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I have a problem with my new Opel Adam (3 months old).

I changed the rims it came with (16") 4 days after I purchased the car. Instead of the 16" rims I bought 17 inch rims. However the car ride was the same for approximately 2 months, smooth even when driving in roads with many bumps and holes. However recently I have been feeling that the car is bouncy and sometimes I feel like i'm going side to side. This is felt only in the seat driver/passenger not in the steering. Steering does not shake or vibrate. I just feel that the ride is not smooth as it used to be, especially when driving in slow speeds ex 30 kph at higher speeds its not that noticeable.

Also noticed that when braking the car seems to take time to settle and in the drivers seat you feel like going sideways.

I went to the service center and the guys said that it's because of the 17 inch rims, he felt what I was feeling when driving the car. He said we should test if this is felt using 16 inch rims. However, I don't believe that this is the issue as I did not feel this in the first 2 months of the car.

Others told me that the tires I have are very hard and not that good. Change all 4 tires to Continental, still feeling the bouncy/sway feeling when driving however its reduced a bit after changing the tires.

Can I check something else? Why does a brand new car feel this why while driving?

  • Tire pressure maybe – cory Jan 13 '17 at 19:23
  • Service center checked the tire pressure and said that its fine. – Martina Jan 13 '17 at 19:26
  • @Martina - Don't rely on what the service center told you. Double check the tire pressure against what's in the door jam sticker as to the proper tire pressure for your vehicle. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 13 '17 at 20:23
  • Curious...did you ever resolve this? If so, what was it? You can answer your own question so others will know how this was resolved. – CharlieRB Mar 17 '17 at 13:08
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There could be several things at play here.

Whenever a car feels like what you are describing I wonder about the tire pressure. Check the tire pressure and insure it is where the door jam sticker says it should be. If you are low, it's going to feel mushy and sway a lot. Tight tires at the pressure they should be at shouldn't do this.

Are the tires you purchased the right type of tires for your vehicle. I don't know much about the Opel Adam, but looking on Google it appears to be about the size of a Fiat 500 or MINI Cooper. I'm not talking about the brand, but rather the type of tire. Perhaps the tires which should be on there are All Season Performance radials and you purchased All Season Touring radials. This would have an affect on how the vehicle drives and handles.

With the shorter wheelbase of your car, it may just be you are kind of tracking a lot different than you'd expect. Shorter wheelbases will have a lot quicker reaction than longer wheelbase autos. Due to this, small adjustments in steering make for bigger adjustments of the car.

Every new car has a break in period. The break in period is not only the engine and drivetrain, but all the other components like the suspension, brakes, and other things. Are you sure you aren't past the break in period of the vehicle and now are getting the "real feel" of the car itself? Meaning, it's now working as you'd expect it to work and you aren't used to that feel?

These are just a few ideas of what may be going on with your car and why it feels weird. One of the things you might want to do is go drive another car which is just like yours (I mean the stock version), one with which is completely broke in with a bunch of miles on it to see if it handles/drives like what your does. If your car drives like it, then I don't think there is much for you to worry about. If it doesn't, then you'll have something tangible (objective) you can point at to the dealership and say "there is something wrong with my car, fix it."

  • Thank you for your replies. I will recheck the tire pressure to make sure that its correct as listed in the door sticker. The tires purchased are the same as the ones it came with with the exception that they are 17". I have done less than 3000 km on this car. do you think that it has completed the break in period? I have a friend which has the exact same car with 17 inch stock rims. She said her car does not feel this way when driving, however i'm going to test drive her car this weekend. – Martina Jan 13 '17 at 20:41
  • The thing that worries me the most is when driving on a really smooth road and the car and I can feel my self in the seat going up and down. Thanks again. – Martina Jan 13 '17 at 20:41
  • @Martina - The test drive should help you confirm a few things. Bouncing in the seat is weird. If you don't feel anything on the test drive like what you feel in your car, take it to the dealership and tell them something is out of whack. Your car should still be covered under the warranty for this as part of the "Adjustment Period" for the car. You may also want to change back to the 16" rims/tires (if you still have them) and confirm this is not what is causing the issue. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 13 '17 at 20:50
  • Unfortunately, I do not have the other rims as I traded them in for the 17's. Yes, i will take it to the dealership again if the other Adam does not feel the same. Other Adam is 2 year old so should have lots of km's by now. I hope its not a huge issue. Thanks a lot for your feedback and advise. – Martina Jan 13 '17 at 21:22
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Are your dampers in good condition - changing the wheels / tyres may have changed the unsprung weight enough to exacerbate weak/ failing dampers.

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