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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When I picked up my Abarth, the rear wheel had a gouge in the rear rim and deep scratches on the front. They changed the rear wheel on the spot. At about 1500 miles I noticed a lot of vibration in the steering wheel.
I took it in and they changed the front rim and balanced all four tires, did not help. Driving home I noticed the steering wheel 3 degrees off center.

Took it back again they kept it for three days, told me the wheel was off center and should be good now.

Took it back again because the problem was still not fixed. Third trip and they finally aligned the wheels.

In between each drop off I took a 800 mile road trip and as I drove the vibration went from very little too a tooth rattler.

I drove a Pontiac Solstice GXP for 8 years so I know what it's like to drive a roadster.

Planning on taking it to another dealer but Irma is a little more of a priority right now. I just want to know if this is normal in these cars.

Jim
 

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Sound like an alignment issue or perhaps a tire is damaged. Take a close look at the tires for any irregularities.

Paul
 

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Sound like an alignment issue or perhaps a tire is damaged. Take a close look at the tires for any irregularities.

Paul
Alignment issues don't usually cause vibrations. A vibration is caused by a rotating or reciprocating component that has some abnormality or defect. In other words something has to be moving for a vibration to occur.

If the tires on the car now are as delivered, there's a good chance you have a bad tire with a separated belt.

Here's an easy test: Drive the car at under 10mph and observe the behavior of the steering wheel: If the wheel rocks from left to right, and you feel the car tugging to and fro, then there a bad tire in the front.

If the steering wheel is steady, yet the car wobbles to and fro, you have a bad rear tire. I suspect one of your tires suffered damage during the incident that marred your two wheels.

Keep us posted. The car should ride as smoothly as any other car out there.
 

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When I picked up my Abarth, the rear wheel had a gouge in the rear rim and deep scratches on the front. They changed the rear wheel on the spot. At about 1500 miles I noticed a lot of vibration in the steering wheel.
I took it in and they changed the front rim and balanced all four tires, did not help. Driving home I noticed the steering wheel 3 degrees off center.

Took it back again they kept it for three days, told me the wheel was off center and should be good now.

Took it back again because the problem was still not fixed. Third trip and they finally aligned the wheels.

In between each drop off I took a 800 mile road trip and as I drove the vibration went from very little too a tooth rattler.

I drove a Pontiac Solstice GXP for 8 years so I know what it's like to drive a roadster.

Planning on taking it to another dealer but Irma is a little more of a priority right now. I just want to know if this is normal in these cars.

Jim
Totally not normal. These cars drive absolutely smoothly. I'd insist they replace all 4 tires and, perhaps, the rims as well.
 

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Godspeed with Irma....It is so painful to look at the Houston devastation, if you are in the path, consider simple jack stands for some added peace of mind.

It sounds like you may need to get a good alignment shop to look at the car. My1999 Miata NB with 250K eventually had a rear wheel where the alignment cams could not compensate to get the wheel into the specified position. I could not tell the difference, it was a rear wheel. I bet it would be more of a problem with a front wheel. I was fortunate enough to have a shop and mechanic that was willing to tweak the alignment, can't tell if I ate up more tire but it sure rolled through corners nicely. I'm not an alignment specialist but when the mechanic talked camber,caster tire wear and fun, I was leaning toward the fun side.

A good alignment shop will print out the 4 wheel settings before and after alignment. Check to make sure with the mechanic that there are ample adjustments and that one setting is not already maxed out. Document everything.

The wheel damage must have been caused by an impact, hopefully a small one.
 

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seems tires are balance, and wheels are aligned.
Check that the wheel nuts are tighten and also I would raise each tire and take tire with both hands and see if there's a play, (could be a ball joint or wheel bearing)
in not then something not tighten in the suspension.

I had an 1986 Ford Tempo, the steering would woble on high speed. (tires were balanced and wheels were aligne.) it was the nature of the beast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The steering wheel does nothing below 10 mph. Car drives straight with no wobble, pulling or tugging. I feel it the most at higher speeds.

They did swap the damaged rims after replacement, front to back and the problem was still there.
 

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The steering wheel does nothing below 10 mph. Car drives straight with no wobble, pulling or tugging. I feel it the most at higher speeds.

They did swap the damaged rims after replacement, front to back and the problem was still there.
Front to back wouldn't eliminate a wheel that has been damaged - or a tire with an issue. It's also possible that whatever damaged that one wheel to begin with damaged something else in the suspension. (The fact that after the front rear swap the condition slowly returned implies a suspension issue to me .) In any case, I drive much of the time at 8/10 and I assure you the car should be rock solid with no vibration in the wheel (assuming good road). Frankly, this sounds like something that could be dangerous in the long run and needs to be taken care of. Meanwhile, I hope you are okay as Irma starts bearing down.
 

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I could have sworn I seen a NHTSA report of Mazda Miatas having an issue with the same "3 degrees" off center on the steering wheel. Heck if I can find it again.
 

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What fastgascar said. Have them road force balance the tires. They likely do not have that machine. The dealer could take them to a local luxury brand like BMW or Mercedes and probably get it done. If that rules out any tire or wheel issue you can move forward to looking at other things like maybe something damaged when who ever did the damage to the initial wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bck at the Deaelership

This past Saturday I took the car to another Fiat dealership. They drove it and verified the vibration. When they put it on the rack they saw that all four tires are flat spotted, they said from sitting to long in one spot. I'm thinking tow truck driver moving vehicles between dealerships didn't wait for the key and drug it up the ramp.

The thing that pissed me off was that the second dealership would not fix the problem. it's a warranty issue and they are going to get paid for the work, why not make the customer happy?
 

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At least the problem has been identified. Let's hope it gets rectified to your satisfaction, i.e. no cost to you.

The question is wether or not it's a warranty issue. It is not the manufacturer's fault, or the tire company's fault that the tires were damaged. Therefore their resistance to a warranty claim, and refusal to address the issue. Nor is it your fault, but unfortunately you are stuck in the middle.

Who ever is responsible for the damage is liable, but can that party be identified? A sticky situation to be sure. Let us know how it works out.
 
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