I remember why I should DIY tire changes vs taking them into Walmart


#1

like everyone else, I hate buying tires. I drive a ton of miles and so does my wife so tires are replaced about every 15 months.

I recently got lazy and started having Walmart mount and balance tires again. Today I drove my truck and had the loose wheels that I dropped off for new tires. I went to pick up the tires and they failed to remove dirt from the inside of rim. Oh great how well can that balance job be??? The guy said well you have lifetime balance so just bring them back. Ugg.

I have the tire tools at home including balancer but just have so many other things going on that I figured I would save a hour and just farm it out but it looks like I will be balancing them when I get home. Seriously I already removed the wheels from the car and

As I am writing this I now recall why I purchased a tire balance in the first place. I was in a jamb and had to stop at a Walmart and buy a tire. They mounted and “balanced” the tire. Prior to balancing they failed to remove the sticky weights on the inside of the rim. To balance, the lady said she had to add 16 ounces of lead to get the tire to balance. I was the last customer of the day and as I drove off and merged onto the highway, I heard an interesting sound. Instantly my steering wheel began to shake and I realized the noise was the flinging off of the 16 ounces of tire weights that she put on to “balance” my tire. Now the tire shop was closed and I drove 60 miles home very slowly. The next day I bought a tire balance and it only took 1/2 ounce to properly balance the tire.

If you are forced to take your car in for anything, make sure it is locally owned mechanic/garage. The cost maybe slightly more but will be worth it in the long run.


#2

Our 3 closest Walmarts no longer have auto shops and I don’t miss them.


#3

I bought two really cheap tires for a 25 year old Oldsmobile Cutlass I owned. After six or seven years, the car had a terrible vibration which started at 40_mph. When I checked the tires, I discovered the balance weights were loose on the rim, so I took them off. That improved things considerably, but there was still a little vibration. Since I only used the car around town, I was going to just live with it. However, a couple of weeks later, I was going through the glove compartment and. Found the invoice from Walmart which included lifetime wheel balancing. I took the car back to Walmart and showed them the warranty and asked to have the right front wheel rebalanced. The service manager asked me how bad the problem was. I replied, “I was coming back to town on the interstate and doing about 90 mph. A Ferrari started to pass me, so I flooredd the pedal. The car vibrated so badly when I got up to 105 mph that I had to drop back and let the Ferrari go ahead. I found this terribly wrong embarrassing”. The service manager looked at me, then at my old car and then just shook his head and said " I think we had better balance both front tires". The vibration was.not there at 40 mph. Since I stay out of racing Ferraris and don"t deliver blood, I didn’t check the car for vibrations at 105 mph.


#4

My daughter bought a set of Goodyear tires at Wal Mart some years back and the car was shaking itself to pieces.
After jacking it up I noted the right rear just kept rolling itself to the same position each time it was spun by hand.

Once removed I found a handful of lead on the inner edge of the wheel rim. On my balancer it showed that small wheel (195x60x15) was 7.5 ounces out of balance.


#5

The only time I’ve ever used walmart was when I was 500 miles from home, 6 o’clock, a 2 1/2" screw in my tire and losing air fast and I could see their sign. Actually I was happy with the repair.


#6

@“Propane Car”

I have the tire tools at home including balance

Is it a static or dynamic wheel balancer?


#7

@ JoeMario

static balancer.


#8

A static balancer, properly used will usually get the job done unless, the tire is dynamically way out of balance, the car is very sensitive to imbalance or you are very sensitive to imbalance.

Anytime I buy tires I make sure at least one wheel shows a weight on the outside of the wheel proving to me they were dynamically balanced. Tire busters often “do you a favor” by not placing weights on the outside where they an be seen. Even if it is balanced today, 3-6 months later it won’t be.


#9

I am of the opinion that static balancing takes care of 60% to 70% of the vibration problem, with dynamic balancing taking care of an additional 20% to 30%, leaving at worst a 20% problem that is caused by uniformity (think “out of round” and you’ll be close.)

Over the years, manufacturing tolerances have gotten tighter and while vehicles have gotten more sensitive, it seems that there is point where static balance may be the only thing needed in the future.

Also, it is possible to dynamically balance the tire/wheel assembly AND hide the weights behind the spokes of the wheel. It just takes more weight to get the same effect as placing the weight on the rim flange.


#10
while vehicles have gotten more sensitive

Tire force machines have become fairly common at high end tire stores and luxury dealership because of this very fact. GM had a problem in the very late 90’s to early 2000’s with certain cars vibrating like a tire imbalance even thought the tires were balanced but not the contact forces.


#11

Mustangman said: " … GM had a problem in the very late 90’s to early 2000’s with certain cars …"

Yes, they did!!!

The problem was so bad that less than 1 in 100 tires were good enough (This is what I mean by “quality” - consistency from tire to tire!)

And the old GM couldn’t fix the problem because it was in the vehicle design, which meant the development folks COULDN’T fix it and the design folks were working on the next design phase and WOULDN’T work on it. Fortunately things are different today.


#12

Yeah. Now they’re denying recall responsibility for safety issues in any cars that were produced before their bankruptcy, claiming they’re “not the same company” since going bankrupt.


#13

Are you saying that GM has discontinued performing recalls on vehicles manufacture by the old GM?


#14

What? Maybe the GM dealership just doesn’t like you. I’ve had both warranty work and a recall done on my Pontiac after the new GM. No problem at all. About a month or so ago I also got a potential recall notice in the mail advising of a potential rough idle issue. I’d have to look at it again for the details since it was not a problem I was having but there has been no change at all as far as I can tell. And the dealer wouldn’t be doing the work if they weren’t getting paid for it.