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Wobbly feel to new left front tire

For about the past 6 weeks, my car has had a noticeably wobbly feel when I drive it. It seems to vary a little from day to day, sometimes getting worse, and sometimes getting better.

It definitely feels like the front driver side tire is very low on air, almost like it’s flat. Both front tires have a noticeable sag, unlike the rear tires, though whenever I test the tires, they appear to be a few pounds over-inflated. I have tested the air pressure both after driving for about 30 minutes, and after the car has been sitting for a couple of hours at about 8:30 pm.

I recently got 2 flat tires on the same day, which may have been caused by a pothole. I bought 2 new tires at Sears to replace them. Sears installed the tires for me.

I went back to Sears to get the tires and my alignment checked, and they could find nothing wrong. A couple of weeks later, I went to a small independent tire garage, who drove my car briefly around some slow suburban streets and told me that this is normal for a car that is 7 1/2 years old. They said that getting new struts would give me a smoother ride, but the way it is now does no harm.

Today, 3 weeks after that 2nd opinion, it got noticeably worse. Any ideas why, if this is a safety and/or fuel consumption problem, and what I can do to fix it on a very limited budget?

Could this be vandalism? I have a moderate case of Tourette Syndrome, and it’s possible that some people where I go for coffee don’t know what it is and think it’s directed at them. (It’s all just facial gestures, no swearing.)

I did not see any mention of a wheel balance check. I don’t think your syndrome and car troubles are related. Wheel balance should be in the mix and miles and car could be helpful too!

I was working at a Sears store part time (not in the auto dept) and used Sears to replace a tire that got a nail in the sidewall. The first time I drove the car I could tell the balance was off. Took it back and they rebalanced it and still it was no good. They told me my aftermarket alloy wheel was bad so I got a new wheel which they put the tire on, balanced it and still got a vibration. Finally they decided the tire was bad and put on another new tire on the new wheel, better but still a small vibration. I figured that was the best they could do. I had to ask for my old wheel back by the way.

The next oil change I went to a Honda dealer and they rotated the tires and balanced the fronts. Since the tire and wheel from Sears was on the back, they rotated it to the front and balanced it. Smooth as silk. Moral of story Sears techs are lousy and they couldn’t do a decent job balancing a tire.

I don’t work a Sears anymore, but if I did the employee discount isn’t worth anything since I’d never have Sears do ANYTHING on any of my cars ever again!!!

Take you car to someone else and have the balance and alignment checked. Sears dosen’t have people who know squat about what they are doing.

Just for your own peace of mind, please do the following things:

Check the lug nuts on all of your wheels to be sure that none are loose.

When the tires are “cold”–i.e., have sat for at least 3 hours–check the pressure in all 4 tires and compare your findings to the label on the driver’s door jamb.
When you say that your tires “appear to be a few lbs overinflated”, does this refer to all 4 tires, or just 2 of them, and how many lbs is “a few”?

Compare the size of the new tires with that of the old tires. Tire dealers (Sears included) have been known to sell people tires that are not actually the correct size.

Your car probably calls for P175/65-14 tires, or it might have come equipped with P185/65-14 tires. If the tires on the front are–lets say–“80 series” tires, and the tires on the rear are “65 series” tires (or the reverse of what I stated), the handling of the car will definitely feel different than previously, and would probably feel unstable or “squirrely”.

Please come back to this thread and post the exact tire size numbers from both the old tires and the 2 new tires. Check each tire individually for the size because…you never know what might have been installed by mistake on one wheel or on both wheels.

You might want to bookmark this thread, as some people find it difficult to find the same thread after a few hours have passed.

If you post the tire sizes for us, that will either confirm or deny my theory. I have no problem being wrong, and I hope that I am wrong, but I would like to stress that, if my theory is correct, you will need to have the new tires replaced (free, by Sears) with tires of the correct size.

If everything checks out correctly, size-wise with the tires, then my next suspect would be suspension damage from hitting those potholes. And, this IS a safety factor.

Let’s find out if it is the tyre or something else.

Have that left front tyre moved to the back.

If nothing changes, it is not the tyre. If it does change it is likely the tyre.