Weaving on metal grate/drawbridge... tires?

Hi, everyone,

I was in an accident recently and the repair shop put on four new tires. Now, when I drive across metal drawbridges (those with a grated surfaces), I find that the car swerves around … the back end kicks out and the front drifts around. Prior to the new tires I experienced a similar sensation, but it was much less pronounced… it’s sort of a white-knuckle situation! On other surfaces it drives like a charm: straight and sure. On metal grate bridges it’s scary. Is it my tires or could it be a side-effect of the accident that was unaddressed? (VW Jetta tdi 2001)

I would guess that it’s either the tires or an alignment issue. Also, check you tire pressure just to make sure.

You think that’s scary, try it on a motorcycle at high speed (images of chess graters come to mind).

There is one hope for an easy fix and I agree that the tire pressure is the first step. Changing the loading of the trunk too. No real idea here.

Same thing happens to me with my 02 Accent. I think the problem is the tires are so narrow, it’s easy for them to bounce around to different grooves. I live it with it, curse a bit, but what the f***? I’d say for you it’s probably a combination of tire pressure, alignment, and the fact you’re paying more attention to it now.

I guess I am less optimistic than the prior responders. While checking the tyre pressure is a good idea and may reduce the effect, I suspect it is a matter of tyre and tread design. Not much you can do about it.

BTW I agree with Craig’s comment about driving a motorcycle over one of those, especially the first time. Carry a spare underwear.

That would happen to me too on such surfaces when driving a compact. Especially on NYC’s Queensboro Bridge. All the way across. Maybe it happens to most small cars.

I never made any mechanical repairs, merely drove with more attention when I knew it was coming. Slow down, allow more space fore and aft, stay in the middle, grip the wheel tighter, and so on. Not a solution, I know, but there’s only so much you want to do for such a rare but predictable situation.

When I put a set of Winterforce snow tires on my 6000 wagon, I noticed it would do the same thing on grooved pavement. Thankfully there is not much grooved pavement around here.

As far as driving on metal grating, I think most people have the same issue. At least I hear about it a lot from people who drive over the Mackinac bridge, for about 1 1/2 miles the 2 inner lanes are grating.