rear tire wear,,lots of noise,, cupping

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by sprintman, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. sprintman

    sprintman New Member

    At 16.000 miles my 08 hybrid had been making lots of noise in the rear for some time. When I had it in for servicing i was shocked to see the rear tires were almost bald and badly cupped, The dealer said there had been a recall about this but that my car was not included (already had the upgraded rear suspension part----that it was my fault as had not rotated the tires often enough) When I went to the tire store the alignment guy guessed without knowing that I was driving a Honda Hybrid by my description. So now I have new tires and a quiet car but have just seen on another site others having this same problem with VIN's like mine (ones in which the problem is supposed to be addressed)
    Anyone eles out there with this this gonna happen with my new tires too?
  2. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Better bash a dealer up side the head and get it fixed. Vin or no Vin range. Honda knows they have a problem. Unless you carry around a ton of crap in the trunk and have 4 adults in the car at all times the camber is screwed up. Also check you rear wheel bearings. Those are also one of Honda's little dirty secrets.

    I find it funny how most of the informed DX, LX, EX owners of the 8th gen Civic figured all this out FAST. And it seems the hybrid owners just woke up a year or so ago concerning it. I figured it out right after Honda replaced a rear spring that sagged and both rear tires on my 06 Civic were replaced. Once the car was right you could see the negative camber in the rear wheels. Then a rear wheel bearing failed. I replaced it myself being sick of Honda's BS in Torrance and there dealers. Lets us not even speak of the mystery ECU failure.

    Make Honda fix it and now. It was so bad on my EX the steel belts in the rear tires crawled because of the inner loading. You could roll at dipped area up, fill it with milk and feed a cat out of it.

    Get it fixed and take no guff from Honda concerning it. They tried to pull the no rotation thing out there arse on me also. I thumped them hard with the tire life on my other two cars and my 10k mile normal rotation schedule. When I showed them my Ranger with the blow up Wilderness AT tires at well over 60k miles. They didn't have a leg to stand on.

    Honda has took on some GM'ish traits in the last few years. So take no guff from them.
  3. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Hi Sprintman;

    Sorry to hear about the issues. I would suggest you contact Honda Corporate and cc the letter to your service department manager. Kindly but firmly explain the circumstances and the observations regarding the tire wear and the contents of the following TSB:

    TSB - A08-001 - HCH-II trailing

    Even though the TSB only covers the VIN#'s from JHMFA3...8S000001 through JHMFA3...8S010456, it is still possible to leverage a fair amount of good will of their part to have your problem looked at with the least amount of loss and aggravation to you.

    Did you have an alignment done after getting the new tires?


  4. nervousmini

    nervousmini Well-Known Member

    He's got it right on the head!

    Call and follow up with a letter to Honda NA and your dealership stating the problem and your dissatisfaction with the level of service you got - be nice but direct and firm.

    Having the TSB info will help your case too. Attach copies of any relevant repair receipts and alignment printouts.

    If you have been a long time Honda customer and or customer of that dealership, be sure to mention that as well.

    And if it's not too late try to get the old tires back to keep as evidence of "abnormal" tire wear, in case you have the chance to speak face to face with someone.

    There is no reason for an undamaged vehicle to display such aggressive tire wear at that low of an odometer reading - especially with the lrr tires that are installed from the factory.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  5. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    SprintMan: Msantos has given excellent advice. I had an 07 HCHII with the very same symptoms as yours. I didn't find out about the TSB until 25,000 miles and the tires were VERY bald. My controls arms were changed out under warranty but they wouldn't do anything with the tires.

    Be firm. If they won't do anything about the control arms/tire replacement, suggest (firmly) that there is a rear alignment issue of some sort. (under warranty)
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    From the OP: "already had the upgraded rear suspension part"

    What can the dealer do?
  7. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Hi Mendel;

    The dealer can help legitimize and kick-start a claim.

    It is usually called "escalation" and the basic principle through which many of these problems get assessed, acknowledged and ultimately resolved by Honda engineering.

    That is why, it is very important to get Corporate Honda involved early, along with all the paperwork that it entails... and equally important not to burn the bridge to the dealer, since without the dealer you only have 1 half of your "good-will" avenue.


  8. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Cupping? I thought that was how the tailor checks which side I dress? :eyebrow:
  9. CapriRacer

    CapriRacer Well-Known Member

    The term "cupping" is frequently missed used. Cupping is caused by bad shocks or an assembly that is out of balance.

    But many use the term to mean "irregular wear". Irregular wear is caused by misalignment and aggravated by insufficient inflation pressure and insufficient rotation practices.

    My experience says that the published alignment tolerances are too wide. Not the target value, but the allowable deviation from that value. I think it ought to be half of what is published.

    Put another way, the alignment should be within the inner half of the spec.

    You should be aware that even vehicles that do not have a pull can be out of alignment. There are settings where one out of spec condition is offset by another out of spec condition – typically camber vs toe.
  10. sprintman

    sprintman New Member

    I want to thank you all for your responses.......I was very frustrated at the time of my original post.....I had just read about the other vehicles with similar VIN's to mine with the same problem....Also my drivers side window now goes out of the track about half the time when going up. I got a Honda expecting it to be trouble free.
    My Hyundai Sonata that I traded in never went back for warrenty work.....for that matter neither has our still owned 05 PT Cruiser Convertable....Guess I've been spoiled.
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Just for reference:

    The rear wheel camber spec. is "-1 deg, 39 minutes"

    Which translates to a pitch of 3/16" in 12", fwiw

    I gather the negative value means the tires stick out more at the bottom, atleast that's the way ours look.

    This camber is fixed and unadjustable (unless you hit a curb or similar), as far as I know. When the rear wheel upper control arms are replaced, I gather this changes the camber, deviating from spec.
  12. R.I.D.E.

    R.I.D.E. Well-Known Member

    Rear camber will change with vehicle load, due to unequal length control arms. While there may not be adjustable from the factory it can be adjusted by shimming the upper control arm mounting bolt to body connection, or slotting the lower control arm mounting point.

  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    "Rear camber will change with vehicle load, due to unequal length control arms"

    I'd speculate the idea is to get rear camber closer to zero as the car is loaded, or when hitting bumps in the road. Looking at the Service Manual Isometric overview, there's multiple "arms" connecting to the rear wheel bearing hub, and it's not readily apparent what's going to happen as the car deflects downward. Might be simplest to just get someone to bounce the back end up and down a bit and try to see what's happening.

    Some sport car whipped by us yesterday and it happened to catch my eye that it's rear tires had a fair bit of negative camber. I guess it's not unusual.

    On page 18-5 of the Service Manual, under the title Camber Inspection, the tolerance range for rear camber is noted as well as the spec.:

    -1 deg,39min.......+ 1 deg,05min.........-0 deg,45min

    I'm a little confused as to which way these tolerances shift the spec, with the negative values. I think the first tolerance brings the limit close to zero:


    and the second increases in the negative direction, to:

  14. R.I.D.E.

    R.I.D.E. Well-Known Member

    Camber=the angle from vertical of a wheel.
    0 being truly vertical.
    Best way to understand camber is to look at the wheel from the rear or front.
    If you placed a level on the wheel from top to bottom at 0 camber the level would indicate the wheel was truly vertical. Negative is leaning in at the top, positive is leaning out at the top.
    Most cars have some negative camber. A properly aligned solid rear axle like in pickup trucks has 0 camber, 0 caster, and 0 toe, although some NASCAR rear ends actually have some negative camber in a solid axle for handling!

    Toe in=the amount of inward positioning of the front wheels compared to truly 0 toe.
    Wheels that are toed out make handling very squirrily becasue you get an intial oversteering of the car when you turn the wheel to the point where one wheel is toed out while the other wheel has not moved enough to actually be contributing to the steering force.

    Caster=now this one is difficult to understand or explain. Caster is only on the front wheels in almost every case, except rear wheel steering. The front wheels pivot on an axis that is not vertical, but slightly inclined to the rear of the vehicle from bottom to top.
    The purpose of caster is to make the front wheels straighten themselves out when you stop turning. Becasue the front wheels are not rotating on a vertical axis when you turn the front wheels it will actually raise the front of your car slightly. When you release the steering wheel turning effort, the same height increase uses gravity to make the wheels go bact to their centered position.

    No car has all three angles exactly the same at 0, If they did the steering would not center when you released the pressure on the wheel after a turn, and the car would try to run off the road to the right due to the fact that roads are not level, having a crown to provide drainiage of rain water accumulation.

    Typically the right front wheel will have slightly more caster and camber than the left front and the car would track left if the road was perfectly flat in both planes.

  15. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Good job RIDE!

    If some one wants a good visual lesson in caster/camber/toe go find your nearest GM car or truck, RWD. Look at the front wheels with them pointed straight at you. Does not matter if it's aligned or not. Then turn the wheels one direction left or right does not matter half way to lock. Look at the wheels. Then turn them to full lock and look at them. You will see caster/camber/toe and ratio all at play,,, at the same time.

    If you have a Civic with this problem it's clear as day when you look at the car. Looks like this from the rear /----\ . Front wheels will look like |---| . Honestly you do not have to have it on a alignment machine to see it.

    When I had the left rear spring replaced on my 06 Civic because of a 5/8" plus sag. I fought with the dealer and Honda over the rear camber. They did replace the rear tires on it. But would never admit there spec was out or there was a problem. Did you catch that? " THERE SPEC " By there spec it was right. Well there yeah go. They blew it in engineering and spec. The supplier,,,, supplied the correct part for the car! Honda just spec'ed it wrong. I ended up fixing mine myself long before Honda would ever admit there was a problem. Heck I had the car traded and gone before Honda pulled there head out about the camber and rear wheel bearings. The wheel bearing issue was bad parts. But the camber issue is Honda's issue. Then there are the really screwed up 06 DX,LX,EX Coupes that are undrive-able or align-able because the stamping, jigs and weld up are done so poorly. How those cars ever got out of the factory in Canada is insane!
  16. R.I.D.E.

    R.I.D.E. Well-Known Member

    I bought an 06 Corolla, also made in Canada, that had to have the unibody mount for the rear axle shifted with a frame machine. The rear axle assembly replaced, The front end realigned, and all 4 tires replaced before 20 k miles. Bought it brand new with 6 miles, it ate up the outside of both front tires in 14k miles. Selling dealer told me it was because I did not rotate and balance.

    When I authorized the rotate and balance the Morons did not balance the rear wheels that they moved to the front, still had factory weights in exactly the same place they were when I bought the car. I rebalanced the wheels myself and carried the weights to the Selling dealer's service manager, after I went to the oether local Toyota dealer whose service manager I have known for 25 years.

    My buddy put the car on his alignemnt machine and everything was off. Individually the front wheels were in spec, but the total for both was out of total spec, which is why it ate the front tires up. What surprised me was the rear axle was not aligned to the body right. Basically both rear wheels were pointing to the left of their proper position. He replaced the rear axle and it helped, but it was still not in specs. he gave me a loaner Yaris while they took the car to a body shop and had the right location point for the beam rear axle twisted on a frame machine.

    I had bought two cars from the Moron dealership before and neither of them needed any alignment or rotate and balance in 26k and 32 k miles.

    I have heard of other Toyotas in that year range, Corolla based platforms like the Matrix that also had the same problems. Could be manufacturing defect, but it could also be the car carrier cranked the tie downs too tight in the wrong place and bent them.

    Bottom line is watch your tire wear very closely while you are still in warranty. If you have any problem make them aware of it and if you don't think you are getting the straight poop go to another dealer or an alignment shop you trust, while you still have some recourse from the manufacturer.

  17. jmelson

    jmelson Well-Known Member

    You sure that car was made in Canada? Sometime in the mid 90's, I think, Toyota sold the Corolla line to NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.) in Castro Valley, CA. (They might have a plant in Canada, I don't know.) Toyota just sells them under their brand name, but doesn't have much to do with design or manufacturing, and it sure shows. They aren't REALLY bad, but nothing like the legendary Corollas from about 1989. I had one of those for 19 years, it was the car you couldn't kill! Not a spot of rust, the only non-standard maintenance item was a starter at 110K miles, I never even had to add Freon to the AC!

  18. GardenWeasel

    GardenWeasel Well-Known Member

    I have lots of rear tire noise - and looking at my right rear tire I see unusual wear not evident on the others at the moment. I ran them at 44/45 psi for around 25,000 miles, and the last 6000 miles I've had them at 40 psi. Right center tread seems to be going slick! I'll be at my dealer this week (they did the alignment and rotate/balanced my tires). None of my other tires have that rib as "slick". Or maybe its time for new tires! (which I'm been desperately wanting to do!)

  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I'm definitely not a pro, but fwiw I don't see anything unusual in above pic. Just to confirm: do you have around 31,000 miles on that tire? The smaller, intermediate sipes are close to disappearing on the middle treads, but that's just a function of how deep the manufacturer cuts/molds them.

    Overall wear, ie: distance remaining to wear bars looks roughly uniform. Wear seems a little fast considering the mileage, but not bad. Are they Dunlop? Our Bridgestone Insignia SE200-02 OEM's look slightly more worn than that (checked just now), and this is on an '06 with around 69000 km (43,000 miles).

    Come to think of it, our Insig's were off last winter for maybe 2000 miles, when we had snow tires on, the first year we did a snow tire swap.
  20. GardenWeasel

    GardenWeasel Well-Known Member

    Yep - Dunlop SP31's. I suppose I'm disappointed in the tires, and really cannot believe how bad these tires have been. On the interstate, the "roar" from these tires is unbelievable. It makes having a conversation almost impossible!

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