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      10-27-2012, 12:53 AM   #1
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Unusual Tire Wear???

Need your help. Has anyone had tire wear like the photo before?

Background:

2011 E90 with 10,xxx miles.
Used KW V3 installed 3 weeks and about 500 miles ago. Seller claims 20k miles with no issues. Car had alignment done at time of KW installation and redone again today.
Tires: P Zero OEM Factory 32PSI Front 34 PSI Rear. Yes, I've been told it's on the low end.
Spirited drives 2-3 times month about 100-150 miles each time.
Photo is of driver's side rear. Driver's side front looks a little better but not much. Passenger sides, no issues. Still have 40% + tread left.

The shop asked me to drive my car for a week and go back for adjustments afterwards, which I did. No issues after about 100 miles of spirited driving the first time.

So, I noticed this earlier this week. Decided to go back to the shop where they installed the suspension and alignment. They said they've never seen this type of tire wear. They first blamed it on over inflation, I told them it was at 34 PSI. Then they tried to blame it on "hard" driving. I've done the same roads at least 5 times before the installation and no issues. When the shop installed the suspension and the tires were off, tires looked normal.

So, I turn to the forum here and see if anyone else had similar issues or have recommendations on what might have caused this.

Was it...
Bad suspension (never buy used again?)
Bad tires (what are the chances front/rear both went bad)
Incorrect tire pressure
Poor installation
Tires overheated and simply started to chunk
Car is not corner balanced
Alignment is still off (the guy didn't know what he was doing and I should get a second opinion at a suspension specific shop?)

I'm concerned as the driver's side tires are toast and I need to replace all four. Is this going to happen again?

Thank you in advance.
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      10-27-2012, 12:58 AM   #2
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Was it like this before your track day? Do you think the track day contributed?
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      10-27-2012, 01:06 AM   #3
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Terry: Yes. I noticed it when I checked the tire pressure before I went on the track. The tire still looks the same after 140 miles on the track with a little less tread all around. If the track caused it, I probably wouldn't stress about it. I would simply chalk it up (no pun intended) track wear. But, I showed it to some friends who track on a regular basis and they've never seen anything like it as well.
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      10-27-2012, 01:14 AM   #4
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Was the alignment off when you went back today?
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      10-27-2012, 01:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone28 View Post
Was the alignment off when you went back today?
They said the left was fine and the right was actually a little off. I didn't get the printout, I wish I had. I emailed them to send me a copy. Haven't heard back...
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      10-27-2012, 02:55 AM   #6
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Seems odd for a rear tire. What kind of tire is that? How much toe on the setup?
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      10-27-2012, 04:54 AM   #7
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Looks like the alignment is off - go somewhere else and get it checked.
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      10-27-2012, 06:03 AM   #8
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I didn't see it in your OP but based on other posts it sounds like you've gone to the track a few times on these tires since installing the suspension?

First, I'd say your F & R toe alignments are off. Even if their alignment rack shows the car is "aligned well", when was the last time they had the rack calibrated/leveled? Does your car feel like it's "crabbing"? I didn't read that you're using camber plates so are you running stock front camber?

I don't have any experience with the OEM P-Zeros but I've seen similar wear patterns on PSCs that were used on the track. This happened to the tires when low cold pressures were used at the start of a session and then pushed way too hard before reaching their hot pressures which caused the tire tread blocks to effectively buckle/roll and produce an uneven/tapered wear pattern on each tread block, along with significant worn rubber build up - looked very similar to your wear patterns but not nearly as bad.
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      10-27-2012, 09:18 AM   #9
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^ Agreed. I'd check alignment with a new shop.

Also agreed with Donnie's comments about similar wear patterns on PSC tires if not brought up to temperature.
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      10-27-2012, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlamMan View Post
Seems odd for a rear tire. What kind of tire is that? How much toe on the setup?
P Zero's. I don't know what the toe set up is. I can find out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3SQRD View Post
I didn't see it in your OP but based on other posts it sounds like you've gone to the track a few times on these tires since installing the suspension?

First, I'd say your F & R toe alignments are off. Even if their alignment rack shows the car is "aligned well", when was the last time they had the rack calibrated/leveled? Does your car feel like it's "crabbing"? I didn't read that you're using camber plates so are you running stock front camber?

I don't have any experience with the OEM P-Zeros but I've seen similar wear patterns on PSCs that were used on the track. This happened to the tires when low cold pressures were used at the start of a session and then pushed way too hard before reaching their hot pressures which caused the tire tread blocks to effectively buckle/roll and produce an uneven/tapered wear pattern on each tread block, along with significant worn rubber build up - looked very similar to your wear patterns but not nearly as bad.
I actually was at the track when I took the picture. I discovered it when I was taking the tire pressure, so before I went on the track. It was my first track day, but like I have mentioned in the first post. I have driven hard on them during my spirited drives.

No crabbing feel. No after market camber plates, was told its running 1.8 degree. Was thinking about installing Vorshlag plates.
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      10-27-2012, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagolfpro View Post

I actually was at the track when I took the picture. I discovered it when I was taking the tire pressure, so before I went on the track. It was my first track day, but like I have mentioned in the first post. I have driven hard on them during my spirited drives.

No crabbing feel. No after market camber plates, was told its running 1.8 degree. Was thinking about installing Vorshlag plates.
Ok - was this picture taken before or after a track session(s)? If it was after a track session, try staying on the "racing line" during your cool down lap. This will minimize pickup of rubber that's sitting on the track offline.

Have you checked to see if the dampers are leaking where the piston comes out of the damper body as well as any seepage from the adjuster knobs? Also, try adjusting the damper from fully closed (max damping) to fully open (min damping) and see if you can feel a difference in how the car handles, transitions, absorb bumps, and puts the power down coming out of a corner, etc. If there are no signs of leaking and you can feel a significant change in handling characteristics with damping changes then the dampers are most likely fine (however, your on-track settings may need to be adjusted to improve handling).

I'd definitely go to another shop and get your alignment checked. Good luck!
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      10-27-2012, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3SQRD View Post
Ok - was this picture taken before or after a track session(s)? If it was after a track session, try staying on the "racing line" during your cool down lap. This will minimize pickup of rubber that's sitting on the track offline.

Have you checked to see if the dampers are leaking where the piston comes out of the damper body as well as any seepage from the adjuster knobs? Also, try adjusting the damper from fully closed (max damping) to fully open (min damping) and see if you can feel a difference in how the car handles, transitions, absorb bumps, and puts the power down coming out of a corner, etc. If there are no signs of leaking and you can feel a significant change in handling characteristics with damping changes then the dampers are most likely fine (however, your on-track settings may need to be adjusted to improve handling).

I'd definitely go to another shop and get your alignment checked. Good luck!
Picture was taken before the track sessions. So, no track time before I took the picture. No, I haven't checked to see if there is any leakage. I did notice the height is different on all 4 wheel well. It ranged from 24 7/8 to 25 1/2". Will this make a difference? I planned on taking it to another shop for a second opinion.
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      10-29-2012, 02:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorFunkyPants View Post
Looks like the alignment is off - go somewhere else and get it checked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBS View Post
^ Agreed. I'd check alignment with a new shop.

Also agreed with Donnie's comments about similar wear patterns on PSC tires if not brought up to temperature.
Contacted 2 local speciality shops that works on M3's. Hoping to hear back soon so I can get this resolved and new tires installed.

Thanks for the input guys!
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      10-29-2012, 03:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagolfpro View Post
Picture was taken before the track sessions. So, no track time before I took the picture. No, I haven't checked to see if there is any leakage. I did notice the height is different on all 4 wheel well. It ranged from 24 7/8 to 25 1/2". Will this make a difference? I planned on taking it to another shop for a second opinion.
If the surface isn't level, the 4 heights may vary a little bit but that seems like a lot. Are the coilovers set to the same height (as well as they can be)?

My guess would be toe. You can measure it yourself pretty accurately with some fishing line, a good ruler, and four jack stands. Anything significant enough to cause that kind of tire wear should be detectable using this method.
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      10-30-2012, 12:36 PM   #15
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I brought this to the attention of our tire information department, and they were able to give some theories about what may be going on.

It appears that the tire is at the end of the useful life, and has begun to wear through the bottom of the functional tread compound, exposing the undertread compound. Often this undertread compound gets pulled up into the very base of the tread block elements during the molding process, which is considered normal.

The narrow center rib between the two skinny grooves in the middle of the tire is well into the wear bar: note how at the top middle the two grooves are 'stopped' by the wear bar because the rest of the tread has worn down level with the bar.

For those who are interested, I've attached a photo of a tire cut through the tread to show the undertread layer, and how it can come up into the bottom of the tread blocks in an uneven way. For reference, the little silver dots are the steel belts.

On powerful cars that are driven hard, it is not unusual to see the center wear out faster. Transmitting torque to the pavement can work the center area more than the edges.

Also, for an enthusiast on the street, the tighter nature of right hand turns (in countries that drive on the right and side) will often lead to the driver's side wearing out first.
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      10-30-2012, 03:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
I brought this to the attention of our tire information department, and they were able to give some theories about what may be going on.

It appears that the tire is at the end of the useful life, and has begun to wear through the bottom of the functional tread compound, exposing the undertread compound. Often this undertread compound gets pulled up into the very base of the tread block elements during the molding process, which is considered normal.

The narrow center rib between the two skinny grooves in the middle of the tire is well into the wear bar: note how at the top middle the two grooves are 'stopped' by the wear bar because the rest of the tread has worn down level with the bar.

On powerful cars that are driven hard, it is not unusual to see the center wear out faster. Transmitting torque to the pavement can work the center area more than the edges.

Also, for an enthusiast on the street, the tighter nature of right hand turns (in countries that drive on the right and side) will often lead to the driver's side wearing out first.
Hi Ben,

Thank you for the input. I just got back from the first shop and they said almost the same thing. He explained it where the soft/hard compound meet and this can occur. These are P Zero's, what tire pressure should I be running front & rear for normal street driving versus hard backroads/track driving?
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      10-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
Also, for an enthusiast on the street, the tighter nature of right hand turns (in countries that drive on the right and side) will often lead to the driver's side wearing out first.
Interesting, mine seems to be the opposite. The passenger side has a bit more wear.
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      10-30-2012, 04:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagolfpro View Post
Hi Ben,

Thank you for the input. I just got back from the first shop and they said almost the same thing. He explained it where the soft/hard compound meet and this can occur. These are P Zero's, what tire pressure should I be running front & rear for normal street driving versus hard backroads/track driving?
Tire pressures are often a matter of trial and error to find the ideal for your conditions, driving style, and setup.

To start, I would consider increasing your street pressures up to something around 36 front and 38 rear. A little more pressure might help the tire retain its intended shape, reducing uneven wear. The highly negative camber will always give you inside wear first, and the torque through the footprint will wear the middle. So expect the inner 2/3 of the tire to be gone before the outer shoulder in most cases.

For the track, you will probably want to end up near the same 36/38 psi hot, so fine tune your cold pressure accordingly to get the desired hot pressure.
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      10-30-2012, 05:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3PO View Post
Interesting, mine seems to be the opposite. The passenger side has a bit more wear.
Do you drive on the British side of the road?

In all seriousness: some people, myself included, take the wider-radius left hand turns harder on the street. So it can go either way. According to my team, the drivers' side wear is pretty common.

Some people just mash the gas in a straight line and wear the passenger rear out first. Every tire tells a story...
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      10-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #20
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very informative thread
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      10-31-2012, 01:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
Do you drive on the British side of the road?

In all seriousness: some people, myself included, take the wider-radius left hand turns harder on the street. So it can go either way. According to my team, the drivers' side wear is pretty common.

Some people just mash the gas in a straight line and wear the passenger rear out first. Every tire tells a story...
Heck no lol! That wouldn't go over so well here.

I tend to take wide rights because I am worried about curbing my wheels lol! I can see the left side fine during left turns. I do tend to punch it in a straight line alot too.
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      11-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #22
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Angry unusual tire wear ..

well i m watching this unusual tire wear on my new tire RFT of E90, any suggestions ..i dont think the alignment is out its just run 4800 miles n no balancing issues ..can this be a tire manufacturer defect or does it comes under warranty. the pic is of the front left wheel n the same thing has started to start on the rear left wheel...
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