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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple months ago I replaced the original tires with a set of these. I bought them because of their high regard in the Volt community and because I bought a set of them for my Toyota Prius years ago and they seemed to work out ok. I should point out that I traded in my Prius for the Volt shortly thereafter so I don't know how good/bad these tires really were/are.

Anyway, I am noticing something odd since I got them. When I am on a perfectly smooth road (recent paving), at about 35-40mph I am hearing a noise like a shimmy which sounds like it's coming from one or more tires. This isn't as noticeable or at all on a "regular" road which is less than smooth. I have driven the car letting go of a steering wheel for a short time and the car doesn't seem to pull in either direction so I don't think it's an alignment issue. Also, the gasoline engine is not running so I know it's not something obvious like that.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks!
 

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How recent was the paving? Fresh paved roads sound different than roads that have some time/wear under their belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How recent was the paving? Fresh paved roads sound different than roads that have some time/wear under their belt.
That I do not know. Only that it was probably in the last few months. I thought it was just one stretch of road and that perhaps the asphalt was causing this but I found that other roads around here with smooth pavement also made the sound happen. I suppose that I could take a long drive to a different area to see if the sound repeats elsewhere.

I'm going to Costco tomorrow to have them rebalance the tires. My hope is that something will shake out from that (maybe a lost weight or they didn't mount one of them properly). They said if nothing is resolved I'd have to go to a mechanic to figure it out. I'm a little disappointed that they didn't offer to swap or exchange the tires. But then again, this is kind of a weird thing as I'm not noticing any physical issues like steering wheel shaking, just the noise.
 

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I got EP422+ tires put on my 2013 Volt in mid-September and have the same experience. Most noticeable on very smooth pavement, almost as if the tires have flat spots from parking for a while. It seems less noticeable after a few miles.
I keep expecting to see a lump protruding from the tread or something, but not so far.

I'll give them a closer look when things get warmer and drier, like in May :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got EP422+ tires put on my 2013 Volt in mid-September and have the same experience. Most noticeable on very smooth pavement, almost as if the tires have flat spots from parking for a while. It seems less noticeable after a few miles.
I keep expecting to see a lump protruding from the tread or something, but not so far.

I'll give them a closer look when things get warmer and drier, like in May :)
Thank goodness I'm not the only one! Yes, that's how I would describe it. It's like there are flat spots on the tire. So it's making this shimmying or fast thump sound. But you say it's less noticeable after a few miles? Normally, I would have a 20 mile commute but I've been out of work for about as long as I've had these tires and only have short trips right now. Regardless, tires shouldn't be doing this. The one thing that makes me feel not so bad is that at least it is only a sound and not affecting performance (that I'm aware of). Many years ago I had a set of Toyo tires that would violently shake the steering wheel when I got up to 65 mph. That was a very bad experience and made me nervous about buying tires in general.
 

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Thank goodness I'm not the only one! Yes, that's how I would describe it. It's like there are flat spots on the tire. So it's making this shimmying or fast thump sound. But you say it's less noticeable after a few miles? Normally, I would have a 20 mile commute but I've been out of work for about as long as I've had these tires and only have short trips right now. Regardless, tires shouldn't be doing this. The one thing that makes me feel not so bad is that at least it is only a sound and not affecting performance (that I'm aware of). Many years ago I had a set of Toyo tires that would violently shake the steering wheel when I got up to 65 mph. That was a very bad experience and made me nervous about buying tires in general.
Back in the sixties before radial tires became popular in the US, most new cars came equipped with 2-ply rayon bias ply tires which would last maybe 20k miles if you were lucky. The first thing my dad would do with a new car was to go to the tire store for a "new car take off" where they'd give him credit towards a new set of 4-ply nylon tires.
The notorious disadvantage of nylon plies was that they'd "take a set" when parked. Some described the first few miles as a "square wheel" effect.
 

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Mine hum even at low speeds. It's more noticable at low speeds because the humming doesn't get louder as you go faster but other external sources of noise do get louder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey folks. Just wanted to give you an update. I went to Costco yesterday to have my tires rebalanced and they did find that the tires on the right side of the car (also where I think these noises are coming from) were slightly out of balance. I find this odd as this is the same place that installed the tires just a couple months ago. However, driving home it was obvious that this did not remedy the situation. I'm guessing I'm just going to have to live with this for now. Hopefully this is some oddity that will resolve itself as the tires wear in. I think I'll definitely think twice before buying these tires again.
 

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Hey folks. Just wanted to give you an update. I went to Costco yesterday to have my tires rebalanced and they did find that the tires on the right side of the car (also where I think these noises are coming from) were slightly out of balance. I find this odd as this is the same place that installed the tires just a couple months ago. However, driving home it was obvious that this did not remedy the situation. I'm guessing I'm just going to have to live with this for now. Hopefully this is some oddity that will resolve itself as the tires wear in. I think I'll definitely think twice before buying these tires again.
New tires can go out of balance in as little as 500 miles simply because of mold remnants wearing off. This is an issue with all brands of tires made using injection mold techniques.
 

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I do not hear any difference in road noise, but I did loose ~4 miles/charge when I swithed two OEM Spark EV tires to Ecopia low rolling resistance tire.
I also just put two Ecopia low rolling resistance tires on my Volt. Too early to tell the efficiency loss.
The Ecopia tires do look that they will last longer than OEM tires...
 

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Richard,

I recently got a set of these same Costco Ecopia tires and experienced the same phenomenon. I took it in for an examination and they told me "we balanced them all and no tire problems were found.

I still had this noise at about 40 MPH also on smooth roads. It was a faint "thunk-thunk" sound on each rotation. I jacked the car off of the ground, rotating each wheel and heard the sound on both front wheels not rears. It sounded as if there was a large pebble inside of each tire rolling about!

I took it back to Costco and inside (they heard it this time) was the loosened guts of the tire pressure monitoring sensors that were not installed tightly. I'd had them replaced with the tires because the car is 5 years old and as they were inside the wheel I 'd be proactive. This could happen to any car but it was our Volt.

I was as pleased about the discovery as I think they were to see me leave :).

Anyhow, no more thunk-thunk sound! Yay.

QuickRick
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Richard,

I recently got a set of these same Costco Ecopia tires and experienced the same phenomenon. I took it in for an examination and they told me "we balanced them all and no tire problems were found.

I still had this noise at about 40 MPH also on smooth roads. It was a faint "thunk-thunk" sound on each rotation. I jacked the car off of the ground, rotating each wheel and heard the sound on both front wheels not rears. It sounded as if there was a large pebble inside of each tire rolling about!

I took it back to Costco and inside (they heard it this time) was the loosened guts of the tire pressure monitoring sensors that were not installed tightly. I'd had them replaced with the tires because the car is 5 years old and as they were inside the wheel I 'd be proactive. This could happen to any car but it was our Volt.

I was as pleased about the discovery as I think they were to see me leave :).

Anyhow, no more thunk-thunk sound! Yay.

QuickRick
Hey QuickRick,

Thanks for your reply! Very interesting.

I'm not a mechanic so I'm usually at the mercy of these guys. I watched a video on TPMS and how they are installed and combined with your info I can see how this could be the culprit. This would also explain how there is a noise but no wobble in the steering wheel. I'm surprised that Costco didn't think of this themselves as it is part of the tire system.

I do not have access to a jack and as I mentioned I'm not really mechanically inclined so I wonder if I should just go to the dealership and have them look at this. My TPMS are original. I don't know if they need to be replaced or if they should be replaced or if they just need to be tightened (as in your case). Or if I should go back to Costco and make them fix this. Without proof I feel like I'm just going to get more pushback from them. On the other hand, I feel like the dealership will just try to sell me new ones.
 

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Richard

Sure thing. Yes, I had no wobble or wheel shake of any kind so I was fairly sure re-balancing would do nothing and it didn't.

I was even going to see if I could borrow a spare tire of a car like a Cruze or Equinox to test all corners, but what a pain that would have been to perform so I was glad that I could hear it and then Costco could. Those guys generally do a good job but they are so very slammed with installations that it slipped. In my case it had to do with new sensors and the two piece unit not being snapped together well. In you case it is still possible if the old one came apart.

If you can borrow a jack, chock and unraised wheel to prevent rolling, raise each corner and roll each wheel in a quiet environment you may just hear it.

Let us know what you find,

QR
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
UPDATE: I called Costco and explained my concerns and the possibility of a TPMS being damaged or loosened during installation of the tires. The guy was skeptical and said that if something like that were to happen they would have noticed it in the balancing. Anyway, I didn't push but he offered to take a look. I must have hit them on a slow day because absolutely nobody was getting tires installed at the moment. After about an hour they said that they were almost done and pretty sure the TPMS are all fine. They did, however, show me something they said wasn't normal. With the tire off, he took the front passenger side rotor and rocked it back and forth. This made a little ping sound each time and he pointed out something that looked loose further in the wheel well. He didn't know what it was and suggested I have a mechanic look at it. Hats off to Costco for going the extra mile here. I just wish they could have fixed it for me. But like they guy said, they aren't mechanics.

So I'm going to have the car brought into the dealer for a look. Hopefully this isn't something too serious. Will post an update when I have more information.

Thanks!
 

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Maybe the axle nut needed to be tightened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey folks. Sorry for taking so long to get back on this thread. My original trip to the dealership was thwarted by a snowstorm and then things just got delayed over and over for various reasons.

Anyway, the dealership found the problem and it was not something I expected. My passenger side front wheel was found to be "out of round". They explained that I must have hit a really bad pothole or similar. Not surprising with how much construction is going on in my area. With the wheel replaced I'm not hearing the noise anymore. Or at least it's not as noticeable. I'm not 100% convinced that was the only problem but it might be that I had it for so long I'm super sensitive to noises now. Pretty costly repair too... was about $900 of a $1000 bill. So, be careful with those wheels out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
$900 for a new wheel? Ouch. A good used one would have been less than $200.
Yea, when they tack on the "investigation charge" and the markup it was about $800-$900. I was shocked too. I'm not a mechanic and do not have the time to look for used parts so I have to pay the "normal people tax". If I were retired or something I might have had the time to quibble or seek out the part.
 

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Glad the issue is resolved.

The tires are on sale at Costco. Do you still recommend them?

What’s the max psi on them. I am running the OEM Goodyears at Low 40s psi, otherwise they would wear the outer edges.
Can these take higher psi. I looked at the specs and they are spec at 36psi which maybe low for the Volt.

Many thanks
 

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I'm running my Ecopia 422+ at 40 PSI. I believe the Max PSI for these tires is 44. My Ecopia's have actually gotten quieter as they wore off the initial manufacturing debris.
 
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