View Full Version : tire vibration only when cold


BillGalbraith
12-03-2010, 04:10 PM
I just got new tires mounted on the front of my Grand Prix GXP. I went back to the original Bridgestones 255/45R18, since the previous owner installed Goodyear Eagles, and they only lasted about 12,000. No other work performed, just mounted and balanced two tires.

When the tires are stone cold, as in sitting in the garage overnight or more, there is a nasty vibration coming from the the front end until the tires warm up, after a few miles. The car can sit in a parking lot all day, and it will be okay. When warm, the ride isn't perfectly smooth, but it's acceptable.

I want to talk to the Goodyear store about this, but I'm expecting the old "Nothing is wrong". I'd like to talk intelligently about this problem, but I can't imagine what is wrong with one or both tires to cause this problem.

Ideas, anyone?

OneTon
12-03-2010, 04:13 PM
Same issue here. Kumho tires. Feel like they're "square" when I first start out in the morning. Also curious as to the cause.

A_Pmech
12-03-2010, 04:19 PM
The tires are flat-spotting overnight.

BillGalbraith
12-03-2010, 04:22 PM
Well, I thought about that, but ruled that out. Yeah, the car is heavy in the front end, but no manufacturer is going to specify a tire that gets a flat-spot overnight.

BillGalbraith
12-03-2010, 04:32 PM
Found something on the net that suggested that it might be a twisted belt. It might work itself out when it warms up. I'll try returning it to Goodyear tomorrow morning with the tires cold, and see what they find when they spin them. It will take them a day or two to find a replacement, since these tires are hard to get in this size.

Still, I'd like to hear if anyone else has any other ideas.

A_Pmech
12-03-2010, 04:40 PM
Well, I thought about that, but ruled that out. Yeah, the car is heavy in the front end, but no manufacturer is going to specify a tire that gets a flat-spot overnight.

Many tires do. Depends on the temperature, tire compound and load among other things. Aircraft tires are notorious for getting flat spots because of their duty cycle, but from what I have read, any tire that goes from warm to freezing cold has the possibility of taking a set.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=42

Many heavy duty, high performance, high speed rated and racing tires have a memory because they continue to remember the position in which they were last parked after they begin to be driven on again. Unfortunately, their memory can become a problem when the tires experience big swings in ambient temperature, have been parked overnight in cold temperatures, or parked for an extended period of time...because it's a lack of use that can cause tires to flatspot.

Edit:

Certainly not ruling out other possibilities here. But the symptoms you describe are an exact match for tires that have taken a set in the cold.

Theloniousmonk
12-03-2010, 04:42 PM
and if these are BRAND NEW, you may have a jeykle-hyde senario for a few hundred more miles.

BillGalbraith
12-03-2010, 04:46 PM
OKay, more research on the net. (Aren't you glad I posted this question first, before doing my research?)

There are some that suggest since this is a high-performance tire, when I put it away with the tires hot, the contact patch cools on the cold concrete (geeze, it's Florida. The concrete was in the 60 deg range last week), and therefore developing a flatspot.

It was suggested to park on carpet or blankets to see if it goes away. I think I'll jack up the car and let it sit on jack stands overnight to see if this is really the problem.

I'll report back later.

A_Pmech
12-03-2010, 04:50 PM
It's worth a try... I figured you were with us up here in the frozen North! :)

My uncle bought a set of tires a number of years ago that would flat spot if he parked for more than an hour in spring weather. Turns out the tire company made a bad batch of rubber.

Theloniousmonk
12-03-2010, 04:57 PM
interesting... you better report back.

bgott
12-03-2010, 09:23 PM
Nylon bias ply tires used to take a mile or two to warm up and quit thumpin'.

willymakeit
12-03-2010, 09:29 PM
Nylon bias ply tires used to take a mile or two to warm up and quit thumpin'. You beat me to it. Nothing like nylon tires on a cold morning.

Torque1st
12-03-2010, 09:45 PM
Nylon bias ply tires!
-You guys are showing your age....:bounce:

yellowbox
12-04-2010, 12:35 AM
yup they are defective, bad belt get new ones do not settle for anything less
have them roadforce the tires when cold and try to be standing right there to see the numbers bet they are way over 30

tatra
12-04-2010, 01:45 AM
ice..........warms up and turns to water then steam.........

IndyGarage
12-04-2010, 02:27 AM
I had two sets like that. Both General OEM's about 15-20 years ago.

The first set were on a brand new car. At 8,000 miles the vibration was really bad, but got better as the tires got warm. Somewhere around that mileage rubber started falling off the tires. I took them to a tire dealer and they said I must have parked the car in acid to make the tires fall apart like that - well, I certainly didn't park it in acid anywhere that I knew of. Finally they replaced the front two under warranty.

Then about 2,000 miles later I started having the flat spot problem again. I junked them all and bought new tires. I remember telling them I wanted those nearly brand new tires destroyed and the guy that took them off argued with me so I took them home and cut them up with a power saw.

For years later I bought another GM new car with POS General tires - same problem, I cut them up at 5,000 miles. Since then, I have literally walked away from buying new cars if they had General tires on them.

BillGalbraith
12-04-2010, 07:13 AM
yup they are defective, bad belt get new ones do not settle for anything less

At $259 EACH, That's what I'm thinking.

BillGalbraith
12-04-2010, 07:18 AM
Somewhere around that mileage rubber started falling off the tires. I took them to a tire dealer and they said I must have parked the car in acid to make the tires fall apart like that

Oh, I just LOVE that one. That's why I hate dealing with the tire scum. They will make up ANY excuse to avoid responisbility for something. Had a Goodyear store do a front end alignment on an old Chevy, and the mechanic didn't tighten the bolts that hold the shims in. They fell out, I went back, and the idiot behind the counter claimed the bolts STRETCHED because of corrison due to road salt. ROAD SALT? We live in Florida, and the car spent most of it's live here. Road salt did not avoid every other piece of metal just to attack those two bolts. I don't remember how that one turned out.

knucklebusted
12-04-2010, 07:34 AM
Oh, I just LOVE that one. That's why I hate dealing with the tire scum. They will make up ANY excuse to avoid responisbility for something. Had a Goodyear store do a front end alignment on an old Chevy, and the mechanic didn't tighten the bolts that hold the shims in. They fell out, I went back, and the idiot behind the counter claimed the bolts STRETCHED because of corrison due to road salt. ROAD SALT? We live in Florida, and the car spent most of it's live here. Road salt did not avoid every other piece of metal just to attack those two bolts. I don't remember how that one turned out.

One of us would have gone to jail had it been my old car!

To the OP: Let us know if the new ones do it, too!

jwillis
12-04-2010, 07:41 AM
I am surprised the the Good Year Eagles only lasted 12,000 miles. But isn't Bridgestone the company that had all the accidents and recalls on the Fords a few years ago? I would have gone back to the Good Year tires. But I am guessing also that they are getting flat spots on them overnight. My Corvette does the same thing when it sits in the garage after several weeks.

moto367
12-04-2010, 07:44 AM
It seems to me there are a lot of tire failures on the roads lately. I heard somewhere that manufacturers have gone to more synthetic mat'ls rather than rubber. Is tire quality going down?

BillGalbraith
12-04-2010, 07:53 AM
I am surprised the the Good Year Eagles only lasted 12,000 miles. But isn't Bridgestone the company that had all the accidents and recalls on the Fords a few years ago? I would have gone back to the Good Year tires. But I am guessing also that they are getting flat spots on them overnight. My Corvette does the same thing when it sits in the garage after several weeks.

Nope, Firestone was the one with the exploding tires. My neighbor is a corporate attorney that handled some of those cases. He told me he was in the tire plant and saw one of the workers take the chewing gumout of his mouth and stick in in a sidewall. Nothing can be done because of the union.

This car has 303 HP turning through the front wheels. Normal limit is about 250-275 HP for a FWD vehicle. Pontiac solved the problem by going with 255 mm wide tires up front, 225 mm tires in the back. Had the tires specially design for this car by Bridgestone. Some guys report getting a lot of miles out of these tires, and not a lot out of the Goodyears.

I get flat spots on my Lotus Esprit front tires after long periods of nonuse as well, and they hardly have any weight on them.

BillGalbraith
12-04-2010, 08:16 AM
The plot thickens....

Last night, I warmed up the tires with a 3 mile drive, then parked on some wooden ramps. This morning, I took the car out, but turned north on the county road instead on my normal south. Not much vibration this time. Ran up the rod 4 miles to the vet, 2 minutes in there 3 miles back. I continued south on the county road, and it was a little bumpy. I'm wondering now if it is a combination of a non-smooth road with cold tires, just makes it feel REALLY bad.

The experiments continue tomorrow morning....

61falcon
12-04-2010, 04:10 PM
i've been a mechanic for 22 years now. started out at goodyear mounting tires. i have been in various ford dealers for 20 years and have never heard of anything like your dealing with and i have installed alot of tires over years along with owning many different vehicles and pretty much every brand of tire. and living in ohio we experience every weather change possible. i would have to say you have bad tires, probably a manufacturing defect of some sort in the rubber compound. i am willing to bet if you keep these tires they will not last long. i would ask for new tires with a different dot code on the side wall so that would mean they possibly come from a different batch of tires. or get a different brand of tire. i am partial to michilens. thay have served me well over the years and are my tire of preference. a brand name passenger car non high performance tire should not have to warm up before the ride quality improves. it should ride nice right out of the garage.

richashley
12-04-2010, 05:44 PM
I'm going to try and check with one of the tire engineers I used to work with, but I wonder if your tires use nylon cap plies or overheads that might be causing flat spots when you first start out on cold mornings.

tatra
12-04-2010, 06:46 PM
Nope, Firestone was the one with the exploding tires. My neighbor is a corporate attorney that handled some of those cases. He told me he was in the tire plant and saw one of the workers take the chewing gumout of his mouth and stick in in a sidewall. Nothing can be done because of the union.



i call bs on your lawyer actually witnessing this and the union being able to protect the employee if this was true and documented..........not saying it couldn't and doesn't happen, but if it was observed and brought to the attention of management, an investigation would have been performned..........

did a lot of tires for goodyear during the firestone 500 fiasco.....goodyears were no better, they just went with the recall so looked good in the public eye....

Riverrojo
12-04-2010, 08:07 PM
Jack the front axle up overnight. Lower it down to pavement before driving. That will verify/deny the flat-spotting theory.

ddawg16
12-04-2010, 08:33 PM
Have you checked the air pressure? After the Fireston tire debacle, there was a renewed interest in making sure the air pressure was correct. Chances are, your air pressure is high and your feeling every single pebble.

On the Fireston tire issue....I have talked to two different people with direct knowledge and involvement with the issue.

On the Firestone end....Ford went to Firestone and asked them to improve the life of the tires....So Firestone did....instead of 40K miles, you could get 80-90K miles out of them....but little or no testing was done prior to putting them into service.

Contrary to popular belief, the roller over issue was not unique to Ford....Ford Explorers were no more likely to roll over than other SUV's.

In order to get a better ride...Ford was using 26 PSI instead of 32....this increases heat in the tire due to greater flexing...

If you look at all of the statistics regarding roll overs....most of them happened in the South and in the summer time (take note...HEAT)....of the roll overs, 85% of the drivers were female. It has been shown that a blowout in it's self will not cause a roll over.

Lets add in another tidbit....remember all the talk of Nitrogen in your tires? Well, the only advantage it has is that it reduces the amount of oxygen that leaks into the inner belt section of the tire...which in turn causes oxidation...which in turn can cause the tread to seperate....the older the tire...the more O2 that can leak into the tire.

So....take warm weather...tires that are under inflated....tires that have been on longer than normal.....tires get hotter than normal....oxygen causes accelerated oxidation....you have tread seperation.....and when the driver is some bimbo who has trouble even parking the SUV.....roll over...

blackice
12-05-2010, 08:56 AM
ice..........warms up and turns to water then steam.........

my thoughts exactly. I have even had water in the tire give these symtoms well above freezing temps.

djjsr
12-05-2010, 09:14 AM
Here's a good explanation of flatspotting ...........

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=42&

richashley
12-05-2010, 06:10 PM
The Tire Rack explanation is very good.

After my post yesterday, I followed up with a friend who has been a tire engineer at three major tire manufacturers. I asked him: "Do modern tires with nylon as part of their construction still flat spot overnight? On a forum I look at a guy was complaining about vibration the first thing in the morning with a set of Bridgestone high performance tires. I wasn’t sure if this was a thing of the past or not?"

His response: "Yes. It's better than the old nylon carcass tires, but still very real. Also, high performance tread compounds with styrene are a big contributor to the problem."

So the cold vibration may just be the nature of the beast.

BillGalbraith
12-07-2010, 03:24 PM
OKay, here's the story on the tires:

Had Goodyear balance the tires a second time this morning. Talked to the kid that did them. He said that one tire was 3/4 out, the out 1/4 out (I'm assuming that he was referring to oz. ). Of course, a couple of the Goodyear guys chirped up that the balancer needed to be calibrated. Well, guess what? If it ain't calibrated, all bets are off for anything anyone does. Took it out, still vibrated. The good tire guy wasn't in until this afternoon. Took it back, and they road-force balanced all 4 wheels (originally replaced and balanced just the front ones). The verdict was that one wheel is bent from a vertical impact, like a pothole or railroad track, not cocked so that there wold be run-out when spun. These are aluminum alloy wheels from the factory, which are pricey to replace. Dealer said $815, plus $50 core. Ouch.

He put the bent wheel on the right front so it would be less noticable. It's definately better than it was before, but tough to say if it is tolerable as I was crawling in traffic the whole way home.

While I was waiting, I talked to the store manager. He said that aftermarket wheels have a big problem as they get older. Factory wheels are hub-centric, so that the wheel fits snuggly on the hub and supports the vehicle weight and the lug nuts just hold the wheel on. In aftermarket wheels, they make the hole bigger to fit more vehicles, and the weight of the vehicle is held up by the lug nuts. Over time, they start expanding into ovals, and therefore exhibit vibration at speed.

I are a Ingineer, and that certainly makes sense to me.

IndyGarage
12-07-2010, 04:14 PM
I had a pretty badly bent wheel repaired by this company called Mr. Wheels. You can't tell it was ever bent.

BillGalbraith
12-07-2010, 04:22 PM
What was the total price tag on that one, including unmounting, shipping, their work, return postage, and remounting and balancing? I would think when all is said and done, you're probably talking a couple bills anyway, plus having to lay the car up for a week.

I found someone that says he gets $300 for these wheels when he gets them in, but doesn't have one right now. I'd rather buy from a business rather than an individual, so that I might be more ensured that it's a straight, true wheel. AN individual seller might not take it back, and not care about a black mark on their record. Some Ebay sellers are scum.

If I buy another one, I get to keep the bent one, get it fixed at my leisure, and I'd have a spare available at a moment's notice. These cars don't have spare tres, just goop and a compressor. If I were taking a long trip, especially at night, I'd like to have a spare in the trunk.

Hiball
12-07-2010, 04:31 PM
I think its the Tires, I have a Set of Goodyear Wranger Silent Armors and they do the Same thing. Ive fought with Good Year and the Ford Dealership to No Avail. I finally Gave up and swore i would never step foot on there Property Again. There's No Ryhme or Reason to the Vibration but above 65 it Noticiable and Worse when Cold and even then to boot its doesnt seem like it does it on all Road surfaces. I know it sounds strange and its even harder to explain to the Mechanics. I have OEM Rims and i started having this problem the Day of my Tire change, Ive had the Truck into the Dealership twice and the first time they blamed it on the previous tire balance guy, The third time they said it was Right on. I normally Rotate all my Vehicles Tires but im gonna take it to a Local Tire Shop and have them Rotate and Balance for shit's and Giggles.

BillGalbraith
12-07-2010, 04:37 PM
I probably should take the car in someplace else and have the check just that one wheel on the Road Force machine, just to see if they agree. Don't know what that will cost me, maybe $30 or so, but that's better than $300 for a used wheel, plus postage, mounting and balancing. Hell, if I want to use this as a spare, I have to pony up another $259 for another tire, because I doubt I'll find a used 255/45-18 tire laying along the side of the road.

grom
12-07-2010, 04:49 PM
Gonna have to agree with the guy who mentioned road force testing on them. A lot of techs are lazy and will not force match rims and tires. I'm willing to bet when they are cold the run out is stiffer because the sidewalls are still cold. Ensure the guy is doing a dynamic balance and ask him for the road force variation numbers.

Btw you can test RFV yourself if you have a dial indicator.

BillGalbraith
12-07-2010, 04:57 PM
Btw you can test RFV yourself if you have a dial indicator.

How? I know I could do it from an unloaded standpoint. Just jack it up and spin it. How would I test it loaded?

I don't think that is my problem though. He said it was in the vertical plane, not a runout issue.

Hiball
12-07-2010, 05:12 PM
Nope, Firestone was the one with the exploding tires. My neighbor is a corporate attorney that handled some of those cases. He told me he was in the tire plant and saw one of the workers take the chewing gumout of his mouth and stick in in a sidewall. Nothing can be done because of the union.


Ive learned to stay out of the UNION talk here at GJ because everyone is entitled to there Opinion, Sadly Most of the Opinions are based on "Hearsay" (Similar to your story) instead of Actual Facts. Im a Railroader and belong to the Union and there is NO company that is gonna allow Tampering with a Production Safety Item such as a Tire. Thats like saying its ok for me to go out and Open up a switch on the Mainline just so i can watch the Train Crash into the Ditch and i wont lose my job because im in the Union. I would be willing to bet the employee would have been Fired in a Heartbeat, You guys are way off base on the Strength of Unions. Its really Comical coming from someone in the Know. Secondly after the Patriot Act was Signed alot of these incidents would be viewed as "Acts of Terrorism" Its a very thin line and if the Lawyer didnt push the issue he was just as guilt as the Person who placed the Gum in the Sidewall during production.

grom
12-07-2010, 05:13 PM
Runout can be in the vertical plane as well. Radial force is just a stiff or tall spot in the sidewall, which can lead to thumping tires, vibration, the whole nine. Basically it's out of round.

Using a dial indicator is simple. Jack the car up, and run tape over the middle section of the tire(that way you don't have to deal with the tread). Place the dial indicator on the tire around the tape. Rotate slowly and try to ensure the dial stays still and steady. It will indicate the low and the high spots. When you see the needle go way the hell clockwise, there's your high spot. It won't test it under load but will ensure you have RFV within acceptable limits. You'd be surprised how many tires come from the factory with excessive RFV. BTW, it should be a unwarrantable tire defect.

Edit: A certain amount is alright, but it should be matched to a low spot in the rim to minimize thumping and vibration. You do need a balancer with a force matcher for that. He said you had a bent rim, but I have a feeling it is still tire related because it only happens when cold. Once it warms up, the sidewall is probably flexing enough to keep it in round again.

daveblank
12-07-2010, 05:25 PM
Runout can be in the vertical plane as well. Radial force is just a stiff or tall spot in the sidewall, which can lead to thumping tires, vibration, the whole nine. Basically it's out of round.

Using a dial indicator is simple. Jack the car up, and run tape over the middle section of the tire(that way you don't have to deal with the tread). Place the dial indicator on the tire around the tape. Rotate slowly and try to ensure the dial stays still and steady. It will indicate the low and the high spots. When you see the needle go way the hell clockwise, there's your high spot. It won't test it under load but will ensure you have RFV within acceptable limits. You'd be surprised how many tires come from the factory with excessive RFV. BTW, it should be a unwarrantable tire defect.

Edit: A certain amount is alright, but it should be matched to a low spot in the rim to minimize thumping and vibration. You do need a balancer with a force matcher for that. He said you had a bent rim, but I have a feeling it is still tire related because it only happens when cold. Once it warms up, the sidewall is probably flexing enough to keep it in round again.

You are trying to combine lateral runout with RFV. Your method of using a dial guage will indeed measure runout. Bit, since RFV is a measurement of tore stiffness/softness, you will not be able to measure that.

grom
12-07-2010, 05:31 PM
Excuse me, you're right. I mis-worded it slightly. It will however still indicate if a high spot exists. Variation does have to be under load, but if you have a dial indicator measurement difference around the tire that shows it way out of round, it doesn't make a difference under load or not. It's a bad tire.

Jaguar Fan
12-07-2010, 05:42 PM
yup they are defective, bad belt get new ones do not settle for anything less
have them roadforce the tires when cold and try to be standing right there to see the numbers bet they are way over 30

Could you please explain this more? I don't know what "roadforce" means, nor the reading of 30.

Thanks in advance.

grom
12-07-2010, 05:55 PM
It simply is how much force is being exerted when the tires are spinning under load. "30" is 30 pounds and is excessive. Passenger tires really shouldn't have more than 14-16 pounds, past that you will start to feel vibration.

Jaguar Fan
12-07-2010, 06:02 PM
...The verdict was that one wheel is bent from a vertical impact, like a pothole or railroad track, not cocked so that there wold be run-out when spun. These are aluminum alloy wheels from the factory, which are pricey to replace. Dealer said $815, plus $50 core. Ouch.
...

My auto insurance replaced a bent rim -- I was surprised.

BillGalbraith
12-07-2010, 09:31 PM
Well, since they've been plaing with it, like this morning, it was happening all the time, even after warming up. What I suspect with the cold tire aspect is that the cold just amplifies the issue and/or the road that usualy take first thing in the morning is less than perfectly smooth. Of course, what road ARE smooth these days?

richashley
12-09-2010, 08:43 AM
Before you spring for a new OE wheel, check for a remanufactured wheel. There are a number of sources for them and they are much cheaper than new. Also, there are Alloy Wheel Repair Specialist franchises in many parts of the country. They can true many wheels or get you a reman. wheel.