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#1606456 - 09/21/09 08:02 AM Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed?
jdeare Offline


Registered: 09/02/08
Posts: 406
Loc: midwest
My tires were inadvertently run in the same position for about 20,000 miles (they were installed, run for about 8,000 miles, removed for snow tires, and then installed in the rotated pattern; I noticed a bit of vibration and took them to Discount Tire where they were purchased for rebalancing but they went ahead and rotated them too, so they went back to the original positions I think). To answer the obvious question, I guess I wasn't paying attention, but I didn't realize they had rotated the tires again until I looked at the receipt about a month ago.

I recently had them rotated again and now I am getting what I assume to be vibration because of the wear pattern already on the tires. I've been driving them for about 1000 miles and it hasn't really changed.

The tires have been rebalanced 3 times using a Road Force balancer, and the car has also been aligned; no change from any of that.

So I'm thinking I will have to move the fronts to the back and basically keep them that way, which I don't really mind... I'd rather do that than have to buy new tires again.

But I'm wondering, should I do another X-pattern, or just front to back on the same side?

Any advice appreciated...

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#1606462 - 09/21/09 08:05 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: jdeare]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 7354
Loc: Central Washington
You are probably going to end up letting the vibration wear out of the tire, or rotate them back to the original positions.
_________________________
-Colton
2004 Ford Crown Vic LX, 76k "Tank" Back in Service
2002 Ford Crown Vic PI, 160k "Highwayman" (Ex-Kootenai County, ID Unit #42)

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#1606491 - 09/21/09 08:44 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: Colt45ws]
jdeare Offline


Registered: 09/02/08
Posts: 406
Loc: midwest
This is what I was thinking too. I guess I'll let it go for awhile, see if I can notice it lessening at all.

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#1606509 - 09/21/09 09:06 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: jdeare]
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12907
Loc: By Detroit
What is the real benefit of rotation. It's a pain in the neck having to take the car in for rotation (free at my tire dealer) and then often get vibration after the rotation, which I did after only 7 or 8 thousand miles IIRC. Anyway, he said the main benefit is longer tire life, but given the 6 year rubber life, I am really considering that rotation is a waste of time. I may just quit this rotation stuff for good. Now if I was buying super expensive tires, it might be worth it.
_________________________
"There is a slight vibration in it that I always attributed to something I can't explain." --Neil Young

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#1606522 - 09/21/09 09:18 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: TallPaul]
Boomer Offline


Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1617
Loc: Pennsylvania
You know, if a rotation is about $25 per time and they recommend it every 7-8000 miles and you get it done at 8,16,24,and 32,000 miles for a tire that wears 40,000 miles, you have dumped $100 into the rotation. For many cars, thats the cost of a tire. So at 40,000 miles you buy for tires for $400 and have $100 in rotations for $500. If you keep the car 150,000 miles, that would ne $1200 for tires, and several hundred bucks for rotations. If you pay for rotations and the wear is not bad, I would argue that it does not pay to rotate. Just buy an extra set of tires in there and save the time and effort. Costwise, it is the same.
_________________________
2003 Saturn L 300 115,200 miles
2013 VW Passat TDI SE, 15,600miles
2014 VW Jetta TDI SportWagen 1950 miles

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#1606525 - 09/21/09 09:20 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: TallPaul]
bullwinkle Offline


Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 3890
Loc: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Depends on the tire & type of suspension-I can tell you with the HD Ford van Twin I-Beam/swing axle front suspension-if you don't rotate at least every 10 K-you'll be driving on a washboard from the cupping of the tread. OTOH, some front wheel drives just wear the fronts faster-put 2 new on the front, move the old ones to the back, keep going. The cheaper ones seem to get weird tread faster, though-some Chinese ones are bad when brand new!
_________________________
06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4 48RE SRW, 93 GMC C3500 6.2 diesel, 89 F-450 7.3 IDI, 98 Cherokee 4.0, 05 Scion xB, 82 Mercedes 300D, company van 12 Ford E-250 4.6

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#1606526 - 09/21/09 09:22 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: TallPaul]
jdeare Offline


Registered: 09/02/08
Posts: 406
Loc: midwest
I'm starting to agree with you. I've also had to replace rotors before because the tire place guys overtorqued or unevenly torqued my lug nuts.

I think in the case of the free rotations that some of the chains include with tires, it's mainly to get you in there to try to sell you more stuff (like getting your tires siped).

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#1606599 - 09/21/09 10:36 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: jdeare]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 10722
Loc: North Carolina
I never have anyone rotate my tires. I do it myself. With two jackstands and a floor jack, it takes less time to do it in my own garage than it takes to drive somewhere and get it done "for free". Plus, some benefits of doing my own tire rotations:

1) It gives me a regular opportunity to thoroughly inspect the brakes and dampers on the vehicle, as well as any CV and tie rod boots. I do that at oil changes also, but to get a real good look at the brakes, the tire has to come off. I also get to lube the ball joints (on the Dodge and Chrysler) and look for any loose parts. Generally, simple preventative maintenance stuff.

2) I get to thoroughly inspect the tires for small cuts, abrasions, foreign objects in the tread, etc. I also scrub the inner sidewall of the tire with my normal tire cleaner, and wash the inside of the wheel surface. Stuff that you normally can't get to. I also check to ensure that all of the balance weights are on and in good condition.

3) I get to keep the wear even on all four tires, so I can replace them all at the same time. The OCD part in me hates knowing that an odd number of tires on the vehicle are either new or old, and what if my tires have been discontinued and I need to buy only two? Mis-matched tires to me are not acceptable.

4) I'm going to back-check the tire shop anyway (for lug nut torque). Why spend the time to take it somewhere, and then come back and check their work? Might as well do it myself. As stated earlier, I can have the whole thing done in an hour. It'd take me at least that long to drive down to where ever I bought the tires and have them do it. I get the satisfaction of doing it myself and don't have to fool with the tire store.

I've never had a vibration or shimmy after a tire rotation. In my experienced, as long as a tire is balanced itself, and well-matched to the wheel (verifiable with a road force balancer), it shouldn't matter in what position it is. In other words, balance shouldn't change after a rotation. And as long as rotations are done on a regular basis, the wear pattern shouldn't be set too far in so that the tires vibrate after being rotated.
_________________________
Cheers,
Jason

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#1606607 - 09/21/09 10:46 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: jdeare]
fergy Offline


Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Texas
I'll take it a step further and say that IMO, the tire manufacturers recommend rotations "because" it can cause tires to get lumpy and cause you to need tires sooner than later. I stopped rotating tires years ago because I had several vehicles that I bought in about a 5 year stretch (yeah, I go through vehicles!) where the first oil change I had done the shop recommended rotating the tires since I didn't know when it had been done. One by one, I would replace tires that suddenly developed kerflopida, (I like to call it) or actually came apart on the road. I bought tires like they were going out of style until I finally stopped having tires rotated. Once I stopped, I haven't had to buy replacement tires in years, except for a set of Michelin's that I wore out on my Jeep Wrangler that I never rotated, but finally wore the tread down to nothing, and they were still riding smooth as glass, just slick as heck.
On our FWD cars, I would wear out the front tires and buy new ones, and leave the rear alone and would get 50+K out of them.
If one were to have tires rotated every 5K, religiously, it might make a difference, but I don't feel like a great percentage of folks are that religious about it, and probably go much longer than 5K and probably end up buying tires not long after rotating them...
Again, it's my opinion, but I had this happen to at least four vehicles in a row, tires were like new when I bought the vehicles, had them rotated, and within two months had to buy new tires, one at a time, all around.
_________________________
fergy
Vulcan 1500 Classic

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#1606617 - 09/21/09 10:58 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: Hokiefyd]
jdeare Offline


Registered: 09/02/08
Posts: 406
Loc: midwest
I don't have a garage. It's against the rules to work on cars in the lot of my condo. The police do not like it when I try to do it in the street (nor do the other drivers).

I don't really have a lot of options.

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#1607443 - 09/22/09 06:31 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: fergy]
jorton Offline


Registered: 07/04/03
Posts: 2698
Loc: San Antonio, TX
"One by one, I would replace tires that suddenly developed kerflopida, (I like to call it) or actually came apart on the road."

How did you identify the lumpy tire?
_________________________
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti



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#1607451 - 09/22/09 07:05 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: fergy]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 10722
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: fergy
On our FWD cars, I would wear out the front tires and buy new ones, and leave the rear alone and would get 50+K out of them.


On most FWD cars, you should be able to get an EASY 100k miles out of rear tires if you never rotate, assuming a modern long-wear tire. Depending on how many miles you put on a car, you may dry-rot the rear tires before you wear 'em out.
_________________________
Cheers,
Jason

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#1607455 - 09/22/09 07:09 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: jdeare]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 10722
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: jdeare
I don't have a garage. It's against the rules to work on cars in the lot of my condo. The police do not like it when I try to do it in the street (nor do the other drivers).


Because the tires were so long between rotations, and because the pattern may have been messed up now because of how Discount Tire has been rotating them, I'd just let it ride out and see if the vibrations disappear. Given regular rotations, you shouldn't experience any vibration simply because the tires were rotated. Now, it could be that the tire's not seated properly on the hub (maybe a flake of rust got between the hub and the wheel), or maybe the wheels were improperly torqued. For sure, that stuff happens. But the rotation itself should not be creating vibrations, unless the tires were worn so far into that pattern that it'll take some time now for that to wear "back the other way".

To the contrary, I notice a smoother ride right after a rotation. My wife even comments on it also. I typically do it every 5,000 miles, or whenever the sawtoothing on the very outer edge of the tread starts to become apparent. Sometimes that may take 7,500 miles, it just depends on the types of roads on which we were driving, whether a lot of the miles were city or highway, etc.
_________________________
Cheers,
Jason

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#1607498 - 09/22/09 08:25 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: jorton]
fergy Offline


Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: jorton
"One by one, I would replace tires that suddenly developed kerflopida, (I like to call it) or actually came apart on the road."

How did you identify the lumpy tire?


I would get a sense while driving as to the front or rear, and in the 90 suburban I could hear it coming from the right rear first. I actually could feel the lump or the big concave area while running my hand over the tire while it was still on the vehicle. Most of them had a concave area the size of my hand, and usually the tread moved nearly an inch to one side of the other. Some of them developed the bad spot and started coming apart while I was on a trip from Texas to Florida, not long after buying the suburban and right after having the tires rotated and oil changed before the trip. I replaced three of the tires on that trip! Same thing happened on the 90 Blazer I bought, that had Michelin tires that were still like new on it when my wife took it for an oil change and they talked her into rotating the tires. Within a couple months I had to buy all four new tires. Her Mazda Protege, same thing. We kept her car for 10 years, and the last 5 or 6 years I only replaced worn out front tires. It had 120k on it when we sold it and I don't really know how many miles were on the rear tires, I only guessed as I know it was more than 50K. In 2002 I bought a 99 Jeep that had the same Michelin tires on it that were close to end of life. I put all new Goodyear Wranglers on it and got around 40k out of them, never rotated, replaced them with Dayton Timberlines and put nearly 40K on them (never rotated) before I sold the Jeep and the tires still looked and rode good, still had plenty of tread on them. I don't drive my vehicles hard, and the Jeep saw very little hard duty off road, so the tires wore really good on it for me.
_________________________
fergy
Vulcan 1500 Classic

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#1608442 - 09/23/09 03:24 AM Re: Vibration due to tire rotation... can it be fixed? [Re: fergy]
crinkles Offline


Registered: 05/28/07
Posts: 5463
Loc: australia
i am sick of thinking about rotating tyres.

btw, mechanic i spoke to before said it is impossible to cause disc rotor warping due to overtorqueing lug nuts. I agree with him.
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Pennzoil SUV 5w-30

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