Steering Wheel Shimmy/Vibration

Hello Gents,

I just picked up my 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis from a Mercury dealer which performed the following:

-mounted a set of 4 new tires and wheels

which I bought premounted and balanced from an online tire store.

-they also did a wheel alignment.

As soon as I drove out of the dealer’s lot,

starting at about 50 mph, the steering wheel had a shimmy and the front end of the car was vibrating, enough so that my 16 year old daughter noticed it as well.

Even with my old worn out tires I did not

have this problem before the new tires and wheels were installed.

By the way, this car has about 48,000 miles on it.

So, I took the car back to the dealer, and the service department is closed till Monday.

What items would you suggest that I tell the dealership to check.

Thank you in advance for your kind reply.


Jim Carpenter

Morris Plains, NJ

Dont expect it to be done for free,your tires need to be balanced/re-balanced.This is the kind of trouble that comes with bringing your own parts and having them installed,now if the dealer had done the balance they would be doing it over for free.You use a dealership for mounting a set of tires and a alignment?True there could be some other issue causing a shimmy,but first is re-check the balance.If I was the Advisor I would have warned you of the possibility that your “pre-balanced” tires could become a issue.Probably would not have wrote the order,but that’s just me.

Not likely faulty alignment. That most likely would cause car to “pull” right or left, not shimmy/vibrate.
Most likely a faulty balance, defective rim or tire.
Were these things just shipped loose? Could a wheel weight have been knocked off somewhere along the way? I agree, have the balance redone and while they are doing that they can check tires and rims for being straight and round and running “true,” by observing them on the wheel balancer. You will have to pay for the balance. Keep the receipt. If this fixes everything then I don’t know if you’ll have any recourse with the on-line store for reimbursement. It never hurts to ask and they need to know.

[b] What items would you suggest that I tell the dealership to check.  [/b] 

I would have them check "starting at about 50 mph, the steering wheel had a shimmy and the front end of the car was vibrating"  Don't try to guess what is causing the vibration and then tell the mechanic how to do his job.  Tell him, as best you can, what your have observed.  

If it were me, I would rotate the tyres (I do that myself) and see if there is any change.  That would tell me a lot and maybe I could avoid taking it in or at least be able to tell them that the problem changes (or does not change) with the rotation. 

Edited:  [b] the dealership  [/b] Why would you be going to the dealership?  A tyre shop would have been and will almost certainly be cheaper and likely to be faster and may even be better.  Dealers are no better (or worse) than other shops, but they almost always cost more except for items covered under a new car warranty.