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Old 08-12-2022, 04:44 AM #1
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4R Tire Balance - Michelin LTX/MS Defenders

This may be old news, etc. I have owned 6 new 4R's, AWD. 08-12-13-15-18 and now this 22-AWD. Never an issue with Michelins that could not be corrected.

January this year, took delivery 22 4R. As you know, we wait on what is in the pipeline, or order, same thing. The next day, trip to Discount Tire. Take off the Bridgestones, install 4 new Michelin LTX/MS Defenders, 78 miles on the ODO.

Took it home and parked it in garage, covered it up, as we have Tacoma in use every day. It stayed there for 11 weeks, then my wifes dad had serious complications with his health, packed up the 4R and left for Florida. I had no thoughts of anything wrong with these tires, from past history with this brand and tire.

Surprise, surprise. At 62 mph up to 80 mph, vibration, in the steering wheel and the seat. I have had this issue on new Tacomas in the past years, and always corrected when the 6 pin lug centric balancing was used. This dealer only had cone centric balancing.

Called the dealer while enroute. Said to bring it back, except we had to continue, and I advised them we would visit the Discount Tire dealer in Lakeland.
A few days later, made appt there. Explained my problem, they addressed it.

Balanced the 4 tires. I go to xpwy, nothing changed, same exact vibration at speeds. Go back, they put their ace mech on it. He said he knows Toyotas, he owns a 4R. They go to it.
I leave, nothing changed. No time for this, my wifes dad is close to passing on.

We had to stay in FL up to March 20, all legal issues with this situation. Returned home to TN, visited the Discount Tire here. Explained again. They balance the tires, tell me all is good. Not so, same issue. I understand indexing, Hunter Road Force, Hawkeye adapters, etc.

It is getting discouraging, and I visited another Michelin dealer. They work on it, and advised me if this does not work for you, contact Michelin.

That is another problem. I do that, and get automated responses. Finally call them, a guy answers the phone, and recognizes my name. He tells me to make an appt with the original dealer, he is going to call them and straighten this out.

Appt made back to the dealer, I write to Michelin, explain how are they going to do anything different after 4 visits to balance. I get another machine response, that they are aware of my issue. Crazy times.

Michelin now wants a report from the tire dealer about the tires. I believe that there may be an issue with the tires. My final visit, will be to the Toyota dealer, let them examine everything. I took delivery with only 4 miles on the ODO.

Travel2
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Old 08-12-2022, 07:16 AM #2
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Of all the tire balance issue threads that pop up, I have rarely if ever seen issues with any Michelin tires balancing on the 4Runner. I plan on purchasing a set of AT/2s shortly.

Do you think it could be related to parking the truck for 11 weeks? I know flat spotting should be able to be driven out. When you parked the truck I assume there was no vibration. Defective tire possibly?

Best of luck, interested to see how your situation turns out.
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Old 08-12-2022, 10:43 AM #3
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Just this morning I installed KO2's and removed the Michelin Defenders that Discount put on 2 months ago. 3 of 4 Michelin's had a road force in the upper teens/lower 20's and one was near 45. They used a crap ton of 1/4 ounce weights to get them balanced, and it still wasn't very good. The KO2's I just put back on were done at a small, independent shop that prioritizes quality over quantity. They only needed between 1/4 ounce and 1 ounce per tire, and these are 255/75's that weigh 46 lbs each. Discount couldn't get 39 lb Michelin's to balance with less than 3 ounces. I did somewhat fix the Michelin problem myself after Discount made two attempts. Instead of using twelve 1/4 ounce weights, which spread out the balancing need over a 5" strip, I replaced them with three 1 ounce weight. My theory is that they were causing more imbalance by spreading out the weight that much. I did the same correction on each wheel and it was much better, but still not great. Discount was unwilling to force match the wheels and tires before mounting them, so their only tool was to add insane amounts of weight. Sorry for the long post, but the point is it much more likely the shop's fault than the tires fault.
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Old 08-12-2022, 02:36 PM #4
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I did the same with my 2017, straight from the dealer to Discount Tire and put the Defenders on them. Same results, wheel shakes between 60-70 mph. Several visits back for balancing and nothing works or stays working.

Seems to be very sensitive to temperature, road quality and tire pressure.

One of these days I'll try and find a small shop who might do a better job of balancing. 99% of my daily driving is under 45 mph so I don't seem to be that motivated.
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Old 08-12-2022, 06:04 PM #5
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Iíll buy thos defenders if you want to sell them lmk
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Old 08-12-2022, 07:22 PM #6
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We have 302K miles on a 2014 SR5 and I hate to say it, but I have fought this issue the entire time.
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Old 08-14-2022, 04:17 AM #7
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At Tire dealer yesterday. Michelin will need all specs of the 4 tires. Appt made for 8/16, Road Force with the 6 pin adapter. Dunno why this was not done in the first place. I bought the dealers "insurance" deal. See how that works.
If this RF balance works, I have no beefs, and will go home happy camper.

I have a Michelin case # now, whether that cuts any ice. Flat Spots, possible, it should run out, and did not.
Gave up 4 OE Bridgestones with 78 miles on them. Usually we wait for some time before adding the Michelins.

IMO experience, the LTX/MS is best in rain, I wanted them pronto.

Here is what I left with the dealer from Michelin :

Michelin Part #, DOTs, (12-13 characters on the sidewall, check both sides for full
DOT's), and the tread depths, (must be verbally from the dealer, have them call the number below and reference this case#).

All this from the Consumer Care Dept, Michelin. I am willing to pony up any money needed for a complete exchange. Whether the dealer complys here, will have to see. I trade the 4R's EOY, and now waiting to see what the new 4R will be. If it is a 4 cyl, that's another story.

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Old 08-14-2022, 11:41 AM #8
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2nd set of Michelins, all good for me

Does not help you, I know, but I'm on my 2nd set of the Michelins, and happy with both sets. I went to an independent dealer that we've been taking cars to for about 20 years.
1st set of Defenders replaced new Continentals that the (then) store owner recommended, and I did not like (YMMV), so I returned the Continentals in time for a refund and paid the mounting for Defenders and was quite happy with them, got about 70K miles, would have kept them for another year, but wanted new tires for a family road trip at Christmas.

2nd set did not balance too well the first time, took the 4R back to the dealer after our road trip, they re-balanced them and all has been well.

IMO, nothing is better than having a good long-term relationship with a shop, these people know us & treat us well. ... since I'm not a DIY-er.

Shout out to Livingston Tire in NJ.
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Old 08-14-2022, 02:40 PM #9
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It’s a little disconcerting to hear this. I’ve been very happy with my Defenders and have recently decided to try to get though another winter with them. 124k on the truck, 54k on the Michelins. Truck has never been realigned.
Hope you get this solved. Yeah, A ton of weights on your rims is never an encouraging sign.
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Old 08-15-2022, 11:33 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CutthroatSlam View Post
We have 302K miles on a 2014 SR5 and I hate to say it, but I have fought this issue the entire time.
Seems to be the going trend with these 5th gens. Amazing how many times vibrations, steering wheel shake, etc. comes up on here, facebook groups, etc. It doesn't matter if you have Falkens, KO2s, Ridge Grapplers, or whatever tire you choose. These trucks just shake sometimes and it's probably not the tires fault.
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Old 08-15-2022, 03:54 PM #11
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As you all know the 5th gen is sensitive to balance issues. If theyíre having to put several weights on one wheel as opposed to all the others youíre going to get the shakes.

I had this issue with two sets of different tires. Americaís tire swapped them out and the issue was gone.

Good luck.
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Old 08-15-2022, 03:56 PM #12
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I put a set of Defender LTX's on in the fall of 2019, and by the next fall and 12K miles, I'd had enough. They were OK initially, but after the first rotation, it all went to crap. Countless trips back to the locally owned tire dealer (who has the Hunter Road Force Balancing machine). At one point they replaced one tire they found to be out of spec, but it ultimately did not improve the steering wheel shake. Took it to a Toyota dealership for the fuel pump recall, and had them try to balance the tires while it was in for that service... they spent half a day working on just that, including swapping out the wheels and tires from a new 4Runner (which totally fixed the steering wheel shake according to their tech), and concluded there was something really wrong with the Michelin tires. Since they didn't sell me the tires, they didn't want to get involved in warranty replacement of them. I really liked the overall performance of the tires, but the balance issues were just too much to deal with.

(Interesting side note... the service advisor I worked with openly admitted they have lots of trouble getting tires on 4Runner's to balance, regardless of brand or type)

Anyway, I finally gave up on the Michelin's and swapped them out for Toyo AT-3's, which have been pretty much free from steering wheel shake after an initial re-do on the balancing after I got them mounted. I ended up selling the Michelins to somebody for their beater Ford F-150...
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Old 08-15-2022, 04:03 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro367 View Post
Seems to be the going trend with these 5th gens. Amazing how many times vibrations, steering wheel shake, etc. comes up on here, facebook groups, etc. It doesn't matter if you have Falkens, KO2s, Ridge Grapplers, or whatever tire you choose. These trucks just shake sometimes and it's probably not the tires fault.
Bought a set of ORP Wheel with used Dunlop OEM Highway tires, about 50% tread left or an estimated 30K miles left. Put them on and they ran great for the first 20K miles. Then it got progressively worse and not just at 60-62 mph. It would get near death wobble shakes under medium braking from 60-70 mph down to 40 mph. Mechanic initially thought warped rotors, but I had him drive it with me. Once the brakes got warm, moderate stops from 60 mph had the steering wheel shaking hard in your hands until lower speeds, and no warped rotor feel. That convinced the mechanic there was more going on. I had already changed the outer tie rods in the last 5K miles. He put it on the rack and all ball joints and bushings were fine, but he did find slight play in the inner tie rods. So next up is new inner tie rods.

We did just install new Cooper AT3 load range E tires and virtually the vibrations went away. I'm convinced that once the vibration sets in, it wears in the tires which perpetuates it. Everything up front is interrelated and one thing worn or out of balance can cause a cascade on the rest.
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Old 08-15-2022, 06:36 PM #14
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Can you look at the DOT code amd see where thr tires were made?. Michelin has a pretty good reputation.
Something tells me they are being made in a poor facility.
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Old 08-15-2022, 08:28 PM #15
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I've put Defenders on all my past and current vehicle, love them. I have found that playing with tire pressure helps if you have a shake. I purchased my current set on my 4R from a toyota dealer, no issues. I have the pressure set at 34psi cold. A past tacoma (2dr, base, 2wd) I had issues with shake from Defenders, had toyota dealer road force them and then I set pressure to 36psi instead of 32psi, issue gone.
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