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Old 03-24-2002, 01:42 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 70
Exclamation Tread Separation

Ok - can someone tell me the symptoms of tire tread separation? My '97 C280 is driving kinda nutso - and the entire suspension/steering system has been checked and ok'd. I've got a new set of Continental tires on the car (about 8000k on them right now). My driving experience can be best described as WEIRD - very unstable, unpredictable road tracking and loose. Sorry that's so subjective but that's the only way I can describe it. Can someone tell me the right non-sport tire to put on this car? I've read on here a lot about Michelins. Thanks in advance.


Ft. Lauderdale

PS - This forum has saved me a couple thousand $$ in unnecessary repairs. Thanks for the awesome education everbody!
Mark E.
Miami, FL
2 X 1997 C280
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Old 03-24-2002, 09:23 AM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
My strategy for solving problems is always "divide-and-conquer" in which you localize where the problem is through tests that you create. The alternative approach is something like "test or replace individual components until it starts working again".

My first suggestion: Rotate the tires from front to back. LF to LR, RF to RR, like radials are supposed to be rotated.

While its not a conclusive test, it should give you a meaningful hint. I'd say if the steering issues go away, you probably have something wrong with those tires you just moved to the back. If it doesn't go away, you either have a bunch of bad tires or something wrong with the steering or suspension.

Also, while you are rotating the tires, you have the chance to take a closer look at the suspension and brake components, looking for breakage, wear or some other problem condition.

I hope this helps - its a cheap enough test. First of all, I'm cheap. Secondly, I'm lazy. If the two conflict, I often take the cheap option.

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Old 03-24-2002, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Surrey, Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 750
tires may be out of shape

do you drive this car everyday? if you dont, give it a good run
for three days in a row. then, follow above suggestion.
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Old 03-24-2002, 11:58 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 298
For early indication of tread seperation, check the base of tread pattern from the side wall for cracks.

How do I know this? I have a Ford Explorer, before Ford replaced those dangerous Firestone Wilderness AT tires, I could see a lot of cracks developing on those tires.
99 BMW 540i 6-speed 110K Km
03 SAAB 9-5 wagon 80K Km
92 400E (Sold) 245K km
Still missing the days with the Benz, it kept me busy.
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Old 03-24-2002, 07:10 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: east coast
Posts: 1,255
I had Continentals, it had a shifted belt which introduced itself as vibration in the steering wheel, occured from when tires were new.
When I had a poor alignment done on my car it felt like as soon as the steering wheel was turned from exactly straight ahead the car felt unstable.

I went to Michelin MXV 4's Green, the model with the lower weight rating. Purchased from Tire Rack. These tires were actually made in Japan. Very nice touring tire.

`98 C-230
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Old 03-24-2002, 07:19 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 70
Ethan & Co. Thanks for your replies. After all the time wasted checking out the suspension and steering several times, I figure this has to be the last item to check out. Thanks again. I will let you know what happens!

Mark E.
Miami, FL
2 X 1997 C280
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