What Car? Helpdesk - Aug 1: Uneven, rapid tyre wear

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Name Adam Currie
Car Alfa Romeo Brera
Problem Uneven, rapid tyre wear

A few months ago, we wrote about the problems Zoe Trower was having with her Alfa Romeo Brera. She found that her tyres were wearing rapidly and unevenly, with the inside of the front tyres going bald long before the outside section was close to the legal limit.

Zoe is definitely not alone. Adam Currie read the story and got in touch to tell us that his Brera had been similarly affected. He sent us a picture of one of the front tyres he'd just had replaced after nearly 10,000 miles on the car.

'As you can see, the inside edge has been worn down way past the legal depth, while the outside edge still has 4-5mm left,' says Adam.

Adam is a member of the Alfa Owners' Forum ( www.alfaowner.com). He pointed Helpdesk in the direction of a thread on which Brera, 159 and Spider owners complain of similar tyre issues. The thread runs to 718 posts.

'So far Alfa UK has declined to make an official statement on policy, instead leaving it to individual customers to complain, with differing results, to their Alfa dealership,' says Adam.

• Have the alignment of your car's suspension checked for any possible problems.
• Call Alfa Romeo's customer relations department on 00800 2532 0000.
• Go online and you will find many others who have had a similar experience and have advice to share.
We took up the case with Alfa Romeo. If so many owners were experiencing the same problem, was there a fault with the geometry on these models? At
the very least, did it not suggest the suspension was prone to being knocked out of alignment?

‘Having looked into the number of cases raised by Alfa Brera, Spider and 159 customers in relation to issues with uneven/rapid tyre wear, we are aware that during 2009 the level of customer contact on this subject represented approximately only 1.1% of owners of these vehicles since they were introduced into the UK,' Alfa told us. ‘We don't believe the cars' suspension geometry is “awry”.

‘There are a number of factors outside of the design parameters that also affect tyre wear. Correct wheel geometry settings and tyre inflation pressures are very important, as are the influences of driving style and type of usage (motorway, country lanes, around town etc). These influences will not only change the rate of wear, but also the wear pattern across the tread.'

We're disappointed Alfa won't accept there's a fundamental problem. Instead, it has promised to look at each case individually.

What Car? Helpdesk - Aug 2: Engine failure out of warranty

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