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Tire Vibration

I have a 2008 BMW 535 AWD with 29k miles. Over the course of six months, I got 2 flats, one on the right front and then the right back. So after the second flat, I decided to get four new tires from a different tire maker than the OEM Goodyears which seemed to be weak construction and were terrible in the snow. But when I got the four new tires which were Continentals, the car started to vibrate at highway speeds, especially around 65 mph. The tire shop rebalanced and rotated the tires and told me that the back right wheel was slightly bent. So I got a new wheel from the dealer. The tire store was kind enough to put a brand new tire on the new wheel. The vibration persisted. So based on some online research, I had the dealer do an alignment and road force balance all four tires. As you might have guessed it, the vibration persisted. Based on some additional research, I got the tire store to replace the tires with Michelin tires which appeared to solve similar tire vibration problems for many. The vibration has subsided somewhat, but it is definitely still there. I can definitely live with it. However, what concerns me is that the tire store mechanic told me that two more wheels are slightly bent and that I would continue to feel vibrations until I replaced those. So my question is “would the slightly bent wheels cause my brand new tires to go out-of-round as they wear which would then make the vibration worse or would the vibration eventually smooth out?” Apologies for the long narration.

If you have bent wheels that are bent badly enough to cause a vibration, continuing driving will not make it any better and will probably make it worse, as well as causing premature wear and failure of other parts of the car. If the vibration was not present before you got new tires, the tire shop is probably doing something wrong, especially since two different sets of tires, road force balancing, etc. have not been able to resolve the problem. It’s probably a good idea to get a second opinion before replacing any more rims, though.

I bought a set of four new Continentals once and put them on a small pickup that had, for well over a hundred thousand miles, always rode smoothly. It then vibrated at highway speeds. The tire store blamed the rims, the weather, knats, and everything else. After much fighting, I finally got them to replace the two worst with BF Goodys. The ride became acceptable, but not as smooth as it used to be . Eventaully I replaced the other two with more BF Goodys. The vehicle then ran smooth as silk again…until it got totalled at 338,000 miles.

In short, my admittedly-limited experience with Contnientals is that they simply don’t ride smoothly. On a vehicle with a soft suspension they’re probably okay, but on a vehicle with a firm suspension they’re junk. Every once in a while someone posts here about new tires vibrating and I always ask what kind they are. Usually, they’re Continentals.

I’m sorry to say it, but I’d bet lunch that if you were to replace these with decent tires the ride would smooth right out.