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Jitters on Steering Wheel over 66mph

Hi all. '99 Honda Accord EX (4cyl). I just purchased new tires for my car. (firehawk gt) that are rated H. I went to Expert Tire, got the wheel balance and ended up doing a wheel alignment. NOW my steering wheel jitters like carpal-tunnel-in-2-years-jitters really badly when I move the car past 65mph. At 70mph, it’s almost bearable. At 80mph, it’s unbearable to have my hands rest on any part of the steering wheel. What could be the problem?? After I hear the answer, I want to go back to Expert Tire and let them know what “I think” is wrong. Comments? Solutions?

Take it back and let them figure it out, after they are the “expert”. If you tell them what you think, they have an out when it doesn’t work.

Okay. It was pricey… I’ll take it back. Thanks, Marona

Your rear tires are out of balance or out of round. Have them checked by the “expert”.

It could be several things, but from hear it is hard to tell. Take it back and they should be able to correct it with basic adjustments. It is also possible there is a defective tyre, but they can fix that as well.

The wheels were not balanced properly, tires may be out of round(defective) or a wheel weight flew off.

Here’s yet another “send it back” reply. My $$ is on balance problems, or perhaps even a defective tire.

BUT - just one extra note - Check the lug nuts before you drive it again.


Make this one more vote for taking the car back to the “experts” and describing the problem as clearly as possible, inclduing the speeds at which you feel the vibrations. As others have said, it is likely that this is simply a tire that needs to be rebalanced, but it is also possible that one of them is defective. While it is fairly rare, defects in new tires are possible, and it is dangerous to drive with a defective tire. Also, since severe vibration such as you reported can lead to damage to your front end components, it is not a good idea to defer the trip back to the tire store.

And, if this is the same shop that replaced or adjusted your engine’s drive belts–as you mentioned in a different post–tell them about the “cricket” noise and ask them to check the belt tension.

Just for future reference, it is better to put all of the car’s problems into one post, simply because what seem to be different situations can actually be linked in some cases, and posting them in separate threads makes for more difficult diagnosis.

“But - just one extra note - Check the lug nuts before you drive it again.” Ya think? (This one don’t)

Thank you all! Thanks VDCdriver, yes, I should have put the two problems into one post. I didn’t want anyone to think the cricket noise was related because I noticed it about 6 days ago before I had new tires, bal, alignment.

I went back to Expert Tire (Firestone) and told them precisely at what speeds the steering wheel vibrates. After close inspection, the manager told me that all four wheels were calibrated .50 off (whatever that means) and then I asked if it was the machine or the operator technician. The manager admitted that it was their machine and that three other people called them, but only I managed to push them to figure out if it was the operator or the balance machine. Basically, I said I was going to get in touch with their corporate office and publish that their work was below par and I feel unsafe with the workmanship.

So that’s that. I just hope they did due diligence and called everyone they balanced in the past month to see if their riding a vibratorium, and if so they’ll fix it for nothing.

I left with my butt in a smooth ride all the way home… feeling safe trekking through ice and snow (I’m in the land of the blizzard.)

The cricket. I realized on the way home, it doesn’t chirp unless I’m moving. This isn’t good. Thanks again guys!