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Tire Issues – Rough Ride with Supposedly Good Tires

8:14 am Honda

Honda 2001 HR-V Summary: A recent comment and question from a reader (in the UK) about a vibration with a 2001 Honda SUV (similar to the CRV in the states).  Our tool and auto repair blog answers many questions encompassing many facets of car repair service. Sometimes it’s from professional automotive repair technicians that need the correct specialty tool and other times it’s from a car owner just trying to get his ride right. Here’s the lead up to this car owner’s question:

Reader’s Comment and Question

Hi, I have a 2001 Honda HR-V, 4×4, 5 speed manual, 76K, just had it Serviced at Honda Main dealer and now have a vibration which is making for a very rough ride felt through the general drive of the car.

As well as a service, Honda drained the rear diff oil and filled it up with new Honda dual pump fluid. I also asked them to investigate a vibration “Buzz” feeling I was getting through the clutch pedal whilst changing gear when the engine revs are around 2500 and 3000 rpm’s, they haven’t been successful at curing the clutch pedal Buzz

I had a lot of work done on the HR-V this year, new Shocks and springs all round, tie rod ends, anti roll bar links, new clutch, kit and throw out bearing, master cylinder and slave cylinder, rear break pads and wheel cylinders. New wheel bearings and new rear diff oil, new back exhaust box, new front brake discs and pads and an engine mount.

Also just recently,
New timing belt and water pump, gearbox was making a grinding sound so that was stripped by the main Honda dealer and had input shaft bearing and main shaft bearings replaced, they also replaced the drive shaft and CV joint on the right side

However I now have a rough ride vibration problem which is getting frustrating, I’ll try to explain;

I can feel through the steering what appears to be the power steering trying to compensate all the time, and a bit like there is something loose somewhere, the ride feels rough at any speed, the rear view mirror vibrates like mad, I might be imagining it, but it feels slightly better when coasting.

I’ve had this car back to Honda 3 times in as many months to try to isolate this vibration and fix the issue, first of all it was noticeable at around 65 to 70 mph and caused a serious steering wheel wobble.

Honda had trouble identifying the problem; they balanced the wheels and aligned them. I took the car home but I still felt this vibration and wobble, thinking a wheel weight may have fallen off I went to a specialist tyre fitter and they confirmed there was nothing wrong with the wheel balancing, tyres or rims, all 4 tyres are Kuhmo Solus K17 and new at the beginning of the summer. I went to 3 separate places to get opinions, all said the same thing.

I made an appointment again with Honda and their chief mechanic took the car for a road test with myself and my wife on board. He immediately noticed the issue and again booked my car in. Honda stripped the front down again and changed the drive shaft and inner CV joint on the left side, and tightened up a lot of things, this has resulted in the steering wheel wobble having been eliminated but not the rough ride.

Honda are saying there must be tyre issue, but I have been to a few tyre places and they don’t share Honda’s view.

Any ideas where to look now?

Answer from dennisb – Auto Tool Sales :
Date: September 4, 2013 @ 7:54 am ·
You cover a lot of separate issues, I’ll concentrate on the vibration while driving. Tires are the single largest factor when it comes to vibration while driving down the road. Kumho tires as a brand has mixed reviews. Even when tires are fairly round (no excessive lateral or radial run-out) there are other factors that can cause vibration and over-all rough ride. I remember when I worked for Goodyear years ago, I learned that Honda (the manufacturer) worked together with GoodYear to design a variation of the Corsa GT for the Honda Accord. It had slightly different specifications than the same named tire in other sizes for other applications. I had a 1989 Accord that had those tires. They were black and round (like most) and I wrote off the GoodYear training class as propaganda regarding how special these tires were; That was until I was working at Pep Boys and it was time to replace the Accord’s tires. I bought Pep Boys Futura tires for the replacement. They were a great looking tire. The tread pattern looked good to me. Not too aggressive and not too tame looking either. The tires were perfectly round and didn’t take excessive wheel weight to balance. As it turned out though, those were the worst tires that I’d ever purchased. Besides not riding as smooth as the GoodYear tires, they had horrible traction, especially in the rain. I remember sliding to a stop when I approached the first traffic light in the rain (after installing those tires). They were cheaper, yes. They were more significantly worth much less.

If I were working at Carmax (one of my previous employers) and had you as my customer with this issue. I would remove the tire and wheel assemblies from a similar car (that rode well) and put them on your vehicle for a quick test drive. That way it could be determined if the issue is from the wheels or not. This is an extreme measure to take, but sometimes, no pun intended, you have to go that extra mile.

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