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      10-22-2013, 06:40 PM   #1
DarthColin
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Tire Cupping

Hello. I took my car in for an oil change a few weeks ago, and asked the service advisor to investigate a noise resembling a "bearing noise" coming from front end. I was told after a road test that the noise is indeed present, and after hoisting the car to inspect , the front original tires are cupped. I've done some research and found out what that is since. The SA recommended new tires. I told her that I would bring it back with the winters on (I had to bring it back, since they couldn't do the rest of the scheduled service since it was too early on the CBS mileage) to isolate whether it is tires or something else. Yesterday, my wife brought it in for the remainder of the service. I put the winters on on Sunday and took it for a drive. No noticeable noise. Drove on the highway for an hour this morning. No noise. Emailed the SA today to see if she had the service invoice ready. She replied that the winter tires are also cupped and require replacement. WTF? Does my car need an alignment, or suspension overhaul or what? Pretty much just daily driven, spiritly at times, and never tracked.
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45000 total kms. Approx 27000 on summers and 18000 on winters.
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      10-22-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
MDORPHN
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Likely something wrong with front end of your car.

Have tech check and do alignment.

Neil
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      10-22-2013, 07:28 PM   #3
Dackelone
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Normal. At 27K kms I bet your rear tires are toast. And the fronts... while I bet they are ok on thread... will be noisy due to cupping/wear(bc you can't rotate them and no one checks their alignments anymore).

I would buy four new tires and have a good four wheel alignment done too. BMW's with sport suspensions just eat tires. Nothing new. Plus we have all this power trying to go thru the rear wheels - thats hard on tires along with our eDiff/DTC.
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      10-22-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
DarthColin
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The service dept. doesn't seem to want to investigate further due to the evidence of the tires showing signs of cupping, and I don't blame them for not wanting to waste their time.
And yeah, for some strange reason, there is not much tread left on the back tires.
Thanks for the insight. I was wondering if the lack of tire rotating would become an issue ever.
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      10-23-2013, 09:44 AM   #5
MightyMouseTech
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Personally, I would have the car aligned. To reduce scalloping on the tires like that (I am assuming it is the inside of the tire that has uneven wear) I would have them set the front toe to as much toe in as they can within the OEM specs. The OEM specs will have a fairly large range of what is acceptable. Toe out will cause uneven wear on the insides of the tire, toe in will shift it more to the outside. There is a trade off however, the more toe in you have, the less responsive the steering will be, but the car will track straighter on the highway, requiring less input.

With really low profile tires like what we have on our cars, having a perfect alignment is critical to tire life. There is very little forgiveness with such a short sidewall.

And if you do not have directional tires, you absolutely can rotate the tires left and right. Will even out the wear tremendously. I switch mine left and right every 5000 km with every oil change.

Once a tire is really noisy like that, all you can do is put on a new set and start again.

Last edited by MightyMouseTech; 10-23-2013 at 09:49 AM.
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      10-23-2013, 03:54 PM   #6
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I had this same thing but I only had about 10k miles on the car. I also thought is was a wheel bearing. I took my car to the local tire shop to get their opinion on the situation and as soon as they ran their hand down the front tires they sad the tires were cupping and I needed an alignment. I did some research on cupping tires and found out it is really called feathering which can be caused by the car being out of alignment. Mine were on the inside of both front tires so that meant too much toe out.

I took the car to the dealership and had the alignment checked and all four corners realligned. All four were out. I asked for the before and after specs so I could see how far they were out. The rear camber was so far out that the 275 pss would rub. After the alignment there was no rubbing and you could see the wheels are now more tucked in the wheel well. I asked how this could happen on a car with so little mile and they told me it is common around my area due to the crappy roads and the aluminum suspensions parts. It wasn't covered under warranty.
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      10-23-2013, 11:40 PM   #7
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I also hear the similar noise on the front tires and know exactly why too, mine is at 22k, and the rear already replace at 19k miles with michelin pss.

So I guess I'm not the only one that have this problem. Front tires still have good amount of tread left, thats why I dont want to replace them yet. Notice that there is just a tiny signs of cupping and slight wear on the inner tread. Probable will have the front and rear align this week even tho the rear is fine.
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