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Fiat 500 Rear Tire Cupping
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Thread: Fiat 500 Rear Tire Cupping

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    Fiat 500 Rear Tire Cupping

    Hi all,

    I've got a 2015 Fiat 500 Sport with approx. 92k miles which I have owned since 2016, bought used with approx 15k on it from what I remember. I spent a good chunk of my time owning the car with ~100 miles worth of commuting a day, so I have definitely put a lot of mileage on the car.

    I've put roughly one set of tires on the car a year, and the 2nd and 3rd sets were because of severe cupping issues. From googling, this looks like a not uncommon complaint, but a lot of the posts I've found skew older so I'm wondering if there's a remedy out there that I haven't found.

    I had it in my local shop this week and they told me the rear tires couldn't be aligned, only the front end, because the rear wasn't adjustable -- is that accurate? I've also had the dealership I bought it from tell me that the issue is because of the rear of the car being too light. Is that also correct? If so, has anyone experimented with putting any kind of ballast weights in the trunk to weight it down? I've had the idea of just putting ~100lbs of sand in the trunk.

    Curious to hear what thoughts and suggestions you might have, I'd like to make my newest set last as long as I can as I am considering selling the car within the next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchromley View Post
    Hi all,

    I've got a 2015 Fiat 500 Sport with approx. 92k miles which I have owned since 2016, bought used with approx 15k on it from what I remember. I spent a good chunk of my time owning the car with ~100 miles worth of commuting a day, so I have definitely put a lot of mileage on the car.

    I've put roughly one set of tires on the car a year, and the 2nd and 3rd sets were because of severe cupping issues. From googling, this looks like a not uncommon complaint, but a lot of the posts I've found skew older so I'm wondering if there's a remedy out there that I haven't found.

    I had it in my local shop this week and they told me the rear tires couldn't be aligned, only the front end, because the rear wasn't adjustable -- is that accurate? I've also had the dealership I bought it from tell me that the issue is because of the rear of the car being too light. Is that also correct? If so, has anyone experimented with putting any kind of ballast weights in the trunk to weight it down? I've had the idea of just putting ~100lbs of sand in the trunk.

    Curious to hear what thoughts and suggestions you might have, I'd like to make my newest set last as long as I can as I am considering selling the car within the next year.
    I have a 2015 500 1957 edition and I was able to get all 4 wheels aligned by the mechanic shop that I go to. It made a sh** ton of difference. It drives and handles even better than how it drove brand new. I am not sure about the weight though, because during my 3~4 years of ownership, I might have had rear passenger in my car maybe 3 times, and my tires never cupped.
    Maybe you can go to another mechanic and ask if the rear can be aligned.

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    Senior Member smark's Avatar
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    I read someplace, Fiat offering alignment shims. To deal with the outside rear tire wear and cupping. Low tire pressure, will cause cupping too.

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    is for the 500e, but the alignment is the same. Around 6:40 in he shows 3 shim options. Many shops, including alignment specialists, will try to avoid using shims because it is hard work. Be sure to state what you consider to be acceptable tolerance. (I've had shops put in adjusters, still have the axle out of spec, and tell me all is good.)

    This is a good article on tire cupping. https://www.utires.com/articles/back-tires-cupping/ I assume the shop checked wheel bearings and shocks. Poor quality tires can cup more easily. You might also have the wheel balance checked every 10K miles.

    I would add to this article, the use of a Go-Pro, or having someone follow your car, to film the wheels can be useful in identifying whether a wheel is bouncing. (I had that problem in a Hyundai due to an out-of-balance suspension part.) I would not think lightness would be a major factor, unless you've installed stiff suspension products... or drive on damaged road surfaces. There is one section of road I drive where I can feel when my car's speed "tunes" itself to the road.
    Last edited by Fiat500USA; 08-13-2019 at 11:37 PM. Reason: embedded video for easier viewing

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    Quote Originally Posted by smark View Post
    I read someplace, Fiat offering alignment shims. To deal with the outside rear tire wear and cupping. Low tire pressure, will cause cupping too.
    Here is the tech bulletin on the alignment shims listed here:

    http://www.fiat500usa.com/2014/07/fi...n-updates.html

    Below from a previous post of mine:

    Here is a picture of the shim.



    CAUTION: Do NOT completely remove more than 1 spindle bolt at a time to prevent
    the spindle and wheel assembly from rotating or coming off the vehicle
    because damage to the brake hose may occur.

    NOTE: Front shim is larger and has a square cutout area in the center to clear the
    wheel speed sensor.

    NOTE: Rear shim is smaller and does not have a square cutout area in the center.

    Note: Only use 1 shim per axle side.

    NOTE: The spindle bolts have adhesive on the threads and are required to be
    replaced with NEW bolts every time they are removed. The replacement
    spindle mounting bolts are included in the shim kit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Here's some info for you:

    Fiat Technical Service Bulletin 17-001-14: Rear Axle Alignment
    Shims


    MODELS:
    Fiat 500
    Part Number: 68236620AA Shim
    Kit : (Kit contains 1 front shim, 1 rear shim, and 4 spindle bolts)

    From here: Fiat
    500 Tech Bulletin Updates
    Discussion on toe adjustment: http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showt...justment/page8
    a HUGE thread on rear alignemt is here: http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showt...ing-the-Abarth

    Pretty much everything you need to know is there (here).

    Below is a link to the official alignment specs. A bit of trivia is the original specs that were posted in the factory manual were incorrect and I contacted Fiat USA to gives them a heads up. The chief engineer sent me the corrected specs, which I posted for the first time anywhere. We've gotten many exclusive peeks and info that I have posted on Fiat500USA.com, so I recommend to anyone who wants to know about the car to read the Fiat500USA.com blog from the beginning to the current posts and by the time you are done, you will be an expert on the cars.

    Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth Wheel Alignment Specs

    Plus, some threads tagged with "alignment":

    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/tags.php?tag=alignment
    Enjoy the Forum, or has it helped? Please Whitelist us on your Ad Blocker. Thx!


    abarth500forum.com fiat124spiderforum.com fiat500lusaforum.com fiat500xforum.com

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    Tire cupping is from worn out dampers, fix your alignment for sure but I think you’re up for new shocks.


    2015 Fiat 500 Abarth
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    Quote Originally Posted by doverosx View Post
    Tire cupping is from worn out dampers, fix your alignment for sure but I think you’re up for new shocks.
    What he said. Shocks. In a perfect world, they usually need to replaced by 60k miles.
    16 500X Pop, Rosso Passione, 1.4T/M6, 18 O.Z. 45th Anniversary wheels, H&R springs, Momo shift knob...
    13 500 Abarth, Bianco Gellato, 17" M5, (Wife's)

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    I don't know. He's saying the problem started with the 2nd set of tires, maybe 40K? I'd hope a car used for freeway driving would have shocks that last more than 2 years.

    If the second and third set of tires were the same brand, I'd suspect the tires or the balance job done by the tire shop. Rotating (with a balance check) every 5K miles might cure the problem.

  12. #9
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    For 8 years now. Rotated tires every 7k miles. 4 wheel alignment. Twice now. Balanced. Correct air pressure. Second set of tires. I should have had the rear shims installed. Rear tires again, outside tread edge prematurely worn. Outside tire edge is cupping. Same thing happened to the first set of Continentals. At 30k miles.
    Noisy.

    Last edited by smark; 08-16-2019 at 03:21 PM.

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    Good to know. Thanks

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