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Volvo XC90 Tires and Wheels



  • dontevendonteven Posts: 4
    Anyone interested in drafting a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I do not lightly go against the manufacturer's recommendation on tire inflation pressure, but it seems to me that the recommended pressures for US models are too low for smooth pavement. I inflate to 40 psi both in my 2004 V70 (Michelin MXV4 Plus Energy 195/65-15) and in my wife's 2007 XC90 3.2 FWD (Michelin 4x4 Synchrone 235/65-17), and I see no uneven tire wear. Both of these tire models have a max infl press of 51 psi, but 40 psi should still be OK in tires rated to 44 psi max.

    I wish there was more informed discussion on the rationale for tire pressure recommendations. I do wonder if I could be reducing the tire contact patch, but until I read something authoritative which recommends against this practice or see some excess wear in the center, I am going to continue this. Excessive inflation could cause excessive wear to suspension components, but where we drive we are able to avoid potholes and don't have to just drive through them.
  • Took my XC in on Friday for 22500 mile servicing. Front pads were toast so spend 190 to have those replaced. Rear pads are at 8mm so those should be good for a while.

    I asked about the tires at 17K and again on Friday and they said the fronts are at 3.32 and the backs at 2.32 - Not exactly sure how the rears would wear more than the fronts since this is a FWD suv most of the time but in any event, I didnt question the dealer since they have been great on service with me. Dialed up Volvo north america and filed a complaint this morning about an hour ago. Service guy from my dealer called me a few minutes ago and stated that Volvo NA will pick up 50 % of the cost on the tires and labor, replacing the tires with the same michelins that are on my xc. Service guy stated that the tires run 240 a tire plus 75 for labor/ install plus 45 for alignment so I would have to cover the alignment costs plus half of everything else - Just under 600 bucks.

    I asked the service guy to contact Volvo NA to see if there were better tires that I could replace them with since im not entirely happy with the Michelins. They ride terribly and I dont go off rroad, in snow at all and it rarely rains here (San Diego). So for me, I want the quietest, smoothest ride for 30K miles.

    Just updating all of you that you can still get a discount from volvo NA.
  • oldjim3oldjim3 Posts: 13
    Anyone on the forum knowledgeable about XC90 rear wheel alignment?

    I have a 2004 XC90 T-6 with 85k miles on it. I have had what I consider good tire wear for most of it's life, but all of a sudden I apparently have a rear wheel camber problem and am eating up the inside of the rear tires. The problem seems to have developed in a short time period.

    The vehicle is infrequently driven on very rough mountain roads but was recently subjected to this environment.

    The weight load on the vehicle is normally a single person but I also always carry approximately 300 lbs of equipment in the rear of the vehicle. The last alignment check was at approx. 45k miles and no adjustments were required to the rear at that time.

    The rear wheels have always previously set very square on the road regardless of the load being carried.

    How is the camber of the rear wheels controlled?

    Is there a torsion bar or other part that ages or might have failed?

    Other thoughts?

    Putting a new set of tires on the vehicle this week and want to promptly correct the problem.

    Thanks for all help.

    - OldJim
  • oldjim3oldjim3 Posts: 13
    This is additional feedback for those who read my discussion above regarding XC90 rear wheel alignment.

    My dealer was able to immediately identify the problem and correct it. The problem was not camber (which is not really adjustable - you normally replace worn parts) but Toe instead. The rear tires were toed out and the inside of the tires were being scraped off at a very alarming rate.

    The problem was identified as bent Toe Adjustment Bars. There are individual bars for each of the rear wheels and both of them were significantly bent in the approximately same relative location. It did not take long to recognize that some force had been applied to each of them that produced the bend and resulting Toe adjustment error.

    The mystery was solved when I remembered having AAA tow the car to the dealer (you always tow an XC90 AWD on a flatbed) for service approximately one month earlier. The untrained tow truck driver apparently secured the car to the truck by chaining it down using the Toe Adjustment Bars instead of the tow attachments.

    Once again a story of expecting experienced service personnel to know what they are doing, only to find that they cause more damage than they solve. Because of the location of the Toe Adjustment Bars, I suspect others will have a similar experience. Hopefully this note will prevent at least one instance.

    Kudos to the Towing company that admitted their error and paid for an expensive repair and re-alignment. It would have been nice to have had the tires covered too but they were coming close to the end of their life anyway.

    - OldJim
  • dvenodveno Posts: 1
    I am looking at the Michelin Latitude Tour HP as the replacement tires for my 2006 XC90. Any thoughts about replacement tires for this vehicle?
    Donna V
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The Michelin Latitude Tour HP would seem like a sensible choice in a Michelin, but I personally would try a Kumho, especially the Kumho Road Venture APT KL51 with rating 104H, 600 A A, at a much lower price than the Michelins.

    Here are reviews from See this.

    2006 Volvo XC90 2.5T AWD
    Kumho Road Venture APT KL51
    Miles driven on tires: 7,500
    Location: Princeton, NJ
    Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
    Driving Style: Average

    Initial Review, 7,500 Miles on Tires
    April 15, 2008

    Great value in this tire. Replaced the OEM Michelins after 35K miles for half the price and frankly it seems like these Kumhos were made for the XC90. Tires are unbelievably quiet and smooth. Driving in heavy rain is not much different than driving on dry payment as the tire displaces the water efficiently. Cornering is pretty good, but then again, I'm not taking tight corners with an SUV. Some have complained about the sidewall being unattractive. I think it's fine. Nobody is looking at your tires anyway. Treadlife rating is superior and so far after 7500 miles no real sign of treadwear.

    2005 Acura MDX
    Kumho Road Venture APT KL51
    Miles driven on tires: 3,000
    Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
    Driving Style: Average

    Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
    April 13, 2008

    The Kunho's transformed my MDX, for $400 less than replacement Michelins would have cost. They're quieter, much better riding with sharper turn then the Michelins. I wouldn't have supposed tires could have made such a difference. I was going to trade in the MDX, but decided to try the new tires instead. Such was the change they made that it's now my vehicle of choice, even around town in preference to my TL.
  • sshalitasshalita Posts: 1
    The biggest challenge I have seen is that for 18" rims there are very few choices for tires. Michelin's have probably been the best choice of the bunch - at least for 18" rims - there are more choices if you have the 17"s. But now I believe that there is a real alternative. I needed tires for my 2005 XC90 V8 and found this post. I bought these tires (Kumho Road Venture APT KL51 - 18") based upon this post and doing some additional research about comments on the tire and the company.

    Granted, it has only been a week since I had them installed, but they are great. VERY REASONABLE in price - at least 1/2 the cost of Michelin's. Handling is very good, they generate less road noise than the Michelins did, and I think they feel better. Some people have commented that the sidewall is ugly, but to me it looks like any other tire. In general a very good experience. If you are in the Bay Area, I would recommend Redwood General Tire in Redwood City. They got them in 1 day and they were priced below Tire Rack out the door with exceptional service and workmanship. By the way, NONE of the companies listed as dealers on the Kumho web site had them on their web (you could not price them nor was the Kumho logo featured).

    Good Luck and thank you to jim314 for the posting.
  • cliffk4cliffk4 Posts: 1
    I have the same 2004 XC 90; sounds like a similar whirring noise. If it is the wheel bearings, how soon do I need to get it fixed; is it dangerous?

    Also, what is the cost per wheelk?

    Cliff Karchmer please reply to email below as well

    e mail:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    yes, if the bearing is making noise, you should get it fixed ASAP. Noise means friction, and friction means heat, and heat means an impending failure.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • jfgxc90jfgxc90 Posts: 7
    This my 3rd Volvo, so I am not used to cheap tires, BUT the rear tires on my XC90 completely burnt up in a matter of 3,000 miles. No...I am not a road warrior. I commute 10 miles a day back and forth to work.

    The volvo dealer says that it is an alignment problem, but I find that hard to believe since the excessive wear is only on my rear tires. Oddly enough, this wear did not start until after my last scheduled service which was 3,000 miles ago. At that time, the dealer replaced a brake booster and rear spring isolators.

    Does anyone have any thoughts as to what may have caused this sudden wear on my rear tires? The front tires have very little wear and I have the tires rotated every 3,000-4,000 miles.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    Hmmm... no strange noises or vibrations? I would look into the bearing issue stated above. They are a common failure on the XC90s.

    The dealer isn't completely off... you CAN have rear wheels out of alignment independent of the front wheels. But I think it would be odd.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • jfgxc90jfgxc90 Posts: 7
    When I picked up the vehicle from the last service, I noticed right away that the suspension seemed looser than it had been. They told me that it could be the air in the tires, but I checked the pressure, and it was ok.

    I did have a noise which the dealer identified as a sway bar. I had that replaced yesterday.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    On most vehicles with independent rear suspension (like the XC90) the rear wheels can be out of alignment and the front ones in alignment.

    Is this a FWD or AWD XC90? What was the wear pattern on the worn rear tires? That is, were they worn preferentially on the inside edges? the outside edges? all the way across? cupped?

    Has the vehicle been towed recently? On this forum, I believe, there was a case of suspension components getting bent due to improper securing of the vehicle to a tow truck. In that case the towing company reportedly paid for the damages.
  • jfgxc90jfgxc90 Posts: 7
    The wear relatively even all the way across, although the outer edge is slightly worse. I have not ever had the car towed, but I am curious if something could have been damaged while they were doing one of the other repairs.

    I just have difficulty with the thought that the car could have suddenly went out of alignment and chewed through the tires in a matter of 3,000 miles - especially when the majority of those miles were driving at speeds less than 50 miles/hr. All while there is no noticeable change in the steering of the vehicle (ie no significant pull in either direction).

    I get that it is POSSIBLE...but is it LIKELY...
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491

    Is this a FWD or AWD?

    If FWD I have no idea other than misalignment of the rear wheels, e.g. excessive toe in of the rear wheels would scrub the rear wheels and maybe selectively wear the outside edges of the tread.

    There are implausible ideas like the front brakes are not being applied strongly enough so that too much of the braking is with the rear brakes. But the diagnostics should detect that.

    Take it to the dealer for an alignment or to an independent alignment shop.
  • jfgxc90jfgxc90 Posts: 7
    We might be getting somewhere...I had my front pads and rotors replaced on my last service as well. How do I find out if the brakes are applying correctly?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The on board diagnostics should indicate if the front brakes were not working, and you would notice a huge increase in stopping distance. Maybe 80% of the braking forces are suppplied by the two front tires and brakes. And if all the braking were being done by the rear wheels, then the rear pads would show extreme wear.

    The most likely explanation is that when the rear anti-sway bar ends or bushings were replaced the rear wheels were gotten out of alignment. How many miles were on the tires when the service was done? Could it be that the tires were nearly worn out at that point and then 3000 miles later they were definitely worn out?

    Is this a FWD or an AWD XC90?
  • jfgxc90jfgxc90 Posts: 7
    Based on your response, I would not expect that the problem is the brakes. One thing I love about this vehicle, is that it will stop on a dime. I haven't noticed any change in that aspect.

    The tires were new in October and November. I have them rotated every 3000/4000 miles and the front tires that were just rotated off the back show very little wear.

    I believe the vehicle is all wheel drive - it is a T6. How do I know for sure?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    How do I know for sure?

    It'll have an AWD badge on the tailgate.

    it is a T6


    Well, I believe AWD is standard on the T6. But so is a crappy transmission. :(

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

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