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Discussion Starter #1
So my front left tire is visibly cupping on the inside. Not severely but you can see maybe 1/8" difference in tread depth between one pair of tread blocks (about 2 in.) and the next. The tires are the OEM style Michelins with 50,000 miles on them (2016 date code). Still plenty of tread left on the set overall, maybe half worn. The 2011 RTS has 125,000 miles. I was convinced the groaning noise I was hearing at speed was a bad LF wheel bearing. Not wanting to deal with pressing out a bearing I let my local Honda dealer work on it. They found the cupping and rotated the tires and the noise is much better, though not perfectly quiet either. Honda recommended putting new tires on, but I was hoping for another 50,000mi on these puppies. They also found and replaced worn out sway bar links but nothing else.

I'm wondering what the root cause of the cupping is? Could worn-out stabilizer links cause this? Or maybe my struts are no good? This particular wheel and fender was treated to a meetup with a Mercedes rear-end about 2 years ago which resulted in some bodywork ($7K) and a new control arm. Overall the steering still feels a bit loosey-goosey, kind of reminiscent of piloting a 70's land yacht. Not crisp steering at all.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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22,670 Posts
I'm sure we have some tire experts here who will hopefully chime in with some ideas on the tire cupping. I'll be curious to learn what you find caused the cupping.
 

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Tire cupping is usually a multi angle problem occurrence. If it was in an accident did they do a proper frame check on it ? Was the alignment done and if so were the adjustments not far out (meaning bent parts). Also, were the tires replaced from the accident ? (think belt shifting) Cupping can be a lot of things. Depending on the quality of the repair I'd guess it's related to the accident.

Steve
 

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2010 RT - Bali Blue
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As Steve mentioned, tire cupping could be a multitude of things and 10 different websites will give you their own versions. Ensure that the problem you are facing is indeed tire cupping, and not something else. Essentially you can call it scalloped tires (like a sawtooth pattern).

Some of the causes are..........

  • Tires out of balance
  • bent wheel
  • worn out strut assembly
  • improper/incorrect alignment
  • improper tire inflation
  • old (age) tire or tire out of its intended production life
  • worn balljoints (LCA or tie rod)
  • worn or improper CV joints
  • Worn or improper wheel bearings

Since rotating the tire alleviates it, I tend to believe it is one of the above and that the problem could potentially return. If you plan to keep the vehicle for a while, I would keep an eye on that LF tire and if it pops its head back up, then address that side right away. If the alignment is spot on, then it is surely not your tie rod ends as the alignment shop would most likely not work on it, or tell you it needs to be fixed prior to alignment.

BTW, just because your dealership looked through it, please do not assume that there are no issues. It is always worth getting a second opinion from a reputable shop that works on suspension & alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Upon further inspection it looks like my rear struts need replacing (one has oil leaking) and one of my control arms (RF) is worn out (mutiple cracks in compliance bushing).
These parts are all original (125k miles) so its not a shocker. I'll start with those. The front struts are also original so I may do those as well.
 
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