How do you tell if you need new struts - front tire wear issue?
Well, I'm asking this question because I purchased a set of Continental DWS Extreme Contact tires this time around. Just wanted a slightly more aggressive tread for winter use. But after 7K miles, the outer sipes on both front tires are worn half way at the back edge of the each sipe. The overall tire wear is even, 7-8 32nds across each tire.
Been using Conti ProContact tires for years on this car and never had this problem before. So I contacted tire rack and they contacted Continental who told me to take it to the local VIP store. No surprise there, he noticed the wear bounced the front end up and down and said I needed new struts. Ahem, he even said Audi recommends replacing the struts every 50k miles which was news to me.
So, there is absolutely no sign of any leakage or staining anywhere on the front struts. There is no noise when hitting bumps. The car doesn't bounce up and down, tracks straight, turns like it should, and rides nicer than my C6.
I've run into this problem before - in fact with all 3 Suburbans. On a heavy vehicle like that, I would get exactly the same tread wear pattern on Michelins, Goodyears, etc. when the gaps in the outer sipe tend to be angled like the DWS. If I went to the more standard less aggressive tread pattern, problem disappeared. The UTQG on both the DWS and ProContact are very close. My own theory is that the wear is particularly brutal on high speed clover-leafs, and I have to use a few of those each day and in each direction.
So, how do you really tell if the struts are failing/have failed? I driven cars with bad shocks on them and knew it right away (even drove a car with no rear shocks on it in the 60's waiting for special order ones to come in - not recommended).
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