Aligned at Crest Cadillac

Ran by Crest Cadillac this morning at 7 AM for a suspension alignment for my 2008 Cadillac STS-V.  Alignment is something that does not HAVE to be done at the dealer, but Crest makes it easy to get in and out and on with my day.

2008 STS-V Suspension Alignment before, spec, and after

I went in with the expectation that the current alignment was okay, but after my recent tire issue I wanted to be sure.  The alignment report shows the car as a STS base model, but Cadillac only issued one alignment spec for the STS.

I scheduled ahead of time online with Crest, and they emailed and called to confirm.  I asked for a 7 am start, and my Service Advisor Gene met me as soon as the door opened.  It took just over an hour for the alignment, so I enjoyed the Customer Lounge, and wandered out and looked at the new Cadillacs.

Line of new CTS-Vs waiting for Happy Cadillac Owners

Based on the inner-edge wear on the original Pirellis I thought if anything was off in the alignment it would be the camber.  The alignment results show that the camber was in spec, but the Toe-In was off slightly left front and right rear.  Normally one might expect a saw-tooth wear pattern across the tread if the toe-in is off.

I have read other owners experienced a similar wear pattern with the Pirelli runflats, so I am not certain what to conclude.  I’ll keep an eye on the wear pattern for the new tires and we’ll see.  In the mean time, I’ll keep enjoying the STS-V.

#Pirelli, @OnStarConnect, @Cadillac Roadside Assistance, @FrankKent & STS-V

On the way home from Fort Worth to Plano this morning in my 2008 Cadillac STS-V I began to hear a loud “wap-wap-wap” sound.  I looked for a safe spot to exit the highway, then pulled into a parking lot to investigate.

Pirelli Eufori tire tread problem left front tire from the back looking front

Now, I am not a tire expert but I am certain the tire should not have part of the tread hanging off.

The STS-V is a performance sedan and uses Pirelli Eufori extended mobility runflat performance tires, in sizes 255/45-18 on front and 275/40-19 in back.  There is no spare, since the run flats can get you to the next place without going flat, and the wheel/tire sizes are different front to back (so no one size fits all).

I used the OnStar button to discuss with OnStar and to get Roadside Assistance.  Roadside Assistance arranged for a tow truck to come and take the STS-V to the nearest Cadillac Dealer, in this case Frank Kent Cadillac in Fort Worth.

STS-V loaded on flatbed tow truck

The Tow truck arrived in about an hour from the first call to OnStar, which is good service for a Sunday.  Unfortunately, Frank Kent is not open this morning, but the advantage of having the Cadillac taken to a Cadillac dealer is that they have a secure lockup for delivery after hours.

So, my son came and picked me up from the stopped spot.  If I were further afield I would have had to take a taxi to a rental car place and get a rental car setup for the duration.  I believe the Cadillac coverage would cover the rental car fee.

Tread on the front tires didn’t look bad except for the ripped part.

Right Front Tire from the Front looking back

Left Front Tire from the Front looking back

So I am not sure what caused the tire to have this sort of failure.  The tires had 18K miles on them when I purchased the car, and have 19.2xx on them now.  I assume they are the original equipment tires that came with the STS-V.

Next will be to talk to Frank Kent to determine the correct replacements.  The Pirelli’s run $377 each for the fronts, and $488 ea for the rears at

The trade off on run-flats is they have somewhat worse performance, but they don’t leave you stuck beside the road.  This morning I felt stuck beside the road, so I am not sure I want to put run-flats on again for the new tires.  With the V at the Dealer though I’ll have to see what the choices are.

My experience with OnStar was good.   They were helpful, polite, and got me connected to who I needed to talk to.

Cadillac Roadside assistance was helpful and got the car to the right place to be serviced. We discussed various options — such as which Cadillac dealer to tow to, or whether to tow to a tire store instead.

The Towing company sent the right kind of truck for the V, and the Driver took appropriate care to get the V up on the truck without scraping the front spoiler.

OnStar, Cadillac Roadside service, and the Towing Company all communicated clearly back to me.

I wish roadside assistance worked where a van pulled up with a new rare tire, and ready to mount it on the wheel.  Unfortunately, that’s not happening.  But I am glad that I was able to get the car lined up for repair and I got back home safely.

Thinking Cadillac STS-V Tires

I have been shopping a 2008 Cadillac STS-V.  This model has the V-Series performance and luxury features I want, and is coming into range of my budget.  I would love to have a 2009 Cadillac CTS-V, but they will be more than I care to spend for a while.

Tires.  I am what could be described kindly as a serial tire abuser.  So today I am bracing for how much Tires for the STS-V will be.

The STS-V has 255/45 tires on 18″ wheels on front, and 275/40 tires on 19″ wheels on the back.  This staggered approach allowed the Cadillac team to put heavier rubber on back and balance the overall handling.

Heading to, the least expensive all-around set would be a set of Hankook Ventus V12 Evo tires, at  $958 installed.  Next would be the Continental ExtremeContact DWS at $1,075 installed.  Clearly buying tires will be a plan-ahead experience.

Now, the STS-V from the factory used run-flat tires, and does not include a spare or jack.  A run-flat tire can actually be driven for a short distance with no air in the tire (hence can run flat).

The OEM tires were Pirelli Extended Mobility Runflat tires.  The Pirelli Eufori Runflat is available at Discount Tire.  With these tires the total slides up to $2,006 ($389 front each, $490 rear each).  Yes, $2K in tires every year or so.  Ouch.

Here’s what Pirelli says about the tires:

The Eufori@ Run Flat tire has a Limited Road Hazard Protection
According to recent customers surveys (JD Power in North America), seven out of eight consumers say run-flat tyres are No.1 amongst the features they most want from their next vehicles. It shows that consumers prefer safety-related features more than sophisticated entertainment systems or other conveniences in their new vehicles. Whilst consumers seek extended mobility after the tyre has been punctured, car manufacturers look for space gains, both in compact and sports vehicles, by dispensing with the spare wheel. Pirelli’s answer is Eufori@ Run Flat. Produced utilising revolutionary MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System) technology, Eufori@ is Pirelli’s first run-flat product, ensuring both Active and Passive safety.
Active safety Secure dry and wet handling, braking efficiency and resistance to aquaplaning.
The vehicle can be driven in total safety even following a sudden loss of pressure. Road holding, handling and steering precision are maintained. Passive safety Extended mobility, even when a puncture occurs: at zero pressure the vehicle is not immobilised and the driver can rely on a run-flat range of up to 80 km (50 miles) at 80 km/h (50 mph).

Tires.  If you want to play, you have to pay I suppose.  But, ouch.