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Discussion Starter #1
Back in October, at 26,000 miles, I replaced my factory summer tires with 4x 205/45R17 Continental DWS 06 on my 2017 Abarth. Since the second I picked it up from the shop, the car was all over the road and pulled right under power and back to the left when letting off.

After two weeks, the installing shop thought they'd isolated it to the correct tire and replaced a tire under warranty. Since then, it seemed like the car wasn't pulling anymore. After my experience with the staff there, I took the car to another shop.

The second shop performed an alignment 2 weeks later. The car drove no differently before or after the alignment (as far as I could feel), but the steering wheel was on (much more) straight.

All was fine until two weeks ago, at 30,000 miles, when I got an oil change at the second shop. They automatically performed a tire rotation (front <-> rear). I knew this because the second I left the shop, guess what, it's pulling to the right under power again. The second shop called me a liar for 10 minutes and then rotated the tires back. The car returned to normal. They agreed to order another replacement tire but said they'd need me to leave it for most of the day so they could FOR SURE isolate the problematic tire and send me on my way.

Well, on Friday they had the car for most of the day. I thought they'd isolated it after a drive home (all < 30mph roads). I returned Saturday with my original receipt so they could submit their warranty paperwork. Sure enough, taking the highway back to their shop, as soon as I hit 45mph I can distinctively feel the car pulling right under power again and left when letting off. I tell the shop this, who calls me a liar again, and they finally say something else is "broken on the car". The tire they pulled off is at 7/32" after 3,800 miles. They agree to order a set of General AIX tires (no thank you) and throw them on to see if the car still does it.

Well, unhappy with the attitude of them, and the fact that I still can't drive my car in a straight line, I took it to a third shop where a buddy's buddy works. They drive it for 20 minutes and tell me they're amazed I've been driving with how hard it pulls. They put it up for alignment and show a thrust angle of -0.2, among just about everything else alignment-wise being out of whack for this car. They spend over an hour aligning it.

The car still pulls right under power and left when letting off. The subframe bolts are tight. The bushings look great. They rotated the rear tires and, surprise, the car now pulls LEFT under power and RIGHT when letting off. This leads them to the conclusion that the other rear tire (the only one left from my original set back in October) is bad.

I call up shop 2 and inform them this morning. They are adamant that what's happening "isn't possible" and that there's no way I have 3 bad tires on the car. As if this is somehow enjoyable or a long con for me. They said they'll talk to Continental's service department and see about getting a replacement set, but the guy is "positive" that something is wrong with the car and NOT the tires.

Any ideas? The car has never been hit and this was NOT an issue on the factory tires. It's intense enough that I noticed it IMMEDIATELY after driving the car all 3 times. And, when it's occurring, it changes when the rear tires are rotated. I'm getting sick of shops blowing me off or calling me a liar, yet not even driving it long enough to see if there's a problem. And I just want my damn car to drive straight. There is absolutely nothing to indicate a mechanical failure of any kind as the only change has been the tires. The installing shop didn't even drive the car after installing the tires (verified via dash cam).
 

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Sounds like the easiest way to put this behind you is to buy another set of tires. I'd look at changing brands. I know you want them to make this right but how much head banging do you want to endure?

And I understand about shops not doing what you paid them to do. This past week I installed all new adjustable control arms and steering linkages on a Jeep Wrangler and took it to a local 4x4 shop for an alignment. They told me they closed at 5. At 4:50 PM I'm pulling into the parking lot as my Jeep is pulling out. I paid $179 because they had to make "extensive" adjustments. Only the car drives exactly the same. And maybe they didn't notice I paint marked everything before I took it in? All they did was take it for a quick test drive and call it good it seems.
 

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I've had the DWS 06 on my car when my shop accidentally put the wrong tires on my car. They were not a good choice for the car. Try a different tire.

I'm running Continental ExtremeContact Sport now and I like them a lot. There are many other choices out there, too.
 

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I've had the DWS 06 on my car when my shop accidentally put the wrong tires on my car. They were not a good choice for the car. Try a different tire.

I'm running Continental ExtremeContact Sport now and I like them a lot. There are many other choices out there, too.
That's right. Now I remember you did not have good luck with tire either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like the easiest way to put this behind you is to buy another set of tires. I'd look at changing brands. I know you want them to make this right but how much head banging do you want to endure?

And I understand about shops not doing what you paid them to do. This past week I installed all new adjustable control arms and steering linkages on a Jeep Wrangler and took it to a local 4x4 shop for an alignment. They told me they closed at 5. At 4:50 PM I'm pulling into the parking lot as my Jeep is pulling out. I paid $179 because they had to make "extensive" adjustments. Only the car drives exactly the same. And maybe they didn't notice I paint marked everything before I took it in? All they did was take it for a quick test drive and call it good it seems.
My patience is quickly evaporating. It's just not easy to throw away the $640 I already spent on these tires because nobody will take the time to properly diagnose or even believe that the car's handling changing THE SECOND I got the tires AND when tires are rotated has something to do with the tires. I'm at the point (or, honestly, was 2 weeks ago) that if I had that kind of money to throw out the window, I'd have done it by now. I've driven 3,800 miles on a set of tires and worn them to 15,000 miles worth of driving, still can't drive in a straight line, and it looks like I'm completely wasted driving down the road with how much it pulls.

It sucks when shops do that because that crap gives shops a bad name when it's usually just an individual. I think most people are smart enough to stay away from shops with a bad name to begin with. I've never had issues with the shop that did the original install for the first 5 years of using them. New staff now, however, and the owner isn't around as much.


I've had the DWS 06 on my car when my shop accidentally put the wrong tires on my car. They were not a good choice for the car. Try a different tire.

I'm running Continental ExtremeContact Sport now and I like them a lot. There are many other choices out there, too.

That's right. Now I remember you did not have good luck with tire either.
This is interesting because I'm 98% sure I got this tire recommendation from a thread on this board. I guess I didn't do my full due diligence. I looked at the ExtremeContact but I daily my 124 with no second vehicle so I need an all-season. I tried summer tires last winter...

Oh, forgot to mention - yes tire pressures are all good. I asked installing shop and second shop and they said no wheels are bent. Haven't heard from the second shop since they hung up on me.
 

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I had posted some initially positive comments on the DWS, but then I encountered issues with them and posted some follow ups. We are not able to edit posts after a short time, so I couldn't edit my first posts, so if you only saw the positive posts, I apologize.

The DWS is NOT a bad tire. I have had them on 2 different Chargers and they have been fantastic. I think they are unsuitable for the 124 because the car is so light.

I daily drive my ExtremeContact Sports. They work great in the rain. Obviously, they are not good for snow or ice.
 

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Check the sidewall to see if there is a rotation direction. There is a chance some might be mounted backwards, especially on the rear. Aside from that, jack up the car and check for play in all suspension parts (i.e. A-arms, shocks, struts, tie-rod ends, stabilizers, etc.). If you have a friend in your area with another 124, swap the tires/wheels to his and test drive. That would rule out your car as a factor, if the behavior is the same, and would point to the tires being bad. As a last resort, get them RoadForce balanced. Should cost you about $30 per wheel, but it balances side-to-side as well as front to rear. It saved my life when I put oversized tires on one of my trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had posted some initially positive comments on the DWS, but then I encountered issues with them and posted some follow ups. We are not able to edit posts after a short time, so I couldn't edit my first posts, so if you only saw the positive posts, I apologize.

The DWS is NOT a bad tire. I have had them on 2 different Chargers and they have been fantastic. I think they are unsuitable for the 124 because the car is so light.

I daily drive my ExtremeContact Sports. They work great in the rain. Obviously, they are not good for snow or ice.
No worries, I was not specifically calling anyone out, I just remember being on the fence between several tires and seeing multiple good things about the DWS 06. It's definitely on me for not reading far enough.

Check the sidewall to see if there is a rotation direction. There is a chance some might be mounted backwards, especially on the rear. Aside from that, jack up the car and check for play in all suspension parts (i.e. A-arms, shocks, struts, tie-rod ends, stabilizers, etc.). If you have a friend in your area with another 124, swap the tires/wheels to his and test drive. That would rule out your car as a factor, if the behavior is the same, and would point to the tires being bad. As a last resort, get them RoadForce balanced. Should cost you about $30 per wheel, but it balances side-to-side as well as front to rear. It saved my life when I put oversized tires on one of my trucks.
I checked the rears last night and confirmed they are mounted correctly and in the right direction. The rear currently has one tire from the original set on the driver's side (2018 production date) and a replacement from a different batch (4819 production date) on the passenger side. I did not check the fronts as with the left <-> right rotation of the rear tires, it seems to indicate whatever is going on is related to the tires (or wheels) on the rear.

The third shop checked for loose subframe and looked over the suspension components and bushings and said everything looked and felt right. Unfortunately no other 124's in the area that I know of. I see a Classica occasionally, but those are 16" wheels so I don't think it'd apply? Either way, I've never met the guy :(.

I've never heard of Road Force balancing - is that a specific company?

Honestly, at this point I may have to figure out a way to just replace the tires because this is out of hand. I may consider doing winter tires on the OEM wheel and hopefully having the dough for wheels + tires by the time spring rolls around.
 

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No worries, I was not specifically calling anyone out, I just remember being on the fence between several tires and seeing multiple good things about the DWS 06. It's definitely on me for not reading far enough.



I checked the rears last night and confirmed they are mounted correctly and in the right direction. The rear currently has one tire from the original set on the driver's side (2018 production date) and a replacement from a different batch (4819 production date) on the passenger side. I did not check the fronts as with the left <-> right rotation of the rear tires, it seems to indicate whatever is going on is related to the tires (or wheels) on the rear.

The third shop checked for loose subframe and looked over the suspension components and bushings and said everything looked and felt right. Unfortunately no other 124's in the area that I know of. I see a Classica occasionally, but those are 16" wheels so I don't think it'd apply? Either way, I've never met the guy :(.

I've never heard of Road Force balancing - is that a specific company?
Yes. Not sure if it will help, but it wouldn't hurt, aside from you might be throwing another $120 away though if it doesn't. You might want to take your car to a collision center/body repair facility that has experience diagnosing pull to one side or the other after collisions. They have tools to check frame alignment as well.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes. Not sure if it will help, but it wouldn't hurt, aside from you might be throwing another $120 away though if it doesn't. You might want to take your car to a collision center/body repair facility that has experience diagnosing pull to one side or the other after collisions. They have tools to check frame alignment as well.

Looks like a shop within 20 minutes has one and the shop has stellar reviews.

Hoping shop # 2 calls me back today and says Continental agreed to a new set. If not, I think I'm going to cut my losses, complain intensely to Continental directly, replace the tires, and then have them installed/balanced/the car aligned by what would be shop # 4 with RFB.

This crap really lined up with vet bills to screw me over...
 

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Looks like a shop within 20 minutes has one and the shop has stellar reviews.

Hoping shop # 2 calls me back today and says Continental agreed to a new set. If not, I think I'm going to cut my losses, complain intensely to Continental directly, replace the tires, and then have them installed/balanced/the car aligned by what would be shop # 4 with RFB.

This crap really lined up with vet bills to screw me over...
So sorry to hear this brother. Hopefully all works out for you. Please keep the community posted on what the final resolution is. You are not alone in this.
 

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nvm...it was already mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The thing that keeps getting me: shop # 2 is adamant that it is NOT a tire problem but something else...suspension, alignment, differential. But a tire rotation should not cause the car to drive differently (unless the tires are severely worn, and these were brand new). It started the minute the car got new tires and changes with a tire rotation. Shop # 2 simply says it's "not possible" to have 3 bad tires. Unlikely? Yes. Extremely unlikely? Yes. Even more unlikely that it's all 4 (or is now, after this issue has caused aggressive tread wear)? I won't disagree. But I would have noticed if the car pulled aggressively when I was hot-doggin' it to C&C every weekend this summer, and I would've owned up if this issue appeared because of something I did. However, all I did was get new tires and drive it off the lot!!

Really makes my blood boil that I'm being treated like an idiot and accused of lying. You're right, I just enjoy being white-knuckled on the wheel every day while my tires wear at an exuberant rate and wasting everyone's time.
 

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I added a comment about getting someone else with a Spider and change out wheels and tires, that had already been mentioned. I really think that's one of a few options to truly eliminate the tire/wheels. If we knew where you were, maybe there's someone within a 30 minute hour or so drive (bearing in mind it is winter, unfortunately).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I agree - wheel and tire swap would tell you definitively.

Any chance any of you are near Maryland, USA?
 

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Unfortunately SW Kentucky...
 

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Update: dropped it off at the shop again today for them to drive + have their tire rep drive it. They noted that steering changed with tires being rotated and that shouldn't happen.

There's now a set of General Altimax RT43 tires on there and it does the same exact thing.
 
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