I RECENTLY ACQUIRED A 2003 300L THAT HAS ALOT OF TIRE VIBRATION.DEALER SAID THE TIRES WERE CUPPED FROM BAD ALIGNMENT AND A KIT WAS NEEDED FOR THE CORRECTION, COST 105.00 PLUS ALIGNMENT FEE.HAS ANYONE ELSE BEEN SOAKED FOR THIS? THEY SAID A REGULAR ALIGNMENT WOULD NOT FIX MY PROBLEM WITHOUT THE UPGRADE KIT. IT SEEMS TO ME SATURN SHOULD OFFER THE KIT TO ALL OWNERS IF THEIR CARS CAN’T BE ALIGNED WITHOUT IT.MY CAR ONLY HAS 22000 MILES ON IT.
I don’t know Saturn’s that well, but the kit required to get your vehicle back into spec is probably legitimate. Several other brands of cars require these type kits to get the alignment done correctly. If your tires were cupped, I am less sure that the alignment done will solve all the problem, but make sure you rotate your tires every 6K miles or so. Cupped tires certainly accounts for at least part of the tire vibration.
From a Moog suspension specialist: Cupping can be caused by an unbalanced tire condition, faulty wheel bearings, loose parts, fatigued springs or weak shock absorbers. Check the condition of the shock by forcefully bouncing the front end of the car several times and releasing it on the down stroke. Failure of the vehicle to settle after two strokes suggests worn shocks or struts.
While I wouldn’t expect strut issues at 22K miles, you may not be out of the woods yet. Make sure these tires are properly balanced and rotated at about 6K miles and go from there. I assume the dealer included balancing as part of the repair.
I would start with an alignment shop and see what they say. Don’t tell them anything about the dealer, just tell them about the vibration. Let’s see what they say. I suspect that you are going to need an alignment at least. You may not get rid of the vibration as long as you have those tyres. Ask at the Alignment shop. I would recommend a local rather than a national chain.
Sometimes its just the tire, there are cases when a particular tire (brand/model) just won’t work on a particular car. We had a 93 Civic once that would cup the front wheels of a certain Goodyear model tire, can’t remember the model but it was the original tire. The dealer tried several time with alignments (and new tires under warrantee) but I eventually switched to a different tire and the problem went away. It was either the different tire model or that I had the alignment done at the tire store that time.