Don’t worry you have Michelins

Tire tread pealed.
by: Mike O'Quin
June 23, 2019

It’s a beautiful day to travel

Well it was a nice day to travel. We were leaving Lakeside RV Park in Livingston Louisiana and traveling 277 miles, 5 hours, to Lincoln Parish Park in Ruston Louisiana. This segment would take us down Interstate 12 east to Interstate 55 north. We would travel up Interstate 55 until just before Jackson Mississippi and turn onto state highway 27. Highway 27 connects to Interstate 20 near Vicksburg Mississippi. We head east on interstate 20 towards Ruston Louisiana. I had commented a couple of times that the roads are horrible in Louisiana and in Mississippi the roads were better.

Just as we were just passing Tallulah Louisiana and had just passed the intersection of Interstate 20 and state highway 65, we were just west of the interchange (exact location is 32.397345, -91.207919 ). That’s when it happened, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. I immediately pulled over to to the side of the road. I couldn’t pull off as far as I would have liked as there was a steep bank on the side but I was out of the lane and on the edge of to shoulder.

Our worst fear

I got out to see what had happened. My first thought was that I had had a blowout but the tire alarm had not gone off. Walking down the driver side everything looked good. I came back up the passenger side and when I got to the right rear truck tire I saw what was wrong.

The tread had peeled off the tire damaging the area around the wheel wheel. Half the tailpipe was crushed, the rear of the fender was folded up, the front of the fender was bent and the plastic was broken. The stabilization bars going from the frame to the corner of the front and rear wheel wells were broken.

One of my thoughts was why didn’t my tire monitor sound an alarm when the tire got low because low tires are the primary reason for the tread coming off. Checking the monitor it said that the tire was still at 75 pounds. In fact when the tire shop went to change the tire the next day the tire still had 72 pounds of pressure, lower pressure was because the tire had no tread and it is now ballooned out giving the tire more volume.

Here are some more pictures of the tire both on the side of the road and laying in the back of the truck. Notice the tire still has air in it.

Another reason to like USAA

We have USAA vehicle insurance and included is roadside assistance. As I have never gotten around to purchasing a heavy duty jack we called and asked for someone to come out.

After calling I got a text message that they would be there in 20 to 30 minutes. In about 5 minutes I got a call from a roadside service but he wasn’t sure where we were located.

Well they had put it down that we were on Louisiana state highway 20 not interstate 20. My understanding is LA20 is at the other end of the state. The guy was calling from Morgan City, LA, 225 miles away. I called the dispatch service again and explained my problem and the redispatched the call.

The right person for the job

This time Robert called and said that he would be there shortly. He would be coming from the west. He arrived and he said that we would have to disconnect the truck from the trailer. After that was completed we went looking for the special tool to lower the spare. As I had never had to lower the spare I wasn’t sure where it was. Robert said that it is usually in the glove box, he was right. He jacked up the truck and removed the bad tire and put the spare on. The spare is a full size spare and the same tire that is on the truck. It had air but only 65 pounds. I have a compressor I carry and we filled it to the proper pressure of 80 psi.

Robert stuck around to make sure we had no troubles reconnecting the trailer and when we were all ready to go he bid us farewell.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We arrived at Lincoln Parish Park and got all settled in.

Getting a large truck tire

The next day we decided to look around for a tire shop. On google maps Walpole Tire Service in Ruston was highly recommended, 4.5 out of 5. I went in and explained my delima. He said he had the exact same tire but it was slightly used. The date code on it was 3418 (August 19, 2018) which was newer than any of my tires and only 43 weeks old. The tread looked new.

They looked at the other tires and they all looked good. They installed the replacement tire and mounted the spare back under the truck. I paid them and I was glad that this was done. They had recommended that I save the tire in case Michelin wanted to see it but as we were traveling I have no place to store it. I had already talked to the insurance company and sent them all the documentation. They agreed that I could get the work done when I returned to Tucson, AZ. If I had to pay for the tire out of my pocket that was ok.

On the road again

The next Thursday it was again time to go on the road. We were going from Ruston Louisiana to Hot Springs Arkansas. This trip will only be about 166 miles or 3½ hours. This was an easy drive and everything was going great. Then about 15 miles from our destination there was a BOOM and the tire monitor went off. The left rear tire had blown. There was no place to pull off so I had to drive until we got to the next road. The exact location of the blowout was (34.455814, -92.896328) and where I was able to change the tire was ( 34.458453, -92.896506 ) or .2 mile. The whole time I was driving on the flat tire hoping I didn’t damage the tire or rim.

When we got pulled off the road I got out to survey the damage. We could not believe that this has happened again. Two failed tires within 1 week and 220 miles. This time the tire lost all pressure a complete failure of the tread and casing. The tire monitor went off immediately when the tire blew just as it is suppose to.

Not waiting for roadside service

I decided to change the tire myself. I disconnected the trailer and got out the jack and tools supplied with the truck. Thankfully I carry a foam mat to spread on the ground. Also I have the leveling pads for the trailer which I used to raise the jack up to the axel.

I disconnected the trailer and lowered the spare. This time I knew where all the tools were. I loosened the lug nuts, raised up the wheel and removed the tire. Then I had Lisa hold the spare against the hub and I raised the jack until the bolts matched the holes on the rim. I put the nuts back on tightened and lowered the jack. One final tightening and now it was time to put the trailer back on.

I love my leveling jacks

The problem with putting the trailer back on is when we took the trailer off the tire was flat and the rim was on the ground. Now the rim is off the ground and the trailer is too low. Fortunately we have electric jacks and we raised it up to the proper height, attached the trailer, checked lights and breaks and we were on our way.

Here are the pictures of the tire and the damage it did to the right rear of the truck. Now both sides are damaged!

Déjà vu

We arrived and got settled in our spot. Talking to the person that showed us to our site he said that he recommended Hot Springs Tire & Auto Service. Checking on Google they are rated 4.6 out of 5.

I called and explained the situation to Terry stating I had lost all confidence in Michelin tires. He understood and said he would really like to examine the tire.

The next day, Friday June 20, 2019 I went to Hot Springs Tire & Auto Service and met Terry. He checked over the tire and couldn’t believe how serious the failure was and that it should have never happened. He recommended that I just replace that tire with another Michelin as it’s date code was 2115 ( May 17, 2015 ) very close date code 2215 (on the previous tire that had blown ( May 24, 2015 ) and maybe it was a bad batch of tires. The front tires are 2117 ( May 21, 2017 ) two years newer. I agreed with him, he is the expert, and they put a new Michelin LTX A/T2 tire on the left rear with a date code of 1819 ( April 28, 2019 ).

More problems with my Michelins

When Kendall, the mechanic was changing the tires he inspected all the other tires out of concern for the quality of the tires. On the right front tire he found check marks that bothered him and he informed me of this. This tire on the right front is dated 2117 ( May 21, 2017 ). He also carefully inspected the left front tire and could not find any cracking.

I informed Terry of this and he grabbed Kendall and they went out and again verified the cracking. This really bothered Terry as he had just recommended that I continue using Michelin brand tires and now he was seeing problems with 3 of my 4 tires.

Terry’s recommendation was to contact Michelin Monday morning and inform them about the problems. All of these tires and damage should be covered by their warranty.

Michelin’s response

Well I contacted Michelin to file a claim for the tires and the damage. Their response was that because the DOT code on both tires were before the manufacture date of the truck they assume that the tires had been on the truck since it was first sold. Because the truck has more than 60,000 miles on it then the tires are out of warranty because of the miles, not time. Also I can’t prove that there was any tread left on the tire as the tread completely pealed off along the road. They will not cover the tires or any damage that they caused.

For the front tires because they are newer and the tread is still on them they offered me 2 tires at half price which I reluctantly accepted, I need to get back on the road.

What I have learned by all of this

If you buy a used vehicle then assume that the tirees have no warranty and there is no way you can get one unless you buy new tires.

Having the tires inspected and rotated is just for your benefit. It is no proof of the quality of the tire.

NEVER remove your tires and run on another set of tires. For every mile you drive on either set of tires you will be burning up your warranty.

All the info about the seven Michelins I own.

  • Left Front
    • LTX A/T2 LT275/65R20 126/123R
    • DOT B70T 008X 2117
  • Right Front
    • LTX A/T2 LT275/65R20 126/123R
    • DOT B70T 008X 2117
    • Has checking on the sidewall.
  • Left Rear –
    • The original tire ( the one that blew out )
      • LTX A/T2 LT275/65R20 126/123R
      • DOT B70T 008X 2115
      • On 6/20/2019 odometer 92787 the tread completely came off and the tire blew out with a hole almost completely around the tire.
    • Replacement tire
      • LTX A/T2 LT275/65R20 126/123R
      • DOT B70T 00LX 1819
  • Right Rear
    • The original tire ( the one that the tread came off )
      • LTX A/T2 LT275/65R20 126/123R
      • DOT B70T 008X 2215
      • On 6/14/2019 at odometer 92450 the tread separated from the tire causing extensive damage to the wheel well, fender and tailpipe.
    • Replacement tire
      • LTX A/T2 LT275/65R20 126/123R
      • DOT B70T 00LX 3418
  • Spare Tire
    • LTX A/T2 LT275/70R18 125/122
    • DOT B715 00DX 2215
    • This is only being used in an emergency

The tires are load range “E” which is 3,750 pounds at 80 psi. They are also 123R which is a service description of 3,472 pounds and 106 mph. When these blew they were at 85 psi and 95 degrees with a load of 3,110 pounds per tire. Well within the limits of these tires. How do I know this? I weighed the rig both without and with the trailer attached so I would know this. Also I run a tire monitoring system, mostly for the trailer, that tells me psi and temperature.

On May 6, 2019 before we started out on our trip I had the tires inspected. The tires were LF = 9/32, RF = 7/32, LR = 10/32, RR = 9/32. This was 1,731 miles prior to the first failure.