Wobble

October 30, 2006

Just over two weeks ago I had new tires put on the Lexus. The previous set had nearly reached the wear indicators, and were worn enough that the car no longer tracked properly. There was a surprisingly strong pull to the left at highway speeds, and the couple of times I drive in heavy rain I discovered the unique joy that is hydroplaning.

The new tires made an immense and immediate improvement. The pull to the left is history, and rain water on the road surface is no longer an exercise in sphincter control. However, there is a slight wobble in the steering wheel at around 50 ~ 60 mph. I decided that it was due to improperly balanced wheels and took the car back last Friday for an adjustment. The driver's side front tire was slowly losing air and I wanted that looked at as well.

The air leak is caused by some corrosion on the inside of the rim. Some of the paint or at least outer layer of the rim is flaking off and these flakes were preventing a good seal. They were able to sand the effected areas and hopefully that will eliminate the slow leak.

Having the tire balanced doesn't seem to have helped the wobble. In fact I think the speed range that causes the tremor in the steering is larger now than it was before. I'll have to call and make another appointment to have the front end looked at. Maybe it needs an alignment too.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.