Tires repeatedly out of round

I have a 2006 Honda Pilot with 240,000 miles. Beginning when it was about two years old I began to have trouble with tires repeatedly going out-of-round. When I have new tires installed I have a nice, smooth ride for a couple of thousand miles. Then the vibration begins and continues to get worse until the next new set of tires. Early on I thought there might be a tiny imbalance in a brake rotor but at the major 120,000 miles service (that damn timing belt) I replaced the pads and rotors and the front struts and rear shocks. I have the tires balanced and rotated on schedule and the dealer did a 4-wheel alignment. Nothing has made a difference. New tires are fine for a couple of months and then the vibration begins anew. Neither the Honda dealer or the tire shop have any idea what is causing this.

You seem to have done most of what has been the obvious solutions, time to get some better tires? what brand and model are you buying?

All 4 are having this problem? I’m guessing a rim is the real culprit, since you already replaced all the usual suspects.

What’s happening is that the tires are wearing a pattern into them that is causing a vibration. This is usually caused by excessive toe-in. If it is happening in a couple thousand miles, that means things are bad.

Since an alignment didn’t reveal anything (I am assuming that the “before” was OK!), then my best guess is something is worn or broken - suspension bushing, ball joints, tie rod ends. Those should have been checked during the alignment, but it’s possible they were over looked.

And lastly, the alignment specs for a Honda Pilot aren’t the best. Too much camber and the tolerance for toe is too wide. If you get another alignment, have the tech dial out as much camber as possible, and set the toe in the exact middle. Your tires will thank you.


I took a close look at the 05, 06, and also 07 Pilot on CarComplaints. No trend there. However, I did find this post you may find helpful. Tell us if this sounds like your issue: “While driving on the road at speeds between 35-40 miles per hour the car begins to shudder intermittently. Also when driving at speeds of 75 to 80 miles per hour the same shudding occurs. I first thought maybe it was the tires, but I purchased the vehicle with 85000miles on it with brand new tires. After several occurrences, I took it back to the dealer for service. The service dept informed that it was the torque converter needed to be replaced and my 30 warranty had expired. After researching this I found out this problem exist with many Pilot owners but no recall was done.” End of quote. The owner that reported this had a 2005, which I think was the same generation as your 06.
Sorry you have been suffering through this now for over 10 years. Let us know if you find a definite fix.

You have been driving with excessive vibration for 200,000 miles? That would destroy most cars, as well as most drivers.

Or are you changing tires every few months? that seems excessive also. Are you always buying the same brand and model?

I would have junked the car long ago. I’d get the front end checked thoroughly by several shops.

20k/yr. vibration started at 40k or so at 2 yrs? new tires fixes it for a few thousand miles and than vibration returns. i would have tried a different set of rims as one potential fix. not sure if dealer would have went with new torque conv fix at 50k miles?

I had that problem a number of years ago with a Korean brand called Marshall. Ended up throwing them all away because these tires suffered from varying rubber density or hardness and got more imbalanced as they wore out.

Replacing them with Michelins solved the problem.

That is what I went through with the OEM Continental tires on my 2011 Outback. Road Force Balancing would resolve the problem about 98%, but only for ~4-5k miles, and then the high speed vibration would return–really badly. Another Road Force Balancing, and things would be okay for another few thousand miles.
Lather, rinse, repeat, ad infinitum, ad nauseam…

I finally decided to stop jerking around with those crappy Continentals, and replaced them with Michelin Defenders. The result was a total absence of high-speed vibration, and no need to keep re-balancing them.

Sometimes, it’s just an indication of crappy tires…

  • A failing shock absorber (strut in your case probably) can cause a wear pattern to develop in a tire and eventually this.

  • Likewise alignment problems.

  • The balance weights on the wheels can fall off really easily. An unbalanced wheel will of course vibrate. I find weights all the time during walks. I have 1 1/2 coffee cans full of wheel weights at this point. Hundreds of them. It’s actually surprising more people don’t have this complaint given all the wheel weights I find on the side of the road. Take a look yourself at a major intersection when you are walking, I’ll bet you find some wheel weights laying in the gutter. Suggest that next time you have the wheels/tires balanced, mark where all the weights are located. Then if a vibration starts, remove the wheel and check to see if one or more of the weights has fallen off. This might be just the reason you need to buy that Harbor Freight wheel balancer gadget you always wanted :wink: