Nissan Xterra - My tires are NOT round

I bought a beautiful 2003 Nissan Xterra last October. Part of the deal was that I would get a new set of tires with my purchase. I test drove the car, thought about it day and night and finally purchased it. When I picked up the car after the new tires had been put on there was a shake above 55 mph. Now, that shake had not been there when I initially drove the car so I took it in to Les Schwab to have the tires looked at. The guys at Les Schwab said that the tires were just not round, but safe and sturdy enough to drive on. Well, I am about to head out on a road trip to Alaska and was hoping somebody could tell me (instead of just trying to sell me tires) if there is any serious damage that could occur to the vehicle if I just kept the “save, sturdy, not round” tires on my car…

I took the car back to the dealer shortly after I found out about the oblong tire shape and he wouldn’t change them out.

Any help is appreciated…

Did they try to balance them. I have heard tires can be shaved, but I have never done it.

They’ve balanced and rotated them… but they are just not round. When they put the tires on the balance machine, one of the tires read over 72#s… the tires are just wonky.

You need a shop that can not only properly check the tires with a machine that does Road Force Balancing, but can also make a suggestion. Unless the tires are really bad, they might be able to be “indexed”, which means rotating the tires on the rims such that the tire’s high spot is opposite the rim’s high spot. This is a common procedure.

I’ve had tires shaved in the very early '70s, but I don’t know if it’s done any longer. I don’t know if it’s even recommended on radial ply tires.

You clearly have a problem. Simply sending you on your way is not a solution. I would not patronize that Les Schwab place anymore.

The shake should not be there. Take it back to whom ever you dealt with and plead your case. Take a signed copy Of the findings from the shop to verify your request. All tires are out of round somewhat…,but if it’s enough to cause a vibration, it will not go away. I would cmpalin as well. The problem is, you have Waited too long IMho. Your complaint may not fly.

Are you saying one tire was inflated to 72 pounds? That in itself would cause severe bouncing. I would look for a better tire shop , independent if you can.

Try this.

Drive the vehicle with someone following you in another vehicle.

On a road where you’re able to switch lanes, get the vehicle to the speed where the vibration occurs. Signal the person following you that you feel the vibration. Have the person following you check all four tires by switching back and forth between lanes.

If the person see’s any of the tires bouncing up and down the strut(s) might be worn causing what is called tire bounce.

Here’s an example of tire bounce caused by a worn strut.


They used the force balancer to determine it had 72 lbs of imbalance. If the tire and wheel assembly can not be matched, you will need to replace the tire

LOL, I think I’ve seen this guy, tester! Or one just like him.
I love the long-since-worn-out struts too.
The car in the video is dangerous.

How the heck was this not covered by the new tire warranty? What brand are they?

Sometimes, this can be cured by dismounting the tire, rotating it 180 degrees on the wheel, re-inflating and balancing… But if the out of round condition persists, the tire is defective and should be replaced under the manufacturers warranty…NEXT time you want a new set of tires as part of a car deal, specify what brand of tires…Otherwise you will get the cheapest ones the dealer has access too…

I would have had the price for tires taken off the asking price, then buy the set myself. There are a lot of shady, crappy, dangerous counterfeit tires being sold at tire bodega-type shops for dirt cheap. Sounds like you may have a set of those. First rule of person-to-person car sales is ‘Buyer Beware’. Most states look at these private sales under As-Is rules, and your stuck once the title is signed over.

Folks here seem to have good luck with Michelin Defender tires. If I was driving to Alaska, I’d want the best tires going. Suggest you throw in the towel on this set and and buy some good tires before leaving.

Agree with everyone except the tires must have a warranty on them. You don’t go to the dealer though, you have to go to a place that handles that brand, I believe.

I often see cheap “made in China” tires installed on used cars during recon. While you may be able to get the tires with excessive road force replaced I wouldn’t be satisfied with these tires for an Alaska trip. You want a tire that has good traction, puncture resistant and is durable/reliable.

I don’t think they are obligated to supply you with tires suitable for a round-the-world trip. You may get the unacceptable tires replaced under warranty but I would replace these with quality tires for the trip.

Like the others have said, if the tires are no good they are no good. Replace them before your trip.