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Registered 2012 SLK350
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Tire or Car

My 2012 SLK 350 came with Continental tires. The rear tires wore out in 17,000 miles. There was apparently no abnormal wear. Just worn out.
I replaced the rear tires with Michelin Pilot Super Sports. After approximately 5,000 miles I noticed a bumping or tapping coming from the tires. I went to the tire dealer where I purchased the Michelins to check it out. We found both rear Michelin tires badly worn on the inside of both tires. (Cords showings). The dealer says it’s an alignment problem but he did not have the equipment to align an SLK. At this time my SLK is at the Mercedes dealer for next typical maintenance and to determine what the tire problem might be.

My question – If the original Continental rear tires did not have abnormal wear and I have not hit or done anything to change the alignment on my car, what the heck is happening?

Any ideas? :confused: :confused:
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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846 Posts
New tires or rims should not affect primary angle alignments (caster camber, toe) but could have an affect on secondary angles. The short version is you should not have an alignment issue with just a tire change given the correct size tires/rims were used. Perhaps you can post whjat MB determines.

Gordon
 

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New tires or rims should not affect primary angle alignments (caster camber, toe) but could have an affect on secondary angles. The short version is you should not have an alignment issue with just a tire change given the correct size tires/rims were used. Perhaps you can post whjat MB determines.

Gordon
Agreed, could just be a coincidence and something else is causing the wear. I have the same Michelin tires and no abnormal wear issues so far.
 

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Wow! that's quicker than my average 10k mile rear tire change. I don't believe the rear is adjustable for camber without aftermarket camber bars. It should be a bit of negative camber from the factory.

Side note, when I switched to the Super Sports my rear tires stopped wearing on the inside and started wearing evenly across the whole tire. I've only had one tire change since I've had the rears.
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Picked up my SLK from the Mercedes dealer on Friday. The alignment print out showed one rear wheel out of tolerance buy such a small amount that it does not count, and the other wheel well within tolerance. Monday I go back to the tire dealer with the print out to see what Michelin has to say. Wish me luck.
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I meet with the tire dealer 8:30 in the morning. Hoping for the best. Mechanic at the Mercedes dealer suggested that if Michelin would not do anything to get Continental Extreme Contact and run with 4 additional lbs. of air. Gosh darn shucks, besides dealing with whatever the cost is going to be it cost about $170.00 to get an alignment I did not need. :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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846 Posts
As mentioned I would really push for a discount on a new set since the last set was defective. Even if you were hard on them the wear should have been even not just insides and the alignment report is proof. If the dealer is unwilling to help I would contact Michelin corporate and provide the facts and copy of the alignment report, copy of the original invoice and mileage and ask for a full refund. I had similar happen (different brand) and received a prorated discount.

Gordon
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Update:

Just returned for the tire dealer. He called Michelin and they agreed to warranty the tires. BUT. The tire warranty takes in consideration mileage and the fact that I own a Mercedes with different size tires on the front and back and can’t be rotated so that limits the warranty to ½ the 30,000 warranty. The tires had 12,000 miles on them so the warranty was not much. The good news is the Michelin tires have dropped in price which helped a little.

The tire dealer asked why Mecedes did not make an adjustment to the Camber to help with the tire wear. He said there is room for adjust and stay within specifications. Also after Mercedes aligned my car I noticed the steering wheel looks like I am in a very slight right turn. The tire dealer said that is because the Thrust Angle or Steer Ahead Sensor is not correct. Oh me. It is just shy of 100 miles round trip to my Mercedes dealer. And I thought owning a Mercedes would be the end of my car worries. Gosh Darn Shucks.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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846 Posts
So just to be fair to Michelin, your tires had 12,000 miles and not the 5,000 miles originally posted. Those miles just roll away don't they.

Gordon
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Absolutely. My tire dealer failed to put the mileage on my tire receipt sooooo I was guessing at the mileage. You are so correct. The miles keep piling on when you are having fun. I'm not upset with Michelin but I am still puzzled at why the original Continental rear tires went 17,000 miles and wore out across the tread and the Michelins are wearing to the very far inside. Does not make sense to me but what do I know. I just like driving the car.
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Update:

My Mercedes service advisor called and told me that the Camber on my SLK is not adjustable. If the Camber is out of tolerance something is bent or broken. That answers that question. My service adviser also said that the steering wheel not centered is not an alignment problem. It is a setting for the steering wheel that was not done perfect during the alignment process but does not have any effect on the alignment or wheel tracking. Hmmm, I learn something every day. Sooooo if I replace the worn Michelins with the same Michelins and I can't adjust the Camber I guess the only thing that is adjustable is the tire pressure. I doubt that could make enough difference to stop the inside wear. Why is my SLK the only SLK having this problem. I have heard only good things about this Michelin tire on the forum. Gosh Darn Shucks.
 

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Had a similar problem when I had my CLK convertible on the rear tires - I put 4 new tires on the car, the first thing I noticed was that the steering wheel was off centre, not by much but if I straightened the wheel the car would go to the right, so I took it back to the tire dealership, who conducted a 4 wheel alignment but they could not get it right, so I took it to the MB dealership who also tried to align the wheels but they could not get the steering wheel to centre based on their specs. They then sent me to a Mazda dealership which they also owned. That seemed to fix the problem. One thing I did find out was that depending on the alignment equipment used by who ever your dealing with the recommended settings are different. I kept a copy of each settings, each was different why? The only common factor was that I changed all 4 tires (Continental as per OEM). Shortly after I part exchanged the CLK for my SLK, a week or so later the dealership who i sold it to called me and asked if I had problems with the rear tires as the inside of the rear tires were worn and blistered yet they were new tires only several weeks earlier. Fortunately I had a good relationship with the tire dealer who offered to change the two rear tires for free, the dealership apparently also dealt with the tire guys. I have heard nothing since, but it was so strange that before the renewing of the tires everything was spot on….
 

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Registered 2012 SLK350
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305 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
My tire dealer and I decided that I will put Michelins back on the rear and keep close watch (every 3,000 miles) and see what happens.
Gosh darn shucks this is getting expensive. My tire dealer had little sympathy. His attitude was if you can afford the car you can afford the tires.
 

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Registered 2013 SLK55 AMG
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235 Posts
I just put my 3rd set of tires on the rear - 17,900 miles. But, I do accepte that tires wearing out quickly is just a part of the cost of ownership. For the 2nd set I put on Michelin Super Sports all around. They came with a 40k warranty, but that is reduced to 20k if the tires can't be rotated. Because my tires only had about 9k miles, they prorated the cost of the new tires down by $120/tire (almost half price) - so I don't see that as way over the top as far as cost. I just don't like having to get it done once a year. I actually had a bit more tread life on the tires, but I had a 2k mile trip planned in a couple of weeks (actually just got back last week) and was pretty sure they wouldn't last for that trip. The guy at Discount Tire went ahead an certified them as worn for me so that I could get the pro-rated price.:Beer: Since it took a week to get them in, I took that opportunity to turn off the traction control a couple of times and had a really great time....:biglaugh:. Believe it or not, I've only turned the traction control off one or two other times (so that's not the reason the tires are wearing).
 
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