Front wheels seem unbalanced even after new tires

wheels

#1

I have had this 2005 Kia RIO standard transmission car for about a year now. The steering wheel has always been wobbly (jerky wobbly) when going between 50-60 mph. I thought the wheels needed to be balanced, so I had that done, stayed about the same. They told me the tires were chopped and couldn’t really do much for it. I just had 4 all new tires put on the car now, and still get it. I’m assuming something with a front wheel itself or bearings or something? If I go slower or faster than the 50-60mph it seems to smooth out and go away. What kind of cost would a diagnosis and repair cost for this? Is this hurting my car?


#2

Expand on “tires were chopped”. Were they cupped and uneven across the tread?

Did the tire shop’s suspension specialist look at the car? Many shops provide free suspension/strut inspections.

You don’t say how many miles are on the car, but you could have a strut or other suspension part wearing out.

Rotate the tires front to rear and see if the unbalanced condition goes to the rear, too. If not, then you can rule out tires/wheels as an issue. Based on the chopped tires, I would say a good diagnosis of your suspension is in order, by a qualified specialist.


#3

They didn’t explain the chopping and upon me looking aftward I didn’t understand what chopped means even after looking it up online. They looked fine for tread wear.

The car has 39,000 miles. I bought it with 28,000.

The tires were replaced with uniroyal tiger paw’s - problem still exists and appears identical. They were rotated before and the problem stayed the same so I dont think it’d be the steel rims either, so that rules out the tires and wheels right?


#4

A worn tie rod end or wheel bearing could cause this. At 39K, the tie rod end is more likely.


#5

See a reputable shop that does alignments and suspension work. I am surprised your tire supplier didn’t do a free suspension check when he had your car. It provides a good opportunity for the shop to sell some needed parts for a small time investment. I think NYBo’s assessment is accurate. See a good shop to validate and get it fixed.


#6

Thanks everyone for the info. I’ve contacted KIA, my warranty is still valid even though I bought it used. 5yr/60,000. If it is one of those rod or bearings do you think that is considered from abuse or defect? I guess it covers anything unless it is from abuse. The dealership I bought it from and KIA pointed me to with the warranty will charge me 53.95 for diagnosis if it is not covered by warranty (abuse), and if they are the ones that fix it they put that $53 towards the repair. Sound like a good deal?


#7

Depending on the wear pattern, the problem could also be caused by the alignment being off.
The car has pretty low mileage to be suffering from worn suspension parts but anything is possible, depending.

Something to consider here. If the alignment is simply off, or if it’s off due to a curb strike or giant pothole, OR if the car has been wrecked in the past, then warranty will not likely pay one dime of any repair. Bent wheel hubs due to the previously mentioned curb strike, pothole, or wreck could also cause this.

About all you can do is get an opinion or two on it and see what they ssy.
You might also try doing a little research into the vehicle’s past. Ask the dealer if they procured this vehicle from an auction or if it was a trade-in by the original owner. Sometimes auction cars mean previously wrecked cars. CarFax is not always entirely correct but a CF report might show something.

Adhering to the “chopped” word and the wobbyly steering wheel then this could point to an alignment problem. The dealer, and/or whomever is behind the tires/rotation, etc. should have been digging into this a little further.