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Old 07-13-2002, 01:02 PM
JimSmith JimSmith is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596

Do a search for tire vibration or balance. There is a lengthy thread on the subject that describes a machine used at better tire sales and service facilities. I think it is a Hunter 3000GP or something. Anyway, it is apparently able to distinguish tire and wheel problems from suspension and steering system issues. Finding a place where this machine is used near you is something the manufacturer can ususally provide some assistance.

The main reason I use Michelin tires exclusively is quality and service. The added cost ends up being worth it, and I usually buy them from Tire Rack and have them installed locally. The manufacturing methods for tires sold in the European market where speed ratings are taken seriously (TUV biannual inspections in Germany look to match speed rating to car capability. A car that will go 130 mph cannot leave the inspection site under its own power with tires that are not rated accordingly) are more exacting than those used for tires only sold in markets where speed ratings are disregarded by government regulating agencies.

So, get an "H" or higher rated tire ("V" or "Z" if your car is capable of speeds over 130 mph) and choose one that will meet your other needs. I live in a place with 4 seasons, so I get the Pilot XGT series for 4 seasons and I do well in all but blizzard conditions. Some cars that means a "H4" model and others it is a "V4" choice.

One of the telltale visual features of a tire made using the more precise manufacturing techniques is evidence of a multiple segment mold. You will see slight flashing fins in the radial direction on the sidewall and across the tread on the new tire. The more, generally, the more precise the concentricity of the construction, and therefore the longer the tire will stay balanced and round.

Good luck and I hope this helps. Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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