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Replaced bent wheel, car still shakes

Hi all,

OK so here’s the back story. I had new tires put on my 2011 Altima around 35,000 miles. I started noticing a hum, so I checked the mechanic notes and they said I had a bent right rear rim. So, I had them replace it immediately . The hum (which only happens specifically at 40mph and at 75 mph) remained so I attributed it to new tires and breaking in.

I took my car to a shop around 45k miles for a check engine light, which ended up being an ECM issue that required a dealer service . I also had him check the tires as the hum was still there . He just rotated the tires and sent me on my way. This is when the steering column started shaking,so I had the dealer check it out and they told me I had a bent rim! Go figure, I’ve been driving on this thing for about 10k miles.

So, I ordered a new rim and had a local tire place put it on and they showed me the bent rim. Now I thought this would solve things but I was wrong . I still feel vibration in the steering column at high speeds and the annoying wah wah hum is still there.

I’m a little lost as to what the problem could be so I’m looking for some insight? Should I start with having the other 3 tires balanced? Could it be that the bent rim caused uneven wearing on my tires over the 10k miles and it may take time to even out? There’s no noticeable wear on the tires to my seeing but I could be wrong . These tires are 50k mile tires. Could the bent rim have caused other unseen damage? Keep in mind the wheel they replaced is now on the rear.

I know another cause of shaking could be the rotors but as far as I know they’re in good shape and breaking is still smooth . so if they were the issue causing vibration at high speeds I would surely feel it in the breaks.

Well, hopefully I was detailed enough to give a clear picture. Please let me know any questions and thanks in advance for any insight!


@CincyTom, you may have a failing wheel bearing.

It sounds like you should have all of the tires balanced again.
I’m saying this based on the vibration in the steering column at high speeds.

What kind of tires are on it?
Super aggressive tread?
Wider than stock?
Fat rims?
Some tires are just noisey.

If after having the rims rebalanced the hum is still there, I’d say the likelihood of a failed wheel bearing is fairly good.

Like alot of the post on here its hard to say for sure w/o being there to look at in person but, has any of the shops actually driven this car for themselves to verify that you and the shop are on the same page as to what the problem is? You may have a bad hub, if you hit something hard enough to bend the wheel you may have also damged the hub. And you may have gotten a bad tire or two I know they are new but I have seen it before. They may need to road force the tires. Not all shops have this equipment in fact most dont. And if someone hasnt already done it you should ask them to check the suspension and steering components ie tie rods, lower ball joints,steering rack,control arms and the like .

Thanks @db4690

these are stock rims with a set of Kelley Charger GT tires. I assumed that the dealership checked the balance on each tire to find the bent rim in the first place and just stopped there. I’ll be sure to look in to the wheel bearing.

what do you mean by bad hub? I’m not car literate so you may have to explain. thanks!

wheel bearing is what i mean when i say hub

Gotcha, thanks! I’ll definitely be getting it back in the shop for them to take a look at these issues. After 2 new rims, this is starting to become a big pain.

The rims mount to the hub.

Does that help?

Steel rims or alloy rims?

Here’s something you can do:
Drive the car on the freeway at the speed it makes noise.
Try to make some long sweeping turns at the appropriate speed.
Don’t do this if there’s too much traffic.
If the noise changes, the likelihood of a failed bearing is fairly high.

If your mechanic determines that your right front wheel bearing is bad, don’t be surprised if he also wants to replace the left front wheel bearing. It has been subjected to the same conditions. That will be your judgement call.

Steel wheels. And I’ve heard the hum change going around turns at 40mph or so, it gets seemingly louder. Haven’t been able to tell at 75 as I don’t normally have the ability to drive that fast in Cincinnati. But when I hit that speed going straight its wave like sound getting louder and softer (hence the wah wah soubd) and especially louder it seems when I hit hit 75 while slowing down. I noticed this on my way to Chicago, along with the constant shake at all speeds above 50.

Since I’m not a car guy I never know what to tell the mechanics to look at. So I appreciate the help.

@CincyTom, get those rims rebalanced

If the shaking at freeway speeds is then gone, good. You will have solved one of your problems.

After that, consider the wheel bearing(s).

The fact that the noise changes when you’re going around turns at 40mph makes me really think you’ve got a bad bearing.

You may even have a bad bearing AND rims that aren’t balanced.

Actually, this should be covered under the factory warrantee because it really sound like a bad bearing to me as well.

@CincyTom, what’s the mileage?

Does the car still have any remaining new car warranty?

Some tires are just noisy. Especially winter or snow treads.

If the vibration appeared in the front immediately after the tire rotation it’s a wheel or tire problem. It could be a bad tire if they’re all balanced and the rims are straight.

if the op hit something hard enough to bend a rim it would not fall under mfg. warranty, that falls under the accident category, not a mfg. defect

I wholeheartedly agree that the wheel bearings need to be checked.
I’d also bet that the same nasty pothole that bent your steel rim also damaged your
"ball" wheel bearings. These things don’t hold up as well as the ol’ roller bearings did.

Your frint bearings will be pressed into the hub, and while the bearings themselves are less expensive the labor is significant. Your rear bearings will be a “bearing & hub” assembly, bolt-in, but more expensive to buy. I’ve attached alink to show you.

so I had the dealer check it out and they told me I had a bent rim! Go figure, I’ve been driving on this thing for about 10k miles.

So, I ordered a new rim and had a local tire place put it on and they showed me the bent rim. Now I thought this would solve things but I was wrong . I still feel vibration in the steering column at high speeds and the annoying wah wah hum is still there.

You’re also still driving on a tire that was running on a bent rim for 10k+ miles.
Bearings probably took a beating too but don’t overlook the tire.

@db4690 - The milage is around 48,000. I think the warranty for something like a bearing ended around 36,000 which was shortly after I bought the car.

@TwinTurbo - Thanks, this was part of my original question, if the tread might be so unevenly worn that it’s causing the shake.

@the same mountainbike - Thanks for the information, it’s definitely going to be checked out.

** I did notice another possible symptom. I drove back from Chicago yesterday and noticed that the car was sort of “shifting” from left to right at highway speeds. Felt like it was the front of the car. It felt the same as when your car gets hit by a big gust of wind and shifts the car slightly, except it was going back and forth from left to right. I also hit a minor snow storm and I could physically see the car shifting back and forth, left and right, almost as if the left and right tires were playing tug-o-war (best I could describe it). Thoughts?

Hopefully I can get my car into the shop or a dealer this weekend.

Get the bearing schecked ASAP. If they’re damaged it can allow play in the hub, creating the feeling you describe.

OK, so the verdict is in. I had everything checked out (rims, bearings, etc) and those were all fine. The problem is a result of my tires feathering. They told me it could have been from the rims but most likely just the brand of tires. I’ve never had Kelley Charger GT tires before but needless to say I never will purchase them again. They said there’s no safety concerns but I need to have them religiously rotated (which I usually do about every 2 oil changes or 6k miles) and ask that the best tires be put on front.

Since I’ve only had the tires about 12k miles, it’s something I’ll have to live with for a little while. Thanks to everyone for the advice and help. Truly appreciated! Just glad it wasn’t anything major!

Nissian has a problem with Hub bearnings on different models of cars. i think that this will solve your problem