Getting a new set of tires is great, it feels like getting a new pair of shoes, making your vehicle look neat and snazzy. Feeling good about your vehicle new treads, you hop in and head out expecting to have a smoother ride than ever. Which makes it all the more disappointing when your teeth start chattering from the vibrations.
The problem is most likely going to be due to wheel balance. This is a common problem that is solved by adding weights to the wheel. Alternatively, your rims could be damaged, misaligned wheels or the tire could have a defect. To fix these issues you could have your rims repaired or replaced, get your wheels aligned, or the tire replaced, respectively. In all cases, you should go back to the shop that put your tires on as soon as possible and get them checked out.
What Are the Most Common Issues That Cause Vibration After Getting New Tires?
As stated above, the number one culprit is wheel balance. This happens because no one tire is perfect. Tires will have slightly thicker and thinner areas, causing their balance to be shifted. This is completely normal and for the most part, the company fitting the new tires will perform a balance before refitting your wheels.
Depending on the old tire’s wear, damaged rims may go unnoticed until you get new tires. If you do have damaged rims after a tire change, inspect the damage because the company changing your tires may have dropped a rim. It only takes a relatively small dent in the rim to produce a vibration.
Wheel alignment can also be the culprit when it comes to vibration. Just like with rim damage this issue can be hidden by old worn tires. Most of the time when you get new tires you should have a wheel alignment done. Some shops offer this when you get new tires fitted. In some cases, a loss or stripped bolt in the wheel alignment system is the cause of misalignment.
Sometimes the defects that constitute wheel balancing are too severe or the tire has some other defect that will cause vibration. Though these kinds of defects are rare they are indeed possible.
Overinflated tires will cause vibration in the sense that you will feel every bump in the road, even the tiny ones. Some people will overinflate your tires. I encountered a mechanic once that said I should fill my tires to the max! This is not the right thing to do, I didn’t go back to him after that.
Poor reinstallation of your wheels is not too common but can happen. Depending on how bad the installation is the vibration can be quite severe. Poor installations vary from loose or missing wheel nuts to the wheel being miss-aligned to the mounting. You can check for this issue by feeling the wheel nuts and performing a visual inspection and look at the alignment of the nuts to the wheel’s bolt holes.
What Should You Do If You Have Any of The Above Issues?
For the most part, you should go right back to the company or shop that fitted your tires. If they caused the issue, they are obligated to correct the problem. If they did not cause the issue or you are simply curious about how these issues are fixed, we got you covered.
As previously mentioned, unbalanced wheels are quite common and are most likely your cause of vibration after getting new tires. This issue is solved by attaching small lead weights to your rim, in fact, your wheels probably have some on right now.
Sometimes your mechanic will get the balancing wrong and sometimes the weights just fall off after a few feet of driving. This is quite a quick and easy fix, although the right equipment is required. Most tire fitting shops have a wheel balancer and can perform this work for you.
Damaged rims are unfortunately not a quick and easy fix, nor is it cheap. Steel rims can be repaired but aluminum rims can be a different story, depending on the amount of damage. If the damage is bad enough you will need to replace your rims, whether steel or aluminum.
Wheel alignment can be done quite quickly at a shop or can even be done at home. When getting your tires fitted, it is good practice to have the mechanic check your wheel alignment as well.
Much like a damaged rim, the only option for a defective tire would be to have the tire replaced. If you just got the tire you should be able to get it replaced.
The easiest thing to fix of all the potential issues that cause vibration is overinflated tires. All you need to do is let some air out!
What is the importance of limiting vibration in your vehicle?
Other than improving comfort, limiting the vibration in your vehicle is a matter of safety and keeping your vehicle healthy. Having your vehicle vibrate all over the place is a safety concern. Not only can it be distracting, but the vibrations can also make you lose control, especially at high speeds.
Furthermore, excessive, and long-term vibration can damage parts of your vehicle which can cost you a pretty penny. Damage can also be done to safety systems, so even if you think the vibration itself is safe, it could cause an unsafe situation in an indirect manner.
The reason for vibration after putting new tires on is likely to be unbalanced wheels. No matter the cause the best thing you can do is head straight back to the shop and let them check it out. If they caused the problem, they are legally obligated to fix it.