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Old 08-05-2018, 05:54 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
Ford Truck Driver
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 86
Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires


At least I think so. Today I went back to the Firestone Service Center, and the manager, who was unbelievably accommodating, hooked me up with his Tire Whisperer. They allowed me to interact while he checked each tire on his road force balancer. He made a few adjustments as he went. The first tire was pretty much balanced, road force reported .018, not sure of what the units are, and the spec limit is .026. Ok, but not great. The second one was balanced and .002, almost perfect. The third one was way out of spec at .046. When they saw that, they lost faith in the tires a little, and immediately located four replacements to be delivered a couple hours later. The fourth was not too bad as far as the road force, but the tire had a huge wobble side to side. He measured the rim runout and got about .011 in., which was not perfect, but ok. We talked about trying a different tire on that rim, and he suggested we try rolling it on the floor. He took the tire off, and the rim rolled slow and true all the way across the floor. They replaced three of the four, and all three had road force readings of under .010. The wheel with the wobble was maybe not perfect, but much better. I bought the Tire Whisperer lunch.

I did 10 or 15 miles on the highway on the way home, and once in a while I thought I felt a vibration, but I couldn't localize it to any particular speed, and it didn't persist once it got going. It's not a sports car, but it seems quite acceptable. I'll give it a week before I give it the full thumbs up.

There's a lesson here somewhere, not quite sure what it is.

Maybe one lesson is to stick with one shop to sort out a problem, but I did make two trips there first.

Another lesson might be to find an expert with the right equipment. I don't think the original shop had the ability to do road force balancing and I'm not sure their machine could automatically check rim run-out. Of course, the second shop did have all the magic. They said the rims were good, but didn't find the bad tire(s).

Maybe you just need a tire whisperer. I hope he's still there when I need tires in the future.
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