I had tire noise which got progressively worse as I approached 30K (30K driven, 12K towed) miles to the point of being nearly unbearable. Rotation didn't help. Dealer checked bearings, believed they were OK, said all four tires were cupped on the inside edges. Suggested replacing 30% worn tires with new ones for only $900. I didn't see cupping, but a directional feathering of the blocks on the inner edges of each tire.
On a hunch, I had all four tires dismounted and reversed on the rims so the inners were now the outers. Presto, the noise is almost completely gone. I had the alignment checked at the same time and it was nearly perfect with no adjustments necessary.
I'm not sure what is going on here. Generally problems like this are alignment or suspension component wear or balance related. Alignment was OK, suspension shouldn't be worn out already and everything feels tight. There was, however, a significant difference in the amount of balance weights needed to balance the tires compared to the as delivered weights.
This could also be somehow related to towing the CMax. Weird stuff can happen back there as the car is forced to track in ways it may not like.
At any rate, if your tires are noisy, consider the dismount-remount idea. My dealer, by the way, said it wouldn't work. If you do it, be sure to mark the tires some way so you can be sure they get it right.
I rotated my tires at 14500 (first time) and the tires were noisy up front, really bad, like a wheel bearing. I rotated them back and the noise lessened. I read this and did the remount inside to the outside on the rear tires. After one day of driving a few miles I am optimistic it has substantially improved. I want to give it a week to really test them out more for it was not real irritating at all times. So far I have not been irritated. It did seem to have a different sound at different speeds and time from cold.
The rear tires have lots of tread. The fronts are getting low. I may just replace the fronts before the winter or rotate the tires. The rears should be warn in by then.
My rear tires do seem to have a subtle but irregular wear pattern, which is now on the outside. I looked at them after a drive. The original tires have islands of tread on the outside that have a thin emptiness(line) through them. It seems like one part of the island is higher at this time than the other part, while the inside islands which were on the outside seem even. (I say this because the color was different. They actually are not obviously a different height.) (this was my first glance. If not accurate, I will correct the best I can.)
Thanks for the idea. At some point I may also reverse sides (a la ptjones).
The place that did the work said they can tell if it will work before doing it. I told them to just do it. They may have been sizing me up for new tires.
After this I started to put 46 psi in my tires. I was running 50.
I wonder if this "cupping" is a characteristic of these tires and not other tires, or a characteristic of the car suspension, or something else.
UPDATE: After another day of driving, the tires have not had the irritating sound. They sound like tires that are a bit on the noisy side.
Edited by obob, 27 May 2015 - 01:41 AM.