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Old 07-19-2021, 10:07 AM   #1
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Defective Tow Vehicle Tire???

My TV (2020 GMC 3500HD AT4 Duramax) came with OEM Goodyear Wrangler Trailrunner AT in LT275/65/R20. I have 27,000 miles on the truck, with 90% of the miles incurred when pulling my previous FC30 or my current Classic 33.

Last week, I pulled from Houston TX to west central Ohio to visit my parents (and have some warranty work done right next door in Jackson Center). During the downtime, I had some service work done on the GMC. When I picked it up, the service manager told me I had a separated belt on the driver rear tire. A quick observation confirmed this. I immediately drove (quite slowly, I might add—the squirrelly handling and loud thumping was a good reminder!) to the nearest Discount Tire and had a set of Michelin ATX LT/2 (white lettering turned inside) put on. Given how poorly the damaged tire handled, I am quite sure the belt did not separate before I had dropped off my truck at the GMC service center. (To be clear, I do not blame them for having anything to do with this.)

The tread on these tires was quite worn down, and I had anticipated replacing them as soon as I got back to Houston—which would have given me about 30,000 miles on the OEM tires. This gives pause for a few questions:

1. What kind of tire life are you guys seeing? Should I have expected more than 27-30k miles on the stock rubber? I don’t drive very aggressively, but most miles were towing miles.

2. How often do the belts break? The truck has never been overloaded (3800 lb. payload). I religiously keep the tires inflated to spec (60psi front, 80psi rear) and rotate at every 5000-mile oil change. A thorough inspection of the damaged tire—inside and out—showed no other visible damage, so it would appear that this was a defective tire.

On a happy note, Discount Tire filed a claim and Goodyear did provide a reasonable tire credit that I used to offset the expense of the new Michelins. So it would appear that both Discount Tire and Goodyear agree that this was a manufacturing defect.
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Old 07-20-2021, 04:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
My TV (2020 GMC 3500HD AT4 Duramax) came with OEM Goodyear Wrangler Trailrunner AT in LT275/65/R20. I have 27,000 miles on the truck, with 90% of the miles incurred when pulling my previous FC30 or my current Classic 33.

Last week, I pulled from Houston TX to west central Ohio to visit my parents (and have some warranty work done right next door in Jackson Center). During the downtime, I had some service work done on the GMC. When I picked it up, the service manager told me I had a separated belt on the driver rear tire. A quick observation confirmed this. I immediately drove (quite slowly, I might add—the squirrelly handling and loud thumping was a good reminder!) to the nearest Discount Tire and had a set of Michelin ATX LT/2 (white lettering turned inside) put on. Given how poorly the damaged tire handled, I am quite sure the belt did not separate before I had dropped off my truck at the GMC service center. (To be clear, I do not blame them for having anything to do with this.)

The tread on these tires was quite worn down, and I had anticipated replacing them as soon as I got back to Houston—which would have given me about 30,000 miles on the OEM tires. This gives pause for a few questions:

1. What kind of tire life are you guys seeing? Should I have expected more than 27-30k miles on the stock rubber? I don’t drive very aggressively, but most miles were towing miles.

2. How often do the belts break? The truck has never been overloaded (3800 lb. payload). I religiously keep the tires inflated to spec (60psi front, 80psi rear) and rotate at every 5000-mile oil change. A thorough inspection of the damaged tire—inside and out—showed no other visible damage, so it would appear that this was a defective tire.

On a happy note, Discount Tire filed a claim and Goodyear did provide a reasonable tire credit that I used to offset the expense of the new Michelins. So it would appear that both Discount Tire and Goodyear agree that this was a manufacturing defect.
First, the instances of tread separations is very rare nowadays. On the order of parts per million.

And the belts don't break. The failure mode is for the belt edges to develop a crack between the belts and that grows over time.

Further, these separations are usually design related - not a manufacturing defect. Design issues are also covered by the warranty. It takes a person experienced in diagnosing these to tell the difference - something you won't find at the retail level.

And lastly, OE tires just don't get very good wear. That's because the OEM's have fuel economy standards to meet and they specify tires with low rolling resistance, which they get by sacrificing treadwear and/or traction.
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Old 07-20-2021, 05:06 AM   #3
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Extreme heat is an enemy of rubber and accellerates it's demise. Texas sees some very hot weather and this year has been a record breaker. I would venture a guess that heat played some part in the failure.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:24 AM   #4
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First, the instances of tread separations is very rare nowadays. On the order of parts per million.

And the belts don't break. The failure mode is for the belt edges to develop a crack between the belts and that grows over time.

Further, these separations are usually design related - not a manufacturing defect. Design issues are also covered by the warranty. It takes a person experienced in diagnosing these to tell the difference - something you won't find at the retail level.

And lastly, OE tires just don't get very good wear. That's because the OEM's have fuel economy standards to meet and they specify tires with low rolling resistance, which they get by sacrificing treadwear and/or traction.
Thanks for the explanation, Barry. At the end of the day, the tires were near end of life so I'm happy Goodyear made good on the bad tire.

While traveling in the southwest last month, TMPS says my trailer tire temperatures were approaching the upper 140s on a few afternoons (ambient temperature was >110°F). The "cold" tire pressure was 77-78psi for each, so tires were properly inflated. Since GM only provides tire pressure data (i.e. no tire temperature), I don't know what temperatures my TV tires may have seen.

While towing, I limit my max speed to 65mph so I don't think I was being overly hard on the tires. What tire temperature is too high? Could this help explain premature tire failure? And what about my Airstream tires...might they be compromised as well?
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:00 AM   #5
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Thanks for the explanation, Barry. At the end of the day, the tires were near end of life so I'm happy Goodyear made good on the bad tire.

While traveling in the southwest last month, TMPS says my trailer tire temperatures were approaching the upper 140s on a few afternoons (ambient temperature was >110°F). The "cold" tire pressure was 77-78psi for each, so tires were properly inflated. Since GM only provides tire pressure data (i.e. no tire temperature), I don't know what temperatures my TV tires may have seen.

While towing, I limit my max speed to 65mph so I don't think I was being overly hard on the tires. What tire temperature is too high? Could this help explain premature tire failure? And what about my Airstream tires...might they be compromised as well?
OK, so I did the math - and because it was a mix of Tow Vehicle and trailer, I have some concerns about its validity.

No doubt the high temperatures had an effect on the failure - and from the math, it sounds like this was pushing the limits.

I don't have a temperature that is too high - I use pressure buildup - but 140°F is certainly in that range.
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:18 AM   #6
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Roadway surface temps are often 40° to 60° F above air temps. Rubber deteriorates faster at high temps than at cooler temps. Texas has had many days over 100° F in the last several years and the destructive effects on tires are cumulative over time. I wasn't implying that a single trip caused the failure but it could have. I rather believe that the tires deteriorated over time from the effects of the heat where you live and that most likely was a factor in the tire failure. I'm surprised you received much compensation from a tire warranty if the tires were quite worn as most tire warranties prorate the value of the tire. There is no way that I know of to predict that kind of tire failure but it might be a good idea to replace tires more often if you live in a area that sees high temps during the summers, especially when towing heavy loads.
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:27 AM   #7
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OK, so I did the math - and because it was a mix of Tow Vehicle and trailer, I have some concerns about its validity.

No doubt the high temperatures had an effect on the failure - and from the math, it sounds like this was pushing the limits.

I don't have a temperature that is too high - I use pressure buildup - but 140°F is certainly in that range.

Rear truck tires started the day at 80psi and hit 88psi during the hottest part of the day traveling at 60-65mph.

Trailer tires started 77psi and hit around 90psi at >140°F.

We departed at 75°F and the virtual mercury hit 112° after lunchtime.

Are these conditions just not conducive to tire health? What options would I have to travel…should we just stay home?
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Old 07-24-2021, 10:27 AM   #8
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Hi

Going over to the Goodyear site:

A tire that fails in the first 12 months due to a defect gets replaced for free. You may or may not have been inside that limit. Tread life limited warranty is for 55K miles.

Based on random reviews, you are not the only one to have issues with these tires on a GM product.

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Old 07-25-2021, 04:30 AM   #9
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Rear truck tires started the day at 80psi and hit 88psi during the hottest part of the day traveling at 60-65mph.

Trailer tires started 77psi and hit around 90psi at >140°F.

We departed at 75°F and the virtual mercury hit 112° after lunchtime.

Are these conditions just not conducive to tire health? What options would I have to travel…should we just stay home?
Rule of thumb: You don't want to get any more than a 10% pressure buildup - excluding the affect ambient temperature has.

So the ambient temperature went from 75°F to 112°F = +37°F = 7.4% pressure buildup due to ambient temperature (2% pressure buildup for every 10°F) = 6 psi for the tow vehicle, and 5 1/2 psi for the trailer.

So excluding the ambient temperature affect, the tow vehicle got a 2 psi buildup (2 1/2 %), and the trailer got a 7.5 psi buildup (9.7%)

So it looks like the trailer tires are being stressed more than the tow vehicle's tire - which begs the question as to why the tow vehicle experienced the failure.

I went back to your original post and I don't see any description of the failure - except that it was confirmed. If you would be so kind, please describe the condition of the failed tire. And I am assuming this is a dually - was it the inside dual? Which side?
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:09 AM   #10
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Rule of thumb: You don't want to get any more than a 10% pressure buildup - excluding the affect ambient temperature has.

So the ambient temperature went from 75°F to 112°F = +37°F = 7.4% pressure buildup due to ambient temperature (2% pressure buildup for every 10°F) = 6 psi for the tow vehicle, and 5 1/2 psi for the trailer.

So excluding the ambient temperature affect, the tow vehicle got a 2 psi buildup (2 1/2 %), and the trailer got a 7.5 psi buildup (9.7%)

So it looks like the trailer tires are being stressed more than the tow vehicle's tire - which begs the question as to why the tow vehicle experienced the failure.

I went back to your original post and I don't see any description of the failure - except that it was confirmed. If you would be so kind, please describe the condition of the failed tire. And I am assuming this is a dually - was it the inside dual? Which side?
My truck is SRW, not a dually. The failed tire was driver rear. I did not snap a pic of the failed tire. Maybe I can try to describe it like this. Let's break the tire profile into 4ths, with 0% closest to differential and 100% facing outward from the truck. The 3rd quadrant (i.e. 50% to 75%) had a huge bulge. Slowly driving the truck showed this bulge to be present around the entire circumference of the tire. The tire was inflated to 78psi, according to the TPMS. After the tires were dismounted and stacked in a pile, neither the installation tech nor I could figure out which one was the bad tire. (I had to rely on a Sharpie mark I had previously made on the damaged tire to figure out which one it was.). So in the deflated state, the tire did not show any damage at all--inside or outside.

The only diagnosis I was formally given was when the lady at the GMC service shop called me and said "the service tech noted that your left rear tire has a broken belt...." When I picked up the truck, it was easy to see the bulge. When I drove the truck to Discount Tire, I could definitely feel the "squirrelly" (maybe out-of-balance would be a better descriptor) tire between ~15mph and 35mph. Faster than that and weird handling went away. (I mostly kept the speed below 40mph on the way to the tire shop.)

I hope this helps.
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:07 AM   #11
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My truck is SRW, not a dually. The failed tire was driver rear. I did not snap a pic of the failed tire. Maybe I can try to describe it like this. Let's break the tire profile into 4ths, with 0% closest to differential and 100% facing outward from the truck. The 3rd quadrant (i.e. 50% to 75%) had a huge bulge. Slowly driving the truck showed this bulge to be present around the entire circumference of the tire. The tire was inflated to 78psi, according to the TPMS. After the tires were dismounted and stacked in a pile, neither the installation tech nor I could figure out which one was the bad tire. (I had to rely on a Sharpie mark I had previously made on the damaged tire to figure out which one it was.). So in the deflated state, the tire did not show any damage at all--inside or outside.

The only diagnosis I was formally given was when the lady at the GMC service shop called me and said "the service tech noted that your left rear tire has a broken belt...." When I picked up the truck, it was easy to see the bulge. When I drove the truck to Discount Tire, I could definitely feel the "squirrelly" (maybe out-of-balance would be a better descriptor) tire between ~15mph and 35mph. Faster than that and weird handling went away. (I mostly kept the speed below 40mph on the way to the tire shop.)

I hope this helps.
Allow me to describe it in different terms.

The bulge was on the outer face about where the sidewall turns into tread. If that is the case, then that sounds like a tread separation. The wrinkle being that in the past, there wasn't a cap ply so the bulge went up and the tread bulged more than the sidewall.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:25 AM   #12
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When I was still running my big trucks…..when it was hot , I did my best to do my loaded miles at night when it was cooler…easier on me and my tires and the Kenworth appreciated it….now with these record temps we stay home….
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:38 AM   #13
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Allow me to describe it in different terms.

The bulge was on the outer face about where the sidewall turns into tread. If that is the case, then that sounds like a tread separation. The wrinkle being that in the past, there wasn't a cap ply so the bulge went up and the tread bulged more than the sidewall.
Thanks again, Barry. Your descriptive terms are better than mine. You must have seen one or two of these things in the past....

So it appears to be tread separation. Other than the occasional rough patch (I-10 through Beaumont comes to mind), I am not aware that the tire was subjected to any catastrophic injury. The tire is rated for a lot larger load than I have ever subjected it to. Most of the tire life was spent towing an Airstream trailer, including stretches in NM, AZ, and of course TX in the summer. I'm religious about maintaining inflation, and the tires were rotated each 5k miles. I'm not sure I could have done anything differently.

Was there a way to avoid this, or am I really a "victim" of a design failure?
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Old 07-27-2021, 04:21 AM   #14
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Thanks again, Barry. Your descriptive terms are better than mine. You must have seen one or two of these things in the past....

So it appears to be tread separation. Other than the occasional rough patch (I-10 through Beaumont comes to mind), I am not aware that the tire was subjected to any catastrophic injury. The tire is rated for a lot larger load than I have ever subjected it to. Most of the tire life was spent towing an Airstream trailer, including stretches in NM, AZ, and of course TX in the summer. I'm religious about maintaining inflation, and the tires were rotated each 5k miles. I'm not sure I could have done anything differently.

Was there a way to avoid this, or am I really a "victim" of a design failure?
Yeah, I've seen a few.

I don't have access to Goodyear's data, but the way this works is that the engineers would upgrade a construction based on their testing and see what happens. If there was an improvement, GREAT!! Is more needed? If so, the next upgrade may either be in the works or it may take a year or so to develop.

Oh, and what we are talking about is rates of failures. This isn't a case of good/bad. It's a case of how good and how bad! You can't completely eliminate failures, but you can reduce them to miniscule levels.
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:37 AM   #15
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Yeah, I've seen a few.

I don't have access to Goodyear's data, but the way this works is that the engineers would upgrade a construction based on their testing and see what happens. If there was an improvement, GREAT!! Is more needed? If so, the next upgrade may either be in the works or it may take a year or so to develop.

Oh, and what we are talking about is rates of failures. This isn't a case of good/bad. It's a case of how good and how bad! You can't completely eliminate failures, but you can reduce them to miniscule levels.
Hi

At the same time some engineer is looking at the 0.5 ppm defect rate and working out how to take it to 0.25 ppm .... there's an accountant adding up the cost of 0.25 ppm of the tires failing and nudging things in the other direction

Bob
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