New tires and always a balancing issue @ Discount Tire

Messages
8,587
Location
Texas
I use discount tire for all my tire needs and have for the past 10+years. One thing that I noticed the last 2 sets of tires I purchased was that they never get the balancing done right and I have to come back to get them rebalanced. It happened again this Saturday - I got 4 new tires on 2 vehicles....both driving home had a slight off balance and went back to get them rebalanced. They are correct and smooth now but why do they mess up such an important step of tire installation so often? Anybody else have this problem?

Oh and I got new Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S's on the Grand Cherokee to replace the AT3's on it that delivered outstanding service and 56k miles. The RAM had the same Cooper AT3's but this time I went with the Cooper Discoverer HT Plus. I got good use out the the AT3's on the RAM with 63k miles but just wanted a regular non all terrain this time and didn't want to spend as much. Last year I put the Cooper CS5 Ultra touring on my CTS and they're doing very well so far.
 

GMBoy

Thread starter
Messages
8,587
Location
Texas
People seem to be in too much of a hurry to do things right the first time. Could be the case here.
I've had the same issue as well and I don't get it. Comebacks cost the shop time & money.

I agree with both of you and while sitting at the glass watching them work it looked more like a Nascar pitstop. They really go too fast. I can wait another 20 min or so for my tires to be correct the 1st time.
 
Messages
58
Location
The web
I've had two sets installed recently at DT (Yokohama Avids and General RT43's) and both have been smoother than any other tire shop I have used.

They do work fast. On my wifes Mazda I pulled in at 2:50 pm and was out at 3:20 pm, and that had me a bit concerned but so far they ride perfectly.
 
Messages
74
Location
NJ
I've had a similar balancing experience at a Mavis Tire. They also lied about performing an alignment. I didn't feel any need for the alignment but since I was getting new tires, I figured why not. Once I got the car back and realized something wasn't right, I slid underneath to take a look. There was not one "tool" mark or scratch on any of the adjusting nuts. When I went back to complain, the counter guy said it is possible that there would be no marks. I claimed BS. I had put a wrench on my other car as if to adjust a tie rod and a mark showed up before the nut even moved. They offered to re-do the alignment but wouldn't budge on a refund. I didn't want them touching my car at this point since the discussion had gotten a little heated so I just went elsewhere and had the tires re-balanced. According to that shop, the wheel weights had been put on the exact opposite side of the tires from where they should have been placed. Mistake or sabotage? Anyways, problem solved, lesson learned. Filled out the on-line survey but never received a followup from Mavis.
 
Messages
854
Location
Kansas
Seems to be quite a few out of round problems on the forums the last year or two with Cooper tires.
 

wwillson

Staff member
Messages
3,802
Location
Naperville, IL
I bought a set Kumho tires about 15 years ago from Discount Tire. They swore they were great tires and that I would be happy with them. The tires would shake the whole vehicle above 50MPH. I had them rebalanced a couple times which made no improvement. The manager at discount tire insisted they were great tires and something must be wrong with the van. I finally replaced them early at Just Tires, out of my pocket, and the new tires didn't shake at any speed.

The manager at Just Tires told me the problem with the Kumhos was that the casing thinkness wasn't uniform. He said it was most likely caused by poor quality control during manufacturing. He also said that anyone who had been in the tire business very long would have known what the problem was. The manager at Discount Tire had been with the company for many years and virtually had to know what the problem was with my tires.

Two lessons:

  • Don't get "sold"
  • I've never been in a Discount Tire since. When I get ripped off I have a long memory and a big mouth.
 

4WD

Messages
16,756
Location
Texas
Just got Cooper Evolution 275 18’s and sat by the glass to watch. They are indeed fast ... that’s how DT makes money ... volume
They feel fine ... but I’m going in at 5k because the RF has more weights ... rather move that back for a 10k TBI
 
Messages
710
Location
FL
I've had a similar balancing experience at a Mavis Tire. They also lied about performing an alignment. I didn't feel any need for the alignment but since I was getting new tires, I figured why not. Once I got the car back and realized something wasn't right, I slid underneath to take a look. There was not one "tool" mark or scratch on any of the adjusting nuts. When I went back to complain, the counter guy said it is possible that there would be no marks. I claimed BS. I had put a wrench on my other car as if to adjust a tie rod and a mark showed up before the nut even moved. They offered to re-do the alignment but wouldn't budge on a refund. I didn't want them touching my car at this point since the discussion had gotten a little heated so I just went elsewhere and had the tires re-balanced. According to that shop, the wheel weights had been put on the exact opposite side of the tires from where they should have been placed. Mistake or sabotage? Anyways, problem solved, lesson learned. Filled out the on-line survey but never received a followup from Mavis.
Had a similar problem there.
Truck went in fine after alignment steering wheel was off(not straight to go straight) and it pulled to the right. They were a joke.
Ended up going elswhere.
 
Seems to be quite a few out of round problems on the forums the last year or two with Cooper tires.

The OP's problem sounds like poor balancing not a problem with the tires.

I've liked the AT3s on the Xterra but they're going to age out not wear out. I had ATPs on a Sierra Duramax that gave good service for me and the person I sold it to.

They really hustle at DT and might not be exact on balancing as they should be. I think I had to go back for a redo.
 
Messages
854
Location
Kansas
The OP's problem sounds like poor balancing not a problem with the tires.

I've liked the AT3s on the Xterra but they're going to age out not wear out. I had ATPs on a Sierra Duramax that gave good service for me and the person I sold it to.
Possibly but what I said also rings true as a general bit of information. BFG and Cooper have had a lot of anecdotal problems the last few years to the point where it's not just one or two people having problems.
 
Messages
2,010
Location
.
It’s still time wasted, but keep in mind Discount has a 30-day return policy. If you don’t like the tires for any reason (balance, handling, noise, etc.) bring them back and they will be replaced with the tire of your choice. Mounting and balancing of the replacement set is free. If the new set is cheaper you get a refund, if more expensive you pay the difference. I’ve taken advantage of this policy twice, making Discount my go-to tire place.

One suggestion: iirc, Discount has its balancing machines recalibrated each week. You could ask when that is going to occur and get an appointment for immediately after.
 
Messages
488
It's because there are two different types of balancing. They use the quicker method for balancing the tires, which works most of the time. If that does not work, then they do a road-force balancing, which takes much more time to complete. At least, this is how the tire shop explained it to me when my snow tires were hopping on the highway and they had to road force balance them. Basically, the tires need a different balance when there is a heavy load on them.
 
Messages
269
Location
California
I bought a set Kumho tires about 15 years ago from Discount Tire. They swore they were great tires and that I would be happy with them. The tires would shake the whole vehicle above 50MPH. I had them rebalanced a couple times which made no improvement. The manager at discount tire insisted they were great tires and something must be wrong with the van. I finally replaced them early at Just Tires, out of my pocket, and the new tires didn't shake at any speed.

The manager at Just Tires told me the problem with the Kumhos was that the casing thinkness wasn't uniform. He said it was most likely caused by poor quality control during manufacturing. He also said that anyone who had been in the tire business very long would have known what the problem was. The manager at Discount Tire had been with the company for many years and virtually had to know what the problem was with my tires.

Two lessons:

  • Don't get "sold"
  • I've never been in a Discount Tire since. When I get ripped off I have a long memory and a big mouth.
I had the same experience with Kum-Ho tires. The dam things refused to balance after multiple attempts by the tire shop (Not Discount Tire). Even after trying a new set of Kumho's they still would not balance. The tire shop eventually gave up and put a set of Toyo's on instead. The Toyo's balanced fine first try.

But I have never had a problem with Discount Tire (they are called America's Tire around here). They do decent work for me.
 
Messages
2,574
Location
Northeast
It's because there are two different types of balancing. They use the quicker method for balancing the tires, which works most of the time. If that does not work, then they do a road-force balancing, which takes much more time to complete. At least, this is how the tire shop explained it to me when my snow tires were hopping on the highway and they had to road force balance them. Basically, the tires need a different balance when there is a heavy load on them.
I've never mounted/balanced a tire, but that's new to me. I don't see why having the tire spin against a roller would drastically increase the time to balance them. Thinking they were blowing smoke..
 
Messages
27,419
Location
PNW
I've never mounted/balanced a tire, but that's new to me. I don't see why having the tire spin against a roller would drastically increase the time to balance them. Thinking they were blowing smoke..
If there are no issues it would be pretty fast, but as the video shows if there are issues there is a lot of messing around to get the wheel to balance out correctly.
 
Messages
2,574
Location
Northeast
If there are no issues it would be pretty fast, but as the video shows if there are issues there is a lot of messing around to get the wheel to balance out correctly.
I thought we were comparing a regular static balancing versus a road force balance because of what was said below, not the more in depth troubleshooting steps after a regular road force balance has been done.
"They use the quicker method for balancing the tires, which works most of the time. If that does not work, then they do a road-force balancing, which takes much more time to complete."

Even then, remember that's an instructional video, so in real time a technician should be able to do it a heck of a lot faster.
 
Messages
27,419
Location
PNW
Even then, remember that's an instructional video, so in real time a technician should be able to do it a heck of a lot faster.
Depends on what needs to be done. If the guy needs to break the bead and rotate the tire, then lots more time involved than a simple balance job.
 
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