Tire issue?

I purchased some new tires for my 2006 honda civic lx at 48k. I took the car back for oil changes and tire rotation every 5-6K. At 17K, after a tire rotation, the tires sounded extremely noisy (sounding like more from the left rear) I took the car back to the dealer, they took it out for a spin, put it on the rack and told me the tires were “choppy”. You could feel the unevenness in the tread. They told me they wanted to check the alignment since it had (at that time) 18K miles since the install. It was out slightly so they adjusted. The noise seemed worse, so I took it back after about 800 miles and complained that the noise was worse. I spend a lot of time on the interstate (~110 miles a day) and couldn’t get the radio loud enough to cover the drone. They were kind enough to contact the tire manufacturer (yokohama) since I had 18K on 65K rated tires, rotated tires, had proper inflation, etc. and got me a warranty replacement on the tires. The problem is, in driving the car with new tires, I still get a LOT of road noise. I’m wondering if something else is going on, if I’ve lost my mind or what? The sound varies at different speeds, kicks in at ~30mph and gets louder/higher at faster speeds. Sounds seem to be at the back end. I was wondering about resonance being enhanced by the trunk.

Any help/tips/suggestions would be appreciated! How should I proceed with the tire dealer? They’ve been helpful and I don’t want to tick them off, but the noise is aggravating.

Well Honda’s- especially Civics, are well known for their road noise. Honda does many things well but road noise is not one of them. Now I usually don’t notice it at all because I have the radio on, but if you like to drive in silence you’ll probably notice it.

All that said, different brands and models of tires have different amounts of road noise. Usually when a tread looks knobby or aggressive (does well in snow) it usually is significantly more noisy than a touring tire which has smooth looking tread (not so great in snow). If you want to tell us which specific Yokohama tire is on your car I can tell you if it has a repuattion for noise or not.

Hondas (I’m a Honda owner) are notorious for road/tire noise. I’ve taken to using earplugs when driving on the Interstate at speed. Having said that, I’m also aware that tire brand and type has a significant impact on noise level.

You bought Yokohama tires, but you didn’t say which type. There are MANY types of Yokohama tires. Some are noisier than others. This is true of all tire brands.

If the alignment on your Civic was off, it would exacerbate the noise problem with ANY tire, since it would cause the tires to wear prematurely. 18K miles with incorrect alignment is enough to ruin any tire. You didn’t specify, but I don’t see anything that indicates you had a wheel alignment done when you purchased the new tires.

If I’m wrong, please correct me.

If you had new tires installed without an alignment, you have nothing to complain about 18,000 miles later.

Sorry, but that’s the truth.

You may need to change tire brand or at least tire model. Some tires can be very loud.

Just to be safe, have your wheel bearings checked. Bad wheel bearings can sound just like tire noise. I found out the hard way with my 2000 Blazer. The front wheel bearings went bad after I had 4 tires replaced. For a long time I thought it was the new tires.

Ed B.

I could be mistaken, but wearing earplugs while driving is illegal in some states. NY has a law that makes it illegal to wear headphones or earphones in/on both ears but one is allowed, and I think it extends to earplugs. Ohio, Massachusetts, Florida, and California are some of the states that I’m pretty certain ban earplugs in one or both ears. Others can chime in if they know for sure.

Now, I wear earplugs myself for sleeping, concerts, and airplanes. I know that you can clearly hear higher-frequency sounds, like sirens and horns. I don’t really find it unsafe…certainly not more so than people talking on their cell phone or eating while driving. You’re probably not very likely to be ticketed for this if it is illegal, unless you cause an accident. I just don’t want to advocate something that could be illegal without a warning.

these are Yokohama AS340 tires. I did have alignment done at the time I purchased the car. The suggestion to check wheel bearings is a good one, but aren’t they sealed, I mean the days of packing wheel bearings is over isn’t it? The car’s got ~68k on it would they go bad that quickly?

(I’ve not had too many problems with hondas in the past. (I had a 1992 honda civic dx that I put 330,000 miles before I blew the head gasket. Just changed the oil, timing belt, water pump, tires at the recommended intervals and it kept going.)

I’ve taken to using earplugs when driving on the Interstate at speed.

Any earplugs or headphones are illegal in every state I know of.

Bluefriend, I’m assuming you mean the AS430 tire from Yokohama not the 340. The tires you have on the car are high performance all-season tires with an agressive tread. I would expect them to be noisy.

I would suggest switching to a Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tire which will give you smooth quiet ride, as well as good performance in all conditions. It also has a long tread life and has been ranked above all tires in its category by Consumer Reports in testing. My GF currently has 15K miles on a set on her BMW and is very pleased with them.

It has been my experience that some big chain tire shops that do alignments may have nice fancy alignment machines that do a excellent job of reading alignments. These machines will guide the technician as to what suspension piece to adjusted, and the order at which it should be done. The big problem comes down when the camber is out of spec, and needs adjustment. Most of the time the tech will ignore camber, and only set toe, because adjusting camber usually takes a camber kit, that may requires removing suspension bits. Adjusting camber can be trial, and err thing to get it right. So a lot of times the tech will say as long as toe is set properly it should be ok. Which is BS. So my question is did you get a alignment print out of before, and after, along with the factory specified range. I am curious as to what the actual readings were specifically rear camber.

Really? Are you sure it’s illegal, or is this another urban myth.

Have you noticed all the iPod users with their ear buds in place while they are driving. I’m not listening to music, just lowering the noise level. Try it. You’ll be AMAZED at how loud it is inside your car at highway speed when you remove the earplugs and really hear the din.

I don’t own a cell phone, and I concentrate on driving when I’m in my car. A quieter interior makes it EASIER to concentrate on what’s going on around me, and lowers my fatigue level. If that’s illegal, then so be it.

Really? Are you sure it’s illegal, or is this another urban myth.


The law may vary where you live.

you’re right. guess my dyslexia kicked in while typing. sorry. The tires DO have an aggressive tread. I wonder if other folks have complained about the noise or if they don’t care. It is pretty aggravating. I’d really like a set of tires that are fairly quiet. Thanks for the tip on the Michelins.

Most major publications and reviewers usually bring up the issue with Hondas, but a lot of younger folks buy these cars and could care less. It’s hard to hear road noise when your stereo is turned up haha. Don’t feel bad though, BMW 3 series are similar and no one complains about them too much either :wink: