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Old 10-18-2023, 05:31 AM #1
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4 Runner balancing issues

Would like to hear some comments from you about the following. I have a 2010 4 Runner, SR5. Until about a week or so ago I had been running Yokohama HT Geolanders. No issues, Tires had just under 60K miles on them and the tread was still good but they were now 7 years old so I decided to put new tires on. I went to Discount Tire and put on a set of Michelin Defenders LTX M/S. Immediately I noticed a smoother quieter ride... until I hit about 62 mph. From 61 to 63 or 64 there was a noticeable vibration in the steering wheel. Took the vehicle back to Discount Tire. The tech came out and told me that two of the tires were not balanced properly during the initial installation, but he had rebalanced them and they were good to go. That was last Friday. This weekend my wife goes to visit the grand kids about 145 miles away. Calls me from the road and tells me there was vibration in the steering wheel when she hit around 62-63 miles an hour. Vibrates only at that speed, no vibration below or above that speed. So now I have to take it back to Discount Tire again, this will be my 3rd trip. Anyone else run into anything similar. I don't think I have an out of round tire or else it should vibrate all the time. Don't think there's a problem with the wheels or there should have been a problem with I was running the Yokohoma's all those years.. So it has to be the tire right? Read somewhere that I need to get the road force balanced. But to be honest I have no idea what that is. I just want my 4 Runner to run nice and smooth like it has for all these years. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-18-2023, 07:38 AM #2
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Road force. I had to do it every time even with the same nice Michelin's as you have.

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Old 10-18-2023, 09:44 AM #3
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Could possibly be a tire out of round. Or they just don't know how to balance tires well. How much weight did they use?
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Old 10-18-2023, 12:20 PM #4
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Call around to the Discount tires in your area and see if they use road force balance as standard. Not all the shops have them, I specifically went to one that did.

If you got your tires from them with the lifetime balancing warranty another store with the RF balancing machines should honor it.

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Old 10-18-2023, 02:00 PM #5
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Discount Tire should have Road Force Balancer machines, the key is to find an employee who knows how and is willing to use it to it's full capability. Including calibrating the machine, match-mounting, and turning off the 'Smart Weight' feature.

If that doesn't do it, then you probably have a tire uniformity issue.
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Old 10-18-2023, 03:43 PM #6
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Had the exact same issue with my local tire shop. Had them re-balance twice and still had the shakes at 90km (Canada). They were the ones who installed my Falken Wildpeaks when new. Had my local Toyota dealership address the issue and has been normal ever since. For some reason they seem to have better equipment to fix the wobble? Dunno! FWIW.
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Old 10-19-2023, 12:44 AM #7
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I just took mine back for the second time with Falken Wildpeaks. The idiot tried telling me the steering wheel shake was because they were A/Ts. I almost lost it. I've run Toyo A/T IIIs and Geolanders without issue.

What it was is they were lazy and instead of using weights inside and outside the rim, they used a single weight. It was them just being lazy. I'll take it on the frwy tomorrow to see if the shimmy is gone.
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Old 10-19-2023, 04:05 PM #8
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Update: So I took my 4 Runner back to discount tire yesterday.. Guy at the counter acknowledged that he realized this was my 3rd trip back for this issue and tells me he's putting his most "experienced " tech on it. I ask him if they use road force balancing and he tells me that's all they use.. Before he drives the vehicle away into a bay, I ask him, what if you don't get them balanced this time, what happens then. He tells me that then they would start to look for 'mechanical' issues like a wheel bearing issue or issue with a brake caliper.. I pretty much stopped him right there and reminded him I had zero balance issues on the Yokohama's and that the only thing that has changed is we've gone to a new set of tires... so this is NOT mechanical.. 45 minutes later he tells me basically they started all over, removed all the weights that were on there, road force balance and as he put it, made sure the new weights they used wouldn't come off and he thought my issue was resolved. He was right. Drove the 4 Runner home ( about 15 miles ) at various speeds including 62 to 65 and absolutely no shimmy. So happy to get this resolved but it also shows that they didn't really balance them correctly the first two times. In any event, it seems to be good now, so up next probably going to have to put on a new set of brakes. Still on the original brakes at 103K miles. Last tire rotation had them check and the pads were down to 4mm.. so it's coming. lol
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Old 11-13-2023, 11:57 AM #9
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I was constantly getting my Bridgestone dueler HT;s balanced . awful ride
Since they were about the worst tires I ever drove in winter snow and ice, I replaced them with only 36k miles . NOT sad to see them gone. Shame on Toyota for putting such crappy tires on a new 4 runner!
I bought Yokohama Geolanders and the rest is history. Much happier with the Geolanders as you were. I hear good things about the michelins on 4 runners. Lets hope you can dial them in and get some good miles on them.
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Old 11-13-2023, 02:22 PM #10
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4Runner sensitivity to front wheel balance is a well known issue.

When you get your wheels Roadforce balanced you have to be specific on what you want to get the best results. Ask the tech what the Roadforce numbers are for each wheel - these basically tell you how out of round the tire is. From my experience, under 10 is good, 10-20 is acceptable, over 20 is bad. The larger and/or more aggressive the tire is, the more likely the tires are to be out of round and have worse Roadforce numbers. Once you have the Roadforce numbers, tell the tech to put the lowest on the front and highest on the rear.

I started doing this years ago and it greatly reduced the 55-65 steering wheel shimmy. I still get it on cold mornings when the truck has been sitting - it usually goes away once the tires warm up.
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