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Old 02-26-2010, 08:10 AM   #1
fleshconsumed
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Default Excessive tire noise

I've been having problems with excessive tire noise coming from the rear for some time. My local mechanic looked at it and suggested wheel balance because it looked like rear passenger tire was wearing unevenly and thought it might be the source of road noise. It looks like he was partially right. I did 4 wheel alignment, balance, and tire rotation yesterday and as I was driving home I noticed that the tire noise was still there, but now it was coming from the front, presumably because of tire rotation.


I've got two questions.

1. My current tires are pretty worn out and I was going to buy new ones before next winter season. I'm willing to to get them now if it gets rid of the tire noise which is driving me crazy. However, before I do it, is it possible that my tires are actually OK, and it's the rims that are the source of tire noise? Can rims cause tire noise if they are bent, or somehow out of shape?

2. If I get new tires, do I need to do wheel alignment/balance again? I got lifetime alignment, but I don't think the place will appreciate me coming the very next day for another wheel alignment, heh...

Last edited by fleshconsumed; 02-26-2010 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:15 AM   #2
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What kind of noise? You won't need a new alignment with new tires, and they will be balanced when they're installed.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:20 AM   #3
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To answer your questions in order:

1. No, it's not possible your rims are the source of the noise. If you have a tire worn unevenly, that's the noise. Balancing them would have never fixed it.

2. If you just had it aligned, then you don't need another one if you buy tires pretty soon. Now, if you get the tires somewhere else (besides the place that balanced/aligned it), they might require you to have it aligned to keep warranty on the tires....or maybe not. You'll probably be fine if you buy them at the same place, but this is getting into another topic here.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:50 AM   #4
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make/model of vehicle...

my car is loud atm, but i have snow tires. are the one's currently on your car all season?

are they down to the wear bars?
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:13 AM   #5
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jlee
Hard to describe. It's kind of a low frequency rumble, it resembles "singing", but much lower in frequency. It also has pulsating character to it which speeds up as I go faster. It's bad enough that I think I'm getting vibrations from it.


Pacfanweb
"Balancing would have never fixed it"
I wish I knew that before I got alignment. Hah, but if I am to get new tires and the old tires were unevenly worn out because of misalignment, I figure I'd have to do alignment after getting new tires anyway, so it's not a loss.

BTW, I called Discount Tire when I was shopping for wheel alignment, and they didn't do wheel alignments. Fancy that, a tire shop that doesn't do alignments...


j00fek
Nissan Altima 2005 2.5, all season tires. It's a 4 cylinder car, so performance summer tires would be a waste, and I live in IL, we do get snow, but not bad enough to warrant winter tires, so all seasons it is. No, tires are not down to wear bars yet, but they are in bad shape, my wheels locked up a few days ago as I was trying to break going 25 miles an hour, and there were barely 2 inches of snow on the road. Between poor traction and tire noise I'd be willing to get new tires now if it solves my noise problems.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
To answer your questions in order:

1. No, it's not possible your rims are the source of the noise. If you have a tire worn unevenly, that's the noise. Balancing them would have never fixed it.

2. If you just had it aligned, then you don't need another one if you buy tires pretty soon. Now, if you get the tires somewhere else (besides the place that balanced/aligned it), they might require you to have it aligned to keep warranty on the tires....or maybe not. You'll probably be fine if you buy them at the same place, but this is getting into another topic here.
It is absolutely possible (albeit unlikely) that a 'bad wheel' could be the source of the noise. I had a good friend with a brand new (at the time) Grand Am where they replaced almost everything in the front end before finally realizing it was some manufacturing defect with one of the wheels.

I've also read about a Z4 that had a 'bad wheel' where they replaced a steering rack before discovering it.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:48 AM   #7
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If you need tires but also get snow get these...

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....num=25WR6ECDWS

I put them on my CTS and my SiL's A4 and even with all the snow we got here in N.VA both cars did well.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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What kind of noise? You won't need a new alignment with new tires, and they will be balanced when they're installed.
Unless your car was already out of alignment.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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Unless your car was already out of alignment.
Correct. I was speaking in response to the OP specifically, and was under the impression his car had just been aligned. Perhaps I misread..?
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:37 AM   #10
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You don't need alignments that often. Once a year is plenty.

Tire noise moving to front - just suck it up and get new tires later. Tires don't behave or sound the same from new to death.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:38 AM   #11
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Consider a wheel bearing. As these go, they get loud and of course progressively louder with speed. I thought my 235/40-18 summer tires were the source of the immense road noise I was getting in my Legacy, but noticed the majority of the noise was from the rear. That was indeed the problem.

Also, have them swap the rear wheels to the front, see if the noise follows it.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:41 AM   #12
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jlee
Correct, I was not clear in my original post, I edited it just now. Yes, I did 4 wheel alignment, balance and tire rotation yesterday.

The noise from the tires did not go away as I hoped it would, but it did shift to the front. So I must logically assume there is something wrong with either the rims or the tires. Since I need new tires in 9 months anyway, I might as well get them now.


MJinZ
Yes, tires wear out and get noisy. I could live with poor traction for another 9 months since winter is almost over, but the noise is really really excessive. Plus the tires on the rear are quiet now, if it was normal noise from wear and tear, it all tires would have been equally noisy, but the tires which are now on the front are much much much noisier than the ones on the back. Like I said above, it's bad enough that I think I'm getting vibrations from it when going 35-35mph. Must be a bulge in a tire or something. I'm just bummed that the tire place where I did alignment didn't notice anything unusual. Ugh...


fbrdphreak
I did, not a chance. The noise clearly moved to the front. The rear is now dead quiet, the front is now noisy.

Last edited by fleshconsumed; 02-26-2010 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:57 AM   #13
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Make sure your Tire Pressure is right on, that can affect vibrations significantly.

Before you get new tires, swap tires to your front rims and make sure it is the tire that's bumming out and not the rims.

Otherwise, you might get new tires but need new rims and then you might need new tires for different rims.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:12 AM   #14
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Before you get new tires, swap tires to your front rims and make sure it is the tire that's bumming out and not the rims.
Tire pressure is OK. The noise problem has been there for a long time. I checked tire pressure two weeks ago, they were a little low, inflated up to 35psi, it didn't make a difference, so that's not it.

Thanks for the swapping tires between rims suggestion, didn't think of that. This will definitely determine if it's rims or the tires.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:40 PM   #15
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Correct. I was speaking in response to the OP specifically, and was under the impression his car had just been aligned. Perhaps I misread..?
Nope, you read correctly. The point is plenty of cars which receive an alignment are still off because of incompetent mechanics, it happens a lot so it's quite possible that the car was out of alignment to begin with.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:44 PM   #16
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I'm assuming that this would have been seen by SOMEONE, but have you checked the tires to see if there is a flat spot that could be causing it?
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:21 PM   #17
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No I have not checked for flat spots. But if it is a flat spot, then it is permanent, because the noise does not go away no matter how long I drive. Anyway, I've set up an appointment with local tire shop, they will check it out, if they cannot find anything wrong then I'll have them swap the tires on the rims to see if it's rims or tires.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpatiallyAware View Post
It is absolutely possible (albeit unlikely) that a 'bad wheel' could be the source of the noise. I had a good friend with a brand new (at the time) Grand Am where they replaced almost everything in the front end before finally realizing it was some manufacturing defect with one of the wheels.

I've also read about a Z4 that had a 'bad wheel' where they replaced a steering rack before discovering it.
Okay, I'll amend it to "damn near impossible", or "highly unlikely". Very much a freak occurrence that a wheel itself causes noise.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:33 PM   #19
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OK, update, went to the tire place, they checked it out. Rims seem to be fine, but both front tires (that previously were on the rear) are unevenly worn on the outside. The shop thinks the noise is entirely due to the uneven wear.

Went to price Goodyear TripleTred tires, got quoted $680ish from two shops so far. Frigging insane considering my dad got a set of 4 installed 3 years ago for $500. Suburban tires recommended nokian tire from Finland at $500 installed, said it's better than Tripletread because compound stays softer at low temperatures. Anybody heard of nokian?
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by fleshconsumed View Post
OK, update, went to the tire place, they checked it out. Rims seem to be fine, but both front tires (that previously were on the rear) are unevenly worn on the outside. The shop thinks the noise is entirely due to the uneven wear.

Went to price Goodyear TripleTred tires, got quoted $680ish from two shops so far. Frigging insane considering my dad got a set of 4 installed 3 years ago for $500. Suburban tires recommended nokian tire from Finland at $500 installed, said it's better than Tripletread because compound stays softer at low temperatures. Anybody heard of nokian?
Nokian makes the Hakkapelitta snow tire, which has been around for a long time. It's my understanding that it's an awesome snow tire. I'm not sure about the rest of their line, but they're by no means a shady/no-name brand.

Check DiscountTireDirect via eBay - Bing cashback is at 8% now and DTD has free shipping.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:15 PM   #21
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Thanks for the suggestion, I checked their ebay store out, they got good prices, but they don't have tripletred my size in stock. Ughhhh, so frustrating, looks like I'm going to have to spend my entire Saturday morning calling local shops.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:22 AM   #22
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A specific alignment parameter out of spec causes specific wear pattern like wear on one edge (camber), feathering (toe), etc.

Barring specific incidents like potholes, leaving the car sitting for extended time, or locking up the brakes, uneven wear or random cupping can only be caused by minute play in the suspension system that is unable to keep the tire perfectly aligned at all times.

Strut and strut mount, ball joints, tie rod ends, wheel bearings.

Most alignment shops only set static alignment and have no way to test dynamic conditions.

Best thing you can do for now is get new tires (which it sounds like you need already anyway) and keep an eye on the wear on the rear wheel where the problem originated and catch the cause.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:40 AM   #23
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Go to TireRack.com, pick out your tires, and go to the shopping cart. If the price of the tires + shipping is less than your local stores, then call them and see if they will price match TireRack's cost + shipping. I know National Tire & Battery always did this to me. If they won't, then you know having TireRack ship to an authorized installer and you just showing up for the appointment is the best way to go.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:44 AM   #24
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Unhappy road noise

Have you considered Road Noise.
Most roads now are made of half inch stone they used be mostly quarter down The smaller stone makes a much quieter ride: when the concrete motorways
opened noise was worse
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:41 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Have you considered Road Noise.
Most roads now are made of half inch stone they used be mostly quarter down The smaller stone makes a much quieter ride: when the concrete motorways
opened noise was worse
Tire tread style has much more impact
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