Off to ATS for my pre-booked appointment and got rid of these nightmare tyres from Hell.
Now I have 4 new Michelin Cross Climate Plus tyres on and what a difference it has made already. Much quieter, and a smoother drive, I am really pleased. They will also work perfectly with the Grip Control System in winter or going down 'Cow s**t Alley' when the farmers are on a dairy / sheep drive where we are.
I was waiting outside ATS as one of the blokes was throwing his hammer about the place cursing a BMW trying to get a tyre off a little too close to my car for my liking so I kept well within viewing shot. Quite a stressful experience....
Any how, whilst waiting, an email came through from Ali, the field Engineering Technician at Bridgestone regarding the photos I sent him yesterday. This is what he had to say concerning the tyres for those interested:
He has sent me all the claims forms and warranty process - but am I going to follow it up? - No. I can't won't go back to my dealer - they are in Canterbury and I just can't be bothered with the whole Carlos Fandango affair of the paperwork involved.Thank you for the photographs of the Bridgestone tyres fitted to your car.
Concerning the ‘cracking’ in the shoulder groves and tread groves (circumferential grooves); this we have seen many times in the past. (across many products, and most brands) where the top layer of surface rubber begins to oxidise and appears perished. (we refer to this as ‘crazing’, as ‘cracking’ generally relates to splitting after force or trauma during operation.
It is worth noting that as part of tyre manufacturers’ compliance to environmental responsibility legislation, there are increased restrictions on the materials used in tyre construction.
‘Crazing’ can also be caused by other factors:
• Extended exposure to sunlight. (UV light dries out the anti-aging oils in the rubber which give a tyre it’s tackiness and elasticity).
• The application of ‘Tyre Dressing’. - Used by dealer forecourts and carwash companies mainly to make the sidewalls/shoulders of the tyres look ‘more black’. These can be quite strong and some are even mildly corrosive if used consistently over time.
• Poor pressure maintenance during the tyre’s life. This causes over flexing in the tyre casing eventually causing tyres to prematurely age.
• Exposure to contaminates. - Petrol, anti-freeze, motor oil, tyre ‘dressing’ (used on the sidewalls to appear more “black”).
• Regular, but short frequent trips in the vehicle (lack of use), where the tyres are heating up, then cooling down over a short period of time. (essentially preventing the aforementioned oils from percolating/migrating throughout the tyre fully). We add anti-aging oils into the rubber compound, however for these oils to be released the tyres need to get to an operating temperature. If the tyres are not used regularly then the releasing agents in the anti-aging oils are unable to percolate through the casing and ensure the tyre stays subtle.
The upside to this phenomenon is that ‘crazing’ only affects the top cap layer of rubber, so is only cosmetic in nature. - This type of appearance does not have any effect on the tyres handling or performance, and based on the appearance in the image provided we would advise that these tyres are ok to continue running. However as with any appearance-based condition reported in the market, we always advise to monitor the tyres regularly.
In their current conditions the tyres will not cause any detriment to the tyres serviceability or affect the cars dynamic performance abilities. The tyres will most likely wear out before the crazing gets worse. If the tyres are well serviced and the correct tyre pressure is maintained the tyres will continue to provide an excellent service life.
In the photographs provided we can notice some extensive tread shoulder wear, this is usually associated with incorrect tyre inflation pressures for loads carried. When the tyre pressure for a specific loads is correct the tread will wear evenly across the tread. However when the tyre pressure is too low for a given load, the tyres will wear more on the shoulders, this causes the displayed uneven wear. Extensive movement in the tyre casing can also eventually lead to cracking and creasing in the tread grooves.
Finally, we fully understand that you have full rights to return the tyres under warranty. If you wish to pursue this route, I’ve attached our General Warranty Statement and official BTMA complaints process guidelines.
I hope this info has helped, please let us know if there is any more info you require on this subject to assist with your enquiry.
So I have kept the 2 best rear tyres that are almost brand new and will be giving those to my mate who has just bought a Ford Focus Estate that has the same exact tyres funnily enough!
So he can at least shove these on the front when his wear down and save £300!