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 nuts

The nuts that hold on your wheel should be in good condition, properly threaded and sensibly tight.
 

Wheel alignment

People 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 tyres

A 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 wear

Improperly 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 wheels

If your car is stationary for several weeks, tyres can begin to flatten. Often this puts itself right after a few miles.
  

Wheel imbalance

Wheel 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 mounts

The 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 struts

An 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 steering

Bad 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 rims

Damaging 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.

About the author

David Sholicar

David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and ...

View author

Related Articles

How to identify balancing issues with your tyres

Good tyres ensure a safe and comfortable ride. You need a good grip to ensure you can drive and stop safely, if the road is wet or greasy. You can normally feel if the car is not pulling correctly, which is why keeping a check on wheel alignment and balancing is so important
Find out more

How To Identify a Run Flat Tyre against a Non-Run Flat Tyre

If you've ever been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tyre and a dead mobile battery, you have probably wondered why you're not using run flat tyres. Run flat tyres are designed to keep you on the road after a puncture, giving you time to get home or to the local garage for a tyre change. 
Find out more

How To Identify an Asymmetrical Tyre from a Symmetrical Tyre Pattern

With a huge variety of tread patterns and sizes, tyres come in a wide variety of designs, but they can all be narrowed down to three main types: asymmetrical, symmetrical (also known as multi-directional) and directional.
Find out more
Read more...