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bad continental tires

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signifer's picture
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Hi,

A few months ago we got a CPO 2006 E350. The dealer had put 4 new Continental tires on it. The car had a vibration which was diagnosed as a bad tire; it was replaced. The vibration was reduced but still remained. We took the car back a couple of days ago and another tire was bad. My wife picked it up today and a 3rd tire had gone bad. I have no reason to believe that the tires are anything but junk.

Note: By bad I mean that using a road force balance machine the tires check our ok one day and not the next (with corresponding vibration).

Has anyone heard of a bad run of Continental tires a few months ago?

Thanks,
Richard

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Re: bad continental tires

signifer;168662 wrote:
Hi,

A few months ago we got a CPO 2006 E350. The dealer had put 4 new Continental tires on it. The car had a vibration which was diagnosed as a bad tire; it was replaced. The vibration was reduced but still remained. We took the car back a couple of days ago and another tire was bad. My wife picked it up today and a 3rd tire had gone bad. I have no reason to believe that the tires are anything but junk.

Note: By bad I mean that using a road force balance machine the tires check our ok one day and not the next (with corresponding vibration).

Has anyone heard of a bad run of Continental tires a few months ago?

Thanks,
Richard

Richard-
I haven't. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a problem. If it were me, I would approach the dealer and ask them to work with you to pro-rate you into a new set of Michelins. I know it tends to sound like a broken record after a while, but I've found that if you want to steer clear of shimmies, shakes, vibrations, etc., just go for the Michelins. Frankly, I am surprised and a little irked that they don't just install Michelins when the cars need tires. Business is difficult nowadays and everyone looks to save. Hth, and good luck.

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Raymond Lombardo
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Allen's picture
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Re: bad continental tires

As far as I'm concerned ALL Conti's are bad, they came on my last 2 cars, they ride ok at first then BAD, I think probably like Fred Flintstone's car did. One set began to ride so bad I replaced them way before they needed it.
Michelin was like Pepto Bismol, "Oh, what a relief" I have Michelin on everything. I tried something different on last replacement, I came to dislike MXV4, did some research and figured I don't need an H rated tire as I do not drive around over 120mph.... so I tried Michelin Hydroedge and am very pleased, they do have a little more road noise, but are excellent in wet weather and treadwear is the best I have ever had on a daily driver.

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Re: bad continental tires

This is a sore spot for me - I just replaced the OEM Contis on our '08 C300 Lux with the new Michelin Primacy MXV4s [not to be confused with the three or four other tires that Michelin makes using the MXV4 brand] and the difference is VERY significant - quieter, better ride, more stick in both wet and dry.

As far as I'm concerned, the Continentals have one and only one advantage - they're cheap. Which is why dealers will sometimes use them on CPO cars that need new tires. I would refuse to buy a CPO car with these tires - I would only take any recent E [W210 or W211] with Michelins....period.

The four Contis that came on our C300 included one that had obvious internal problems, and could not be used on the front because of the shakes it caused. I could have had it replaced under the OEM tire warranty, but I wanted to get rid of them anyway, so I just got on with it, and put the tires on the car that should have been there in the first place.

OEM tire choices meet a certain technical spec, but all the car makers seem to pretend that this makes the various "certified" OEM choices identical - nothing could be further from the truth. Going back into the early '80s, I have on at least FIVE occasions taken the original tires off a new Mercedes [usually Pirelli or Continental] and replaced them with Michelins, in order to solve shaking problems [usually associated with flat-spotting or internal belt problems].

Bad batch of Contis? Yeah, possibly....but I wouldn't have them voluntarily on my car in any case.

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John Robison

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Re: bad continental tires

Tried them on a c126, were terrible! Went back to Micheleins, pilots this time and not totally impressed.

Running some Pirelli on a w126 sedan and they are excellent.

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Bruce
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zak
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Re: bad continental tires

Tom Hanson turned me on to Bridgestone tires a few years ago.
I have them on 3 cars now and they are great all around.

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Re: bad continental tires

I also purchased a '06 E350 CPO . We were originaly looking at the new C300 and this car just "spoke" to us......After looking at several of the cars that were available the main turning point was that this car had a new set of the Michelin Pilot Exalto's (225-55-16-H's).....I had already done my homework on this tire for my '86 560SL to replace the Michelin Pilot XGT V4's.....Tirerack and Consumers Report both were very high on the Exalto's and two of my friends had purchased them for their cars......As a side note, I have found that air pressure for my 1974 450 SE works very well for this car.......(2bar-front & 2.2bar rear)

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Re: bad continental tires

Smugcat;169138 wrote:
I also purchased a '06 E350 CPO . We were originaly looking at the new C300 and this car just "spoke" to us......After looking at several of the cars that were available the main turning point was that this car had a new set of the Michelin Pilot Exalto's (225-55-16-H's).....I had already done my homework on this tire for my '86 560SL to replace the Michelin Pilot XGT V4's.....Tirerack and Consumers Report both were very high on the Exalto's and two of my friends had purchased them for their cars......As a side note, I have found that air pressure for my 1974 450 SE works very well for this car.......(2bar-front & 2.2bar rear)

For those of us whose tire pressure gages display pounds per square inch (psi) only, 1 bar = 14.5 psi. So 2 bar = 29 psi, and 2.2 bar = 32 psi.

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Re: bad continental tires

Bad Continental tires. Yep. Get Michelins

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Re: bad continental tires

The dealerput new continental on our 2004 E-320 station wagon. They vibrate at 65 mph. When cold they act like flat tires. I am terribly disappointed with them. I would not buy them again.

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Re: bad continental tires

JohnEnglebrecht;170051 wrote:
The dealer put new continental on our 2004 E-320 station wagon. They vibrate at 65 mph. When cold they act like flat tires. I am terribly disappointed with them. I would not buy them again.

It sounds like the tires are not balanced properly, which could happen to any brand tire.

Suggest you go back to the dealer and report your findings so he can have the tires re-balanced, or replaced if defective.

Balancing tires to eliminate all traces of vibration is a delicate science/art. A minor oversight is all that's needed to yield unacceptable results.

Unless there is a defect in a new tire, generally visible when rotating it on a balancing jig, every tire can be properly balanced. But it may take a few tries.

My wife's 2004 C320 came with Continental ContiTouringContact tires and there's not been a problem with them so far.

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Re: bad continental tires

I have a 1997 c230 which I purchased at 10 thousand miles about 10 years ago. It came with continental tires. Over the last ten years I have put two new sets of continental tires on my car. The continental tires would not stay balanced over time. As i recall they required to be balanced about 4 or five times over the life of the tire. I have switched to Michelin primacy and after 4 thousand miles they are performing far superior to the continentals in every respect and they stay in balance. NO MORE CONTINENTAL TIRES FOR ME!:cool:

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Re: bad continental tires

zak;168727 wrote:
Tom Hanson turned me on to Bridgestone tires a few years ago.
I have them on 3 cars now and they are great all around.

Zak or Tom
What model Bridgestones would you recommend for the stock 15x6.5 inch wheel for a 1989 420SEL?
I have 17's on it now but am going back to stock to attempt a mile or 2 more mpg out of her.
Bruce

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Bruce
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zak
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Re: bad continental tires

I have Bridgestone Dueller HL Alenza's on my ML CDI and are great. But these are SUV tires.
I will check the Bridgestone models on my W210 tonite and let you know the Bridgestone model on that sedan. That is the tire I would recommend for you 420sel

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Re: bad continental tires

Had no problem with the original Continentals on the GL but replaced them with Michelins anyway.

It's amazing to me how ill-equipped both Continental and Michelin are for customer service at the USA HQ level. I wanted MO snow tires for my GL and know that Continental makes them--they don't sell them in the USA, however, and discussing this with USA HQ is impossible. I've attempted motorcycle tire discussion with Michelin, and the IQs appear near negative there.

Finally, thanks to the German-language Mercedes off-roading e-zine, I learned Dunlop also produces an MO snow tire (Michelin doesn't) and I could at least get the non-MO version of the same tire in the USA so did that. It's generally against my norm to consider Dunlop at all, but at least these are made in Germany.

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Re: bad continental tires

Bruce, my sons W210- 300D has Bridgestone Potenza G-009's.
They were under $100 each 2 years ago.
But I checked the Tire Rack web site and they are no longer listed.
The closest thing is the Potenza Serenity's and are $126. each.

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Re: bad continental tires

Have a set of conti's on my 08 c300 haven't had any trouble guess from posts I got lucky 23000 miles wore them out at a autocross and road course event last month in Topeka,KS. MidAmerica Caravan. Read all the post so I now have good information on replacements. Thanks

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Re: bad continental tires

Thanks, all. Here's a follow up to my original post.

After several trips to the dealer, after they balanced, rebalanced, replace 3 of the 4 Continentals, they finally decided to replace the tires with Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

The car now feels connected to the road; with the Contis it didn't. The steering feels the same regardless of speed, before it got lighter and somewhat unstable as the car went faster. Also, the SBC brakes feel good and work great; before they always felt unpredictable and like they were doing strange things on their own.

It is now the truly great car I expected.

Richard

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Re: bad continental tires

Hello,

I'm new to posting here. Couldn't help but comment on the Continental's. I thought it was just me, but I had mine removed and replaced soon after I purchased my new 2008 C 300 Luxury. These tires were very loud and they handled poorly. Not sure why Mercedes would use such a poor quality tire. As comparison, Continetal makes a 23mm bicycle tire where you can inflate to 120psi. The bike tires are only good for about 1500 miles before the sidewall threads start to unravel. Conti's have a hard flat surface rubber and a poor construction which makes the tire less desirable for many cyclists. I thought I had a bias towards Conti due to my cycling tire experience and was basing my assumption of poor auto tires on this. Now I know, I will no longer drive on Continetal Tires.

I am driving on Goodyear Eagle GT's and they are just fine and now I can at least hear the engine.

Thanks,

Don

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Re: bad continental tires

I have not used Continental tires recently, but have a number of friends and relatives who have had a variety of poor experiences with them. I think it is a shame that MB has started using them as OEM on many of its models, instead of Michelins.

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Re: bad continental tires

Yeah, I'll repeat that I swapped the OEM Contis on our '08 C300 Lux in favor of Michelin Primacy MXV4s - everything got better - ride, handling, wear, overall smoothness.

But for the record, Mercedes didn't "just" start using Continental as an OEM supplier. Our first Mercedes, a 1969 220 sedan, picked up on the OSD program in Zurich in October 1968 [almost exactly 41 years ago to the day] had Contis as the OEM tire.....bias ply, in those days. After getting it back to the States, we eventually went with Michelin radials, and the difference was just as dramatic then as now.

Look, they're cheap....that's all the explanation you need. Customers have to push back, and pretty loudly, for Mercedes to get the message that not all OEM tires are created equally. Experiences like the one documented above help move the message, but only if the dealer lets MB know what this cost them and the customer in terms of time and money.

I would not buy any used MB with any tire but Michelins - period. Either the seller would make the swap, or I would include the swap as part of my offered price....that's how strongly I feel about this.

I've had new Mercedes with Michelin, Continental, Uniroyal, Pirelli, and Goodyear OEM tires at one time or another - Michelins are the only ones that were completely satisfactory from the get-go.

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John Robison

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Re: bad continental tires

d061832;175851 wrote:
Continetal makes a 23mm bicycle tire where you can inflate to 120psi. The bike tires are only good for about 1500 miles before the sidewall threads start to unravel.

Yeah I use Michelin Axial and Krylion Carbon 23s on my bike and although I weigh close to 100 kg and pound hard on the pedals, they last 5000+ km on the rear and over 10,000 km on the front. The bicycle Contis I tried 18 years ago were rubbish.

My B 200 has Contis on it but I will wear them out before switching to Michelins. They're not great but they're not all bad either.

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Re: bad continental tires

I have never had a "problem" tire on any vehicle I've owned for the past 30 yrs.
That is until I had a broken belt in a Continental on my 96 Bronco. Got that replaced with a General UHP, (a pair) then another broken belt in a Conti. !!
I replaced all with General UHPs, and they are fantastic tires. I replaced the michelins on my 500SL, the Brigestones on my Lincoln and the Goodyears on my wife's SLK. The generals have been superior to all the other tires.
You don't need the michelins on a Mercedes. That's a blind belief. The generals have been far better than any tire I've had on any vehicle I've owned.

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Re: bad continental tires

For what it's worth, six sets of Kuhmo's on a couple of different cars of mine and have talked half a dozen automotively inclined friends into them for all sorts of cars, and not a complaint. With the exception that they are a little noisy. I never buy the bottom rung offering, usually they middle grade one, whatever they are calling it at the moment. I don't know what's up with Conti but it's not rocket science to make a safe and reasonably performing tire.

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Contis on SL500- finally fed up and never again

When I purchased my 2003 thru the Starmark program in 05 it had new Conti 2 tires. within about 10K miles I started getting a hellish rumble-like a bad wheel bearing in the front-both sides!
The dealer checked the bearings and they were fine. They noise got so bad I finally contacted Continental and they replaced them. Same thing all over again in 10k miles. I had had it.
Bought Michelin Pilot a/s and now smoother and QUIET.
Never again.

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