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Old 02-23-2013, 03:32 AM   #21
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Regarding vibration caused by out of round or unbalanced tires, or bent rims, I've never seen a mechanic/automotive technician that is proficient in diagnosing tire issues. I strongly recommend you find a competent tire store that can diagnose the problem for you.

Mismatched tire sizes can be dangerous as it leads to unbalanced handling and unequal braking. You're going to need a new set of tires to correct that, as it's a dangerous situation.

One thing you can do to try and diagnose the vibration problem is the following; first, make sure you do this without other cars around you. Safety comes first. Secondly, when you are at highway speeds and the vibration is apparent, shift the car into neutral and coast. If the vibration goes away, it's a drivetrain issue, but if the vibration continues, than it's a tire, or wheel issue, or both.

To further diagnose, the tires will need to be re-balanced, but not just by blindly removing the old wheel weights and reinstalling new ones. Doing this will not allow you to find out of the wheel balance job was done correctly or not and you'll lose a pivotal piece of diagnostic information. When the tires are balanced, the old wheel weights need to be left on and then the tire/wheel spun to check the wheel balance. If each wheel comes up needing zero weight, then we've discovered that it's not a wheel balance issue. If on the other hand, the tires do come up out of balance, how far each wheel was out of balance needs to be written down for diagnostic information purposes and then rebalanced. Wheel balance machines do need recalibrating from time to time and many facilities either don't know this, or they don't care.

I recommend you take your car back to the auto center that balanced your tires and tell them you are now getting a vibration on the highway and would they please double check the balance job they did to make sure it's correct. This should be no charge to you, as it's a warranty issue on the work they did. Again, have them record on a piece of paper what they find.

Tires can also go out of round from impacts with potholes, etc., and wheels can also be bent. This can be diagnosed with a wheel balance machine as the tire is spinning by looking at the tire/wheel and seeing if they are spinning true or not. Ideally, a radial run out gauge should be used to determine how far out of round the tire is, or how much the wheel is bent. Road Force balance machines can do this too, but it's very expensive to have tires balanced like this.

Having said all this, with mismatched tire sizes on the car and needing to correct that with a new set of tires that you need to buy anyway, it might be better to just go ahead and do that as if the tires are out of balance or out of round, that issue will be taken care of.

I hope this helps you out.

-- B.F. Goodrich T/A Certified Tire Specialist

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Old 02-23-2013, 05:24 AM   #22
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The problem will begin possibly by having to find a 'competent' tire store........

Good luck with that amount of detail in detective work, do it here and they'll think you're crazy, until they realize you're serious then they do whatever they can to get rid of you. Things like waiting several days to get freestanding wheel/tire plugged under warranty. I've even had them punch holes in brand new tires to get me to not come there again. New tire leaking air, wheel fine and stem too, once they keep punching new holes in tire over and over just so they can say they fixed something you begin to get the idea. Go. Away. The tire proved out to have bad sealing bead, new one to replace it did not leak at all. I FOUND IT simply by putting soapy water on the rim, why can't they do their job??? Mismatched tire sizes like this OP. Twice. Mixing non-radials and radials on same car. Not changing stems after you pay for new ones, they almost all did that, I had to start crushing the stems to force them to change them. When they didn't change stems then I asked for them and watched while they removed tire edge and while doing so moved a just balanced tires' weight 1/4 turn so that it was out of balance again. Then shop manager got mad when I asked for a rebalance because he (shop manager!) did that. Not making sure the stem valve tight to make for flat on the morrow, that happened more than once, I have to recheck that on every tire. I also let every tire sit 24 hours before it goes on a car, that bad, hilarious. Shop managers getting mad when I called them out because tire pressure checked with 3 gauges and at 50+ psi, found that after one new tire popped a bubble in first week. Other of a pair was just as high. NEVER using the tire dot mark to stem to bring tire in closer to balance like a good shop would. Ask specifically for it and it's like they put it off position on purpose. Balance jobs so bad the car which was not even scheduled for balancing became undriveable after they did it. Car there for brake work, thankfully not mine in that instance. They scratched up some pretty nice wheels doing it too. Mounting unidirectional tires up backwards to make for dangerous driving in rain. Subbing lower quality tires after you've paid for the better ones, that's happened enough that you gotta think someone's lying when they say it was an accident. I've had issues with virtually every tire shop I've gone to around here in the D/FW area, not one seems that proficient at all. All are marginally incompetent, the reason why I now only let them change tire on rim only and they can't even seem to do that correctly. How hard is it to look at the work order and put the white sidewall in? Apparently pretty damn hard. I do not mention BF Goodrich since I never got around to them, but Firestone, NTB, Discount Tire, Sears, Pep Boys, chains all. The issues I mention were spread out among them all.

All this has happened to me alone..........

You'd think by the odds there'd have to be someone better. I gave up looking and can absolutely pretty much solve tire issues as well as they and at so much less cash involved it's not funny. I now plug all my own tires at about 98% success rate, they couldn't even do that on a repetitive basis. I'd be king of the world if I had a balancing machine.............

Of course things shouldn't be that way, but there's the way things should be and there's reality. I ceased looking for magic knowledge or even something approaching service from tire shops long ago and I seem to have no trouble being at least as good as they.

No insult meant to anyone of course but there are different experiences out there.............
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:29 AM   #23
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Sounds like the auto centers in your area are terrible. How do they stay in business?
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:14 PM   #24
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This information that you all have provided for me is more helpful than you all could imagine. I have read everyone's posts and suggestions and I have taken literally everything into consideration and I am going to bookmark this thread so I may go back to it when I am ready to have some of my problems looked at by some trust-worthy and knowledgeable mechanics -- Tires sizes, bent wheels, balancing, alignments, mounts, e-brake cable, bad tires, etc are all things that I would have had a difficult time thinking of having checked out, but now I can go have my car checked out and actually be able to specify what I want checked and/or fixed.

I thank everyone on this forum who have helped me out with this problem I have had and if there's anything I can offer to any of you, I will do my best to help in the future. This has been the most helpful information that I have received concerning my car problems in a very long time. Thank you to everyone. Once I have a chance to get everything inspected, hopefully I can post up some good news about having found the problems and fixing them!!
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:48 AM   #25
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I have no idea, and have wondered the same bloody thing...........and heavens knows you took that industry wide slamming very well. Lord knows I went way too overboard with it. My hat off to you...........
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:07 AM   #26
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All incidents above mentioned were in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, mostly Fort Worth, some Arlington, some Grand Prairie, some Irving over the years.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #27
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I shall remember to avoid said areas. (: Haha.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:19 PM   #28
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My pleasure katkrazy2007. I've been in the automotive industry for close to 30 years now, so if you ever need a hand just PM me. Please beware that most, "mechanics", look down their noses at diagnosing tire/vibration issues and really don't spend the needed time and diagnostic methods to correctly pinpoint and correct the problem, or in most cases are just ignorant as to how to correctly diagnose a tire/vibration issue. This is why going back to the new car dealer when you have tire/vibration issues is not usually the best plan.

Again, please get a matching set of tires on the car ASAP. That's a safety issue. Mismatched tires are not wise and tires that are not even the same size, that's just downright dangerous, especially in inclement weather conditions such as snow or rain. That's tantamount to you competing in an athletic event with two different size shoes on. The results aren't going to be very good.

Many tires stores these days now offer their own credit cards that you can apply for and receive within mere minutes that offer you a six months interest free plan. What this does for you is enable you to budget a $400-$500 tire purchase over a six month period interest free. As long as you make your payments early/on time, there is no interest accrued on your tire or even repair purchase. That can really help out as car repairs are almost always unexpected and the car always seems to know when your checking account is getting low! lol

I never recommend to my customers to go cheap when it comes to maintenance and repairs on their vehicles as that route usually ends up actually costing more in the long run. But when it comes to tires and brakes, with these two area's of your car you don't want to go cheap on, because your very life is in the balance, (or the lives of others that got into a crash with you). Always purchase the best tires and brakes you can afford.

Every winter when my region has its first snowstorm, I watch the news reports of cars that have skidded off the road and crashed and I think to myself, "Those are the people who thought there's no difference in tires, that they are all black/round and all the same. Just purchase the cheapest made in China tire you can find". It's bad enough that motorists who think like this put their own lives in danger, but with that faulty thinking they are putting everyone else on the road in danger too.

-- B.F. Goodrich T/A Certified Tire Specialist

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:32 PM   #29
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As he says on tires and brakes, your life is worth how much you said?

Get all the same size tires on there, that becomes much more critical in icy conditions. When you can slide out in some conditions from simply letting off the gas, then having all four tires as dead flat on the ground as possible becomes imperative.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueFocusSE5 View Post
My pleasure katkrazy2007. I've been in the automotive industry for close to 30 years now, so if you ever need a hand just PM me. Please beware that most, "mechanics", look down their noses at diagnosing tire/vibration issues and really don't spend the needed time and diagnostic methods to correctly pinpoint and correct the problem, or in most cases are just ignorant as to how to correctly diagnose a tire/vibration issue. This is why going back to the new car dealer when you have tire/vibration issues is not usually the best plan.

Again, please get a matching set of tires on the car ASAP. That's a safety issue. Mismatched tires are not wise and tires that are not even the same size, that's just downright dangerous, especially in inclement weather conditions such as snow or rain. That's tantamount to you competing in an athletic event with two different size shoes on. The results aren't going to be very good.

Many tires stores these days now offer their own credit cards that you can apply for and receive within mere minutes that offer you a six months interest free plan. What this does for you is enable you to budget a $400-$500 tire purchase over a six month period interest free. As long as you make your payments early/on time, there is no interest accrued on your tire or even repair purchase. That can really help out as car repairs are almost always unexpected and the car always seems to know when your checking account is getting low! lol

I never recommend to my customers to go cheap when it comes to maintenance and repairs on their vehicles as that route usually ends up actually costing more in the long run. But when it comes to tires and brakes, with these two area's of your car you don't want to go cheap on, because your very life is in the balance, (or the lives of others that got into a crash with you). Always purchase the best tires and brakes you can afford.

Every winter when my region has its first snowstorm, I watch the news reports of cars that have skidded off the road and crashed and I think to myself, "Those are the people who thought there's no difference in tires, that they are all black/round and all the same. Just purchase the cheapest made in China tire you can find". It's bad enough that motorists who think like this put their own lives in danger, but with that faulty thinking they are putting everyone else on the road in danger too.

-- B.F. Goodrich T/A Certified Tire Specialist
You are very much correct!! I have a lot of work to do on my lovely car. I love it so I'm gonna do my best to keep her in the best condition possible. And of course I care about my life and the safety of others as well. Its just the type of person I am. I pretty much try to do as much as I can afford (as I have plenty of bills, payments, etc). Step one: Matching tires. To be honest, it was mismatched when I purchased the car. I just noticed it wasn't the same size as the others about 3 or 4 days ago. ):
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