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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, hoping to get some feedback on a problem we're having with my girlfriend's Cruze.

I posted a thread a couple weeks back about the problem but more specifically looking for a part number.... The issue is this: she has a 2011 Cruze LT with ~ 60k miles. She recently got all 4 tires replaced (General Altimax RT43, OEM size) and has since noticed a very distinct feeling of swaying/unpredictable tracking from the back end. The problem only occurs after driving 30-40 miles +, and is much worse in corners than when driving straight. It feels incredibly unsafe, like the car is going to let loose and kick the rear out at any time.

To try addressing the problem so far I've replaced the rear right stabilizer bar (which was bent) as well as getting an alignment (specs posted below). I've tried adding +5 PSI to all of the tires to combat soft sidewalls, as well as dropping the PSI in case that would help. The additional PSI may have helped a bit, but definitely didn't get rid of the issue entirely.

Searching online, I've seen some evidence that this may be considered normal for new tires: mold lubricant + "tread squirm" from the longer treads. I have to say, I've never experienced anything quite like this and I've driven the car ~ 650 miles with the new tires and it hasn't seemed to improve. Do I just need to put more miles on it?

Any other ideas here? Is there a surefire way for a shop to test for a bad tire? The problem is when I take it back to the tire shop, they can't detect the issue because it takes such a long time to kick in (again, 30 + miles of driving). There were absolutely no issues that she noticed prior to getting the new tires installed...

Any help/advice would be much appreciated - I'm very much annoyed of it at this point, and it's terrifying for my GF on her 50 mile commute

Thanks, Joe
 

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Can you drive 30+ miles and finish your drive at the tire shop? Have them get in the car then and witness the issue? Seems like something was off when they installed the tires.
 

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First thing I would look at is if tires are directional and they are mounted backwards, or some tires have an "outside" written on sidewall. Weird that mileage has anything to do with it. Maybe once tires are heated up they get unstable, maybe take them back and get a different brand set.
 

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I think one of the tires has internal damage to the belts. When they warm up the belts aren't being held in place.
 

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Joe,
It's time to rethink this a bit.......I remember and responded to your last post.

This time you have added a clue, specifically the over 30 mile (meaning over thirty minutes) before the 'feeling' sets in.

About two years ago, many members started posting about a sticking type feeling after driving at steady speeds (highway...straightline) that would cause you to 'overcorrect'.........certainly would create sway.

It only occurs when on the highway, generally temperatures below 50 degrees......the steering behaves normally once off the highway, on surface streets, where you are turning the wheel often.

It seemed like the steering assist would 'Go to sleep' over long periods of minimal input (highway)

GM got enough complaints to issue a service bulletin and extend the warranty to 10 years/150000 miles. Bulletin# 14232....look it up.

I suspect this may be your issue.......the baggy old tires likely masked the stick condition......new, firm tires are revealing it......the bent rod was a coincidence.....not a cause.

Your alignment results are fine.

When you can, drive the car yourself again and see if the 'feeling' I'm trying to describe 'fits'

Report back,

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can you drive 30+ miles and finish your drive at the tire shop? Have them get in the car then and witness the issue? Seems like something was off when they installed the tires.
Yeah that will probably be my next step. Hoping to have some time over the holidays to get there.

First thing I would look at is if tires are directional and they are mounted backwards, or some tires have an "outside" written on sidewall. Weird that mileage has anything to do with it. Maybe once tires are heated up they get unstable, maybe take them back and get a different brand set.
Thought about and checked that, don't seem to be directional as far as I can tell. Didn't see outside written on any of them either.

I think one of the tires has internal damage to the belts. When they warm up the belts aren't being held in place.
Starting to think that way too... thanks
 

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Joe,
It's time to rethink this a bit.......I remember and responded to your last post.

This time you have added a clue, specifically the over 30 mile (meaning over thirty minutes) before the 'feeling' sets in.

About two years ago, many members started posting about a sticking type feeling after driving at steady speeds (highway...straightline) that would cause you to 'overcorrect'.........certainly would create sway.

It only occurs when on the highway, generally temperatures below 50 degrees......the steering behaves normally once off the highway, on surface streets, where you are turning the wheel often.

It seemed like the steering assist would 'Go to sleep' over long periods of minimal input (highway)

GM got enough complaints to issue a service bulletin and extend the warranty to 10 years/150000 miles. Bulletin# 14232....look it up.

I suspect this may be your issue.......the baggy old tires likely masked the stick condition......new, firm tires are revealing it......the bent rod was a coincidence.....not a cause.

Your alignment results are fine.

When you can, drive the car yourself again and see if the 'feeling' I'm trying to describe 'fits'

Report back,

Rob

Interesting... thanks Rob. I will definitely take a look at that service bulletin. It doesn't sound exactly like what we're experiencing, but could be a matter of semantics.

It feels to me more like driving through an open field on a super windy day - the car is being pushed/pulled laterally even when holding the wheel straight. Feelings of lateral movement perpendicular to the direction the car is traveling.

Is that similar to the bulletin symptoms?
 

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Interesting... thanks Rob. I will definitely take a look at that service bulletin. It doesn't sound exactly like what we're experiencing, but could be a matter of semantics.

It feels to me more like driving through an open field on a super windy day - the car is being pushed/pulled laterally even when holding the wheel straight. Feelings of lateral movement perpendicular to the direction the car is traveling.

Is that similar to the bulletin symptoms?
Well......similarish is the best I can conjure up.

The Altimax is a very good tire.....doesn't mean you can't have a bad one but unlikely......if you had put some of these Chinese things on I'd be looking harder at tires but you selected a tire that I see little problem with.....in particular belt separation.

Generally a belt problem shows itself immediatly and vibration or bouncing is the complaint......sometimes a side to side sway at very low speeds is reported as well......tends to diminish at speed.

The Cruze rear suspension is so robust and simple I cannot envision it creating a problem.....in particular a problem that comes up after a specific amount of driving time.......would be there immediatly as well.

Frankly, the only things I can think of come back to the rack........I am assuming the tire pressures are equalized throughout this discussion.
I'm confident the alignment shop looked at the mount bushings.....but again, loosness there would be evident at all times.

Best I can offer from a laptop.

Rob
 

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Joe,
It's time to rethink this a bit.......I remember and responded to your last post.

This time you have added a clue, specifically the over 30 mile (meaning over thirty minutes) before the 'feeling' sets in.

About two years ago, many members started posting about a sticking type feeling after driving at steady speeds (highway...straightline) that would cause you to 'overcorrect'.........certainly would create sway.

It only occurs when on the highway, generally temperatures below 50 degrees......the steering behaves normally once off the highway, on surface streets, where you are turning the wheel often.

It seemed like the steering assist would 'Go to sleep' over long periods of minimal input (highway)

GM got enough complaints to issue a service bulletin and extend the warranty to 10 years/150000 miles. Bulletin# 14232....look it up.

I suspect this may be your issue.......the baggy old tires likely masked the stick condition......new, firm tires are revealing it......the bent rod was a coincidence.....not a cause.

Your alignment results are fine.

When you can, drive the car yourself again and see if the 'feeling' I'm trying to describe 'fits'

Report back,

Rob
Robby could be "dead on" on this one !! I remember this one.
 

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Is that similar to the bulletin symptoms?
The description was "notchy" steering. It took additional effort to get it out of the center position. Your description sounds completely different.


If you have the time why not try switching the fronts and the backs and see if the problem changes. That might at least narrow it down to the car or the tires.
If it is a tire, that would change the handling - a big clue.
 

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ChevyGuy,

Thats what is tough to convey.......Mine did this too BTW.......I would be on the tollway (I-90), and, after awhile, when a steering correction was needed, the steering felt 'hung up' for lack of a better term.
As I would apply a bit more force to the wheel, the assist would 'wake up'.....again for lack of a better term, and it would cause me to overcorrect.

To some drivers, this over response, because it now caused the need to opposite correct, could be interpeted as a loose feeling rear end.

Tough to put in words.....you sort of have to experience it.

Rob
 

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I had this problem fairly severely on my 2014 Diesel, and it got twice as bad after I put new tires on, so I can easily see why it could go from unnoticeable to a significant factor after putting on new tires.

If you haven't had it in for the steering, I would take it in to rule this out. If you're wrong, you get a fresh steering rack and the newest software flashed, all on the house, so it wouldn't hurt. Mention Special Coverage #14232 and describe the problem as sticking in the steering that results in unpredictable steering behavior.
 

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ChevyGuy,

Thats what is tough to convey.......Mine did this too BTW.......I would be on the tollway (I-90), and, after awhile, when a steering correction was needed, the steering felt 'hung up' for lack of a better term.
As I would apply a bit more force to the wheel, the assist would 'wake up'.....again for lack of a better term, and it would cause me to overcorrect.

To some drivers, this over response, because it now caused the need to opposite correct, could be interpeted as a loose feeling rear end.

Tough to put in words.....you sort of have to experience it.

Rob
Very annoying, have had it happen too. The electric steering is very precise to small inputs, so when you have to move the wheel that much to "unstick" it, you're all over your lane.

However, if you definitely feel it's coming from the rear, if this is a Model equipped with Z link and had taken a hit somewhere to bend something, bushings should be looked at. My S70 had a somewhat similar delta link design, and shortly after a snowy, sideways impact with a curb, the rear end just didn't feel in line with the rest of the car. An axle was replaced that was bent and the main delta link bushing needed to be replaced despite the alignment being dead on - it was swaying with a bit of camber from side to side out on the road, if you will.
 

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However, if you definitely feel it's coming from the rear, if this is a Model equipped with Z link and had taken a hit somewhere to bend something, bushings should be looked at. My S70 had a somewhat similar delta link design, and shortly after a snowy, sideways impact with a curb, the rear end just didn't feel in line with the rest of the car. An axle was replaced that was bent and the main delta link bushing needed to be replaced despite the alignment being dead on - it was swaying with a bit of camber from side to side out on the road, if you will.
Valid point, but that wouldn't kick in after 30 minutes - unless that's how long it took to get to a road surface where it showed up.
 

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and is much worse in corners than when driving straight.
In the corner, or entering the corner? I could see the steering problem being an issue as it could be hard to get the car to turn, but if you're experiencing IN the turn, I'd think that would suggest something else.
 

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How old are your shocks? If they're internally messed up they can cause some weird stuff. We had one block up the other day, so it wouldn't travel more than half an inch. It was a front, but made it feel like the car shot out one side over the tiniest of bumps. It's rare, but this is weird situation.

Outside of that, have you taken it in to the dealer at all? I like the rotating tires idea. You can do both and if it changes or goes away, then one at a time back.
 

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Well, mine took about 20/30 minutes (miles) before the binding would start happening......the next 20 miles it would bind with every correction until I got back on surface streets.
Once making the frequent corrections and turns on the surface streets, the binding would disappear.

On the way back, again in the 20/30 minute range (this is the halfway point of my trip to my hangar btw) it would again begin the bind routine until my exit.
The exit is about 3/4 miles to my home.......the binding again, would not recur on the surface roads.

The next time I headed out, usually a week, to the hangar, same exact routine.

Key seemed to be long straight ride with minimum steering input after a given amount of time.

Rob
 

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Well, speaking to the tires I suggest finding a hunter gsp9700 and someone who really knows how to use it.

I have seen this road force balancing machine reject brand new tires many, many times. From high-end tire manufacturers.

For best results, I suggest asking the technician if he wouldn't mind taking a minute or two to calibrate the machine before use.

Given the symptomology I suspect more than one bad tire. Tires that may have been previously rejected by others, returned to the distributor and then sold again to less discerning retailers.

Much like GM doing a buy-back, auctioning the vehicle off, and it being resold by a dealer as an executive driven.
 
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