Hey guys, I brought the Camry to my mechanic today to have the tires re-balanced because I was getting vibration at highway speeds.
Anyway, he rebalanced them but he told me something disturbing. I already knew my all-seasons were going bald. Nothing new.
But he showed me that especially one of my tires wasn't a perfect circle. When he spun it on this balancing machine you could see its uneven surface. He told me that aside from being worn, the internal belts inside the tire were beginning to separate and that this tire will eventually become grossly off-balance and I should get a new one soon.
Sounds logical, but what is belt separation? What is it caused by? I've driven about 40-45000KM on these tires. About 50/50 city and highway. On the highway I cruise peacefully but in the city I sometimes like to drive in a spirited manner.
Anyone else had belt separation? I think there was another guy with a Lexus IS who reported a disintegrated tire on the highway due to belts or something...
No, I am referring to the all season Michelin Energy MXV4 S8 tires that the car came with.
I doubt speed caused it - I've never been anywhere near the 240km/h speed rating of the tire.
Have not overloaded car ever. Usually I drive it solo and only my subwoofer is the cargo.
Certainly haven't under-inflated either - I check pressure weekly.
In the 13 years I've lived in Toronto I must admit that the roads have never been in a worse state. In those 45000km I have certainly gone through TONS of potholes, ruts, bumps, etc despite a decent effort to avoid them. That is likely the cause.
We had that issue with the Uniroyal tires that came with our '75 VW Rabbit. One after another of the original tires would get severely out of balance and examination would reveal an unevenness of the tread due to an internal separation. Eventually all five (back then the spare was fullsize) of the tires failed - presumably due to a manufacturing defect in that batch of tires. Never had tire problems with the car after that.
Tread separation is usually warranted by the manufacturer based on the depth of tread remaining on the tire, down to 2/32 on an inch. Take the car back to a Michelin dealer and have him inspect the tire.
One side note. Tires should be replaced in pairs, so you have the same approximate tread depth and gripping pattern on the same set of axles (both front or both back). These tires are also pretty expensive. They are V rated tires. I paid just over $200 US for one this past Summer.
I have been getting some quotes. I am looking to replace all 4 tires. I don't want to go with a summer tire because they will wear out way too quickly. But I want new all-season tires with "AA" traction this time and treadwear in the 400s.
I've narrowed it down to the Toyo Versado LX and Yokohama AVID V4S tires in the OEM 215/55R17 size.
I can get both for $900 mounted and balanced including tax.