I think that was me.
Yup. Credit where it’s due!!
First of all, thanks to everyone who posted. This generated alot more attention than I expected. This site is great and I really appreciate everyone’s feedback.
Since my original post, I have taken the car to a Discount Tire shop and to my normal mechanic. Neither one could find any issue, but neither one would drive the car out to a problematic road. I understand this, since my mechanic is now constantly booked for about 3 weeks out. So he has better things to do and easier ways to make money than chasing down troublesome problems.
After searching around online some more, I am fairly sure my issue is what is known as “groove wandering”. There are quite a few posts about it on this site even. Indeed I have noticed this issue only occurs on stretches of concrete road that have grooves cut into them. It seems like the solution for most people is to get different tires.
Bridgestone does have a 90 day “buy and try” period where they claim the tires can be returned for any reason if not satisfied. I have about 10 days left until this is expired. I feel like the tire shop definitely won’t be happy if I try to return them. Does it seem like a good idea to try to get different tires, or am I way off base here?
I would live with it and call it day. We had a 2014 optima on lease, certain roads sounded so bad, live with it and save the dinero, my thought.
Thanks for the update.
It was buried in your first post and a little hard to pull out due to the words used, but knowing the answer now helps see it. I stand corrected. It was a tire issue:
For those who don’t know: Groove Wander is where the ribs on a tire line up with the grooves on the road, and it causes a very weird and unnerving feeling. This is not a safety issue - more of an annoyance. The solution is to change to a different tire (meaning make/model) .
And here’s the lesson from this.
Because pavement grooving is not standardized, it’s hard for tire manufacturers to make sure the EVERY tire they make doesn’t do this - and since tread patterns are a function of the tire size, there are lots of opportunities to mess this up.
Good tire manufacturers have a list of the problem spacing widths and make sure anything they produced doesn’t have them line up. Tires from small, unknown tire manufacturers are much more likely not to have this list. The company I worked for would send a team out when we identified a potentially new groove pattern, and measure and ride, then catalogue it.
Your situation seems to be covered by that warranty. You and the dealer and the tire maker all benefit when this problem is solved to your satisfaction. Write a letter from a satisfied customer - that might assuage your discomfort about it.
My 1999 Honda had what I now know was groove wander on its OEM tires. A stretch of highway 29 in WI was where I remember it happening. Little or no groove wander on its subsequent tires.
Wandering can sometimes be eliminated or at least mitigated by increasing the alignment’s toe-in spec slightly, but still staying with the manufacturer’s acceptable range. Some tire treads tend to do this a little more than others.