I have had an on going problem with Douglas tires I purchased at WalMart. I read another thread on Douglas tires. My concern is not the same. First, I have a 2001 Century Custom. I drive approximately 10, 000 miles a year--mostly in my neighborhood which is relatively new and the roads are well maintained. I take a few trips out of town each year which average 400 miles round trip on interstate highways. I am not an expert and do not claim to be one. I maintain my car as per manufacturer recommendations. I think I have addressed the major issues which arose in the other thread.
My problem is different. I admittedly purchased the tires because they were inexpensive. Since I do not drive as much as most people I know, I did not see the need for high performance tires. I went to WalMart because I am a single mom on a disability income. That was a mistake which has cost me.
I purchased two tires in 2005. The tread wear was acceptable. In 2006, the tire would not hold pressure and was replaced under the road hazard warranty I purchased for $10. Okay, I thought that I might have hit something and not noticed it. However, a few months later, I noticed a separation on the sidewall--a straight line across the sidewall which ballooned out on both sides of the line. I took the tire back. I was once again told that it was a case of road hazard and that the tires were horrible and caused problems--two different WalMart tire employees told me this. In May of this year, I noticed yet another identical line across the sidewall. I took the tire back and was once again told that I must have hit something and that with this particular Douglas tire, going over a speed bump at 5 mph could do the tire in--I was charged $20 for tread wear (which, mysteriously was not recorded) and $10 for yet another road warranty plus balancing and stem charge. It is now June and I have another line across the tread. I have had the tire for 1 month and 3 days. After inspecting all of my other tires and seeing that I do not have a pattern of uneven wear or abuse, the manager agreed to replace the tire free.
After some discussion, I was not charged for the balance, road hazard warranty and stem (another $18). The new tire was mounted. I drove home a total of 2 miles. You can run your hand around the tire and feel where the belt is joined. There is already a rough spot. I guarantee that within a very short time, there will be a line form across the sidewall and my problem will reappear.
I have driven 20, 000 miles since the first Douglas tires were installed. One tire made it the 20, 000 miles. That tire would not have made it close to the warranty. Since I feared that It would develop the problem and had it replaced with a better tire. Two different WalMart tire employees have told me that the problem is with the low end Douglas tires. I asked if they would apply the proration to a better tire. I was told no. I feel like I have been caught in a trap. Since I replaced the Douglas tire, I theoretically had several thousand miles of warranty Although WalMart employees changed their mind about the initial source of the problem and now say it is a manufacturer problem, I was still required to pay from $18 to $41 each time the sidewall separates. Why, if they believe it to be a defect in the tire, should I be out for a new road hazard warranty and the other charges? If, as my local WalMart employees have said, the tire is problematic, why are they still selling the tire? Between the road warranties, stems, balancing, etc, I have been out $100 over the cosst of the tire itself PLUS tread wear (fortunately, minor). I should have bought high performance tires. Even today, although I have only had the latest tire for 1 month, the tire tech said it was just the tires. I will not purchase more tires at WalMart. I am praying that the latest tire lasts until my income tax return in Jan. so that I can replace it with a much better tire.
This is a problem with how the tires are manufactured--the fact that the tire put on today is already suspect should be proof enough that it is not my vehicle or my driving. I will never purchase Douglas tires. WalMart has pocketed $40 for road hazard warranties when no road hazard was involved. They should not sell tires their employees say are defective.