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#3029818 - 06/11/13 10:44 AM Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures
kschachn Online   content


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 2502
Loc: Upper Midwest
On my BMW I have Gislaved Nordfrost 5 winter tires. I have had them for three winters now and they are the best thing in the snow I have ever seen. However, in those three winters I have had three failures of the tires. The first one my daughter was driving nearby our house on city streets at low speed, and the right rear tire suddenly went flat and by the time she stopped the outside sidewall was shredded on the wheel. The second failure was on the front, where after being parked for a while it was found flat. The tire store said there was a “cut” in the sidewall, not a knife cut but some other type of cut.

The third failure happened last week. I was a bit late this year putting on the summer tires and she drove the car up to Green Bay, a couple of hours away on the interstate. About half way there the car starts fishtailing and bottom line, the left rear tire is shredded on the outside sidewall. She said she didn’t see anything in the road and didn’t hit anything.

These are new tires. With the two previous failures and two other new ones I bought before having to rebuild the front suspension, all four are relatively new. But the three failures are making me worried, if that would have happened on the front at 70 MPH she could have been hurt or killed.

One thing that I am wondering about is the recommended tire inflation pressure. The BMW has asymmetrical pressures with 33 in the front and 41 in the rear for this type of tire. The maximum pressure on the tire is 44 PSI. It wasn’t that warm last week and the previous failure where the sidewall shredded was in the winter.

What could cause this type of failure? I can post pictures later but essentially the entire outside sidewall is shredded and she was slithering around on the rim.

I’m at the point that regardless how good they are in the snow I am beginning to not trust them. Her drive next year to college and back is four hours and I’m not sure I want her to do that this with these tires. I'm almost thinking of buying four all seasons and be done with it.
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 188K
1996 Honda Accord, 201K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 302K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 223K

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#3029826 - 06/11/13 10:53 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 2929
Loc: Boston, MA
Ive seen potholes damage a sidewall, and sharp edged curbstones.

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#3029829 - 06/11/13 10:54 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
Danno Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 742
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
What was the manufacturing date on these tires? It is coded on the sidewall. The Gislaved are top quality tires.
If the temp is consistently over 40F, winter tires should be switched to summer. I am not surprised thay failed on a longer trip. They may have had heat damage from a previous trip. Undetectable until they fail. I know we had temps in May in the 80s.
Comment from a web review.
"Although like the video states, they are soft, as soon as the temp goes over 10 deg.C , they will handle like HP all seasons, but wear out real fast, so go easy on them during warm winter days. They also have holes for studs."

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#3029834 - 06/11/13 10:57 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 25287
Loc: Illinoistan
Have you done some research on the web to see if others are experiencing similar issues with this tire model?

If no others are having this issue, then it is most likely related to your car and the way it's driven. Did all these failures happen on your daughter's watch? Not to question her driving abilities, but can you be sure she didn't curb the tires in some way that would damage the sidewall? Seeing how my own wife drives, nothing would surprise me. frown

Also, are you sure those tire pressure figures are correct? Mine has two sets of recommended pressures listed. One is for a fully loaded car (5 passengers, full trunk) and it is indeed as high as yours. But for normal driving with just a couple of people, there is a second, much lower recommended PSI listed. Still, I don't think too high of a pressure would cause the problem. It's typically too low of a pressure that causes tire overheating and failure.

FYI, I have an older version of this tire (Nordfrost 3 aka. General Altimax Arctic) on my 530i. I've had them for 4 winters now and never had any issues with them. Alas, I don't use them during spring/summer/fall.

_________________________
'02 530i (PU 5W-40)
'08 C300 4Matic (M1 0W-40)
'13 F700 GS (Spectro 15W-50)

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#3029837 - 06/11/13 11:01 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 4419
Loc: Virginia Beach
There are two common factors:
1. Gislaved tires
2. Your daughter

Having seen several tires where the sidewall was cut (from a curb encounter, road debris) and the teenage driver didn't notice anything, I would not suspect the tires.

The comment "by the time she stopped" is telling...she is driving on a tire that went flat...and doesn't stop. So, if she barely notices flat, how would she notice a small bump in the sidewall?

An example: a cut went through both layers of cord in the sidewall of a Continental tire and damaged the steel wheel. The teenage driver in question said, "I felt a little bump, but it didn't feel bad"...of course, the teenage driver didn't get out and look, but I saw the rubber flap from the curb when I walked past the car that evening. Had our teenager driven farther on a tire held up only by the butyl liner, I suspect it would have turned into a blowout as your tires did.

The sidewall will be shredded after traveling only a few yards on a fully deflated tire...destroying the evidence of the previous sidewall damage. You already have evidence of a sidewall cut on the tire that went flat in the parking lot...that wasn't the only time that this car hit a curb...


Edited by Astro14 (06/11/13 11:06 AM)
_________________________
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#3029849 - 06/11/13 11:12 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
dparm Online   content


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 12487
Loc: Chicago, IL
Curious, what size are they? I've had poor luck with the bead on my low-profile winter tires -- had two beads fail at different times. The guy at Discount Tire said a lower profile puts more pressure on the bead and hence they're more prone to fail.
_________________________
2011.5 BMW M3 saloon ZCP
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#3029856 - 06/11/13 11:18 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: Astro14]
Doog Offline


Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 3440
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Astro14
There are two common factors:
1. Gislaved tires
2. Your daughter


I have 3 daughters...they are like kryptonite to tires. crush
_________________________
The difference between a beer and your opinion is that I asked for a beer...

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#3029860 - 06/11/13 11:23 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: dparm]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 2929
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: dparm
Curious, what size are they? I've had poor luck with the bead on my low-profile winter tires -- had two beads fail at different times. The guy at Discount Tire said a lower profile puts more pressure on the bead and hence they're more prone to fail.
I think that depends on the rim size. I have 15x7s with 205 60s (my own personal upgrade from 14x6s) the bead on the 205-60 does not protrude at all beyond the rim edge. I've seen many "upgrades" where the bead is either pulled in or pushed out to fit "upgraded" rims, though. If the tire and rim are well matched I doubt there is any "extra pressure" .

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#3029870 - 06/11/13 11:33 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
kschachn Online   content


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 2502
Loc: Upper Midwest
They are 205/65-15, the standard M&S size for the stock BMW wheels.

And yeah she very well could have hit something, I was trying to be careful with the wording of my post not to say for sure she didn't. But this last time I tend to believe her that there wasn't anything on the freeway but who knows. Like you mentioned it could have been cut earlier and ran out of air, causing the failure.

And the comment about “by the time she stopped” is exactly right. She drove “a while” with it flat I’m sure. This time on the freeway she pulled over right away but of course it was way to late to save anything.

I’m pretty sure the pressures are the recommended ones. That tire label is a bit confusing but IIRC that was what it said. I will look again tonight.

The thing about not driving on them in the spring/summer/fall is that although I went longer than usual this year, when she takes it back to school she will be gone from late August to mid-May. It gets warm on various days during that time and she doesn’t come back reliably for me to swap them out. Like I said I might just buy a set of good all-seasons and go with them. Not nearly as good in the snow but maybe less damage prone?

I'll see what the date code is on this tire.
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 188K
1996 Honda Accord, 201K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 302K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 223K

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#3029877 - 06/11/13 11:40 AM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 25287
Loc: Illinoistan
Originally Posted By: kschachn
The thing about not driving on them in the spring/summer/fall is that although I went longer than usual this year, when she takes it back to school she will be gone from late August to mid-May. It gets warm on various days during that time and she doesn’t come back reliably for me to swap them out. Like I said I might just buy a set of good all-seasons and go with them. Not nearly as good in the snow but maybe less damage prone?

Does it snow decent amount where she goes to school? If so, I'd stick with winter tires then. From personal experience, my 530i does not handle winters well with all-seasons. Winter tires are a huge improvement. I don't think you can generally say that all-seasons are less damage prone. It's most likely the driver, I'm afraid.

Next time around, look into something like Nokian WR. These are technically winter tires, but Nokian claims they are "all weather" and can be safely driven on during all seasons of the year. Wife had them on her old Jetta when we lived in Wisconsin, and they were great, alas, they did begin to wear out fairly quickly once she moved to Texas. If you remain up north, they should be fine though.
_________________________
'02 530i (PU 5W-40)
'08 C300 4Matic (M1 0W-40)
'13 F700 GS (Spectro 15W-50)

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#3029929 - 06/11/13 12:36 PM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
GenSan Offline


Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 547
Loc: WV
If you ever end up ruling out your daughter as the cause then the next logical thing would be a poorly designed tire possibly a lemon or they were improperly installed.

I would try a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks and report back to us next summer. Mine were well worth the investment. Once they are worn I will try winter tires from Nokian.

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#3030008 - 06/11/13 02:15 PM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5468
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Maybe you need some tougher sidewalls? I think most snow tires have single nylon ply sidewalls and thinner rubber over them, so any real curb scuffing probably messes them up, plus the sidewalls seem to bulge out more with less shoulder on the tread.
I do have an old set of hercules snow tires with 2 ply sidewalls that look alot tougher. We rarely scuff curbs though so I haven't really tested any of them.
You might actually have to go to a cheaper snow tire to get some toughness.
_________________________
07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 80km M1 5W20
03 Tracker, 5spd manual, 250km, Valvoline Syn 5W30
95 Neon, 3spd auto, 282km, RT6 5W40 "Cone Killer!"

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#3030010 - 06/11/13 02:17 PM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: Doog]
GreeCguy Offline


Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 2236
Loc: Elderly County, Florida
Originally Posted By: Doog
Originally Posted By: Astro14
There are two common factors:
1. Gislaved tires
2. Your daughter


I have 3 daughters...they are like kryptonite to tires. crush


My oldest daughter was the first to drive the everlasting "Bluesmoble." That's when I first got it and it had four brand new tires on it. Tire number one went when it went flat, but her and her friend drove it anyway to Dunkin Donuts because they wanted a donut. She called from the parking lot saying "Daddy, there's something wrong with the tire." I got there and the tire was in pieces. I changed it while they ate donuts.

I bought a new replacement tire. One week later. ONE WEEK - I come home and there is a huge knot on the sidewall of the brand new tire and the wheel is bent. To this day, she says she doesn't know what happened.

Tire number three involves a tractor and a disc-harrow. I can't tell that story without choking up.
_________________________
"A day will come when you smell land where there be no land."

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#3030098 - 06/11/13 03:37 PM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: GreeCguy]
kschachn Online   content


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 2502
Loc: Upper Midwest
Yeah, all three failures resulted in a phone conversation along the lines of “the car is acting weird”.

OK so teens/girls destroy tires. I will get a single replacement then and try to manage the summer/winter tradeoff somehow.

I mean, I've had my share of punctures but never this total destruction of a tire.
_________________________
1994 BMW 530i, 188K
1996 Honda Accord, 201K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 302K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 223K

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#3030104 - 06/11/13 03:46 PM Re: Gislaved Nordfrost 5 Tire Failures [Re: kschachn]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 25287
Loc: Illinoistan
Maybe buy her a truck instead? smile
_________________________
'02 530i (PU 5W-40)
'08 C300 4Matic (M1 0W-40)
'13 F700 GS (Spectro 15W-50)

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