Tires always out of balance

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Tires always out of balance

Postby 09vGT » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:33 pm

I know nothing about tires so maybe someone can give me some info. I have my tires rotated every 5000 miles, the same time I go for an oil change. Every time after I get them rotated the steering wheel will shimmy back and forth very quickly and the car vibrates. I take the car back and tell them to balance them. Whatever they do it fixes it. Is there a reason why this happens EVERY time I get the tires rotated? It didn't do this until I got this set of tires, same brand as I had before.

I had a flat on the front of the car and took it in for repair. I needed a new tire so they said it'd be a couple of days to come in. They put the spare on the back and moved the rear wheel forward. It shimmied right after that, and now its still doing it, even after the tire was replaced. They put the new tire on the back where the spare was. It's getting a bit aggravating.
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby ehoff121 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:25 am

There are several things that could cause the wheels to vibrate as you describe.

-incorrect torque on lug nuts
-misaligned wheels
-uneven wear pattern on tire (from misalignment, improper balance, or rotor warp)
-debris in the wheel
-dirt/rust between wheel and hub

Also, it may help to request "road force" balancing when you do rotation, as the plain spin balance may not be enough (assuming a competent tech is doing the balancing).

Good luck!
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby star_deceiver » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:50 am

ehoff121 wrote:There are several things that could cause the wheels to vibrate as you describe.

-incorrect torque on lug nuts
-misaligned wheels
-uneven wear pattern on tire (from misalignment, improper balance, or rotor warp)
-debris in the wheel
-dirt/rust between wheel and hub

Also, it may help to request "road force" balancing when you do rotation, as the plain spin balance may not be enough (assuming a competent tech is doing the balancing).

Good luck!


Yes to all.... but might I add that, if this happens EVERY time you go to this place, maybe you should go somewhere else.
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby Kincaid » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:57 pm

Which could indicate improper torquing.

Get yourself a torque wrench, jack stands and a floor jack - will cost you under $100 total if you get it at Harbor Freight. Then you can do it yourself and save $20 every time! So easy.
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby vibenvy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:56 pm

Kincaid wrote:Get yourself a torque wrench, jack stands and a floor jack - will cost you under $100 total if you get it at Harbor Freight. Then you can do it yourself and save $20 every time! So easy.

I agree! I don't have a torque wrench and I typically don't use jackstands when I rotate the tires, but I have rotated the tires myself on both our Vibes since we got them and it's super easy and saves money and worry of someone else screwing something up.
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby tpollauf » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:40 pm

Here's my take on this situation. First off you had NO PROBLEMS whatsoever with the original Goodyear RSA's which came from the factory correct? Then you get a new set of the "so called" identical tires and this problem starts. I'd say the tires are BAD, or they somehow damaged your rims during the mounting process to where this condition started. Has anybody driven this car other than yourself to where some damage could have occurred without your knowledge? Maybe the garage/mechanic taking it for a test drive and really beating on it? It seems like the tires themselves could be the problem. What mileage did you end up getting out of the original set? Hmmmmmmmm ......................... :?
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby Salsa Guy » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:28 am

Some quick lube place badly over inflated my tires one and it caused them all to "cup". The ride was crap and the TPMS kept triggering eventhough my tire pressure was good. I replaced all the tires, they were about due but perhaps could have safely gone another 6months, and the ride smoothed out.
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby 09vGT » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:09 pm

Kincaid wrote:Which could indicate improper torquing.

Get yourself a torque wrench, jack stands and a floor jack - will cost you under $100 total if you get it at Harbor Freight. Then you can do it yourself and save $20 every time! So easy.


Well, I would, but I can't. I live in a townhouse and have zero place to store the said items. Plus, I don't work and I'm financially dependent on my grandparents, who of which just pay for everything to be done to anything. They won't be able to justify spending money on that when we get them done at the shop for free.

tpollauf wrote:Here's my take on this situation. First off you had NO PROBLEMS whatsoever with the original Goodyear RSA's which came from the factory correct? Then you get a new set of the "so called" identical tires and this problem starts. I'd say the tires are BAD, or they somehow damaged your rims during the mounting process to where this condition started. Has anybody driven this car other than yourself to where some damage could have occurred without your knowledge? Maybe the garage/mechanic taking it for a test drive and really beating on it? It seems like the tires themselves could be the problem. What mileage did you end up getting out of the original set? Hmmmmmmmm ......................... :?


We got somewhere around 55,000 miles out of the factory's. The second set of tires weren't identical, but were GoodYear Eagles GT's. The tire shop put one on backwards, the "inside" was facing the outside and vise versa. They replaced that tire for free, so we went ahead and bought three new because they had somewhere around 35,000 miles; so past their half life. Now I'm on the 3rd set of tires. Again, these are GoodYear Eagle GT's. I don't know that its wheel damage because I'll take my car right back, tell them the problem, and whatever they do fixes the problem.

I'm not the easiest driver on my tires, lots of quick turns, but these are "high performance tires" for crying out loud. The Vibe is NOT a performance car so I can't be driving them that hard to mess them up!
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby dragon64 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:00 am

My background is for the manufacturing and training side of the industry. Even if a wheel and tire is perfectly balanced doesn't mean it is 100% round. I could put a oval shaped object on a tire balancer and put enough weight on it to spin balance on the machine but will it be round on the car.. No. A clue to your problem is the fact that you said the vibration came back when the rear wheel was moved to the front. A common wheel and tire shop trick for steering wheel shake spin all the wheels to look for hop and runout and put the straightest running tires in front. Just because a tire is new doesn't mean that is it round. A side from manufacturing defects, tires can be distorted in shipping. Tires are not shipped in stack from the factory but in an X pattern because then can get more tire on the truck this way and the load is more stable as well. The only thing is if you get a tire that was at the bottom of the pile the belts in the tire can get distorted or shift of center. What you get is a non correctible shimmy and/or hop in the rubber.

I would try swapping the front wheel back to the rear to see if it goes away. Chances are that you have at least one distorted tire or a bent inner lip on the barrel of the wheel at happen to got moved to the front when the vibration started. Also If you are an aggressive driver do hard accelerations, cornering and braking for the first couple of day after new tires have been installed the tire can slip on the rim until the tire mounting lub drys otherwise you can slip the tire enough to throw the balance out.

I see there was a recommendation of getting them balanced on a Hunter "Road Force" balancer. There seems to be an internet myth that these machines are better because the apply the rotational force to the tread. I have seen just as many balancing errors with these machines as any other. This machines are no better or worse than any other modern balancing machine.
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Re: Tires always out of balance

Postby ehoff121 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:27 am

dragon64 wrote:I see there was a recommendation of getting them balanced on a Hunter "Road Force" balancer. There seems to be an internet myth that these machines are better because the apply the rotational force to the tread. I have seen just as many balancing errors with these machines as any other. This machines are no better or worse than any other modern balancing machine.


Interesting. Are the errors you've seen caused by the machine or by the operator placing the weights?
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