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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was disappointing to find out that the sidewall puncture is not repairable on one of my General Altimax RT43’s. I picked up a sheet metal screw while in South Dakota last month. It has a slow leak and loses about 1psi per day. I think I could have got another 15k miles out of them otherwise. I am having a set of 235/60/R18 Michelin Defender T+H installed this week and decided to up the aspect ratio +1 since I have a 2” lift installed and do road trips and camping in national forests. Discount Tires will be doing the install and they offer a “Warranty Certificate” for $30+ per tire which lasts for 3 years. The warranty will replace a damaged tire no questions asked.

I was wondering if you guys think that is a good idea to have or if most of you self-insure and consider the risks low.
 

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I never get the warranty but it definitely helped get me a new tire for one of my vehicles due to a big gash in the tire that was not repairable. It happened the day after I purchased the tires. The sales agent was able to add the warranty which was still cheaper than a new tire.

Recently purchased new tires for my van and was able to talk down the price of the certificates. I don't know if it's every location but my location was willing to deal. I pretended to not be interested in the initial interaction but when my van was ready and it was time to pay, I inquired again and they gave it to me for half price.

The thing with warranties is that nothing happens when you buy it but when you don't buy it it happens!!! 😂 It's the roll of the dice.
 

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I've gotten it before, but it was trailer tires and was only like $12-$15 tire. More importantly, can you use it if you need it?

With AWD you aren't supposed to have more than a 2/32" difference in treadware. So if a tire started at 11/32" and you're down to 7/32" on the rest of your tires, how will a new tire help you? I had a tire that couldn't be repaired on my Honda Pilot and my tires were down 3/32". I took the tire in already off the SUV, shop (not discount tire) mounted me a new tire but said if I had brought it in with the tires on, they couldn't have mounted it cause it was 3/32", more than the 2/32" limit.

So what will Discount Tire do in this case, and do you want to run a new tire with 3 worn tires on an AWD? Their warranty only covers a new tire, not replacing the other three if they are worn well past what's good to mount a different tread of tire.

TireRack actually has an option for this. You can buy a tire, tell them the tread of your existing tires, and they will shave the new tire down to the depth of your current tires before shipping to you.

Just some things to consider regarding this. I don't have AWD but I think I'll skip the certificates in the future since I've thought of this, and just get a shaved tire from TireRack or a new tire and pay out of pocket if I get non-repairable tire damage in the future. Well, I don't have AWD so I could just stick the new tire on the rear and not rotate my tires for the rest of the life of the tires too.
 

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I buy it most of the time. Do remember that tires automatically include a prorated warranty and whatever mileage warranty that the tire manufacturer provides if you decline the road hazard warranty.


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Also, ask your local store this question: How many years is the road hazard warranty good for? Clarify if 3 years is all, because I think it’s up to 10, at least for the one local to me.

It has been a long time since my last tire, and hence warranty purchase, so please verify first if what I am saying is true….


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a good point concerning the tire diameters and AWD. I will ask when I get to their shop.

The contract is for 3 years. After that you're on your own.

I'm also going to ask if they torque the lug nuts.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The puncture was right at the edge of the tread just where the sidewall starts. When I inserted my plug to seal it I could tell it was pretty darn close to the sidewall. I had my fingers crossed but in the end the tire had a slow leak.

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The problem is most of the morons at tire shops pound the lugs with the air impact then go around with the torque wrench. Yup, definitely confirmed to be tight with the torque wrench............
Very few places just snug the tires and bring the torque to spec with a wrench.
 

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TireRack actually has an option for this. You can buy a tire, tell them the tread of your existing tires, and they will shave the new tire down to the depth of your current tires before shipping to you.

Just some things to consider regarding this. I don't have AWD but I think I'll skip the certificates in the future since I've thought of this, and just get a shaved tire from TireRack or a new tire and pay out of pocket if I get non-repairable tire damage in the future. Well, I don't have AWD so I could just stick the new tire on the rear and not rotate my tires for the rest of the life of the tires too.
This. The Tire Rack site says the shaving service is $25 - $35. A tire shop may be able to handle it. This makes for a strong argument for self-insuring.

If the tires are already down to 3/32 it wouldn't pay--time for a new set anyway. If the tire spec is 11/32 and they're worn to 10/32 you wouldn't bother with shaving a replacement. Somewhere in the middle makes buying one tire and having it shaved a good value proposition. It would be worth it to investigate what the manufacturer says about acceptable differences in tread depth. Some AWD examples are at the bottom of this link:


This is not just an AWD issue. FWD vehicles also should not have significant differences on the front tires--traction control, stability control and anti-lock braking can be thrown off.
 

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At Discount Tire now,,,they do not offer tire shaving. They recommend replacing all 4 tires if the old ones are worn past 3/32" of the new one.

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Thanks for updating. That kinda confirms what I figured, reading between the lines. So the warranty isn't really all that great, especially if you have AWD and can't put the new, bigger tire on the non-drive axle.

So if a new tire is 11/32, and minimum is 2/32", you have 9/32" usable tread on a tire. So basically their certificate is "good" for replacing the tire if it cannot be repaired during the first 1/3 of the tire life. After that, you get a new tire still (if within the 3 years or whatever), but you'll have to buy the other three...

At that point, depending on tread depth, seems to make sense to either pay TireRack to shave down a tire (buying 1 tire instead of 3, if you past the first 1/3rd of tread life), or just buy a new set if nearing the end of life, and buying one tire doesn't make sense anymore cause you'll need to replace so soon anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes to the above. They did say they might be able to do something with pro-rating the other 3 tires if it came to that. I didn't investigate that any further since I don't think I will buy the certificates ( I have 30 days to decide).

As for torquing the lug nuts. I am pretty impressed with their process. They use a torque stick to get the nuts to about 65 ft-lbs, then finish off with a torque wrench.

The Defenders look good and I hope to get good service from them.
 

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Bummer on the corner/sidewall puncture.
I have had good luck with Discount tire overall. I like that they have stores all over the US and do lifetime balance/rotation on tires purchased from them & free flat repairs. I also like their torquing procedure as mentioned previously. Prices after discounts is usually inline with TireRack or other online sources +Install/mounting/balance, but you get lifetime service.

It hurts everytime i buy the certificates, but they saved me quite a lot of money a couple times now...
For example: I bought a truck from a family member in AZ and brought it to discount tire for a rotation/balance when I got back to NC. They offered me the certificates on the tires since they looked nearly new. I decided to go for it since the tires would be quite pricey to replace ($1000+). About 6 months later in the springtime, i noticed that all the tires had developed significant cracks in between the tread blocks over the winter (probably from living in hot dry climate, to NC, and then winter). I took it in and Discount tire replaced all of the tires under that warranty with no issues, which was a huge plus for me. I've considered the certificates on my Daily driver vehicles after that.
They also replaced tires for a couple corner punctures like you had with no questions/issues.

The certificates are also transferable to future owners which is nice. Good call on trying to negotiate the cost of certificates too, as I've had luck with that in the past.

The only downside i've had with them is that I'll get a bad wheel balance every once in a while that results in a vibration or shimmy. Likely from a tech going too quickly or someone learning (they have a lot of newer younger guys at my store). They've always fixed it but it's annoying to have to bring it back.

That said, they're still my go to shop for the convenience and ease of working with them.
 

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Yes, they will pro-rate based on the mileage you get and the mileage warranty on the tire. So say the other 3 got 25000 mi out of 50k mi warranty your other three replacements will be at 50% cost. Were you able to ask if the 3 yrs is really the limit? I’ve bought them most of the time because (at least the local one) said 10….


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Also sidewall punctures are never reparable.
Also, not sure it was or just a newer tire (industry or government) ruling, anything needing repair on the outer tread on either side will not be repaired. My friend does repair and did fix mine, but that was 2nd time in a few years of exact same repair (plug). Perhaps too much flexing causes leakage, but now that I am retired and van doesn't put on much mileage, I'm willing to see how long repair will last, again and again and... Ha.
 

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Also, not sure it was or just a newer tire (industry or government) ruling, anything needing repair on the outer tread on either side will not be repaired. My friend does repair and did fix mine, but that was 2nd time in a few years of exact same repair (plug). Perhaps too much flexing causes leakage, but now that I am retired and van doesn't put on much mileage, I'm willing to see how long repair will last, again and again and... Ha.
It's an industry ruling/guidelines. For liability reasons, the rubber tire industry limits repairs to maximum size of 1/4" and no closer than 1/2" to the edge of the tread, nothing on the sidewalls, and the only patch they will stand by is a rubber patch glued to the inside of the tire (not a plug inserted from outside the tire). Most (but not all) tire stores follow these guidelines, which is why the OP's puncture at the edge of the tread was not repaired by Discount Tire. It's within the 1/2" distance of the edge of the tread.

They don't repair close to the edge of the tread or sidewalls because of the large amounts of tire flexing in these areas meaning patches may not hold, along with the sidewall being more critical to the overall strength of the tire.

Also part of the reason they insist on an interior patch vs plug is they assume most people with a leak ran the tire with a pressure too low, which can cause the tire to be damaged, so part of the repair process is to inspect the inside of the tire where this damage is visible, as it's not visible from an exterior inspection. Personally, so long as a puncture is not at the edge of the tread or sidewall, and I knew I didn't run the tire under-inflated, I'd be perfectly happy with a plug repair on my own tires, and plan to purchase (and use) a mushroom plug repair kit on my own van.

 

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Be careful of discount tire. All the locations around me use floor jacks. And they aren’t too careful with them nor do they always jack them up at the correct location.

That said, the pinch weld jack points on modern vehicles are for roadside tire changing not for general maintenance. Repeated use will wear them out , bend them, ware off paint and then cause rust.

General maintenance jacking- if you look in most owners manuals will show specific places on the unibody subframe, Or sometimes suspension components to place jacks at.

I have painted these areas with fluorescent yellow paint, yet discount tire chose the pinch welds to jack it up instead. I reminded them in the past, and do not like to tell people how to do their work, this time I assumed they would do this correctly again, however they did not.

The techs jacked it up by the rocker panel pinch welds and Completely missed the specific Jack point areas of the pinch welds, they were off about 10 to 12 inches and upwardly collapsed my rocker panels 1 inch in.

This was not a rusty vehicle but they also damaged the inner rocker panels which are a part of the structural integrity of the vehicle for side impacts. This cannot legally be repaired by hydraulically pulling them downward, they must be cut out and With new ones welded in place.

After going to three body shops ,
they all agreed on the same thing my vehicle due to the damage and the reduced worth from age was technically totaled.

Discount tires shop insurance issued me a totaled vehicle check, but I kept my van. That’s how it works in my state.

In attempting to save my vehicle from the effects of the environment on these newly damaged areas, I bent over the pinch welds with a sheet-metal vice grips and heavy table vice. Ground off the damaged flake cracked paint, painted with chassis saver ceramic type rust covering paint which similar to POR 15, then rattle can painted over it. This helped future rust a little bit but not completely. So even though Mopar vans get rusty in the Rust Belt, this was a southern vehicle and discount tires damage accelerated the rust on the rocker panel areas.

My advice do exactly what I did before this tire appointment Or any vehicle shop appointment: take a dated and timed picture with your smart phone of your rocker panels and undercarriage of any vehicle before you bring it into discount tire or any shop. And inspect like crazy when they hand you back the keys. After this happened I googled it and this has happened to quite a few other people complaining about it online.

You get what you pay for, those technicians are not paid much and a lot of them have minimal experience, and some clearly do not care at all. Remember no one wants to change tires for a living, would you?...no you wouldn’t.

Nobody is paid to care unfortunately. And just how many people actually look under their vehicle after it’s been jacked up, only the wise or those who learned the hard way.
 
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