How to Diagnose Out of Round Tires

by Contributor

Vibration can be a symptom of many things when it comes to your car. Tires are the first line of defense against vibration and the diagnosis can be a long time coming before getting to the actual problem. Using the process of elimination can help you find if you have out of round tires.

Write down the symptoms you notice when driving. This could include vibrations, steering pulls and alignment problems. The more specific you are the better in diagnosing the problem quickly. Notice where the vibration is coming from and possible other strange things that are occurring with the steering, braking or wheel systems of the car.

Air the tires to the recommended levels and do a road test. Notice if the vibration is through the steering wheel or through the floors and seat. If it is through the steering wheel, then assess what have been changed lately--wheels, tires or if the vehicle was serviced.

Check to see if the wheels and tires run true. Look at the tire to see if there are any flat spots and note whether you have locked the brakes up lately. These episodes can cause the tire to go out of round, meaning the tire must be replaced immediately.

Double check your suspicions by measuring the radial runout with a dial indicator. This is done by measuring the difference between the highest and lowest parts of the runout. The difference should be no more than half an inch; if so, then it is indeed out of round and needs to be replaced immediately.

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