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Vibration - New Tires

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by EvilBetty, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Feb 27, 2010 at 4:39 PM
    #1
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was due for new tires... they were really done in about June but I decided to burn them a little more until winter. In November I made the decision to buy another set of Firestone Destination LE's back on it. They original ones only lasted about 40k for me, but the ride and traction was great till the end of their life. I had to drive a bit out of town to find a Firestone that had them in stock.

    I bought the road hazard, the lifetime balance, and then got talked into a lifetime alignment package, and then some TPMS valve servicing, all said and done I spent more than I planned but... whatever.

    So then I pull out of Firestone and I'm noticing a vibration after I get on the highway. It's not bad, but it wasn't there before. It doesn't feel like a tire out of balance. Anyway the roads are not the cleanest and smoothest at the moment so I decide to wait and see how it does on the highway on the way to work the next day.

    Next day, vibration is still there. I have to go to the Dr. at lunch. While I'm out my TPMS light comes on. There is a Firestone just down the street so I pull in. They are very busy... first snow of the year. I ask if they can just check the tire pressure for now, and I'll come back for the vibration issue. Sure they say... pull up outside bay one. A tire installer greats me and begins checking the tires. He's spending a long time on each tire with the air chuck.

    Me: "Are they all really low?"
    Installer: "They are all showing near zero pounds"
    Me: "That doesn't sound right, they don't look flat to me."
    Installer: "Yeah, I'd get it figured out."


    A few minutes later he tells me he got them all filled correctly, I thank him and I'm off. If you ever want to know what it's like to install wagon wheels on your truck, do what this guy did... freaky drive home (30 miles).

    I get home and my tire gauge is pegged passed 90psi. It takes me 30 minutes to drain enough air out to get them at recommended PSI. I call that Firestone and they apologize. Seems the digital on hose gauge they use does not perform correctly in the cold, and the installers should have known that. I ask if any permanent damage could have been caused to my tires or valves... she assures me they are all fine.

    A few days later I decide to take it up to the Firestone closest to my house to see if I can get the vibration and the TPMS light issue resolved. I used to work at the grocery store right next to this place, so I should have remembered how run down this city and its stores have become, but I had forgotten. I was "greeted" by a guy that could give shiz what my problem was. Nine hours later I called right before they closed asking if my truck was done. Was told that someone failed to call, the truck had been done for hours. When I asked what the did, he didn't know. When I get there to pick it up 30 minutes before they closed, it was apparent they were waiting on me to leave so they could close up early. I was simply tossed my keys. I asked for a ticket / receipt. There was no charge so they didn't want to print one. I insisted on getting a receipt with what work was performed. Reluctantly they printed the ticket. They had only balanced the tires. When I asked about the TMPS light, they told me I had to go back to the Firestone that did the work to address the tire valves. I go home... vibration is still present. When I get home I look in the manual... reset the TMPS light, and it's never come back on since.

    So... a week later I take the truck back up to the Firestone that originally did all the work. They apologize for the other store, saying they have had a lot of problems keeping a qualified manager employed at that location, tell me they will sort the problems out that day. I get a call later that day that the truck is done. A couple of the wheels were out of balance about an ounce, and they balanced them. On the way home... the truck is still vibrating. I stop and turn around and take it right back. It's starts snowing while I'm talking to the guy at the counter. They take the truck back in, and re balance the tires. I take it out to test drive it but the roads are getting bad and traffic is not permitting me above 45.

    Since then we have had snow or something of the sort every weekend, or there has been Valentines or some other event. So now 4 weeks later today, I am able to get it back in. They call an hour later tell me it's done. I ask what the did, he doesn't know. I tell him to go find out, because if all they did was balance the tires again they need to dig a little deeper. Well the installer went to lunch apparently as he finished my truck. Fine, call me back after you get an answer from him.

    The installer himself calls me back. He doesn't feel any vibration on the highway. He says he feels a vibration when stopping and idling and tells me it's a clogged catalytic converter. Tells me there is a known recall for it and that I need to take it to Toyota. I told him that if I go to Toyota and they tell me that my CAT is fine and I have a bad tire I'm going to be pretty pissed when I come back. He insists it's a CAT problem.

    So now I have an appointment with Toyota WED. I highly doubt it's the CAT. This vibration started immediately after the tires were changed. To me it feels like bad tire problem of some kind or a harmonic vibration caused by something they did during the alignment. I don't know... here's hoping Toyota will figure it out.

    I don't see any mention of a CAT recall on TacomaWorld. Even if it's not recalled the CAT warranty should more than cover my 2007 4cyl w/ 48k miles on it.

    Sorry I know this was a long pointless post. I'm just angry right now and needed a place to vent.
     
  2. Feb 27, 2010 at 5:08 PM
    #2
    HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

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    Time to contact Firestone corporate and share this story with them. Those stores are not doing the brand any good. I wonder if they're all owned by the same company. If so, I would try to find a dealer owned by someone else. They're providing lousy service and giving you the runaround.

    Good luck getting this all resolved!
     
  3. Feb 27, 2010 at 6:42 PM
    #3
    Silver_Taco

    Silver_Taco Senior Member

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    Did you get a printout of your alignment? Sorry to hear about this man - incompetence anywhere is hard to deal with .... 10X harder when it's your truck & your money. Hope it all works out quickly.
     
  4. Feb 27, 2010 at 7:06 PM
    #4
    colinb17

    colinb17 If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    have them check your allignment again. if they are truely that lazy, they may have just barely gotten your caster in spec. 1.9degrees caster is in spec, but it'll still give you vibes around highway speeds. you want closer to 2.6 degrees i believe
     
  5. Feb 27, 2010 at 11:31 PM
    #5
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Yeah I have a printout of the alignment. I'll have to go get a peek at it in the morning.
     
  6. Mar 5, 2010 at 11:05 AM
    #6
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Alright so I took the truck to Toyota. They performed a Road Force Balance on the tires and some kind of testing on the steering and suspension. Everything was in spec.

    There were no recalls on the CAT, gas pedal, or floor mat (which is weird because Toyota.com showed VIN to be in need of the pedal / mat recall).

    The testing they did on the tires showed that any variance between hard and soft spots in the tires, was in spec.

    Their theory was that these tires, even though of the same make and model model of my previous tires, were made from a harder compound / formula than that of my previous tires.

    At first this sounded like total BS to me. But then I remember that I only managed to get about 35k out of them before they got noisy. About 40k before they should have been replaced, and limped them along to 45k before fearing that any further miles may result in my death. :)

    Toyota said they had had 3 different techs drive the truck and that they all shared the same opinion. Still a bit skeptical, they offered to put a tech in the truck with me for a test drive.

    I drove first and noticed the same old crap. A very light yet very annoying vibration. Tech drives the same roads... says all he can feel is the road. I drive again but this time he takes me across 3 different highways / types of pavement. He convinces me that what I am feeling is the road, because though still there the vibration changes over different textures of asphalt and concrete.

    We get back and I have a bill to pay for a rotation and balance of the tires (great, #6!). After paying I ask what my options are. I have no idea what to do at this point. They tell me that Firestone will likely swap the tires, but to what? I ask what tires they are putting on the 2009/2010 trucks, they're not sure so they drive me back on the lot to find out. One of the 2WD 4cyl trucks is running some Dunlap tires he doesn't recommend, and the other one is running Firestone Destination LE's! :(

    Even then don't stop bending over backwards to help me figure this out. They say if I come back they will swap the wheels with another set from a truck on the lot to see if that makes any difference. That was just too cool. But I decide to go see what Firestone has to say at this point first.

    This morning I went to pickup my Taxes and they didn't open for another 10 minutes. Low and behold what is next door? Another Firestone! I pop in and tell the guy behind the counter what has transpired, and he fetches the manager. Manager says he's not aware of any compound change, and insists that the tires will be changed out under warranty, but when he calls the manager at the other store he doesn't seem so convinced. He assures me that if I have any problems out there that I can go to any other store and get it corrected.

    So... at this point... I still feel like I might just be crazy. Everyone else that has driven this truck since the tire change can barely discern this vibration. The only way I can maybe explain this is that it only usually starts bothering me after I have been on the road for a while. Like I said it's a very slight vibration but the longer it goes on the more disorienting it is and really starts to bother me. I don't want to make Firestone put on new tires just to find out it's still there (in my head!).

    Any ideas recommendations? Toyota says its the stiffer sidewalls of these tires that's making the truck so sensitive to the road. Will letting some air out of the tires (down to around 25 psi) make any difference?

    If not I can only think to find a new set of tires sold by Firestone that are known not so much for their traction and life but for touring comfort? I really loved my original tires. This sucks so bad.

    If relevant it's a 2007 2WD 4cyl Access cab... the 5 lug steel wheels. P215/70R15
     
  7. Mar 5, 2010 at 11:42 AM
    #7
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That's almost a worse answer :D, I just found out that Firestone also has been using a road force balance... so these damn things have been rebalanced 6 times with a road force.

    If there's a special skill involved to balance these correctly I have no idea who to go to... maybe DynaBeads?! :(
     
  8. Mar 5, 2010 at 12:10 PM
    #8
    David Tarantino

    David Tarantino Well-Known Member

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    it does sound like the tires call firestone no not the store
    call and start a claim and tell them just what you said above
    firestone will give you a claim# tell you to go to a firestone store
    and the tires should be replaced at n/c
    do not lower the tire psi to 25
     
  9. Mar 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM
    #9
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Noted! The door sticker reads 27PSI R and 32PSI F so I didn't think it would do any damage... glad I waited :)
     
  10. Mar 5, 2010 at 12:38 PM
    #10
    David Tarantino

    David Tarantino Well-Known Member

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    its not that it may do damage it more that when you bring it back that the guys at the store are going to say that it not the tires
    but the psi was off in the tires
    the firestone tires that you have are not a bad tire i sell a lot of them
    just call firestone and start a claim hope this helps let me
    know how you make out
     
  11. Mar 5, 2010 at 1:25 PM
    #11
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I could not find a contact number on their website, but they had a web submission form which I completed. Hopefully will hear back soon.
     
  12. Mar 5, 2010 at 1:54 PM
    #12
    David Tarantino

    David Tarantino Well-Known Member

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    try this 1800-668 0345
     
  13. Mar 5, 2010 at 1:55 PM
    #13
    David Tarantino

    David Tarantino Well-Known Member

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    no no sorry this is it 1800 847 3272
     
  14. Apr 25, 2010 at 10:48 PM
    #14
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well I started going that route and it was suggested I make another attempt to work through the store, since I had not directly worked with the manager.

    I took it back to my local store... no change. Then last week I called the manager at the store that installed the tires and talked to the manager. He wanted me to bring it in on Monday and let them have it all day to work out the problem...

    Big surprise... they rebalanced them... a couple of the tires are off about 1.5 oz. They can't detect any vibration... they can't suggest next steps since it's not vibrating.

    I get in the truck and drive away... it's still vibrating... and now something is wrong with the exhaust. If I floor it the roar is vibrating the dash and has a very noticeable bass note that wasn't there before. Especially under strain... like climbing an entrance ramp.

    Deciding not to jack with Firestone again right away since they may have screwed up my exhaust, I call and make an appointment with Toyota on Wednesday.

    I leave it with them all day. Not only can they not detect the vibration, but they say the exhaust sounds normal and they couldn't find any leak I go to test drive it with them, and and they still don't hear the exhaust leak.

    The whole way home I'm hearing the exhaust leak and watching my fingers vibrate on the steering wheel and watching it now transmit through my side mirrors... as if I'm on a Harley.

    I feel like I'm going out of my freaking mind. I love this truck but now I HATE driving this truck. :rant:

    I'm trying to figure out some kind of seismometer or other instrument that won't cost me a fortune to measure the vibration in the vehicle. Toyota has offered to put a set of wheels and tires from a brand new Tacoma on the truck and see if it makes a difference. It like to be able to back that up with some empirical data.
     
  15. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:12 PM
    #15
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So after a few more months of going to Toyota, then Firestone, then Toyota, then Firestone. Toyota was finally able to put some wheels and tires from another truck on mine and test drive it. They didn't take it too far. I didn't feel any vibration anymore, and neither did the mechanic (not that he felt it before) but they were happy to write up a receipt saying the vibration went away when the wheels were swapped, and that the truck needed 4 new tires.

    I took the truck and receipt to Firestone, and was told a manager would call me.

    Later I called to find out what was going on, and my truck was ready to pickup... they had balanced the tires again. I got royally pissed. This is balance attempt #20. I was going out of town the next day for vacation and wasn't in the mood to deal with it anymore. I finally the manager on the phone (new manager about a month ago). He said there was no way the tires were causing a vibration, started to insinuate a couple times I was trying to anything other than get the vibration fixed. Mentioned the loud exhaust noise and he got defensive and indignant. But in the end said that he had balanced the tires himself and that if they were still vibrating when I got back he would replace them.

    Of course as I'm driving off the truck is vibrating it's happy arse all the way home.

    When I get back in town, I called to make sure they had the tires at the store. They didn't (apparently they are badly back ordered) but they found some somewhere and could have them there in a couple of days. That didn't work with my schedule but they said they would hold them for me when I could be out there the following week.

    The next week I have the day off, and decide to burn it sitting at Firestone and make sure this gets done. I come in tell them it's still vibrating. Name drop the manager and they tell me they'll get someone to ride with me. Now until this day no one would agree there was a vibration. I made the tech take it out on the highway where traffic cleared out, set the cruise at 72 and just steer. Eventually he admits he feels it and understands why it's so hard to demonstrate and explain. He drives the truck back and says it will be taken care of. 2 hours later they tell me it's done. They balanced the tires. I just about lost it. I snatched the keys and said I'll be back.

    I drove out just far enough to feel it still vibrating and circled back and slammed my keys on the counter. Manager finally comes out. Wants me to agree that if they put new tires on I will agree that Firestone has done all they can. No way. I told him if they put new tires on and it still vibrates that I'll agree it's not the tires, but maintain that the vibration started the second I drove it from their store. I get a little "whatever" and they put the tires on. So now I have new tires, wheels battle scared from multiple mount and dismounts, and many wheel weight installs and removals, scratched and scared... and a vibrating truck.

    I don't know where to go next. Toyota claimed they tested out all the steering and suspension components, but that's the only other place it could be right? In the mean time I'm still hearing people relate telling me they took a vehicle in 10 times before the "so'n'so" balanced them right. But how the hell do I find these miracle people who possess this mythical tire balancing knowledge that those with Road Force Balancers don't seem to possess?

    Any other ideas?
     
  16. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:24 PM
    #16
    Ezriderga

    Ezriderga Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Stay away from Firestone. I put them up there with Goodyear as far as tire stores to stay away from. That's just me.
     
  17. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:26 PM
    #17
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Lesson learned, now just to finish the damage control.

    I want this vibration solved, else I'm selling the truck over it.
     
  18. Jul 26, 2010 at 6:48 PM
    #18
    TroutBum

    TroutBum Well-Known Member

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    Did anyone check to see if you have a wheel out of round? I had a bad wheel on a previous truck, it was on the rear when I bought the truck (new), as soon as I had the tires rotated for the first time the vibration showed up. It did wear the tire a little unevenly, but after the wheel was replaced all was good.

    Mike
     
  19. Jul 26, 2010 at 10:03 PM
    #19
    EvilBetty

    EvilBetty [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes. And I have now rotated the spare through all 4 corners of the truck. It's not a single wheel or tire.

    On top of this the other thing I'm noticing is that hitting small bumps isn't as "clean" as it was before. What before might have felt like small thud, now seems to feel like... well.. "da da da"... how ever you would describe that.
     
  20. Jul 26, 2010 at 10:14 PM
    #20
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    So you know, the toyota rims have a special adapter that only most dealers have (few other places) to properly balance the wheels. Without it, they will wobble on the balance machine and cause it to go out of spec. This is most likely the issue. There was a thread about this awhile back.

    I'd have another dealer give the balance a go... however your tires are probably fucked royally after being severely over inflated... it probably broke a band or two riding it like that. They need to be replaced, at no cost for that mess up. Have Firestone Corporate help you with that, I'm sure they'd agree.
     
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