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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I put new tires (General Altimax RT43 in the OEM size) on my 2014 Cruze and ever since the car has had a weird side to side squirelly feeling on the freeway. It feels like you're driving in very high winds, with the car getting pushed back and forth.


I brought it back and the shop rebalanced all 4 tires (they did a road force balance the second time). This did nothing. The manager of the shop came for a drive with me to feel it for himself and he decided to replace the back two tires (not the front two, since you can't feel it through the steering wheel). This also did not help the situation.


I'm not sure what to do now. The car is only 3 years old and has 37,000 miles on it. It drove fine before the tires were replaced. I had the alignment checked and it is fully within spec. All suspension and steering components feel tight.


I have had this same model of tire on two other vehicles before this one, and have loved them. They have great reviews and are rated by Tire Rack as one of the best all season tires you can buy.


I did a search on CruzeTalk and tons of people have these tires on their Cruzes. I couldn't find anyone that reported having issues.


Any tips? I have never heard of an issue like this on such an average vehicle.
 

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Take it back and change to OEM tires. Lot of folks dogged the FR710's but if they were good enough for 37k they'll be good enough for another 37k.
 

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New tires (Michelin and Yokohama) on my Jetta always did the same thing on the freeways, especially concrete ‘grooved’ for wet traction. After a month or so the side to side motion always went away. I just attributed it to the new rubber needing to wear/age a bit.

Hopefully that’s all it is in your case.
 

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It is a very common problem with no easy fix. Do an Internet search, each time right after having new tires put on…
It is not the cars alignment! (Not unless it was done with nefarious intent)


  1. Incompetent tire installer
  2. Newly bent rims
  3. Newly bent rotor or studs
  4. Improper mounting… such as directional tires put on backwards.
  5. Poorly manufactured tires.

The very best tire shops do not initially use impact wrenchs to mount the wheel lugs.
My suggestion… have the front tires replaced, or all the tires replaced with a different brand. Or go elsewhere.
 

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I had all my stuff checked and still had a semi shake/shimmy on the higher or down to around 60mph. I just installed the whiteline strut bar. Not saying it will fix your concerns, but it makes me feel like I have little to no highway whatever it was. Maybe just wind shakes.
 

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I have been in a few cars that did that and it turned out to be the toe was off. It was really bad on grooved roads. Basically one tire wanted to go a slightly different direction and the car would alternate to whichever one had better traction at the time. One car was because of bad tie rod ends so the toe would change when braking or accelerating. It was really squirrely in snow to the point that over 45 it would spin out when it decided to switch which tire was dominant. It was not my car and I told her to not drive it until it was fixed. When I bought my Ford escort, it had too much toe out and would oscillate because one tire would pull the car one way and cause the weight to shift to the other tire which cause the weight to shift again rinse and repeat. The inside of the front tires were really worn as a result.
Normally, you want a little toe-out and then with the engine power pulling them forward, it should go to 0 toe. Make sure nothing is loose/worn. Good luck!
 

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New tires are always more sensitive to road surfaces and suspension issues. I'd get the car's alignment checked and if that doesn't work swap the front and rear tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate the tips. Unfortunately, nothing has been suggested that I didn't do yesterday. I had the alignment checked on an alignment machine. The Toe is within spec, as is everything else. The tires have been moved around multiple times in different patterns and it never changes anything.

I'm hoping that rivergoer is correct and that they just need some time to break in. I would still love to hear any thoughts that anyone else has.
 

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I appreciate the tips. Unfortunately, nothing has been suggested that I didn't do yesterday. I had the alignment checked on an alignment machine. The Toe is within spec, as is everything else. The tires have been moved around multiple times in different patterns and it never changes anything.

I'm hoping that rivergoer is correct and that they just need some time to break in. I would still love to hear any thoughts that anyone else has.
I will admit I didn't read everyone's posts in here, but I'll say that just because a brand manufacturer says tires are the same size, does NOT mean they are in fact the same physically. Tires can differ in in every single dimension with no real universal measure.

That being said, that specific tire and wheel combination just doesn't work well together with favorable results, obviously. I'd recommend going with one size skinnier or try a different model.

That's just my 2 cents.

Good luck!
 

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I would assume the tire pressure is set to what the spec's indicate on the door jamb?
Just for shits and giggles, drop the pressure in all tires by 5 psi and take it for a ride on a road you know the shimmy happens.

If you don't want to drop the pressure, put 2 more adults and a fat kid in the car, then take it for a ride.

My guess is the new tires/tread depth in combination with your "newer" car is the nature of the beast. Give it about 2/32 of tread wear and you'll find it goes away.

Edit: thinking some more, all the trouble you went through, they should take the tires back and go with some other brand...you are a dissatisfied customer, they should step up to the plate.
 

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I have found that some tires just don't work as well on some cars. Now I always try to read reviews of people who have the same car. They might get better after break-in. I believe some tire companies will replace them with another brand if you have problems.
 

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Soft rubber and tall sidewalls = highway shimmys, UP the tire pressure to 40psi and it should harden the tire some and reduce the shimmy.
It really depends on the tire. Both of the 16" tires I had on my '12 Cruze had no issues.

Some tires are just squirrely before they break in a bit more. I've noticed this on multiple cars just after installing new tires regardless of tire brand/sidewall height.
 

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I have the same experience. I replaced my original Firestones with Michelin Defender T+H in the OEM size 215 R60. These have a higher speed rating (H vs T(?) for the OEM tires).

I noticed the same sensation of the car feeling very unstable on the highway same as the OP, plus it was VERY sensitive to steering wheel input.

The good news is that after 2 weeks the instability is much better on the highway as is the sensitivity to the steering input.

I attribute some of this issue to the higher speed rating which, I assume means a stiffer tire side wall, and that the above mentioned symptoms will always exist to a degree but after 2 weeks and 800 miles I can live with the handling characteristics as the are.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I put about 600 miles on the Generals with no improvement whatsoever. Today, I gave up and asked them to replace the tires with a different brand. They did so, and the car is back to normal. Something about the General tires and my particular car just didn't work. Thanks for the responses guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What tire did they replace it with?
The Pirelli Cinturato Strada All Season. It seems really nice so far. They were more expensive than the Generals by $41 EACH, but they felt bad about all the hassle so they only charged me $21 total.

Also, Discount Tire is amazing. I have never had a bad experience.
 

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The Pirelli Cinturato Strada All Season. It seems really nice so far. They were more expensive than the Generals by $41 EACH, but they felt bad about all the hassle so they only charged me $21 total.

Also, Discount Tire is amazing. I have never had a bad experience.
They are nice tires. I am also a huge fan of the P7.
 
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