Mechanics

WHEELS/TIRES BALANCED - CAR WOBBLES A

2008 Volkswagen Jetta

Shakes or Wobbles problem
2008 Volkswagen Jetta Two Wheel Drive Automatic 38900 miles

I bought a set of Konig 17" x 8" (et40) wheels, hubcentric rings and General 225/45R17 Exclaim UHP tires. I immeadiately had steering wheel vibration/shimmy problems as soon as they were installed. The shop I bought the tires from rebalanced them 3 times then said that's all they could do, it must be the wheels.

I took it by Firestone and they road force balanced them and said that the wheels were fine but the tires had excess runout and needed to be replaced.

The original shop had General replace the tires but I still had a shimmy/vibration at highway speed.

I took it by a third shop, they road forced balanced them and said they were dead on. They rotated the tires to see if it would help but it made it worse. Now, frequently (but not all the time), when I go about 20 mph the car has a visible wobble that goes away at about 25 mph and the steering wheel shimmies at 62 mph+.

Just out of curiousity, I increased the tire pressure from 34 lbs to 40 lbs and it seemed to reduce the wobble feel but the shimmy/vibration is still present at highway speeds.

I'm not sure what to do next.
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Jetta Jim
October 15, 2010.



Jim, I have experienced the issue you are dealing with several times, just not with Volkswagen. Usually it is manifested in trying to get aftermarket wheels to look good and not cause the car to vibrate or misbehave. The manufacturer goes to great lengths to assure the product they are marketing is free of such problems. Looking good sometimes is in direct conflict with driving smoothly as the wheel/tire combination you have was not meant to be used on that car. If it was, VW would have offered it. I am a firm believer in leaving cars as stock as possible. You have chosen to alter the manufacturers specifications, and in doing so created a monster. The only advice I have is to try raising the vehicle to allow the wheels to spin free, loosen the lugs, and then tighten the lugs in multiple steps starting with finger tight and progressing in a cross pattern to the correct torque. This might allow the otherwise hubcentric wheels to find their " center" Do you follow my meaning?

Dr. Hagerty
Oct 15, 2010.
I have already tried making the wheels lugcentric and hubcentric at the same time. I was leary about putting aftermarket wheels on my car but another MKV owner had the exact same wheels on his car with no problems so I went ahead and did it. The difference was he used Perelli tires instead of General. Someone suggested that there might be a broken or mislocated steel belt in one or more of the tires. Is that something (or are there any tire issues) that road force balancing would not detect?

Tiny
Jetta Jim
Oct 18, 2010.