New Tires Balanced But Still Vibrating – Causes and Fixes

Tire Balancing - Installing balancing beads on the tire

Tire vibrations can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous problem for drivers. Even after investing in new tires and balancing, vibrations can persist, causing discomfort and affecting the driving experience.

In this article, we will explore the various reasons for persistent tire vibrations and provide solutions to help drivers get back on the road smoothly.

Why Are My New Tires Balanced But Still Vibrating?

Even with new balancing, tire vibrations can still occur due to several reasons, such as improper wheel imbalance, misaligned wheels, worn-out suspension components, defective tires, damaged wheel rims or brake components, incorrect tire pressure, or remounting.

Improper Wheel Imbalance

Shaking steering wheel due to improper wheel balance

One of the main reasons why your new tires may still vibrate is due to improper wheel balancing.

When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is placed onto a balancing machine that measures any imbalances that may exist. The machine then calculates where the weights need to be placed on the wheel in order to correct these imbalances.

If the technician who is performing the wheel balancing does not do so correctly, the wheel may still have imbalances that can cause vibrations.

For example, if the weights are not placed in the correct locations, or if the technician fails to account for any other factors that may affect the balance of the wheel, the wheel may still vibrate.

Additionally, if the technician uses incorrect weights or fails to properly secure the weights to the wheel, the weights may fall off, causing the wheel to become unbalanced once again.

Damaged Rims

Damaged car wheel

Another reason new tires might vibrate even after being balanced is due to damaged, cracked, or bent rims. When rolling into a big pothole in the road, there is a chance that structural damage will occur to tires or wheels and cause them to become bent.

Damages, such as a small bend or crack in the rim, can cause an uneven distribution of weight and lead to shaking while driving.

Overinflated Tires

Example of correct tire inflation and overinflated Tires

Overinflated tires can also cause vibrations even after new tire balancing. When a tire is overinflated, it becomes stiff and acts like a bouncing ball, and can lead to vibrations that can be felt in the steering wheel or throughout the car.

Loose Lug Nuts

Loose Lug Nuts

Lug nuts hold the wheels securely in place on the car’s hub assembly. Loose or improperly tightened lug nuts can cause wheel wobble, leading to vibrations while driving.

Wheel Alignment

An example of aligned wheels and misaligned wheels

Wheel alignment is another possible culprit of tire vibrations. Proper wheel alignment ensures that all four tires point in the same direction and are perpendicular to the ground, preventing uneven wear on your tires.

Misaligned wheels can cause a variety of issues including steering wheel shake, pulling to one side, and inconsistent tire wear patterns. If you notice any of these symptoms or if your vehicle has experienced some sort of impact like hitting a curb or pothole, it may be time for a wheel alignment check.

Defective Tires

Tire defects in the manufacturing process.
Tire defects in the manufacturing process. Source: Andrzej Weyssenhoff et al. / Transportation Research Procedia

In rare cases, a tire may be out of round right from the manufacturer, making it difficult or impossible to balance it properly. If you experience vibrations after a new tire installation, even after the technician has balanced them to the best of their ability, this could be a sign of a defect.

Don’t worry though – in these cases, you’re assured a replacement under warranty.

Tire defects don’t necessarily mean physical damage or flaws that are visible to the naked eye; they can also refer to issues with the internal construction of the tire itself.

Worn-out Suspension Components

Worn-out Suspension Component

Worn-out suspension components can significantly contribute to tire vibrations. Over time, parts such as control arms, shocks or struts, tie rods, and wheel bearings may wear out or break down due to regular use or rough road conditions.

Other causes

We have discussed various ways in which tires can cause driving vibrations, but they are not the only potential culprit. Other less likely reasons for vibrations include:

It’s important to get any vibrations diagnosed by a professional mechanic in order to ensure road safety and prevent further damage to the vehicle.

Leaving a vibration unaddressed is never an option, as it will only worsen over time–from minor inconveniences to dangerous hazards.

Solutions For Resolving Persistent Tire Vibrations

Road Force Balancing

Road force balancing is a solution to resolve persistent tire vibrations. While regular wheel balancing involves identifying and correcting the imbalance of the tire, road force balancers measure the force variation and runout of the whole wheel and tire assembly, as well as the radial and lateral runout of the wheel.

By simulating how a tire would react under real-life driving conditions, technicians can identify any high spots or variations in stiffness within a tire that may cause excessive vibration at certain speeds.

Checking Wheel Alignment, Lug Nut Torque, and Tires For Defect

  • Check the lug nut torque specifications in your vehicle owner’s manual and tighten them accordingly.
  • Verify that the tires have been mounted correctly and that they are seated properly on the rim without any visible damage.
  • Visit a reputable tire shop or mechanic to perform a wheel alignment check to ensure that the wheels are correctly aligned.
  • If you have aftermarket wheels installed, make sure that they are compatible with your vehicle’s hub size and other specifications recommended by your manufacturer.
  • Check for visible damage on the tire.

Replacing Damaged Components

If none of the above solutions work, it might be time to replace some suspension components. Here are some parts that may need to be replaced:

  • Struts and shocks: These help absorb shock while driving and can wear out over time. If worn-out struts or shocks are causing vibrations, they will need to be replaced.
  • Ball joints: Ball joints connect the control arms to the steering knuckles and ensure smooth movement of the wheels. Worn-out ball joints can cause vibration, and replacements will be necessary.
  • Wheel bearings: These allow your wheels to spin freely and smoothly on their axles. Over time they can wear out, causing vibrations which means they may need replacing.
  • Tie rod ends: Tie rods connect the steering gear to the wheel hub and help move the wheels back and forth when turning the steering wheel. Worn-out tie rod ends can cause vibrating in addition to other issues like uneven tire wear, so replacement is essential.
  • Axles: The axles transfer power from the driveshaft to the wheels, but if there’s damage or wear that cannot be fixed with a repair or realignment, it might require replacing them completely.

Preventative Measures For Avoiding Tire Vibrations

Regular tire maintenance is crucial in ensuring the longevity of your tires and avoiding potential vibrations. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Check tire pressure: Make sure to check your tire pressure regularly, ideally once a month or before long trips. Incorrect tire pressure can lead to uneven wear and vibration.
  • Rotate your tires: Rotating your tires every 5,000-8,000 miles can help ensure even wear.
  • Wheel alignment: Getting regular wheel alignments can help prevent uneven wear and potential vibrations caused by misaligned wheels.
  • Keep an eye on tread depth: Check your tires for worn tread frequently as it can affect handling and grip.
  • Using High-quality Tires: Investing in high-quality tires can greatly reduce the likelihood of experiencing persistent tire vibrations. Cheap or poorly-made tires are more susceptible to defects and uneven wear that can cause imbalances and shaking while driving.
  • Avoid rough driving conditions: Avoid rough or uneven terrain whenever possible as it can cause excessive wear on your tires, leading to vibration.

Final Words

In conclusion, tire vibration after getting new tires is a common and frustrating issue. It can be caused by various factors such as unbalanced wheels, misaligned wheels, worn-out suspension components, defective tires, damaged wheel rims or brake components, incorrect tire pressure or even damaged rims.

To prevent persistent vibrations in your car’s steering wheel and ensure a smooth ride, regular tire maintenance is crucial.

In case you experience lingering vibrations despite attempts to solve them yourself or if there are abnormal noises while driving; it is always best to seek professional help for underlying suspension issues.