Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Wiggly Ride

I recently got 4 new snow tires for my 2008 Honda Fit. After installing them I noticed my steering to be much more sensitive (my tires were much more grippy). Now that I’ve had them on for a month I’ve gotten used to the feel. However, on a recent road trip, in relatively clear, slightly wet conditions the car began to wobble quite a bit. I was going around 75 so I tried slowing down thinking maybe it was the alignment, still no change at 45. I stopped to make sure I didn’t have a flat, pressure was fine. About 5 miles later the wobble stopped. I was thinking maybe it was from the grooves in the road since the feeling was akin to going over a steel grate bridge. Or possibly even from my 6’+ passenger affecting the balance of the car… but I didn’t kick him out and it resolved on its own. Any ideas?

If it came and went it could well be the pavement. Are the snow tires the same size as the other tires? They will have tread that is much less stiff than summer tires, especially if the summer tires have some miles on them.

The car came with 195/55 R15 all weather tires that are pretty much bald at this point. I swapped them in December for 175/65 R14 snow tires. I’ve made this road trip before in these tires and not notices such extreme wobbling. Could it have been exaggerated by the weight of my XL passenger?

I doubt the passenger made much difference, but the tires certainly did. They are higher profile and have tall, unsupported tread blocks compared to the almost bald tire you replaced, so they will ‘wiggle’ a lot more than the prior tires.

Do you have a base Fit or Sport? While the base model came with 14", 15", or 16" rims, the Sport only came with 15" or 16" rims.Since your Fit came with 15" rims from the factory, why did you install 14" rims? I’m concerned that 14" rims may not be appropriate for your car, even though some 2008 Fits had them.

Lastly, you snow ties are 1" shorter than your other tires. That will change the ride, as will the relatively taller side wall and narrower foot print. I’d avoid fast driving until you get a new set of summer tires on the old rims and installed on your car.

Things to check:

Wheel balance – a balance weight may have fallen off
Control arm bushings
tie rod ends
brake rotors