One thing I look forward to as a car user is getting new tires. I usually envisage renewed high performance, which I often get.
However, the last time I changed my tires, my excitement was reduced to ground zero when the new tires started shaking. That begs the question: Why does my car shake after installing new tires?
According to my research, the primary reason a car shakes after getting new tires is due to unbalanced wheels.
If the tires aren’t properly balanced, they can cause vibrations that manifest as shaking in the vehicle.
In some cases, the vibrations might also be caused by other factors, such as tire wire showing through the rubber. This can result in an uneven surface on the tire, leading to noticeable shaking when driving.
Another factor is the tire bead not being seated correctly on the rim, and I’ll explain how each of these affects the new tires.
In this blog post, I’ll cover how to recognize when the vibration is tire-related and why new tires shake after installation.
Furthermore, I’ll explain how to fix the issues and answer other questions.
How to Recognize Tire-Related Vibrations vs. Other Issues
Recognizing tire-related vibrations instead of other vehicular issues is essential for accurate troubleshooting. Here’s how to differentiate between them:
1. Frequency and Speed Dependency
Tire-related vibrations often become more pronounced as the vehicle’s speed increases.
If you notice the shaking intensifying around a specific speed range (like 50 to 70 mph) and then perhaps diminishing after surpassing that range, it’s likely related to the tires.
2. Location of Vibration
Feel where the vibration is coming from. If it’s primarily through the steering wheel, it often points to the front tires.
If the vibration is felt more in the seat or body of the car, it might be the rear tires. On the other hand, vibrations from the engine or drivetrain will typically be felt more consistently throughout the vehicle.
3. Steering Behavior
If the shaking or wobbling only occurs during specific actions, such as turning or braking, it might not be solely tire-related.
For instance, vibrations during braking might indicate warped brake rotors rather than tire issues.
4. Visual Inspection
Sometimes, the issue is visible. Check your tires for uneven wear patterns, like scalloping or cupping. Such wear can indicate balancing or alignment issues. In contrast, non-tire-related problems might not present any visible tire wear.
5. Sound Indicators
Tires that are out of balance or alignment might not always produce unique sounds but damaged wheel bearings or bad CV joints, which are not directly tire-related, often no a distinct noise.
6. Recent Changes or Events
Think back to any recent events. Did the vibrations start after a new tire installation, or perhaps after hitting a severe pothole?
Such events can provide clues. Tire-related issues might emerge after such incidents, while other mechanical problems might arise without any specific triggering event.
Possible Causes of Car Shaking After New Tire Installation
Here is why your new tires shakes;
1. Tire Balancing Issues
Unbalanced wheels or improperly placed tires are the major reason a car shakes after getting new tires. If your tires aren’t balanced correctly, they won’t rotate evenly.
This can lead to vibrations that you’ll feel primarily through the steering wheel or the car’s floor. Proper balancing ensures that the weight of the tire is evenly distributed around the wheel, promoting smooth driving.
2. Damaged or Defective Tires
Even if they’re brand new, tires can sometimes have manufacturing defects or sustain damage during transport or installation. If you notice your car vibrating shortly after installing new tires, it’s worth checking for any visible defects or damages.
New tires might accentuate existing alignment problems that you weren’t aware of. If your wheels are misaligned, they aren’t pointing in the exact right direction, which can cause uneven tire wear and vibrations.
If you notice your car pulling to one side or the other, this could be a sign of misalignment.
4. Tire Bead Not Seated Properly
The bead of the tire needs to sit snugly against the rim. If it doesn’t, you might experience shaking.
Ensuring the bead is properly seated is crucial to maintaining a stable connection between the tire and the rim.
5. Mismatched Tires
If you’ve mixed and matched tires – say, different brands or types – they might have slightly different sizes, tread patterns, or wear levels.
This can lead to an uneven ride, causing your car to shake. It’s always best to ensure you have a consistent set of tires on your vehicle.
6. Faulty Wheel Bearings or Suspension Components
While it might seem directly related to the new tires, sometimes a tire change can highlight issues with your wheel bearings or suspension components.
If these parts are worn out or damaged, they can cause vibrations. If you’ve ruled out other causes, it might be worth having a mechanic inspect these parts of your vehicle.
What Should I Do If a Car Starts Shaking After Installing New Tires?
To troubleshoot shaking new tires, do the following;
1. Inspect and Replace Defective Tires
Visually check the tires for manufacturing defects or damages like bulges, irregular wear patterns, or sidewall cuts.
If identified, these tires should be replaced. Make sure to purchase tires from reputable dealers and ensure they come with warranties against manufacturing defects.
2. Maintain Consistent Tire Sets
Ensure that all tires on your vehicle are of the same brand type, and have similar wear levels.
When replacing tires, consider replacing them in pairs or sets, and always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications regarding tire size and type.
3. Inspect Wheel Bearings and Suspension Components
If you suspect an issue beyond the tires, get a mechanic to inspect the wheel bearings and suspension parts.
These components can cause vibrations if they’re worn or damaged. Regularly check your vehicle’s suspension and wheel bearings as part of routine maintenance.
4. Avoid Mismatched Tires
To prevent shaking, avoid using mismatched tires. When tires of varying brands, sizes, tread patterns, or wear levels are used on the same vehicle, they can have different rolling resistances, traction, and handling characteristics.
Therefore, consistency in tire specifications ensures that all tires rotate at the same rate, bear weight evenly, and provide uniform traction.
This prevents imbalances and the associated shaking often experienced when tires are mismatched.
5. Ensure Proper Bead Seating
If the bead isn’t seated correctly, the tire needs to be deflated, repositioned, and then re-inflated to the proper pressure.
Always have tires mounted by trained professionals using appropriate tools and lubricants.
A correctly seated bead guarantees that the tire is uniformly mounted on the rim, providing consistent rotation without any wobbling.
If the bead isn’t installed properly, the tire’s balance can be off, resulting in noticeable shaking during driving.
6. Get a Wheel Alignment
Proper wheel alignment ensures the tires are positioned according to the manufacturer’s specifications, allowing them to rotate without wobbling and work together seamlessly.
A misaligned wheel can cause uneven tire wear and disturb the balance of the vehicle, resulting in a shaky driving experience.
By ensuring proper alignment, you directly address and rectify potential sources of vibrations post-tire installation.
7. Rebalance the Tires
Rebalancing the tires is pivotal in preventing shaking after tire installation. Over time or after a new tire installation, weight distribution around a tire can become uneven.
This imbalance leads to vibrations, especially at higher speeds, causing a noticeable shake in the vehicle.
By rebalancing, weights are added or adjusted on the wheel to ensure an even weight distribution, allowing the tires to spin smoothly without causing vibrations.
Therefore, if a vehicle starts shaking post-tire installation, rebalancing is often the immediate solution to restore smooth and stable driving.
Can I Drive My Car with Unbalanced Tires?
Yes, you can technically drive a car with unbalanced tires, but it’s not recommended.
Driving with unbalanced tires can lead to uneven tire wear, vibrations at certain speeds, reduced fuel efficiency, and added strain on your vehicle’s suspension.
These vibrations can cause discomfort while driving and may escalate into more significant, costly issues over time. For optimal safety and vehicle performance, it’s advisable to address and correct any tire imbalance as soon as possible.
Why is my car shaking after getting new Tires?
Your tire is shaking after getting new tires due to imbalanced tires, improper wheel alignment, incorrect bead seating during installation, or a mismatch between the new tires and the remaining ones on the vehicle.
Does your car shake when you need new tires?
Yes, a car can shake if the tires are worn out or damaged. As tires age or experience uneven wear, they can develop an imbalanced weight distribution, leading to vibrations, especially at higher speeds.
Why does my car shake when I hit 60 mph with new tires?
If your car shakes when you hit 60 mph with new tires, the most likely culprit is tire imbalance.
When tires are not balanced properly, they can cause vibrations at certain speeds, often becoming noticeable around the 50 to 70 mph range.
If a car starts shaking after getting new tires, it is due to unbalanced wheels stemming from the installation process.
Common causes include imbalanced tires, improper alignment, damaged tires, or issues with the wheel components.
You can address these issues by rebalancing tires, replacing affected components, ensuring proper bead sitting, and avoiding mismatched tires.
While at it, ensure you address the issue promptly to ensure safety and maintain the longevity of the new tires.
If the issue is beyond you, it’s advisable to return to the tire shop or consult a mechanic to diagnose and correct the problem.