Key Takeaways

  • One of the most common causes of vibration is an imbalance in the tires.
  • Tires can become imbalanced if they are not properly mounted.
  • Cheap tires may be more likely to have these types of issues.
  • Regular maintenance of your tires can also help prevent vibration.
  • There are several other causes of car vibrations.

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Cheap tires may save you money, but they may also cause problems. They seem like a solution, but are they? Can cheap tires cause vibration?

One of the most common causes of vibration is an imbalance in the tires. Tires can become imbalanced if they are not properly mounted or if the weights that balance the tire are not distributed evenly. Cheap tires may be more likely to have these types of issues.

I’m a mechanic with five years experience of diagnosing and repairing vehicles. I have been trained and receive regular training on the most recently released automotive technology. I received my degree in automotive repair and am ASE certified. I diagnose and repair vehicles today with the latest tools and technology.

Table of Contents

Cheap Tires

All tires aren’t created equal. This means that some tires aren’t created with the same quality materials as say a high end Bridgeston tire is made out of. For example, if you put Primewells on your car, you're more likely to run into issues than if you put a Pirelli on your car.

That’s not to say all Primewell’s will cause issues, but cheaper tires are made with cheaper materials. This means that the tires are more prone to error. Cheaper tires are more susceptible to issues like uneven wear, and quicker wear and tear, will go out of balance sooner, and more.

Tires made with less than quality materials will give you these issues, more than likely, and they will have a higher chance of causing vibrations in your vehicle. Wheel balancing is the science of matching the balance between the tire in and the wheel.

A well structured tire, once balanced, will keep its balance, since the tire and all of its parts stay in place. With a cheaper tire, the parts of the tire are more likely to shift and move around, causing the wheel balance to change.

This change will probably happen much quicker with a cheaper tire than a more expensive tire, causing you to have to get your tires balanced again. If you feel your tires are out of balance, you can take them back to the tire shop to get them rebalanced.

But you may have to continue doing so with cheap tires, since their inward balance changes so much as the composition of the tire wears and changes quickly. For example, a cheap tire might experience tread separation within the first 10,000 miles causing the tire’s balance to get thrown out of whack.

Sometimes, vibrations caused by cheap tires can be light vibrations felt in the steering wheel or they can be violent vibrations felt throughout the whole car. This is the gamble you take when you purchase cheap tires.

Not only do you risk feeling vibrations, you also risk having uneven tire wear which can throw your alignment out of order. If you must purchase cheap tires, make sure to keep proper tire inflation as maintaining the tires to the best of your ability is crucial.

It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between a cheap tire and a defective tire and a lot of shops will look at uneven tread wear in order to tell the difference between the two. A defective tire will wear much more quickly than others, which is a tell tale sign that the customer is due for a refund.

Putting cheap tires on an all wheel drive car is also risky as you have the potential to damage the transmission due to uneven wear. If the tire balance goes out on an all wheel drive car, you must have all four wheels rebalanced in order to save the transmission from damage.

In total, putting cheap tires on your car is risky, and can cause vibrations due to a number of factors. But the main reason is cheap tires are more prone to issues like tread separation, uneven wear, getting out of balance, and other issues, all which can cause your car to vibrate.

Other Causes Of Vibrations

There are several other causes of car vibrations, including:

  • Wheel Alignment Issues: When a car isn’t properly aligned, it can cause the car to go down the road at angle. When the car does this, it can cause the car to drag the rear which causes hopping, which can feel like vibrations.
  • Suspension Problems: Bad suspension components can cause vibrations throughout the car. This is because the purpose of the suspension is to keep your car from bouncing up and down the road when it encounters bumps. If the suspension fails, your car, or some car component, will bounce causing vibrations.
  • Worn or Unbalanced Driveshaft:  The drive shaft spins almost as fast as the engine sometimes. With anything spinning at this rate, it’s prone to cause some vibrations if it’s not perfectly in balance. An unbalanced driveshaft will cause vibrations in your car.
  • Engine Problems: Engines, when they aren’t operating properly, can cause vibrations. When an engine isn’t idling correctly, is misfiring, or has bad motor mounts, the vibrations can be felt throughout the whole vehicle. A faulty engine will cause vehicle vibrations.
  • Brakes Issues: Worn brake components such as rotors, brake pads, and calipers can cause vibrations in the car. This is particularly noticeable when braking, and the vibrations can feel like a pulsation or shaking.
  • Tires: Apart from cheap tires, other tire issues such as worn tires, tires with low tire pressure, out of balance tires, a loose wheel, bad wheel balance, or unevenly worn tires can cause vibrations in the car.
  • Worn or Damaged Axles: Axles are an important component of a car's drivetrain system, and if they are worn or damaged, it can cause vibrations in the car. This is especially noticeable during acceleration or when turning. A worn or bent axle can cause car vibrations.
  • Exhaust System Issues: Problems with the exhaust system such as a damaged or loose muffler or exhaust pipe can cause vibrations in the car. This is because the exhaust system is connected to the car's chassis and any vibrations in the system can be transmitted to the car.
  • Wheel Bearing Issues: Wheel bearings are responsible for allowing the wheels to spin freely and smoothly. If they are worn or damaged, it can cause vibrations in the car. This is especially noticeable at high speeds.
  • Transmission Problems: Transmission problems such as a worn clutch, damaged torque converter, or low transmission fluid can cause vibrations in the car. This is because the transmission is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the wheels, and any issues can affect the smooth operation of the car.

In conclusion, there are several reasons why a car can vibrate, and it's essential to identify the root cause to ensure a safe and comfortable driving experience. If you're experiencing vibrations in your car, it's best to take it to a qualified mechanic for a proper diagnosis and repair.

Can Cheap Tires Cause Vibration?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

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