car tyres…worth a complaint or let sleeping dogs lie

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  • car tyres…worth a complaint or let sleeping dogs lie
  • doc_blues

    We bought ourselves a 55 plate Octavia juat after Christmas, 2nd hand ex-fleet (Lex) – in pretty good nick for high(ish for age miles (65k)). Have one or 2 minor niggles which I want to sort with the dealer (non skoda ford / kia dealer) – namely broken bonnet handle and missing support for the bonnet strut. Other than that very happy – or are we?

    What I have noticed is that the car is a bit twitchy – esp at speed on motorway – 1st put it down to tramlining as where I was driving when I noticed it most was really worn – 2 bit ruts along the inside and middle lanes. Checked tyre pressures, which were fine. What I have noticed though (when doing the tyres again yesterday) is that there are 4 different makes of tyre – 1 each of Avon, Dunlop, Bridgestone and some other (began with T). Alll same size, all same speed rating, and obviously a symptom of being a fleet car.

    Now whilst I know they are all legal, I also know its not good practice to run tyres mixed up like this. When I bought the car, I did check the tyres for wear, but didnt take any particular notice of branding at the time (who does?) but now I wonder if this is why I have noticed the twitchyness – due to the differences in tread and rubber between the brands. As we have just had a feedback request from the dealer, I was going to raise the few niggles I have (handles bonnet bit and missing promised touch up paint for a couple of marks valeting didnt remove). Who reckons its worth raising the issue with the dealer – it certainly compromises the handling of the car under certain conditions and could be potentially dangerous

    (and yes I had a long >1hr test drive on a variety of roads inc M Way and didnt notice it – I think because the roads were dry at the time – its only with the recent wet roads its really become noticeable)

    Apologies for the length of this!

    Premier Icon mboy

    Sadly, whilst you’re right and the 4 different tyres are probably having a detrimental affect on the handling of the car (different tyres back to front are to be expected, but mixing across an axle is a no no really), it’s all legal, therefore you won’t have a complaint that stands up at all!

    Who takes notice when buying a car? Well I do for certain. But then I’ve known the effect of driving a car with different tyres across an axle before.

    Your only real option is to cough up for new tyres yourself really, and get the tracking fixed at the same time. You may be able to flog your old tyres on for a few quid each if they still have decent tread on them at least. Tyres for an Octavia (probably 16″) should only be about £45-50 each, so it’s a relatively inexpensive lesson given the grand scheme of things.

    Regarding everything else wrong with the car, definitely raise all the niggles etc. as you stand much better chance of getting these sorted out for free. Tell them about the tyres too, but I doubt you’ll get anywhere.

    Possibly not illegal, but definitely not recommended. You should go back to the dealer and negotiate some kind of deal on replacing the tyres. You could argue that with odd tyres, the car is dangerous in the wet and therefore not of merchantable quality


    Shouldnt be “twitchy” but you may notice differing braking and cornering ability. I run different ones up front on my estate, couldnt tell any difference on that, other than both are cheap rubbish.

    You bought the car as seen, with those tyres, its your problem not theirs.

    A quick Google has just shown me that your car has adjustable geometry front and rear like my Mondeo (most 2wd cars don’t seem to have adjustable rear geometry)…think tracking but 10 times more complex/useful.

    I bought a Ford Mondeo about 12 months ago, it felt skittish and would wander whilst cornering, and the back would skip sideways whilst going over expansion strips and manhole covers. Didn’t feel surefooted, and overtaking was sketchy as the car would be all over the place as you moved across onto the opposite camber on the other side of the road. A garage checked it out and said nothing wrong so I put it to the back of my mind – then noticed that the nearly new rear tyres had scrubbed their outside edges off in just 6000 miles (the Mondeo generally wears out rear tyres on the inside so I knew something was wrong)

    Took some advice on a Mondeo forum, ended up paying £60ish getting the geometry checked and corrected and it transformed the car.

    Full explanation of tracking/4 wheel alignment/geometry:

    Website I used to find somewhere with proper geometry equipment as loads of places mis-advertise their front tracking as alignment/geometry:

    Shop around as prices vary significantly, some do a free check then charge more for adjustments, others charge for the check but adjustments are much cheaper. The place I went to was SETyres, seemed cheaper (a lot cheaper than accident repair places)

    My before and after geometry printout:

    Premier Icon Drac

    Broken and missing parts mixed tyres. Did you not check the car over before buying it?

    Premier Icon nuttysquirrel

    I would try my best to see if they could at least help you out money-wise but go for tracking first, as above. Tyres make a MASSIVE difference though. I never cut corners with them. Buy some Vredestein from and enjoy the feeling of grip.


    Cheers for the replies. Spooky – have seen similar to you from some posts on the skoda forums re tracking and angles of the tyres. Certainly at the moemnt, the wear across all 4 tyres is pretty even, but I am going to get the tracking checked when I get the tyres done.

    Twitchy was perhaps the wrong description – it it very sure footed in the dry and fine most of the rest of the time – but occasionally it just doesnt feel right. quite hard to describe really. Have had cars with tracking that was way out before (thanks to driving round dreadful country lanes etc to get to work) and you could always tell when there was a problem (my last car, a punto, used to get a really bad vibration at around 75ish when the tracking was out – once it was sorted it was absolutely fine).

    Drac – car was checked to best of my ability (not a mechanic and not really into cars any more than having one to get from a to b and carry bikes etc)- the bonnet lever didnt come off in my hands when I popped it (it does vibrate off when you are driving though – there are a couple of plastic lugs inside which apparently commonly snap because of a slight twisting action when you pull the lever). As for the missing bit – missed that completely as salesman sorted propping the bonnet. Very aware that the car was sold as seen – got a detailed service history so I know what has and hasnt been done eg has had new clutch and DMF replaced (and budgeted accordingly eg for cambelt/waterpump change (more precautionary than anything) and knew about the wear on the tyres etc) – otherwise all in all pleased with the car – just annoyed with myself that I missed that given I checked the wear and sizes etc and feel the dealer was a ‘little naughty’ (and as others quite rightly point out, its a lesson learnt – but I guess you have never made a mistake/missed a minor detail?)

    Premier Icon Drac

    but I guess you have never made a mistake/missed a minor detail?

    Never on a car no I was a salesman’s nightmare.

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    what’s your spare ?

    could you make a matching pair for the front ?

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