Marathon failure!
When driving home with our new Airstream last month I noticed a vibration at certain road speeds. The vibration seemed to come and go, so I wondered if it might be related to the road surface. When we got home after 250 miles of driving I gave the tires a visual inspection, checked lug nuts for tightness, checked tire pressure and shrugged. The next weekend we drove to Cape Cod to camp and on the trip I felt the vibration again, this time on a stretch of brand new pavement, it went away after just a few minutes. Now, let me add that I own an auto repair business and we do a small but steady amount of very high tech tire work. I am talking about some high end; fussy, tire mounting that requires some state of the art equipment to handle. We do it. Anyway I had my suspicions about the tires on the trailer although the vibration was brief and very subtle it was definitely there. Sooo… today I jacked up the trailer and put her on jack stands (she looked so sad! ), then I took the tires into work to see what I would find.
First up was the right side tire, I set it up on the Road Force balancer and gave it a spin. It needed 90 grams of weight to bring it into balance but the tire was nice and round (wheel/tire eccentricity or roundness is what Road Force balancing checks). I added weight and re-checked to be sure. Next came the left side tire. As I set it up on the balancer I could see that there was an issue. I performed the measurement anyway and sure enough we had Road Force numbers that I had never seen before! This baby was square! I called a local Goodyear dealer that we do business with and he had tires in stock. Next I called Goodyear to see how to proceed. It is good when you speak their language; I had a replacement authorization in about 30 seconds. I took the bad tire to the Goodyear dealer, had it swapped and brought it back to my shop “just to see”. Perfect balance and very low Road Force numbers, the new tire is nice and round.
Is there a lesson here? My only thoughts are that if it seems strange or unusual perhaps a check before total failure is a good thing. I am very happy that I caught this before I suffered a blow out. That it was headed that way is certain, the tire had no road damage and it was clear that it was coming apart….
Scary huh?
In the FWIW department, we see all kinds of brand new tires that are not round when we first install them. Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear, Yokohama, the list goes on and on. All manufacturers will warranty a new, out of round tire. I guess I’m not ready to throw the Marathons out yet but I’ll be watching them very closely.
Bruce
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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Thank you for taking the time to describe your experience. Always something to learn for others.

I am very happy with my 16" wheels and Michelin tires, but anything can fail.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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Hey Bruce,

Since you have a road force balancer it would be interesting to see the results after 5000 miles or so. We too use a high end Hunter road force balancer and it picks up everything. I would think it would have no problem identifying a GYM. Keep a close eye on them and remember a blow out on a single axle is a different animal than tandems..

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #4
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Hey Bruce,

......remember a blow out on a single axle is a different animal that tandems..

Vinnie
Vinnie,
Just the thought of a blowout is going to force me into watching this carefully. I am not paranoid by nature but I will certainly be removing these tires for a follow-up spin/check in the future. I'm just glad I was curious enough to go looking!
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #5
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Well it's definitely a plus that you are able to confirm your suspicions and talk the talk with the manufacturer. All my experiences with tire issues (out of round) or failures have been a losing battle over warranties with the "local" tire salesman. All you can do is take your business somewhere else.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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Well it's definitely a plus that you are able to confirm your suspicions and talk the talk with the manufacturer. All my experiences with tire issues (out of round) or failures have been a losing battle over warranties with the "local" tire salesman. All you can do is take your business somewhere else.
I do "speak the language" so I know what to ask for, but my point in this post was to show others that no manufacturer ignores quantitative data (at least in my experience). That is exactly what the Road Force balancer gives you. It is something of a p.i.t.a to pull the tires and check but it is less a pain than a blow out......
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
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Good post Bruce,

I know your point wasn't to drag us down the Goodyear Marathon statistic story again... but only to show us a bit about new diagnostic technology.

Thanks for that...

Keep us posted.

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Old 04-04-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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Thumbs up

So far, I've had good luck with both sets of Marathons. But, as pointed out in a previous post, the performance of the tires on a single axle trailer is critical. The more information about ways to detect and prevent problems, the better. It's especially enlightening to get information from those who are in the business.

Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:00 AM   #9
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Good and thoughtful post, Bruce. Current information is never flogging a dead horse. I feel that tire issues are very important, and cannot be over reported.

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Old 04-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #10
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FYI to All -

I just voluntarily replaced my OEM Marathons due to age. The date of manufacture on the sidewall was "2006", so 20th week of 2006. The tires had very, very low miles, all highway. When the trailer was not used, it was on jacks to take the weight off the tires and the tires were covered.

Off the trailer, the tires looked basically new. I had the tire shop inspect them and one was showing signs of delamination on the inside sidewall.

So, either the concern with age is true (low use or high use), or the GYM tires are poor, or both.

Beware.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:36 PM   #11
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Tetstream,

May I ask what kind of tires you decided on for your Bambi?
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:02 AM   #12
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After researching, I decided to buy DynaTrails, in the OEM 15" size, ST225/75-R15D. Reasons were bascially two:

1) Michelin completed a joint venture with DoubleCoin, the manufacturer of the Dynatrails (yes, Chinese). They are building a huge plant under this venture. I figure if DoubleCoin is good enough for Michelin, then I'll give them a shot. Also, Double Coin makes commercial truck tires.

2) DynaTrails are handled at Les Schwab Tire stores. Les Schwab has been very good to me, they have great warranties, and their tire stores are everywhere.

BTW - my Marathons were made in Canada. . . . . . ..
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #13
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Detachment or just poor uniformity

Bruce B
Sounds like you were lucky. Other than out of round (uniformity) do you believe there was a detachment of tread or belts? If so did you file a complaint with NHTSA?

I am surprised that bunformity issue would come and go.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #14
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Bruce B
Sounds like you were lucky. Other than out of round (uniformity) do you believe there was a detachment of tread or belts? If so did you file a complaint with NHTSA?

I am surprised that bunformity issue would come and go.
I have no Idea if this was the beginning of tread/belt separation or if the tire was just a really poor example. Goodyear tire sidewalls always look awful to me but this one was particularly bad with lots of lumps and bumps.

No I did not report it to NHTSA.

I have experienced tires that have symptoms that come and go before. In fact the Pirelli Scorpions on my truck have exhibited this trait. This is the last time I purchase Pirelli's for my own use....
3 of the last set of 4 had to be replaced within 5 thousand miles!

I suspect that whatever was wrong with my Marathon tire was the beginning if something that would not end well and Goodyear did not hesitate to offer a replacement....

I will give them a chance. If anything happens, Ill switch to something else.

Bruce
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