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Are my wheels falling off?

On the way to work this morning on very non slippy, non icy Arizona roads, my 2007 Dodge Charger began to behave oddly. The back of the car felt like it was swerving back and forth, even though I was driving straight. It happened at about 40mph and above- at least that’s when I could feel it. From my youth in Ohio’s winters, it felt like the car was fishtailing- but there was nothing on the road to cause slipping. I was definitely nervous, because there is a lot of traffic in Phoenix’s rish hour, and I had no idea if my car was facing impending doom. It felt very difficult to control the car- I was afraid I was going to hit someone.

Any idea what is going on? I bought this car used in May, and have not had any trouble so far.

You have a flat tire.

Have you inspected the wheels and tires? Do the tires have sufficient air pressure? Low pressure in the tires can make the car feel odd. I’d suggest checking the pressure in all four tires and the tightness of the lug nuts holding the wheels.

Do not drive this car. Have it towed to a reputable shop for a going-over.

Yes, you may have a wheel falling off. You may also have a controlling suspension or even steering component about to disconnect itself. There are a number of possibilities, but until this car gets up on a rack and diagnosed I strongly recommend that you not consider it safe to drive.

Could be true. For a novice car person who is not sure which symptoms are which…example ; My wife comes home from work and says to “check out the truck, Maybe a transmission problem, it seems to be shifting funny cuz it won’t go smoothly and won’t stay going.”…Right rear flat !

For jennfletch , I must urge her the same as others here…Don’t drive it until the questions are answered by a complete inspection.

Well. I thought I was insulted by the implication that I was too much of an oblivious idiot to notice a flat tire- but then I went and checked my car and that’s exactly what it was. Sigh. Thanks, everyone.

While you were driving it was just very low on air. Since you parked it the tire has gone completely flat. A flat tire makes a lot of noise and rides much worse than a tire that is only very low on air.

Also, the conditions under which this tire was driven make it very likely that it is ready for the scrap pile–even if the puncture is repairable.

Driving on a drastically underinflated tire at highway speeds leads to internal cord damage to the tire sidewalls that is not visible, but that inevitably leads to catastrophic tire failure.

Before you find yourself in the situation of experiencing a blow-out at high speed, have this tire replaced. Unless you are very skilled at handling a car under those circumstances, a high speed blow-out can easily result in an extremely serious accident.

If you need one more opinion in favor of replacing that tire for safety’s sake before making up your mind, HERE IT IS.

I want to thank you for posting the final concusion. It’s always good to hear back. Makes us feel like we’re actually being read.

Oddly enough, because your post was highly articulate and definitive I never even considered a flat tire, assuming you would have checked that. I guess this meets the classic definition of “when I assume”…

Happy motoring.