Tire wear due to four down towing?

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by ClemKad, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. ClemKad

    ClemKad New Member

    April 2002 I stopped towing my 1995 Neon after 10,000 uneventful miles and put a new 2002 SXT Neon into service. After only 3,000 miles of 'normal' driving and about 500 miles of 'toading', I was getting some tire wear where the tread meets the side wall on all 4 tires.

    The service manager at the car dealer is telling me the wear is because of the way I tow the car. I've never heard of such a thing in any of these forums and have my own 10,000 mile success with another car.

    Hoping for some opinions from the list that I could share with the car dealer. Before you ask, the Neon has power steering (important to the Blue Ox Alladin Tow Bar), is a standard (to save the transmission), and the tire pressure has been as specified. Car was equiped with Goodyear P185/60R15.

    thanks for your comments.
    Clemkad

    2000 Coachmen Class C Santara 315QB
    2002 Neon SXT four down
     
  2. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    Tire wear due to four down towing?

    Hi Clemkad, can't help you with the Neon, but have towed my 1990 Mazda B2200 truck for 20000+ miles and haven't noticed any adverse tire wear.Towed a F-150 for approx 10000 mile back in the late 70's, behind a large support truck and never noticed any tire probllems. A question, can the Neon be 4 wheel align, maybe that would help, just thinking out loud. :)
     
  3. Butch

    Butch New Member

    Tire wear due to four down towing?

    Yessir, me too. have had that happen before. Alignment shop foreman down in Tulsa, OK said it had to be aligned for towing. They did and no further problems. Did seem to steer a little stiffer after their alignment, but after another 35K of towing no abnormal wear...
     
  4. ralphie

    ralphie New Member

    Tire wear due to four down towing?

    I have seen a few posts regarding toad tire wear. The front end geometry can be significantly different between vehicles. I recall that castor (or maybe camber) should be set at its upper limit rather than at the middle optimum limit in some vehicles. If it were me, I would try to find an alignment person that totally understands that the vehicle is being towed and has to be set up specifically because of a tire wear problem.
     
  5. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Tire wear due to four down towing?

    Find a good front end technician that can look at the wear and know what causes the wear, air pressure, toe, caster, riding height, suspension, caster, camber and 4 wheel alignment :approve: . A lot of our techs now only know what the front end computer alighment machine tells them :disapprove: ! Do you do a LOT of town towing with a lot of turning? Is the wear on the inner and outer sides on all four? Be sure and tell them this wear occurs while towed.
     
  6. ClemKad

    ClemKad New Member

    Tire wear due to four down towing?

    Thanks for all the great responses. I left out a few details in the initial post partly to be succinct (which is hard for me) but also to get a certain response :) . I needed to know if there is any evidence of 'toad' towing related wear without considering any other problems (including an unresponsive dealer!).

    The wear actually showed up prior to any 'toading'. First trip to the dealer and he said the tires were not initially balanced at the factory and he then balanced all four. I didn't notice before if there were any weights on the rims. When I returned a month later to say that the wear was still increasing and there was a noticeable vibration, that's when he blamed the towing. I'd been honest with them from the start regarding towing even getting the service manager and lead technician to agree with the towing modifications I was going to do and that they would not violate warranties. They made *no* mention of special alignment.

    To answer some questions posted, about 10% of the mileage on the car is 'toad'. Almost all of that is open highway. Turns aren't enough to explain the amount of wear. And *Yes*, the steering wheel is unlocked (even though no one asked)! ;)

    I'm wondering now if the original damage done to the tires prior to balancing is contributing to them getting worse. I'm about to have a different brand of tires put on including a check of the alignment. I've heard from some other forums (www.neons.org) that there have been problems with Goodyear tires wearing badly even without towing. Of course, I wouldn't be posting anywhere if the dealer was worth anything.

    This is a great forum. Thanks for the help. Now to find a good front end technician.......
     
  7. Butch

    Butch New Member

    Tire wear due to four down towing?

    ClemKad,

    Simply balancing a tire or tires with an unusual wear pattern will not correct that wear pattern. Once a wear pattern is established, it will continue. The ONLY way to straighten out a wear pattern is to shave the tire. There are no tires made today I know of that are smart enough to run only on the apex of the wear so it can catch up with the lower parts. Have heard folks say they just put them on the back to straighten up, again that would be one smart tire... :laugh: Good luck...
     
  8. Krazeehorse

    Krazeehorse New Member

    Tire wear due to four down towing?

    I would look at all the Neons around you to see if a similar wear problem is occuring with them. I would imagine that it is. It may only occur with the particular tire/rim package your vehicle has. You can view these other Neons at your Chrysler dealer or better yet the local mall. In the meantime I would probably bump my pressure up a couple pounds and see if that helped.
     

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