The Lincoln Penny Test

19 02 2009

Since age sixteen, I have had 5 vehicles:

1) 1988 Olds Delta 88
2) 1993 Plymouth Acclaim
3) 2000 Chevy Prism
4) 2003 Chevy Cavalier
5) 2005 Chevy Aveo

That’s over 17 years… And maybe only once, with one of the first two cars, do I recall needing tires. Back with those first 2-3 cars, my dad always took care of my vehicle isues. So there’s a chance one or both of them needed tires at some point… But somewhere around car #3, I started taking care of going for oil changes, inspections etc. That is, until the Midgie.

The Midgie is a 2005 Chevy Aveo. I love her! Dearly. Probably more than any other car on the list besides my first car. (Point of information: when I went to college and my parents kept the Delta 88, my mom accidentally backed INTO the back driver’s side quarter panel of it. She was terrified to tell me for FOUR MONTHS.)

Anyway, with my purchase of my Midgie, I also got a nifty little maintenance plan built in. I have a little coupon book that makes ALL oil changes and tire rotations etc. FREE. I also got 4 free emissions inspections. All I have to do is pay attention to my mileage, show up on or near the date an oil change is needed, produce my nifty little coupon book, and wait 30-60 minutes for it to be over. It’s great. One of the best things I’ve done to maintain my car.

That being said, my tires have been rotated whenever needed since July/August 2005. So when I tried to move my car during a snowstorm in February 2007, I was shocked to realize that my two rear tires were nearly bald. Almost no tread whatsoever. So I went to my nearby Pep Boys and wasted an entire workday getting two new tires. Yay! Fun!

Then, in July 2007 when I had my car inspected, I was told that my two other original tires had passed inspection, but weren’t looking so good, and I’d need to replace them before my next inspection in 2008. Well, I managed to cut that timeline short a few months later, in October. I cut too close to a sewer well and blew a tire. I replaced the tire with the “donut” from the trunk and a day or two later, dropped my car off for two MORE tires at the Sears Auto Center in Tarentum while I worked nearby.

If you saw yesterday’s post, you know that I was told on Monday that I need TWO MORE TIRES!!!  (FYI – Monday’s mileage was 48,774.) I started thinking about the two previous tire purchases and realized that at least one of those purchases MUST still be under warranty. So today I dug out the paperwork.

I still have to check the “DOT code” & “Date of Manufacture” on my tires to figure out which are from where. I’m hoping both failed tires are from the same place… And I think I see a warranty issue in my future:

In February 2007, when they replaced the first set, my mileage was 25, 064. So if these are the failed tires, they lasted two years and 23,710 miles… The stated mileage warranty is “65,000 miles prorated…”

In October 2007, my mileage was 36,119. If these tires failed, they lasted 17 months and only 12,655 miles. The stated mileage warranty on the Sears receipt is 40,000 miles…

However, both of them, especially Sears have some references to treadlife and the amount of treadlife remaining… So tomorrow, I’ll try the “Lincoln Penny Test” to see what’s up. But right now, I can tell you that the crap tires? Yea, there’s ZERO tread on the outer sides of the tire…

So, if any of you men out there are “tire experts” and would like to accompany me to Sears or Pep Boys, let me know. I can hold my own in a lot of situations, but tires and the warranty of tires is new territory. I’m going to learn. And I’m going to be angry… I just want backup. If you’re willing & able, please email me. 🙂

I’ve probably already posted this song, but I don’t really care…



4 responses

20 02 2009

zero tread on the outer sides, but tread left on the inner, means either underinflated or your alignment is awful.

20 02 2009

I agree… but I inflated them when i thought they were low, and suggested to my dealership that the alignment is off. There might be zero tread on the inside as well. I just went outside to get my latest mileage for my dad and threw a flashlight on the outer tread. couldn’t see the inner-tread. In defense of all of that, they are pretty craptastic cheap tires…

20 02 2009
Burgh Baby

I don’t think that it’s you or the tires–I think it’s the windy, curvy, hilly topography here. I used to get at least 5K more miles than my tires were rated when I lived in NoDak, Florida, and Ohio. Here in PA, I always get a warranty discount when I have to replace them long before I should need to replace them. One day when I was bitching about it, my husband pointed out that the roads here aren’t exactly the most tire-friendly.

21 02 2009

i agree with burghbaby. we got the maxima new in 2006 and have already put a set of 4 tires on him, looking to do so again within the year. if you look at the pot holes (sink holes) in morningside, it’s no surprise. i mean, the roads leading to allegheny river blvd are like ricotta cheese. plus those sewer grates are all OVER the place and you can’t even see them til you’ve run them over. the roads near where you work are particularly bad, too. i bet you’ll get a warranty discount but find yourself getting new tires AGAIN in the near future. this winter was especially harsh…

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