How to identify if your tyre is the cause of vibration
Causes of vehicle vibrations range from the merely irritating to the potentially fatal. The possible causes are numerous, but the most probable are easy to put right.
Check your lug nutsThe nuts that hold on your wheel should be in good condition, properly threaded and sensibly tight.
Wheel alignmentPeople often think of this first, but it is one of the least probable. Mechanics dispute whether poor alignment can cause vibrations at all, although it can eventually lead to uneven tyre wear, which might cause an issue. Alignment involves adjusting the angle the wheels make to the ground. If they are not perpendicular, this can reduce tyre lifespan and even your miles per gallon. Protyre garages are equipped to quickly perform a tune-up for you.
Deformed tyresA more likely cause of vibration is tyre damage. If you can see bulges on a tyre sidewall, it could presage a dangerous blow-out. Replace the tyre without delay. Internal delamination can be hard to spot and usually happens in hot weather. Swap in the spare to see whether the issue is resolved.
Uneven wearImproperly inflated tyres wear down unevenly. You can extend their lifetime and perhaps cure vibration by swapping the two best to the rear; however, this is no excuse for keeping worn tyres or wrong pressures!
Square wheelsIf your car is stationary for several weeks, tyres can begin to flatten. Often this puts itself right after a few miles.
Wheel imbalanceWheel fitters adjust weights to get a perfect tyre-wheel balance. If the vibration always occurs between certain speeds, such as between 55 and 60, ask your Protyre garage to check this for you.
Engine mountsThe mounts stop engine vibration and noise reaching the cab. They should last the lifetime of the car, but this is another thing to consider.
Shocks and strutsAn issue with your suspension, such as a damaged shock absorber, could cause the car to fall into a resonant bounce at certain speeds. Alternatively, suspension issues can cause uneven tyre wear and indirectly lead to vibration.
Brakes or steeringBad wheel bearings, worn tie rod bushings or warped brake rotors can cause vibration in the steering column that is worse when braking. A buckled axle will worsen in proportion to speed.
Wheel rimsDamaging the rims takes quite a knock, but potholes and collisions with the kerb have been known to do it. If the tyres are OK and the wheels have been balanced, this is another thing to check.
Advice from Protyre is both expert and free, and our rates for services, MOTs and replacement tyres are fair and always upfront.