2004 ford expedtion...

My expedtion has 18,000 miles on it and the steering wheel started shaking. I took it to the dealer and they told me I needed 4 new tires because of
cupping. I saw the tire that ihas the cupping. The front driver side tire. Do you think if I rotate the tires the cupping with fix it self. Seems crazy to me to have to buy 4 new tires at 200 a piece when I only have 18,000 miles. Has anyone else had cupping troubles? Btw the dealer was not very helpful at all!
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This should be covered under warranty. For tires, I believe it is pro-rated.
Rich

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My understanding is that cupping occurs due to worn out shocks/struts. If these suspension components are not replaced - the cupping will occur again. This is not normal tire wear due to the lack of tire rotation.
Unca' Bob
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ASP since September 2000
"solace" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.aol.com> wrote in message
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yer understanding is wrong.
Most cupping, anymore, occurs due to poor tire-builds.
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Same problem with my Ranger with 22,000. Have the alignment and front end checked by a good alignment shop and put your front tires on the rear. The rears shouldnt be cupped.
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With only 18,000 miles I would consider replacing only one or two tires. Obviously, the cupped tire should go and may or may not be covered under the tire manufacturers warranty. If another tire is exhibiting any abnormal wear, it should also be replaced and both new tires installed on the same axle.
Tires should be rotated regularly as well as having the pressures checked at each service.
As a sidebar.... many buy their vehicles from the "cheapest" dealer with no regard to after sales service. While it is not supposed to happen, "loyal" customers will indeed get preferential treatment. Dealers that offer red carpet after-sales service build this consideration into their selling price. While buying a vehicle from dealer X at a higher price may sound like poor economics, one must consider the inconvenience experienced when your concern is sidelined by a prefered customer....or the disappointment of an uncaring service department at the cheapy dealer.

shaking.
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In fact, for problems such as yours, taking the thing to a nearby Chebbie dealer who gives good service may be fruitful.
We neglected to answer one of your questions: NO, 'cupping' NEVER fixes itself.. in fact it wears your shocks and struts.
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Thank you all for the replies and info. I have done a little more research into this matter and have found other 2004 expedition owner that have had this same trouble and their dealerships have replaced the steering rack and shaft and after many hours in service the trouble wasn't fixed. They found that if they had a road force balanced done it fixed the shaking. My concern now is that have I done damage to my steering shaft and rack? I'm very displeased with the service I got from the ford dealership. We did not buy the vehicle at this dealership but you would think pride in Ford would have better service ppl Oh and the tire with the cupping is gone, right? so no matter what I need a new tire for that spot? I also found that this brand of tires may not be all that great, continental tires. So now it brings me back to getting 4 new tires. Which I would love for ford to pay for. ( in my dream, eh) sorry so long
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Whether or not "Solace" comes back.. For the Record:
Road force balancing is only needed to make up for assymmetry in the tire build. Sad that it's come to that, but overall be glad at the price/performance of the modern tire, once you get it right.
The downside, I usually discard my tires long before they lose appreciable traction and WAY before they get to wear bars, but still get about 50,000 out of them. With about 50% return under warranty.

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Well, I have drafted a letter to send to ford. I am also going to send a letter to NHTSA to see just how wide spread this issue is.
Backyard Mechanic, are you saying that Road force balancing isn't something that will help my problem?
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I'm NOT an expert...I'm just a guy who's had the problem, several times.
Read again what I said. The modern tire mfg process, coupled with 'tuned suspension' on most cars will result in a high number of tire faults due to problems hidden under the tread.
It's almost always belt separation or "thick spots" which dont flex as well as the rest of the circumference. Neither of which will show up on a normal 'spin balance'. Road force balancing, IN MY OPINION, points out the problem with a given tire more than it alleviates it. RFB might help with the 'thick' syndrome but is useless if there's separation.
But here's what I suggest. Rather than fight city hall, though someone should, it's easier to just take the tire back. I've never had a problem getting a replacement even though the tire shop mgr will inevitably claim "I've never seen that before"
It's interesting that Discount Tires, a BIG chain... doesnt have access to "Road Force Balance" equipment. I'm thinking that they dont WANT access to it because customers might insist and that would be a big HIT on their margins due to refusal of product.
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I wish I could take it back. But it's the tire that came on the vehicle and Ford isn't playing nice. I love my Expedition I just wish working with the service reps was a bit easier. I also feel that there might be another problem that is going on here and Ford just wanted my 800 bucks rather than do warranty work. I really hope that isn't the case. I want to have faith in ford.
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FWIW, road force balancing does work - sort of. We don't have an RFB machine so I am working off what other techs are telling me.
I have heard stories of having to try many different tires on a particular wheel to find a set that will work. Oddly enough, a tire that wont work on one wheel may work on another (even though the machine is finding internal variations in the tire). I have come across two units in the last year or so that I couldn't get the vibration out of (not allowed to replace tires and, as I said, no RFB machine available). IIRC, both of these were Expeditions (though one may have been an Explorer - too many vehicles come through the door to be sure). If your service department can't help, go up the food chain..... be pleasant yet firm. Either Ford or the tire manufacturer should do something to turn you into a satisfied customer.

and
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 13:23:35 -0400, "solace"

Yes, the tire with the cupping is a goner. Some kinds of wear are corrected or mitigated by rotation. Cupping is not one of the problems that can be corrected unless you have enough tread remaining to have good useable tread after truing. Not many places even have the machine for this anymore. I have long avoided Continental tires since the last set over 25 years ago damn near rattled the fillings out of my teeth. I even had problems from Continental on my motorcycle and went back to Dunlops for it. IMHO, if you are going to spend that kind of money on tires, you should be looking at Michelin. An extra $100 on the set is not that much at the prices of your tires. My second choice has become Bridgestone although they tend to ride a bit hard. I have never been able to keep Goodyears balanced. The BFG although owned by Michelin are still not up to Michelin standards. My last two sets of BFG's split in the sidewalls and had to be replaced even though they are great for performance.
Good luck Lugnut
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wrote:

I replaced the Connies on my '02 Escape for the same reason- hard ride, lousy traction wet or dry, and noisy as hell! I did some comparisons from users on the Michelin Cross Terrain SUV and the Firestone Destination LE and, for $50 per tire less, went with the Firestones. So far, I am very pleased- I have no traction problems, not even with loose sand on the road, they give a firm but "cushiony" ride, and they're very quiet around town and on the highway. Of course, the Escape is quite a bit smaller and lighter than the Expy, but the tires might be worth looking into for you. SC Tom
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After 18,000 miles and no rotation I would expect cupping and a little extra wear on the outside. Esp on a 4x4 (you didn't say). If they arent worn out I would just rotate them front to rear and be done with it. Then at the first sign of cupping or any other front tire type wear, rotate again. Then when you buy new tires go somewhere where they will give you free rotation and balance as needed. I've had good luck with America's Tire store so far.....BTW if it shakes after the rotation/balance make them fix it. The shaking isn't when you hit the brakes is it?
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ah, I think that is just what I am going to do for now. I have sent letters to ford. I would be very pleased if I got some sorta prorated price. the shaking is highway driving. Over 60.
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