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Strange Tire/Wheel Issue

 
Old 09-14-2015, 08:53 AM
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Default Strange Tire/Wheel Issue

Hello fellow A6 enthusiasts:


Just a quick note to share with you all a problem I had with my brand new /15 A6 3.0T P+, Cold Weather, LEDs, Bose, Sport Suspension that I've had for just under 2 months. Car had 350 miles on it when I picked it up and immediately I began to experience classic rear wheel imbalance symptoms from 45 mph on up. No, I didn't drive it on highway during test drive (lesson learned). Selling dealer alerted day after I picked up car and after replacement of one Goodyear Eagle LS2 which they said was bad and assurance that tech drove car on highway and it was perfect in fact still vibrating. This was not a subtle vibration -- everyone who drove the car from salesman on up through service personnel at selling dealer felt the vibration. Tried three more times to balance wheels -- different Audi dealer, Discount Tire and high end tire/wheel shop but no change. Selling dealer put a new set of tires on car (Pirelli P7) but still no change. Ultimately I attended at dealer (they had my car probably 15+ days out of the first seven weeks of ownership) and drove a brand new A6 with same suspension/wheels as my car. That one was perfect. I suggested (thank you Snagitseven) that the wheels from the new car be put on mine and vice versa. Bingo. New car vibrating and mine now riding perfectly so any worries about mechanical issue with my car eliminated. I suggested to my salesman (who was very attentive and stayed involved in this from start to finish -- cannot say enough good things about him) that the swapped wheels simply be left on my car and problem solved. Apparently the service department / service manager did not feel they could do that. So off in the A4 loaner (sorry A4 fans but I'm not impressed at all with the A4) I went. Another three days pass and I receive a call from another gentleman in the service department advising that all 4 tires were rebalanced and put on the wheels in accordance with some obscure VAG protocol pursuant to which I needed to drive the car for 500 miles and then return to see if this cured the problem. By the way, after numerous interactions with the Hunter road force balancer no bends in the wheels were detected. However, salesman indicated to me that tech suspected that perhaps the hub area of the wheel was not perfectly round.


I am a very patient person and negotiate for a living -- pretty much nothing unhinges me at this point in my life other than serious illness, lots of blood or death. However, when I got the call from the new gentleman in the service department I told him I was at the end of my patience and renewed my request that the 4 wheels off the new car be put back on my car and the defective wheels remain at the dealer and dealer and Audi of America could experiment all they wanted with same but it was time that I had my A6 back in the condition it should have been when it left the showroom. The gentleman in question was unfailingly polite and fully understood my frustration.


Ultimately the 4 wheels/tires off the new car were put on my car and I've been enjoying my car for the past week or so -- beautiful ride now.


I subsequently heard from the salesman who told me that the service department still had not figured out what the issue was with the wheels/tires on my car. Go figure.


I share this for the following reasons: (1) I think it might be possible that even if the Hunter indicates a wheel is in "spec" possible that could be slight bend that puts the car off kilter; (2) never heard any further on the possible out of round condition of the hub area (i.e. the hole in the middle of the wheel) but I don't understand how that would create the problem I had -- can someone weigh in on that: and (3) to emphasize that persistence pays off and that a quiet, measured approach to this problem ultimately resulted in satisfactory resolution -- didn't need to use a scorched earth approach.


I still have a good relationship with the selling dealer and my salesman -- would have been nice if this were handled a bit quicker but I do believe it was a rather weird problem. All good now.


Best,
Jeff
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:04 PM
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Glad to hear the wheels swap worked out for you. I would think if the wheel hubs were out of roulnd, a properly calibrated Hunter would detect that immediately. So would any imperfection large enough to cause obvious vibrations. Did they happen to give you the road force measurement on the original wheels?
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:38 PM
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Snagitseven, the dealer information coming back to me was opaque at best. The road force on those two rear wheels (fronts as far as I know were never touched because steering was rock solid) was under 10 for one and if I recall correctly 14 for the other. The shop that does the work for my NSX buddies spent a lot of time on those two rears and Hunter did not show anything bad. In any event, I'm just glad I pushed on this and car now rides as it should. If I get any update from my salesman I'll post as this may be good information for others to have. Loving the car 100% now and again, thank you for the advice pertinent to this problem that you gave me some time ago.
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:43 PM
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Of course, road force shouldn't affect steering so puzzling they never checked for road force vibrations on those. In any case, good to hear the problem was solved.
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