Wheel Alignment, Balancing,& Vibration at 60 and up!!

ckcorpmgdcareckcorpmgdcare Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I have a Limited 2001 Highlander and have had nothing but trouble with it pulling to the right since I got it!!!. The steering wheel also vibrated like crazy if you drove over 60mph. I currently have approximately 18,000 miles on the vehicle. Over the past year and a half I worked with two Toyota dealerships, went through the arbitration process, and had limited communication with the VP of North America sales through his assistant.

The dealerships gave me 5 four wheel alignments over the past year and a half and they also replaced those Goodyear Integra tires with another BAD set of Goodyear Integra tires. The arbitration process was a joke and a waste of time so I would not even waste my effort on an organization that truely doesn't care about taking care of its customers.

After reading the edmunds message boards we decided to replace the tires with MICHELIN SUV ALL TERRAIN tires and have another four wheel alignment. We did this last week and the Highlander drives like a new car!!!!! It does not pull to the right nor does it shake anymore at speeds above 60 mph!!!!!

I am tempted to send my bill to the VP of North America Sales and tell him that Toyota needs to rethink its relationship with Goodyear.


  • vidtechvidtech Member Posts: 212
    OEM tires usually are not very desirable.That's why a lot of people often replace their tires way before their time.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    I thought I was having a serious flash back when I read your posting! (:o]
    Some 5400 miles ago, I put a set of 4 Goodyear Wrangler RT/S tires on my 1999 Ford Ranger pickup truck as an act of opportunism. Ford Motor Company had sent me a letter offering to replace my Firestone Wilderness AT tires for free (except for the road warranty package at just under $15.00 per tire). I elected the choice to go to a Goodyear company owned outlet and get the job done. Other choices involved me paying and then sending in for a rebate. I am having much the same problem as you had. I seem to be getting close to what may prove to be a solution. Perhaps I'll have more to post soon. I have returned to the Goodyear store some 4 times in less than 6000 miles and have had rotations, rebalances, and one tire replacement. Of the 4 original RT/S tires, 3 required large amounts of weight to "balance." This was my first hint at what is wrong. The company store replaced the worst one of the 3, and insists that I just keep coming back rather than to replace the other 2.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    According to Tire Retailer Magazine [Annual Tire Quality Survey] Goodyear is nearer the bottom than nearer the middle in quality and customer satisfaction. Michelin and Toyo seem to be at the top in all categories.......Both in Automobile and Truck tires.

    Obviously each manufacturer can make some good tires the survey considered all tires across the entire manufacturers line.

    Actually Firestone typically beat Goodyear in most categories.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Now yuh tell me! (:o]
  • dshepherd3dshepherd3 Member Posts: 194
    As a former Toyota SM, I would have switched tires and wheels from a "known" good vehicle to isolate the problem, and if it proved to be the tires I could get "special" authorization from The field rep to put 4 new tires on, not a complicated problem if handled properly, your dealer did not know how to resolve this! If the new tires also were unsatisfactory I would have made the tire dealer find a set that worked, also the new road force variation equipment is mandatory for diagnosing a chronic condition such as this.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    the service manager at my dealer said they were getting a lot of "7-ounce" goodyears in at that time as well... meaning... big imbalances in the tire requiring a lot of weights.

    I had a coworker who replaced his wranglers with another set due to normal wear-out, and he got smooth tires with barely any extra weight needed, this right before goodyear started turning out every tire they could for the KILLER! recall.

    we can guess how these tires got unbalanced... make 'em fast on whatever molds they could get steam into, with whatever help they could dig up for 3 shifts.

    I've had good goodyears in the past, and am not ready to write 'em off. however, I got such a nice set of Generals in the "customer satisfaction adjustment" that Ford ran to get the rest of the KILLER! tires off their vehicles that it will be a while....
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    About 45 minutes ago I posted RIGHT HERE! And now, it no longer exists. Hmmmmmmmmmm! By late tomorrow, I hope to have a ""solution" to my Goodyear dilemma-- Wrangler RT/S tires I received as replacements for my Firestone Wilderness tires. Bad trade...
    As soon as I posted the above, my other post popped up. I went ahead and deleted it, to cut down on confusion...
    Hey, I'm okay, I tell yuh! (:^]
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    1014 and 1058 pm. your browser is packed up, too, fleet. cheer up, day's almost over ;)

    // edit // and after posting, I don't see #8 any more, either. guess MY browser's packed up.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    On my 1967 Galaxie, I get what feels like a wheel being out of round, but only once the tires are warmed up, and only at speeds of 35-40mph, and then it dissapears and re-appears above 60-65 mph. It is almost like you can see the front end of the car go up and down, and primarily on the driver's side.

    I don't really feel much in the steering wheel (heck a 1967 steering is so numb the wheel could fall off and you wouldn't feel it), the alignment seems good, and I've had the tires spin-balanced three times in the last 3,000 miles.

    The tires are from 1994, Goodyear Decathlon's, and I'd hate to replace them for no reason. The four steel wheels are original, to the best of my knowledge. The tires show no unusual wear, though the car has only been driven about 4,000 miles since then.

    I'm thinking one or more tires have developed a bad belt or a flat spot that appears once the tire warms up, and maybe I should take the plunge and replace them. Is that the best course of action?
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Do any of the tires have a lot of weight on the wheel to get balance? Look for runout on the wheels, and on the sidewalls of the tires (wobble). Look for bulges on the sidewalls and on the tread surface. Look for rising and falling of the tread when the tire is spun. The above characteristics are not the end-all. These are some of the big offenders that undesirable tires display.
  • ckcorpmgdcareckcorpmgdcare Member Posts: 2
    I honestly was not suprised that Toyota replaced the Goodyear crap tires with another set after only 7,000 miles. The dealerships and the Area Manager all have no clue what the heck they are doing. But after 5 four wheel alignments and still no change, I was either going to get rid of the vehicle or replace the tires. I was absolutely thrilled that the Michelin SUV tires made the HIghlander drive normal.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    As I read more anecdotes, I am drawn toward the conclusion that Goodyear is having serious problems. It is not beyond reason to assume that this formerly "premium" tire maker has slid to the edge of the abyss. They'd better act swiftly to correct, or their reputation may not recover. Tire buyers simply must go where they get satisfactory products and customer care.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Referring to my post #3 and also #14: I am happy to report that Discount Tire has helped me immensely to correct my situation. Please recall that my bad tires came from a Goodyear company store. Discount tire contacted Goodyear above the local level, and was given the go ahead to replace all FOUR of my Wrangler RT/S tires with Fortera tires. My preliminary runs and tests indicate that the tire problem is now solved! Do I need to tell you that I will be a continuing customer of Discount Tire?
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    On that '67, what size tires do you have, and what is the nominal width of the wheels? A lot of those older Fords had very narrow wheels, and too wide tires can cause what you are describing.

  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    I went down to the Goodyear store where I had purchased the original RT/S Wranglers that could not be balanced. I politely requested a refund of my road warranty money, and they very promptly accommodated me. It was a pleasant surprise.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    The tires currently on the car are 215/75/15; the owner's manual indicates the tires on a 67 Ford with the 390 were 8.15 x 15. I believe that is the size of the spare in the trunk, though I don't believe it is original.

    The car also has gas shocks, obviously not original.

    It is odd because sometimes the car is jet-smooth, but the problem seems to be mostly at the speeds mentioned above. I've considered whether the toe-in, camber, and caster settings are correct; I have the shop manual with the settings. Again, the tires show no unusual wear, just the whitewalls are getting dingy with age.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    My recollection is that 8.15 is in inches, and that 215 is in millimeters. Those two measurements are close approximations of one another, but the metric dimension is a bit wider than the other.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    The removal of Goodyear Wrangler RT/S tires from my Ranger pickup, and replacing them under warranty with Goodyear Fortera tires made a huge change for the better in my prior problem (which coincided with the title to this topic). It is now a moot point, because yesterday I traded in the truck on a 2003 Saturn Vue for my youngest daughter. She'll be driving off to college at her sister's alma mater, in the fall.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    You may have an once or two of water in one or more tires from someone's air hose. If they don't drain the tank from time to time water can settle in the hose. There is no easy way to tell, unless there is a lot in one.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 6,186
    Is it ok to have one worn tire on the left front and the other on the right rear? I just went to Goodyear and got their $65 lifetime balancing and rotation, and that's how they put them. It rides quite well, and the vibration has been fixed. I bought all the tires (Goodyear Spectras) at the same time 2 years ago, but neglected to rotate them until now (stupid, I know). So, the two that were on the front of my Olds 98 were rather worn, while the two back ones looked almost new. I would think that the two worn ones should now both be in back, but does it matter?
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    You didn't give a lot of information on your situation, but from what you have said, it sounds like you let your tires "take a set" by not rotating them soon enough. I had four tires some years ago that I had to put back on the car in the original positions and leave them until I replaced them, because they wouldn't run smoothly after rotating. Your problem is a bit different. You had a vibration that was cured by the rotation. I wonder if they rebalanced your tires and that "cured" the vibration. From your description, I can only say I am puzzled why they seem to have mixed your tires around in the rotation, in a pattern not common. Perhaps you had better ask for an explanation. If you do, please post the answer here, so we can all satisfy our curiosity!
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    This is the topic you should review. Read the posts. You may find it useful in your situation.
  • pteshnpteshn Member Posts: 1
    My 01 HL has the vibration problem at 60mph. Dealer already do the tire balancing but it does not help much. Anyone has similar problem or suggestion?
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