Tire Troubles

I bought a new front left tire to replace an unpatchable flat I got a few months ago. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a slightly bumpy feeling in the front of my car, especially as I accelerate at low speeds. It eventually becomes unnoticeable at higher speeds, but at the low speeds you can feel the bumpiness and you can also sort of hear the wheels turning over. It’s not a squeaking noise, it’s more like a really dull whirring. Should I have bought two new front tires at the same time and put them on the rear? Is it too late to fix this now, and am I stuck buying two new tires to fix the problem, or can I just go get the tires balanced/rotated or the alignment fixed or something?

It would be a huge help if we knew what year and kind of vehicle you have, the mileage, and why the unfixable flat happened. Some vehicles are sensitive to different tires, some are not. And having had to replace the tire because you got a screw in the sidewall is not the same as having had to replace it because you blew it by banging it against a granite curb.

We need more to work with here.

1999 Toyota Corolla, 135K miles, and I picked up a nail on the way to work. It caused a slow leak, so I didn’t notice until another Good Samaritan commuter rolled his window down and told me it was gonna be near the rim in another mile or two. The new tire I had put on was the same type as the ones that were already on there. It never ran badly with those tires before, so I don’t think it was the type of tire that caused a problem.

I believe the tire industry has agreed that new tires should now go on the rear, under nearly all circumstances, and that is what I would have done. Now, I would get the tires rotated and balanced, to see if that changes/solves the issue, especially if the other three have not been balanced or rotated lately.

There is also a chance that a suspension or strut issue has developed in the past few weeks, but I would do the rotation first, and then re-assess the situation.

In that case you may have a defective tire. Go back to the shop and ask if they can double check it. Also ask if they have a “road force balancing” machine. That simulates road forces as the tire spins and can detect internal defects that a regular machine cannot.

Note: if they tell you you have a bent rim, make them show you. If they give you any balogna about doing so, you’ll need to go elsewhere. “You have a bent rim” is the universal phrase used by tire shops to keep from having to replace a defective tire. I’ve been through this whole excuse more than once over the years and a real bent rim can be shown to you. Honest shops won’t do this to you, but there are too many out there that will.

Since there is a gap between the tire purchase and the noise first appearing, I’m guessing it’s something mechanical - CV joints?

Yes I agree also that the tire industry has agreed. Sorry to be old school about this, as there are different ideas. My ideas come from a penny pinching shop teacher I had.

Tires wear faster on the front than the back

When you rotate tires you even out the wear to 4 tires and reduce total miles driven as I will explain.
If you can get an extra 20k out of the rears by not rotating, and if you have to pay for rotation where is the savings?

My personal example, less the warped rotors (from a tire rotation I believe at 16k)
50k replace front tires get alignment
70k back tires bad new front tires , front tires to back
OK do you like an extra 20 k plus reduced risk of warped rotors?

Okay, so now I’m also hearing a squeaking noise from that same tire, both when I’m driving straight and when I’m turning. It squeaks about every time the wheel turns over, so the frequency of the squeaks increases with the speed of the car. Thoughts?

Time to have the brakes, bearings and tires checked, throw in an alignment for good measure.