November 17, 2006
Recently I put new tires on the Lexus, and then when it immediately developed a wobble in the steering wheel at any speed over 50 MPH, took it back once for balancing and once more for a front end alignment. Today my car is in the dealer's service department for some schedule maintenance and I asked them to investigate the continuing wobble.
The verdict is that the tire store installed the WRONG tires on the car. In addition to the size of the tire there is a speed rating. The tires that were installed on my car have a speed rating of 95H. The Lexus recommended tires are 97H. Same maximum speed, but a slightly softer rubber compound. The dealer (who has always treated me respectfully and whom I trust) feels that this is the source of my wobble. He said they could try to re-balance the front wheels but he doesn't expect that to help. As he put it, "rather then spend your money we thing you should take it back to the tire store."
I am not looking forward to the conversation with the tire store manager. Even though I have had the car back to his shop twice in the past four weeks for problems resulting from the tires they installed, I am fearful that they'll want a brand new pile of money for a brand new set of tires. Something I frankly can't afford right now.