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Old 09-27-2005, 04:29 PM   #1
wildcatter
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Default How to prove a tire has a broken or slipped belt?

You forum members may recall me sharing the fact that I took a curve too fast and clipped a little short handicap curb a while back, breaking my left rear rim. The car is back from the shop with some new left rear suspension, bearings, and a new rim. The tire appeared to be undamaged (never even lost air) and was NOT replaced. All 4 wheels were checked for alignment and the new tire/rim were properly balanced.

Now when I drive the car I hear a "wom-wom-wom-wom" noise coming from the back. I think the tire may have been damaged, although it only has about 300 miles on it and looks showroom quality new (thanks also to the Pinnacle Tire Gel which took out a scuff mark and made the tire look like a million bucks -- amazing stuff).

The guys at the shop seem to think that while the tire still looks new that a belt inside may have been damaged. Or, less likely, perhaps a belt in another tire is bad. Of course there is always the possibility that it isn't a tire problem at all, but something else.

My question is: how does one prove a tire has a bad belt? Is there a way to test the tire without me having to fork out the money for another one and put it on to see if it solves the problem? Or, heaven forbid, having to do that one at a time for all four tires? I have an insurance claim open and I imagine the insurance company is going to be a little hesitant to replace a $400 - $500 tire without some proof.
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:44 PM   #2
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30 or so years ago when I worked for a testing company a man came in that had a crash and he felt the tire was the cause.

He asked us if we could x-ray the tire. We did and turned over the radiographs to his attorney. Regretfully I never heard the outcome.

This is called non-destructive testing and may or may not be worth your while. You might find a company that can do this for you.
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:52 PM   #3
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Have you checked with Goodyear to see if this might be covered under their road hazard warranty? Maybe just tell them it's making a noise and could they check to see if there is a tire problem.
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatter
...Now when I drive the car I hear a "wom-wom-wom-wom" noise coming from the back...
It may not be the tire at all. It's possible that there could be an issue with the new bearing etc. Before going too nuts studying the tires only, I'd look at the entire rear suspension a little more carefully. Step one would be to attempt to locate the exact area of the noise (which I realize can be tricky). If you can isolate the noise to one corner of the car, that's a start.

Be sure to let us know the outcome. Best of luck!
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocsorbil
Have you checked with Goodyear to see if this might be covered under their road hazard warranty? Maybe just tell them it's making a noise and could they check to see if there is a tire problem.
Hmm. Didn't think of that. Thanks. Not sure if my carelessness qualifies as a hazard or not, but something to check on.



Quote:
Originally Posted by aero400
It may not be the tire at all. It's possible that there could be an issue with the new bearing etc. Before going too nuts studying the tires only, I'd look at the entire rear suspension a little more carefully. Step one would be to attempt to locate the exact area of the noise (which I realize can be tricky). If you can isolate the noise to one corner of the car, that's a start.
Yes. The bearing replacement has been problematic. The first one the dealer received turned out to be the wrong size. The second one was for the wrong side of the car, they said. Apparently there are different bearings for the right and left side. The third one they swore was the correct one. We can try to check again.

I have been told that a bearing problem would sound more like a metalic whine that would change pitch with change in speed. Anybody know if that is the case or not?
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:00 PM   #6
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It's easy to check the tire. Go to a professional tire shop that has a Hunter roadforce balancer. It applies force to the tire as it rotates on the balancing machine and displays a computer graphic of the interior of the tire. It will show faulty belts, flat spotting and a variety of other tire issues. Got me a new set of tires from GM on a 99 Sierra that had 3 out of 4 tires defective from the factory. Worth a try but make absolutely sure it is the Hunter machine and that they have someone actually trained on how to use it.
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:57 PM   #7
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My Mom had an accident in her Lexus ... (RRear) Fixed it up, new tire, new wheel and alignment etc ..... Thrum thrum thrum

Turns out the wheel bearing was bad as well as some unreplaced parts of the suspension. I'd look there. A bad belt or something else tire related would most likely give you some level of vibration. IMHO
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatter
You forum members may recall me sharing the fact that I took a curve too fast and clipped a little short handicap curb a while back, breaking my left rear rim. The car is back from the shop with some new left rear suspension, bearings, and a new rim. The tire appeared to be undamaged (never even lost air) and was NOT replaced. All 4 wheels were checked for alignment and the new tire/rim were properly balanced.

Now when I drive the car I hear a "wom-wom-wom-wom" noise coming from the back. I think the tire may have been damaged, although it only has about 300 miles on it and looks showroom quality new (thanks also to the Pinnacle Tire Gel which took out a scuff mark and made the tire look like a million bucks -- amazing stuff).

The guys at the shop seem to think that while the tire still looks new that a belt inside may have been damaged. Or, less likely, perhaps a belt in another tire is bad. Of course there is always the possibility that it isn't a tire problem at all, but something else.

My question is: how does one prove a tire has a bad belt? Is there a way to test the tire without me having to fork out the money for another one and put it on to see if it solves the problem? Or, heaven forbid, having to do that one at a time for all four tires? I have an insurance claim open and I imagine the insurance company is going to be a little hesitant to replace a $400 - $500 tire without some proof.
Goto Home Depot and buy a huge bolt..and stick it in your side wall...and goodyear owes u a new tire...Easy as that then if the "womp womp" is still there you sh)(t out of luck.
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatter
...I have been told that a bearing problem would sound more like a metalic whine that would change pitch with change in speed. Anybody know if that is the case or not?
Well... a bearing can also give you a low pitched "grumbling" noise... maybe a whine... and sometimes other noises. Depends. I don't have a manual in front of me and am not sure of the exact configuration of the rear end, but just the mere fact that a mechanic touched the rear suspension at all means that ANY part of that system should be suspect.

The sound you describe actually does sound more like a tire thing, but, without hearing it / seeing it, really hard to say. A quick inexpensive check... maybe you've done this already... just jack up the rear of the car, take the P-brake off and put it in neutral... and try to spin each rear wheel by hand, even if just slowly. This might be tough actually. Well, the idea is, if you could just spin each rear wheel and observe, IF by chance there is something up with a tire that is causing a noise, it very well may be detectible to the eye... you may see a mild gradual bulge or low spot on a sidewall or even on the tread. But if both rear tires appear absolutely perfect as they spin, I think I'd give the rest of the suspension a harder look. Actually, if you jack up the rear and spin the rear wheels, you may actually detect the noise, at least if it is suspesion related. You may hear a hissing, rubbing or knocking etc from one side... and if so, that may be your problem. At least this may help isolate the side of the car that is having the trouble. (Note... your brake pads will make a little noise, that's normal.)
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:50 PM   #10
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Blindfingers:

Nice fuel guage...but it seems to be a little outdated !!!

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Old 09-28-2005, 03:25 AM   #11
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What about swapping the rear tires just long enough to see if the noise changes. If it changes, suspect the tires. If it stays the same, suspect the bearings.
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Old 09-28-2005, 03:39 AM   #12
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do you have any friends that have a vette ? just swap out the rear rims with theres and drive it.
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Old 09-28-2005, 01:22 PM   #13
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This is what I had to do to prove to the Chevy dealership that my tires were bad. The roadforce number will let them know.
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aero400
Be sure to let us know the outcome. Best of luck!
Problem solved. Aero400 and Toolking, you guys should go buy lottery tickets or something.

Everybody who listened to the problem thought it was the tire, but the problem turned out to be a wheel bearing. But get this, the dealership said it was the RIGHT rear bearing which was bad (the left wheel was the one that hit the curb). They said it was a factory defect and replaced the bearing and hub assembly under warranty -- no charge.

That sounds pretty strange. I only had a hair over 300 miles on the car and the non-impacted wheel bearing goes bad at the exact same time when I hit a curb with the left rear wheel?

After thinking it over here is what I surmise really happened: 1) the body shop sent the car to the dealer to have the left rear bearing replaced; 2) the dealership mistakenly replaced the wrong bearing; 3) when the car came back with the same problem the dealership realized the mistake and decided to palm the second bearing job off to Chevy under warranty and replace the bearing they should have replaced the first time.

Anyway, problem solved. The machine sure drives nice now.
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Old 10-04-2005, 05:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcatter
Problem solved. Aero400 and Toolking, you guys should go buy lottery tickets or something.

Everybody who listened to the problem thought it was the tire, but the problem turned out to be a wheel bearing. But get this, the dealership said it was the RIGHT rear bearing which was bad (the left wheel was the one that hit the curb). They said it was a factory defect and replaced the bearing and hub assembly under warranty -- no charge.

That sounds pretty strange. I only had a hair over 300 miles on the car and the non-impacted wheel bearing goes bad at the exact same time when I hit a curb with the left rear wheel?

After thinking it over here is what I surmise really happened: 1) the body shop sent the car to the dealer to have the left rear bearing replaced; 2) the dealership mistakenly replaced the wrong bearing; 3) when the car came back with the same problem the dealership realized the mistake and decided to palm the second bearing job off to Chevy under warranty and replace the bearing they should have replaced the first time.

Anyway, problem solved. The machine sure drives nice now.
TNX Good luck with your car ... Enjoy the ride!
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Old 10-04-2005, 05:31 PM   #16
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Last winter my wife spun her Toyota on some ice and kissed the curb with both right side wheels, got the scars to prove it. A month later I had to replace the LEFT rear bearing. Go figure...
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Old 10-04-2005, 05:31 PM
 
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