Your wheel might be bent but if your front end is wiggling, get it checked out immediately.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jan 01, 1993

Dear Tom and Ray:

My 1988 Pontiac 6000, bought new, has been a great car and currently has 72,000 miles on it. At 55,000 miles, it began to wiggle as if a tire or tires were out of balance. New tires purchased with balancing and alignment didn't help. A second set of tires (different brand) were put on for 500 miles, as well as a new constant velocity joint. No help either. The wiggle, which becomes particularly annoying at 55mph, continues. None of the work, physical or mental, was done by me. All at national chains and the Pontiac dealer. Can you suggest another possible cause for the wiggle?

TOM: A wiggle? Have you considered the possibility that this Pontiac is trying to meet other cars?

RAY: Seriously, Charles, the first thing you should do is have someone inspect the entire front end. A wiggle, wobble, or waggle in the front end should always be checked out carefully, because it could be something dangerous.

TOM: You could have a bad ball joint, a bad wheel bearing, or tie rod ends that are getting ready to go. And if any of these things broke while you were driving, that would be very bad news for you AND your great Pontiac 6000.

RAY: If all of the important parts of the front end check out OK, then I'd turn my attention back to the wheels. It was very nice of whoever-that-was to let you try a new set of tires for 500 miles. That's VERY good customer service, so I'd go back there.

TOM: And ask them, since they're such nice guys, if they'll try taking your tires and mounting them on four brand new wheels. If that makes a significant difference, it means that one of your wheels was probably bent.

RAY: Then you can start designing experiments to figure out which wheel it is. Or if that's too complicated, just keep driving and don't go back.

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