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Old 07-02-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
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How good are Chinese tires?

I received a question about the quality of tires made in China

Here is a copy from my most popular blog post
"Jan 3 2012
How good are Chinese tires?


While this seems to be a reasonable question to those who do not believe it is possible for good quality products to be made in China, I could just as easily ask: How good are the tires made in Japan? or Brazil? or France? What about tires made in South Carolina? or Tennessee? or Nova Scotia? Etc.?

Some research indicated that Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear produce tires in more than 50 countries. Each of these companies has production in China. With more than 340 tire plants involved worldwide, just how reasonable is it to think that one country has cornered the market on poor quality?

Quality is a function of corporate philosophy not geography. Having worked as both a trainer and quality auditor in the tire industry, I can say from personal observation that I have never seen a situation where the poor quality in a product or process could have the root cause traced to the geographic location. I have also done detailed examination of tires made by a smaller manufacturer in China and found that they met all the performance requirements required for sale in the USA.

All tires sold for use on public highways in the US are required to be certified by the manufacturer to be capable of meeting the quality and safety requirements as published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which is a part of the US Department of Transportation. These requirements are very detailed and cover many test and conditions all tires must meet at a minimum. The penalty for selling a tire that does not meet these requirements is very significant. You can read the details if you are so inclined, with sections 109, 110, 119, 120, 138 and 139 being most appropriate for those interested in tires.

TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA of how seriously these quality standards are taken by a company with a real quality philosophy, I would like to give you an example. Before I retired, one of my primary duties was to investigate and determine the real reason certain tires failed to deliver the service expected by the customer. I would be asked to basically do an autopsy and issue a detailed engineering report with supporting documentation such as photos and lab data when appropriate. My report had to be sufficiently detailed and documented to be able to satisfy other engineers and technical authorities that my conclusion were accepted as the most likely reason and that no questions remained.

During one such examination, I discovered that there had been a problem during manufacturing of one specific size and type tire. I was able to trace the root cause to the use of one container of materials that had been mislabeled and incorrectly used in regular production tires. The result of this mix-up was that some of the rubber did not provide the proper level of adhesion, which resulted in part of the tire not properly curing. As part of the investigation I was able to determine that 149 tires had been made with this improper material. I located an identification mark on the subject tires which would have allowed more than 95 percent of the 149 tires to be identified and replaced. The corporate head of quality decided that we needed to be 100 percent certain that no tires remained in the hands of the public, so he ordered the entire week’s production of that size and type tire be recalled and replaced. This cost the company more than 3,500 tires to be replaced at no cost to the customers and all 3,500 tires were ordered scrapped just to be sure not a single tire with the problem remained on the highway. You may be interested to know that the tires were not manufactured in the USA and not all 149 would have been sold in the USA, but the commitment to quality was sufficient to make this decision a relatively easy one.

Now you may ask how do you find out which tire companies have this kind of commitment to quality. One thing you could do is to contact the tire manufacturer and ask if they are ISO certified to quality standards such as the older QS9000 standard or more current TS16949.

Meeting this standard is a requirement of the “Detroit Big Three” and I believe some large heavy truck manufacturers. I also believe that if a company supplies tires under these standards they are more likely to apply most of the requirements to all their production.
NOTE These Quality Standards are in addition to the DOT Regulations.

If the tire you are considering is made by a company that does not supply to “Detroit” you will have to do some other investigation. You can search for information on recalls here.

If you have a tire failure that is not attributable to overload, under-inflation, puncture or road hazard you should file a report here

If people do not file a report the DOT has no way of knowing that a tire failed to meet the requirements."

A side comment about the quality standards mentioned in this post. I am not aware of any RV manufacturer that would meet either standard or that requires similar quality standards of any of their parts suppliers. Maybe that is why we see today's RVs with warranties similar to what we saw in cars from Detroit in 1969.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:34 AM   #2
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Considering almost EVERYTHING sold in Walmart is made in China, I wouldn't worry about Tires made in China too much. Heck over 50% of parts on a new Harley Davidson are from parts made in China. It's a world wide market and items are made in China because of the tier 3 and 4 super cheap labor pools. AKA you get a quality made product made for next to nothing labor costs. Granted China cranks out a lot of junk products also. But tires like you said, have to meet various quality standards to be sold in USA.

Lots of people think Goodyear Marathon trailer tires are so good. My experience with them is they cup easy and tread wears out super fast. Under-inflation, too much weight, road hazard, extreme summer heat, and driving too fast is what kills trailer tires. Not made in China.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:50 AM   #3
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Chinese tires explode...just like their fireworks. I have had tire failures on stock Chinese tires on unloaded trailers. First thing I do know when I get a camper is change the tires and balance the wheels. Even though some Good Year marathon tires are made in China they seem to have better quality. I order U.S. made trailer tires....just to be on the safe side. Remember, if you buy no-name Chinese tires they will go boom! Well just to finish this post, most everything you buy in China is low quality or just plain junk. What I don't understand is China supports North Korea and North Korea wants to nuke us, so why do we even deal with China.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelek View Post

Lots of people think Goodyear Marathon trailer tires are so good. My experience with them is they cup easy and tread wears out super fast. Under-inflation, too much weight, road hazard, extreme summer heat, and driving too fast is what kills trailer tires. Not made in China.
I think that just proves that something has changed when the Marathon production moved to China. We had Marathons on our old fifth, made in Canada, and they had a gazillion miles on them after 10 years of use, and went with the camper when we sold it, and still had lots of tread and no unusual wear patterns. No weathering cracks, no nothing.
Try that with the new Chinese Marathons.
Another example is the Chinese Carlisles I put on my dirt bike trailer. After two years they already had sidewall cracks and had to be thrown out. What kind of garbage rubber did they use in those tires?
After all of the numerous examples of the Chinese not giving a dam about what they are doing to people, why would I trust them with my safety?
After all, they are the ones who put melamine in our dog food, killing them, not to mention putting it in their own baby formula, killing their own children.
Yeah, I'm going to trust that mentality.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelek View Post
Considering almost EVERYTHING sold in Walmart is made in China, I wouldn't worry about Tires made in China too much. Heck over 50% of parts on a new Harley Davidson are from parts made in China. It's a world wide market and items are made in China because of the tier 3 and 4 super cheap labor pools. AKA you get a quality made product made for next to nothing labor costs. Granted China cranks out a lot of junk products also. But tires like you said, have to meet various quality standards to be sold in USA.

Lots of people think Goodyear Marathon trailer tires are so good. My experience with them is they cup easy and tread wears out super fast. Under-inflation, too much weight, road hazard, extreme summer heat, and driving too fast is what kills trailer tires. Not made in China.

X2 If you go through this forums you will find a thread pretty much about every brand of tire and how they had problems. Did they hit a road obstruction, were the tires to old, were the tires under inflated, and/or were they over loaded,

I do prefer the Goodyears but no matter what brand take care of your tires and they will take care of you! But I highly recommend a tire monitor system. They are a great piece of mind and probably could have prevented most of the blow out issues. Because most of the "blow out" issues are really just a tire that, looses air for some reason, overheats, and then shreds.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by camper1999 View Post
X2 If you go through this forums you will find a thread pretty much about every brand of tire and how they had problems.
I don't think I have seen even one complaint about Maxxis tires.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:37 AM   #7
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I am amazed.

Cupping; uneven tread wear; scuffing; are ALL trailer problems (axle alignment and weight); not tire problems. Even most blowouts can be laid at the feet of road hazards, improper inflation, and speeding.

Tread separation at the belts and bulging of sidewalls, are tire manufacture issues.

When made by name brand manufacturers, tires made in other countries are inspected by the brand's inspectors as well as DoT. The Michelins on my truck were made overseas, and I love them. The Marathons on my Camper were made in Alabama at the Gadsden plant (Code MD) and I love them too.

PS these were made in the 25th week of 2010. About 3 months later they were on my camper.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:41 AM   #8
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I think most comments in past threads about tires are subjective generalizations conceived from homeland patriotism and less about tire quality. It's often times hard to believe that a country on the other side of the world can produce a product equal to or better than our own. We do have the right to buy locally made product but that doesn't mean we get the best bang for our buck or the best product.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakken View Post
I don't think I have seen even one complaint about Maxxis tires.
You're kidding right?!?!? Just google maxxis tire failure
At some point every brand of tire has failed somewhere.
None are immune.

Maxxis seem to be prone to fewer that some others but that is my purely
un-scientific opinion

MY tires combined sidewall stamped weight rating is over 7000 LBS while
my actual on the CAT scales axle weight is right at 4000.
This is a reasonable safety margin IMO.

Lots of trailers- especially heavier trailers have tire weight ratings
perilously close to the actual axle weights. THAT is more important
than where the tire was made.

My 2˘
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:43 PM   #10
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Chinese trade tires:
http://www.usw.org/news/pdfs/06-03-1...PVLT_FINAL.pdf
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