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I bought a CPO 2014 Volt with 9500 miles in October 2017. I noticed the front tires were worn out on the sides, and I asked the dealer to do a tire rotation before I got the car, they didn't. I am not at 15000 miles and I tried to get a tire rotation done at Costco, they put it on the lift and when saw the wear pattern on the edges, they refused to do a tire rotation. I took it to the dealer since I had a free oil change anyway, and they did the tire rotation but said the wear is caused by front wheel alignment.

To be honest, I don't know if it was front wheel alignment issues or if the previous owner pushed the pedal too much. I even did it myself a few times, when you put the car in SPORT mode and push the pedal, it is quite fun.

Anyway, just to remove any possibility of front wheel alignment, I told the dealer to do an alignment ($130 + tax). Now I have the better tires in the front, the worn tires in the back.

I am debating if I should drive like this for a while, or shop for new tires. I could get only 2 tires, but for a little mroe money I could get 4 (they have buy 3 get 1 free), or I could get some Micheline or Bridgestone at Costco.

So what do you say? should I test the tires as they are and see the wear pattern after alignment? should I just go ahead and get 4 new tires? and if I do, which brand? I am tempted to get a run flat tire, Bridgestone DriveGuard is labeled as Run Flat. I think this could be useful since there is no spare in the Volt.

Opinions welcome.

Thanks
 

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Normally if tires are worn at both the inner and outer edges this indicates the tires were consistently driven under inflated with low tire pressure. You want all four tires to be the same model tire including tire size, tread and tire load and speed rating. If you can only get two new tires they should be put on the rear to minimize the chance of over steering or having the rear end of the vehicle whip around towards the front when braking hard on a slippery road surface. Check the Gen 1 Volt Tire thread for recommendations on replacement tires for your 2014 Volt. If you decide you need winter tires for you Volt get set of basic steel rims and mount the winter tires on these rims.
 

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You bought an EV. They eat tires due to the low end torque and the peppiness. First off yes, agree with the above. The volt tires are chronically under inflated. Ignore the doorjamb and the manual and bring it up to 42 psi. Your tires will last 45,000+ miles.

I live on the WORST road imaginable. It's dirt, it has rock and holes and everything. It will washboard the crap out of you and the car. I've never ever had to get an alignment. You are wasting you money on alignments or rotations or balancing.

Put more air in your tires. ->42psi<-
 

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Gen 1 Volt, bought used with less than 10k miles on it probably still has the OEM Goodyear tires on. Those tires aren't even the same as the "same" ones bought retail, and they're NOTORIOUS for side-of-tread wear. The sidewall max on those tires is 50PSI, and when I still had them, I ran at 45PSI cold and they STILL wore at the sides. Fill 'em up until you get nervous, monitor the treadwear, and expect to replace them at about 30k (now) even if you do your own rotation. They CAN be made to last, but you have to start with closer to new than you got them, via high pressure and being absolutely scrupulous about avoiding potholes and letting anything touch the sidewall.
 

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You bought an EV. They eat tires due to the low end torque and the peppiness. First off yes, agree with the above. The volt tires are chronically under inflated. Ignore the doorjamb and the manual and bring it up to 42 psi. Your tires will last 45,000+ miles.

I live on the WORST road imaginable. It's dirt, it has rock and holes and everything. It will washboard the crap out of you and the car. I've never ever had to get an alignment. You are wasting you money on alignments or rotations or balancing.

Put more air in your tires. ->42psi<-
Bad advice...unless you're joking?
Alignment first, tires properly balanced, 5k tire rotations, PSI at 80-90% of sidewall rating. The ride will be choppier, stopping distances might be longer, but the tires will last longer.
 

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Bad advice...unless you're joking?
Alignment first, tires properly balanced, 5k tire rotations, PSI at 80-90% of sidewall rating. The ride will be choppier, stopping distances might be longer, but the tires will last longer.
Agree with all this for the most part. I checked the sidewall of my G2 Volt’s OEM Michelin Energy Savers at max PSI stated on the sidewall is 44psi. After almost 2 years with my Volt, I’ve come to like keeping my cold PSI at 42. When hot after rolling on the freeway for a while they can get up to 45 typically, within striking distance of the sidewall rating. After a few months or so, they get down to 40 psi cold which is fine, once they get to 39 or so I fill them back up to 42 cold. Works well for me, ride quality is fine and tire life seems like it is tracking fine as well.

As for the OP, if I were you I would get 4 new tires. For the price of one more, you get a full set as you mentioned. I prefer having all four corners be the same tire life if possible. I do rotate every 10K miles, not 5K and that works well for me.
 

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My OEM tires had lots of little chunks of tread missing from the tires when I bought it at 33,000 miles. Almost every Volt on the used car lot at the time seemed to have the same condition. By about 40,000 miles, they were bad enough that I just replaced them. Though I lost about 5% of range (by my estimation), I'm much happier with the "Continental Control Contact Tour A/S Plus" tires that I have on the car now. They are much quieter, have more grip, and ride much nicer. I run them at around 42 psi and they have been great so far. They did take a big range hit for the first 4-6 weeks, but it gradually improved to where I can get near the 40-45 miles on a charge again in good conditions, similar to what I was doing with the old tires, and the GOM is back to 40-42 on a typical day.
 

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Agree with all this for the most part. I checked the sidewall of my G2 Volt’s OEM Michelin Energy Savers at max PSI stated on the sidewall is 44psi. After almost 2 years with my Volt, I’ve come to like keeping my cold PSI at 42. When hot after rolling on the freeway for a while they can get up to 45 typically, within striking distance of the sidewall rating. After a few months or so, they get down to 40 psi cold which is fine, once they get to 39 or so I fill them back up to 42 cold. Works well for me, ride quality is fine and tire life seems like it is tracking fine as well.

As for the OP, if I were you I would get 4 new tires. For the price of one more, you get a full set as you mentioned. I prefer having all four corners be the same tire life if possible. I do rotate every 10K miles, not 5K and that works well for me.
Not that I advocate filling to the sidewall rated max or anything, but those numbers are printed knowing people are stupid.
When they say 45 max, they have purposefully reduced that rating knowing people will fill to that number and it is still safe even after it warms up and goes to 50psi, for example. I wouldn't be worried about 45psi when warm.
i.e. tire ratings are always based on cold PSI.
 

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FWIW, every single Volt and ELR (probably 7 or 8) I test drove seemed to have FE alignment/tire grumbling issues. It was bad enough that I was about to stop looking.
The ELR I found had 14k miles, flew to Tulsa from DFW to pick it up. YUP...FE grumbling (OEM Bridgestone 20" NOISY tires). They agreed to an alignment tweak prior to the final sale. FE noise went away. I bought the car. Loving it (except the OEM tires...NOISY).

My lesson learned: keep an eye on tire wear (duh...normal tire maintenance!), PSI, always rotate tires...
 

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Not that I advocate filling to the sidewall rated max or anything, but those numbers are printed knowing people are stupid.
When they say 45 max, they have purposefully reduced that rating knowing people will fill to that number and it is still safe even after it warms up and goes to 50psi, for example. I wouldn't be worried about 45psi when warm.
i.e. tire ratings are always based on cold PSI.
Why, oh why would you cast aspersions on the diligent engineers who have determined through design and testing what the maximum cold pressure a tire can be inflated to while providing absolute safety for the tire when driven to the extremes? jeez!

To the OP, my replacement tires are Continental Pure Contact with Echo Plus Technology. I'm very happy with my choice. And I would replace all four tires, now that an alignment has been done.
 

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I cite a very small sample size of 5 "Gen 1" Volts at my prior work location.

1 of the 5 was a 2012
3 of the 5 were 2013
1 of the 5 was a 2014

These vehicles were all driven by people with very different styles from fairly aggressive (me) all the way to an about to retire grandpa type who just pottered around in everything he did including driving.

ALL of the OEM Goodyear tires showed heavy shoulder wear inside and outside on all of the cars, the OEM Michelin tires less so, but still showed quite a bit of shoulder wear. At approximately the same time three of us got new tires. Two of us went with Continental True Contact w/Eco Plus (see link for running review) and the other went with Michelins (I don't remember the specific model).

Due to the wear, all three of us had wheel alignments done and compared the printouts and none of us were out of spec/alignment.

Given that there didn't seem to be an alignment problem with any of the cars, my personal theory is that...
1) The OEM tires just plain sucked
2) The Volt is a pretty heavy car to run "sedan" tires
3) The silence and low end torque makes people tend to run harder on a turn than other cars
4) The tire pressure listed on the door sill is too low (I now run at 40-41psi)
 

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Front tires wear on the edges because they handle the brunt of the car turning. Rear tires wear more in the middle because they don't turn as sharply and even radial tires have a very slight bulge at the edges. This is why tire rotation includes front to back. On the front tires, the inside edge of the turn wears just a little more than the outside edge, making the passenger side of the car get more edge wear. This is why you rotate from side to side.

If the front tires are worn on the edges but the rears aren't this is a sign the tires haven't been rotated from front to back. The edge wear comparison is much harder to tell because it's so much smaller.

For tire pressure, set your cold pressure (no sun on the tire) anywhere from the door placard to the MAX PSI printed on the tire. The MAX PSI for the tire is measured cold. The tire can handle nearly double that pressure before failing. Also, the load rating on a tire is based on the tire set at the MAX PSI. Load rating decreases as the tire pressure drops. The Ford Explorer/Firestone tire fiasco a decade or so ago was 100% based on the fact that Ford, to keep the top heavy Explorer from rolling over in an accident, put door placard tire pressures so low that Firestone's response was the tires weren't safe at that pressure with four adults in the vehicle.

For those of you worried about performance and traction at MAX PSI, overall performance will improve because the tires will respond much more consistently to input from the driver. Total traction will decrease slightly, especially in slick conditions because the contact patch will be a hair or two shorter as a result of the higher pressure. Higher tire pressure also results in less sidewall scrubbing in hard cornering, which reduces the temporary growth of the contact patch during this type of driving. However, the main trade-off will be reduced ride comfort - the tire will transmit more road imperfections to the suspension.

For OP, replace all four tires and get into the habit of rotating them every 5,000 miles. Wear will be far more even and the tires will last longer. Play with your tire pressure to find the pressure that gives you the ride quality you want and then stick to that tire pressure. You'll have to adjust the set pressure with every new set of tires as they are all slightly different.
 

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My OEM tires are on track to get the advertised 60k miles of life. In fact, they are at 65k miles and have 5.5/32nds tread left. I will be replacing them soon.

I rotate my wheels every 7500 miles
I keep them at 41 psi and top the off when they hit 38-39 PSI

As far as where to put two "good" tires versus two bad tires, the good tires should go on the REAR not the front.

No matter if your vehicle is front-, rear-, or all-wheel-drive, a pickup, a sporty car, or an SUV: If you buy only two new tires, you should put them on the back, according to tire manufacturer Michelin North America.May 13, 2014
When tires are replaced in pairs...the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle and the partially worn tires moved to the front.

When tires are replaced in pairs in situations like these, the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle and the partially worn tires moved to the front. New tires on the rear axle help the driver more easily maintain control on wet roads since deeper treaded tires are better at resisting hydroplaning.
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=52
 

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My original 2014 tires wore terribly so much by the end of just 30k miles the cords were showing on the inner side. Stupid me repalced with the same from SAMS but it seems either the original batch were problmatic or they just wear better at higher PSI than factory set at 38. I now run mine at no lower than 44 hot and its been about 20k wearing very nicely without an alignment. Maybe its my imagination but I think not when all four stock tires ripped apart on the inner walls. On the last 2 of the 4 I failed the inspection and had to put the other replacments on I already had of same brand and size, GY. GM should have repleced the OEMs I think on its own conisering the number of flats and or premature wear complaints. I have never had tires that wore under 30k
 

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After almost 2 years with my Volt, I’ve come to like keeping my cold PSI at 42. When hot after rolling on the freeway for a while they can get up to 45 typically, within striking distance of the sidewall rating. After a few months or so, they get down to 40 psi cold which is fine, once they get to 39 or so I fill them back up to 42 cold. Works well for me, ride quality is fine and tire life seems like it is tracking fine as well.
Sidewall max is cold pressure. There's margin build in for "driving on the highway for a while", and higher pressure tires increase less than low ones, simply because the tire flexes (and therefore heats) less. You generally see highway tire failures from too-low pressures, not too-high.
 

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I've been watching my tires gnaw the inner edge off and I'm coming to the conclusion that a 215/50/17 might be a touch too narrow for the Volt's 7" wide rims, considering the weight and pressures we run.

I'm considering 225/50/17's for my next set.
 

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I've been watching my tires gnaw the inner edge off and I'm coming to the conclusion that a 215/50/17 might be a touch too narrow for the Volt's 7" wide rims, considering the weight and pressures we run.

I'm considering 225/50/17's for my next set.
This will increase your tire height and rolling mass, as well. Modern tire size is: (tread width in mm) / (sidewall height as a % of tread width) / (wheel diameter in inches). A 225/50/17 tire will be 1cm greater diameter than the OEM size (calculated, but real world will vary by mfg and model). A wider/larger tire will decrease overall economy, including initial cost of larger or less common tires (usually), and parasitic losses. Going from the original LRR tire to a larger (probably)non-LRR will likely be a significant MPGe and range hit. Ideally, going to a better tire or more narrow wheel would be a better approach.

The OEM Michelins on my 2017 @ 46K are all showing even wear, and will be replaced within the next 5-10K. Always at 40-42 PSI cold and rotated @10K. No abnormal shoulder wear, even with 75% on mountain roads.
 

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This will increase your tire height and rolling mass, as well. Modern tire size is: (tread width in mm) / (sidewall height as a % of tread width) / (wheel diameter in inches). A 225/50/17 tire will be 1cm greater diameter than the OEM size (calculated, but real world will vary by mfg and model). A wider/larger tire will decrease overall economy, including initial cost of larger or less common tires (usually), and parasitic losses. Going from the original LRR tire to a larger (probably)non-LRR will likely be a significant MPGe and range hit. Ideally, going to a better tire or more narrow wheel would be a better approach.

The OEM Michelins on my 2017 @ 46K are all showing even wear, and will be replaced within the next 5-10K. Always at 40-42 PSI cold and rotated @10K. No abnormal shoulder wear, even with 75% on mountain roads.
My oem size is 215/55-17. So a 225/50-17 is actually a smaller diameter.
 

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My oem size is 215/55-17. So a 225/50-17 is actually a smaller diameter.
You are correct, thank you. I did not know that. 215/55/17 is the same OEM size as my previous 2014 Cruze Diesel (replaced by the Volt), so I've been down that road a couple years ago. Completely forgot about that. The diameters we're discussing are all still within the mfg margin of error/variation, which is a lesser factor. The parasitic losses (rolling mass and resistance) of increasing width remain the same, and are the major factor in regards to economy. The 225/50/17 tire is the OEM size of several other eco vehicles, so that should help with availability and pricing. The downside to the argument is, changing sizes AND mfg's and/or product series may find you with the same size (or opposite of expectation), leading to the same problem, or worse. Unfortunately, it takes tens of thousands of miles to see any real result.
 
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