Mark Giammalvo specializes in driveability diagnostics at his family business, Sam Giammalvo's Auto Sales & Service, Inc. in New Bedford, MA.Mark, who has been with the business for over 20 years, is an ASE Master Technician and Parts Specialist. He also holds the ASE L1 certification, and has an associates degree in business management.
Mark is also a writer for Motor Age Magazine and is the past secretary of the Alliance of Automotive Service Professionals, (AASP).
History in the making, the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. But who was really at fault? Was it Firestone with faulty tires? Was it Ford with low tire pressure recommendations? I believe it is a condition that we automotive experts see practically every day. Cracks in the tires tread area or sidewall. It is the condition that the tire industry calls "weatherchecking" or "ozone damage" as the term Goodyear has coined.
At least once per week, if
not more, I am recommending that tires be replaced based on this condition.
There was a time when our shop was fairly lenient about this condition, until
I received a phone call from an upset customer that almost cost me my reputation
let alone a lawsuit. It was several years ago when a good customer asked me
to inspect the tires on her car. The vehicle was a 1991 Buick Riviera and
wore Michelin tires. The customer had a tire failure on the road and the
repairing gas station advised her to replace all the tires due to the cracking
of the rubber in the tread area. I inspected the car on a lift. The cracking
was slight - in its beginning stages. I advised the customer that the problem
was not that critical and that we would inspect them as usual at her next
scheduled tire rotation and balance.
On a final note, I have recently
sent a letter to the director of the Motorist Assurance Program (MAP). Our
shop is a member and we abide by their automotive repair guidelines. The guidelines
however, do not recommend replacing tires based on a cracking condition.
I have asked them to consider revising the guidelines to recommend replacement.