CS4's were a mistake

by Joe
(Chicago burbs, IL)

These CS4 Touring tires are the first and last set of Cooper tires I will ever buy. If this represents Cooper's "premium" then they are in big trouble.
I replaced the Goodyear Fortera tires that came with the new Traverse at 54k miles. They were not fully worn but traction in wet conditions was degrading so I decided to replace them. 54k from the original new car tires tells you that I regularly maintained the tires and vehicle and that I am not an aggressive driver. Mileage was both highway and suburban.
I researched extensively (my nature as an engineer) and decided to try the Cooper tires - big mistake.
These tires were noisy right away. I called the tire shop and complained. They said that this is normal and that the tires would quiet down soon. I have bought tires many times in my 52 years and have never had new tires start noisy. Well they did quiet down - not to the level I hoped but got acceptable. I did like the traction in wet and snowy conditions at first and came to like the tires. However, after about 6 months and 10k miles the tires started getting noisy again, traction dropped off, and a 1/rev thump could be felt through the steering wheel. Alignment checked - ok. Suspension checked - ok. Tires were rotated and balanced every 6k miles (tire dealer does this free). The issues grew until after 27k miles I had had enough. Again alignment and suspension checked ok.
I told the installer/dealer that I couldn't take it anymore. They examined and said all four tires were cupped and this was due to an alignment problem. Well I had thought of that and had the alignment checked before I went to the tire dealer - there was no alignment problem. The tire dealer suggested that the alignment shop just didn't want to do the alignment or made a mistake. What?! Has anyone - ever - been to a repair shop that turned away an alignment if you needed it (and many even if you don't need it)? He then said it must be a suspension problem. Again, I thought, really, you think the shop wouldn't have identified this opportunity for themselves?! I challenged the tire dealer. I will take the vehicle to another shop. If that shop finds a problem with alignment or suspension I will buy new tires installed by you with no discount. However, if the shop finds no issue then you, the tire dealer, will replace the tires at no cost to me. Guess what? They would not take the deal. The tire dealer then told me that they no longer will carry Cooper tires (he coyly said, because of repeated quality and customer service problems) and that I should take this up with Cooper direct. I am still considering this but have heard that Cooper would rather lose a customer than pay a penny, so you waste gobs of time for nothing.

To his credit, the tire dealer gave me a nice "customer satisfaction" discount on a new set of tires. I chose the Bridgestone Duelers. We will see how these go, but they have started out quiet - unlike the Coopers - and have good handling.

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