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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I've got an '11 HiHy Limited with 185k and one out of round tire....I took it back to Costco and they are adamant that the tire is not defective, based on a the wear and broken belts. They claim it's mechanical. I thought foul at first, but then I recalled when I bought the vehicle a few years back, there was one bad tire then as well, that had to be replaced. I thought that was odd but didn't think twice about it.

Through the years, I've noticed I've had to replace tires in odd stages - not 4 worn at a time - and usually one is worse than they others (maybe I should've rotated more frequently!).

Bottom line question: what mechanically could be going wrong that would make tire go bad like this? I usually replace all 4 at a time, and get balance and alignments done when purchasing.

Thanks for any input!
 

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If you keep track of which tire it’s easier to find the bad side. Likely it’s one of the front wheels. I bet it’s your control arm bushings and sway bar end links and bushings.


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Highlander(s)
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Never replace only one tire. Differences in diameter can cause havoc with AWD system
 

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How many miles on those tires since new? Do you rotate all the tires every 7.5 to 10k miles?
 

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At min you replace both sides of the same axle on AWD or 4WD vehicles. If the tires are worn a lot you pretty much need to do all four as the difference will cause problems with some sensor of various makes/model. A tire shop should advise you by measuring the existing thread of the older tires. Then you can select an entirely different tire if you choose.
 

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Never replace only one tire. Differences in diameter can cause havoc with AWD system
Absolutely true. That small difference in the diameter will destroy a transfer case and/or rear diff over time. Imagine what it costs to replace a transfer case.
 

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Already 10 years old. Your at the point in time where things wear out. Before you get new tires you should resolve the uneven wear on that one corner before just getting new tires. In the end, without resolving the root cause you won’t be doing yourself any favors.


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Absolutely true. That small difference in the diameter will destroy a transfer case and/or rear diff over time. Imagine what it costs to replace a transfer case.
Exactly. Already had it happen on my old 2006 HL AWD. Didn't realize even though the tires were same brand one side was more worn than the other. I suspect the person who sold it to me put the better tires on one side and the more worn on the other. Blew my front differential (or what some call transfer case). In any case it would have been a $3k repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
UPDATE: it turns out, I had (but forgot) one of the tires replaced due to a tire puncture months ago. So that's probably why right now there's only one that's bad. And it's in the rear b/c they did rotate them.

I've got new tires going on in a week. In the meantime, I have a reputable local repair guy look at my rig. He said the front struts are bad and recommended replacing them (with quick struts). Does that seem like a likely cause, and if so, any recs on decent struts? I've been combing the interwebs, and there's not much out there - unless I'm looking for the wrong thing.

If it's not likely the struts, what could it be?

thanks for all the input so far!
 

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Unless those struts have completely lost all their fluid, and are just "hanging there" than no. It is easy to tell wear from poor struts. The tires will be "cupped". Broken or misaligned belts are caused from road damage, poor inflation practices, and so on but rarely if ever by the car itself
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Unless those struts have completely lost all their fluid, and are just "hanging there" than no. It is easy to tell wear from poor struts. The tires will be "cupped". Broken or misaligned belts are caused from road damage, poor inflation practices, and so on but rarely if ever by the car itself
I pushed back on Costco Tire, saying that belts are typically damaged by road issues, etc...but they said because of the extent of the damage - across the entire tire, and it being out of round - vs on the sidewall, that it's a car/mechanical thing. If not struts, is it something else? bearing/arms? I'm out of my comfort zone here, so I'm grabbing at straws.
thanks!
 

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What is it you're calling belt damage? If it's out of round conditions, cupped, scuffed and so on than very well likely could be vehicle. I would get the car to a GOOD technician. Not one only interested in throwing parts at it.
 

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A worthy note is that Costco are not maintenance and repair experts. They only focus on tire replacement. Occasionally give advice.

Your car is messed up. You could go back to my post up here and see what I would look at.


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