2000 Dodge Stratus Growling noise coming from front tires

Tiny
POCOLACHRISTIAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE STRATUS
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 133,500 MILES
I just got tires balanced and rotated now my car pulls to the right and my tires seem loud especially the front ones any ideas.
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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 AT 9:10 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This is typical of a tire pull. It's not exactly a defect, just a difference in rolling resistance. If the two front tires are a different brand, all bets are off. It's not likely they will roll the same.

Based on your dandy observation that it didn't pull before the rotation, that should eliminate an alignment problem. (Your car is alignable for a pulling problem and for tire wear issues by sliding the upper strut mount sideways). There are two things that can be done to prove what a genius I am. :)

The shop that did the rotation might offer to switch the two front tires at no charge to put your mind at ease. After doing that, most likely the car will pull in the other direction. Every once in a while you will run into a pair of tires that will go straight when they're rolling in the opposite direction. Standard procedure is to keep the driving tires on the same side and switch the non-driving (rear) tires side to side when moving them to the front. Now they're rolling backwards compared to before. The only reason for using that standardized pattern is so the next guys will rotate them in the same pattern and not rotate them back to where they were last time.

The second, lesser-known test is to drive at highway speed, carefully let go of the steeing wheel, (be ready to grab it), observe the pull, then hit the brakes relatively hard. During braking, a tire pull will cause the car to pull in the other direction. This only works on front wheel drive cars because you can compare the forces on the tire while braking AND while tugging the car forward.

If you do indeed find a tire pull, you can live with it until the next rotation if it isn't too bad, or you'll have to switch the tires back. I've owned many tires with a pull including a set from a mass merchandiser in the mid 1970s. The pull was so bad, you would end up in the ditch within a few seconds of letting go of the steering wheel. Switched them front to rear and left them there. Never had a problem after that, and they wore like iron. Never rotated them once after that, and they all wore evenly at the same rate. Lasted well over 40,000 miles before I wore them out on the race track!

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 AT 9:48 AM
Tiny
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So basicially nothing really to worry about. I mean nothing major going on. So the tire noise is from rotating them. I chose to go to a local small tire shop instead of a major tire shop so I don't know if they even rotated them in the pattern you were talking about. Thanks
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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 AT 11:46 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Yup. right after I posted that reply, I realized I forgot about the noise.

The biggest thing to worry about is your arm getting tired from tugging on the steering wheel. If you can keep it going straight with one finger on the wheel, the pull isn't real severe, and could go away. This is a judgement call, but if the pull does go away, you might consider not rotating the tires in the future. Your money might be better spent on a 4-wheel alignment. More on that later.

The noise is due to wear patterns on the tires that were on the rear. They can develop non-typical wear patterns from having relatively little vehicle weight on them. Front tires are easier to "read" to determine what needs to be changed in the alignment. Here's a link to some tire wear information:

http://www.2carpros.com/how_does_it_work/tires.htm

They don't spell out all of the wear patterns. Unlike a lot of new cars, all four of your wheels can be tipped in and out on top and can be adjusted for the direction they are steering. Without getting too involved analyzing wear patterns, noisy tires will have a raised edge on each block of rubber that you can feel easily when you rub your hand across the tread in one direction. You won't feel it the other way. Those edges developed from the two rear wheels being not perfectly parallel to each other. The alignment will address that, and the "feathered" tire tread will wear flat over time.

To verify what the alignment specialist sees on his computer screen, he will "read" the tires' wear patterns. What he finds will only be relevent while those patterns still exist. To avoid confusion, you should mention the tires were just rotated. On a related note, many people have their vehicles aligned after buying new tires so they will last longer. I always prefered to align the car first so I could inspect the tire wear and determine the most effective adjustments to fix any problems. The new tires can then be installed without affecting the alignment settings.

caradiodoc
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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 AT 7:09 PM

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