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I got a spare wheel off of CL and got a new tire from a store where it was stretched to the wheel and then balanced. When I mount this spare , it make pulsating noise and it increases beyond 50 mph and significantly louder beyond 60. That means my foot off the gas pedal and I can hear that cupping noise, wondering how to fix this ?

  • The wheel is a used one bought off of Craigslist. so it's not new, but no visible damages or dents. – cyborgt8 Feb 4 '16 at 23:01
  • I'm sorry. does the wheel being true implies it's a good wheel and bad other wise ? The wheel doesn't have any visible damage when it was bought, can it still be a bad wheel. ? – cyborgt8 Feb 4 '16 at 23:21
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Are you sure the rim is true?

The wheel is a used one bought off of Craigslist. so it's not new, but no visible damages or dents.

If the wheel isn't true, it could be causing the vibration/noise you're talking about. If the wheel is true, it would have to be either the balance job or a bad tire.

I'm sorry. does the wheel being true implies it's a good wheel and bad other wise ? The wheel doesn't have any visible damage when it was bought, can it still be a bad wheel. ?

My apologies. If the wheel isn't true, that means the wheel is not completely straight. It can be that way due to a dent (as you mention) or the center of it (where you bolt the rim to the car) might not be right.

At any rate, you can check this a couple of different ways.

  • Drive the car and have someone watch the suspect wheel while you drive. It should be fairly obvious if it's out of true.
  • Jack the car up and spin the tire by hand. It should be readily apparent if the wheel is true that way as well.

If neither of these pans out (wheel looks good under observation), take it back to where you had the tire mounted at and tell them you believe the job they did sucks ... well, ask them nicely if they could recheck the balance to ensure it's right. If the balance is good, it can only be a bad tire after that (as long as a known good tire in the same location isn't having any issues).

  • Thanks much. Yes I'm going to get it checked with tire store and they have agreed to look into it. I'll get back with the findings. – cyborgt8 Feb 4 '16 at 23:33
  • Just for my own knowledge, can a wheel not true be turned into a wheel that is true. given that the wheel doesn't have any visible deformities or crease lines or dents. – cyborgt8 Feb 4 '16 at 23:44
  • Actually, even with damage a wheel can be fixed in most cases, so yet. There are shops out there which can do it for you, but as with any service, it will cost you to get it done. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 5 '16 at 0:10
  • Thanks much again. I had a different issue mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/25684/… and the mechanic suggested replacing wheel although it doesn't have visible damage and asked me to replace it right away. so kinda confused with should have , would have questions. – cyborgt8 Feb 5 '16 at 0:16
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just adding to @paulster2's answer, when it's jacked up if you spin the wheel and look at the rim on the inside(inner side) you might notice a flatspot(a flat deviation to the wheels circular shape), that could cause the noise/vibration, usually happens when you hit a pothole or mount a kerb at speed.

if the wheel is flatspotted it can be heated up and bent back into shape but there is a chance of your wheel cracking, if it's buckled from the center then you would have to either find a new wheel or make do with it

  • Yes, I have flatspotted one of the wheels. I went to a nearby tirestore to see how it does on wheel balancer. The tire was wobbling . There is no other visible damage. The mechanic recommend brand new out right for $300. It looked to me like a minor flatspot. I didn't have time to do more research and got screwed for $500 to get wheel replaced. It's little embarrasment he did not want to work on aftermarket wheel or consider repairing wheel. My only fault was I committed to get car worked on too soon. I was told the wheel is 275$ and I committed, he later mentioned about tax $200. – cyborgt8 Feb 5 '16 at 22:36
  • BTW how good are repaired wheels are they durable.(I'm talking those with minor flatspots) – cyborgt8 Feb 5 '16 at 22:36
  • Personally I would go back if he's charged you 70% tax on a $275 wheel, Any decent mechanic with the right equipment would happily straighten a small flatspot for about $70-$100(unless the wheel was cracked), the wheel being aftermarket make's no difference what so ever repaired wheels are generally pretty durable, straightening a wheel doesn't really make it any weaker as it's heated up, bent back into place and then left to cool down gradually, if they say, cooled it down by dropping it in water then it might crack. – user2649305 Feb 8 '16 at 11:10
  • Sorry my previous comment was cut off . I think the tax is 10% and labor is $125 and alignment on four wheels is $85. Below are links to flatspot tire. I asked a guy at tire store if it can be fixed his idea was to replace it and didn't know if that can be straightened drive.google.com/file/d/0B3CPbzkUvaYCR2xDQUZ5ZGZOZTQ/… drive.google.com/file/d/0B3CPbzkUvaYCa2tZWHoxaDJnMWc/… drive.google.com/file/d/0B3CPbzkUvaYCazlpLURBMzR3clU/… – cyborgt8 Feb 17 '16 at 18:25
  • I still hear loud noise in my rear tires, The tire store showed me how the tire tread wear was uneven on inner side. They still have 8000 miles on them, so replacing them right away may not be the solution. At this point I don't know if my rear suspension has any issue, i.e. bushings are worn out. I asked mechanics and I get different answers. I'm looking for resources on how to inspect suspension for wornouts. At this point the symptoms is the cupping noise which gets louder with speed. either it could be feathered tires or suspension issue. – cyborgt8 Feb 17 '16 at 18:34

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