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Old 03-16-2015, 01:00 AM   #1
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2011 Focus SE wheel shimmy / vibration after new tires?

Hi everyone a short back story.

I bought this car around a year or so ago. I noticed when I purchased the car (I believe it was around 21 thousand miles or so, maybe a little more) the tires were pretty worn. Not to-to worn but down there much more then other tires I've seen at 21 thousand miles on factory tires (Hankooks). It rode very smooth, no shakes or vibrations that I noticed. Decided once I rotated my tires and noticed my two rears were getting close to 2/32nd's and my fronts were like 4/32nd's. It was time to get some new tires (currently 35 thousand miles). Onto the issue.

I went to NTB, I've been going to them for years and never had issues with anything merely because I do all my own repairs and the only thing they've done to my cars is change the tires. They changed my Hankooks out for Sumotomos (can't remember the exact model tire) but I've noticed since they changed my tires and have been back 3 times already to have them re balanced two times and one more for them to tell me my brake rotors were warped that the car has a lot more seat vibration and wheel vibration (slight shimmy to it but nothing huge) to it between the speeds of 65 - 75 up to 80 mph and even over. On my 35 minute ride home from work each night my hand literally goes numb from holding onto the steering wheel from all the vibration coming from the wheel. The shimmy is noticeable very slightly around 62 - 68 to 70 mph.

The vibration goes through my door, passenger seat (I can see the back of the passenger seat vibrating as I cruise along the expressway and see the water in my bottle vibrating in a circle like pattern) through my seat. It's not entirely annoying but it is annoying enough that I noticed it when it definitely was not there before.

Just a quick run down of things I've done to try and fix this issue:

1) Retorqued all lug nuts on wheels to 100 ft/lbs per manual specification
2) Replaced brake pads and rotors (They told me my rotors were warped and that was causing the vibration issue..)
3) Deflated tires from 45 PSI to 32 PSI as per sticker inside the door for recommended PSI (you would think they'd follow the sticker in the door and not max PSI of the tire)
4) Had tires re balanced 2 times by NTB (possibly shitty center hub balancing machine?)
5) Checked for broken belt in all tires, didn't see any signs of separation or bulging in tires or cracks.
6) Checked for lost wheel weights, bent rim in certain damaged spots I've accumulated over time.

I can't imagine anything else being this issue. The car drove smooth as butter before I got the tires changed out and now it just is slightly uncomfortable to be in on the highway. Around town it rides like a dream. Almost thinking of trading it back into the dealership and saving myself a headache cause I got a feeling this is where it's going to lead considering how many suspension / tire blowouts / cupping back tire issues the 2008 Focus line had


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Old 03-16-2015, 01:19 AM   #2
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Moved to wheels & Tires section.

So, after a year of no problems the car is the issue? Seems like the new tires/balancing might be more suspect.

Blame it on brakes is a new one, since you aren't touching them while cruising 62-68.

Yep, might as well trade it.


P.S. - Brakes, Suspension & Chassis also has info on alignment, suspension, bearings etc.. Poor alignment is the prime cause of bad tire wear, haven't heard of any "blowouts" but if you wear 'em to nothing that can happen as well.
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Last edited by sailor; 03-16-2015 at 05:15 PM.
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